Sable Island Horse
The Sable Island horse (French: Cheval Île de Sable), sometimes referred to as the Sable Island pony (French: Poney Île de Sable), is a type of small feral horse found on Sable Island, an island off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada. It is a small type, often pony sized, but with a horse phenotype and horse ancestors, and usually dark in colour. The first horses were released on the island in the late eighteenth century, and soon became feral. Additional horses were later transported to improve the herd's breeding stock. They were rounded up for private use and sale for slaughter, which by the 1950s had placed them in danger of extinction. In 1960, the Canadian government protected the horses by law in their feral state. From the 1980s on, long-term, noninvasive herd studies have been performed, and in 2007 a genetic analysis was conducted that concluded the herd was genetically unique enough to interest conservationists. In 2008, the horses were declared the official horse of Nova Scotia, and in 2011, the island was declared the Sable Island National Park Reserve. The herd is unmanaged, and legally protected from interference by humans. The horses live only at Sable Island and, until 2019, at the Shubenacadie Wildlife Park on the mainland of Nova Scotia, with the latter herd descended from horses removed from Sable Island in the 1950s.
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Also known as
This breed is also called Sable Island Horse, Sable Island Ponies as well as Sable Island Pony.
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