Meet William, One of the Wild Horses of the Outer Banks

The Wild Horses of the Outer Banks William's Story
What could possibly make a vacation on the Outer Banks even more amazing? How about the opportunity to see wild Spanish mustangs grazing in the marshland and frolicking in the local waters? Visit the northern North Carolina beaches of Corolla and Carova and you can!

The History of the Wild Horses on the Outer Banks

The wild horses of the Outer Banks, also referred to as Banker horses, have roamed the area for hundreds of years. Most likely descending from the domesticated Spanish horses brought to America in the 16th century, the Banker horses are a feral breed that have survived through the centuries. There are many theories about their origin such as possibly by surviving shipwrecks or being abandoned on the islands by early explorers, none of which has been confirmed. One thing is for sure, they are a stunning sight to behold.



Today, the Banker horses are given sanctuary on the Outer Banks, as well as loved and respected by residents and visitors alike. In 2010, the wild Colonial Spanish Mustang was officially named the state horse of North Carolina. If you're interested in learning more about the fascinating history of the Outer Banks wild horses, click here.


Meet William, the Wild Foal with an Amazing Story

If you don't know about sweet William (born Guillermo), you should. Just look at that face! He is not only adorable but also a wonderful example of strength and resilience. Born on the beaches of Corolla, William was at a disadvantage from the very start with a host of hWilliam the wild foal from the Outer Banks NCealth problems.

"When we first saw him we thought he was exceptionally small, but we do have an inbreeding problem so we didn’t think too much of it but everyday it seemed like he was not thriving,” stated Corolla Wild Horse Fund Executive Director Karen McCalpin. William spent the beginnings of his life in the ICU at North Carolina State University's veterinary hospital. After a variety of tests, observation and surgery, it was determined that William most likely was born prematurely which contributed to the long list of health issues.

Born on June 12, 2015, William is growing in strength, and popularity, as many continue to follow his story. He now spends time with his surrogate mother Pebbles in good care at a barn in Currituck County. Pebbles will stay with William until he is at least four months old. William was given a 60% survival rate after his surgery, and continues to improve despite some setbacks along the way. You can read more about his incredible story here.


The Corolla Wild Horse Fund

Much of William's road to health and recovery is due to the Corolla Wild Horse Fund. Created in 1989, the Corolla Wild Horse Fund is responsible for taking care of the herd and managing the land that is its home. They provide resources and programs that include public education, rescue, training and adoption, and preservation of the habitat. They have also raised money for William's medical costs and for the long road to recovery ahead of him, thanks to the overwhelming support of the community and those who have heard William's story.

You can follow William's continuing progress and see updates on the Corolla Wild Horse Fund's Facebook page. Though William will not be able to return to the wild, the message is clear that he and the other wild horses of the Outer Banks have a fighting spirit and strong will to live despite the odds. It's no wonder that they've survived five centuries.


Wild horses of Corolla NC

More about the Wild Spanish Mustangs of NC

If we've gotten you hooked on learning more about the wonderful wild horses of the area, be sure to read more about them on our previous blog post.

 You should also put the Wild Horse Museum in Old Corolla Village on your next Outer Banks vacation itinerary.

Elan Vacations offers a FREE Guide to the Corolla Wild Horses that you can download right here.





 Are you ready to see the wild horses of North Carolina for yourself? Start your Outer Banks vacation planning right now!

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