A marsh tacky foal born on Daufuskie Island on Friday morning was the first of the once-common Lowcountry breed of horses to be born there in at least 40 years, according to Erica Veit, founder and director of the Daufuskie Island Marsh Tacky Society, a nonprofit dedicated to bringing the horse back to the island.
“The baby’s healthy, the baby’s happy, she’s great,” said Veit on Sunday after a visit from the vet to check on the foal and its mother, Reina. “This is a major accomplishment, a cornerstone of our mission,” she said.
The baby’s sire is Lowther’s Locero, a stallion that came from DP Lowther’s herd in Ridgeland.
The female foal is, for now, unnamed. Veit said society members are waiting to see what kind of personality she has before giving her a name.
Marsh tackies are the descendents of horses originally brought to the Sea Islands by Spanish settlers and had completely vanished from Daufuskie Island in the 1980s. Veit said it is unknown when the last marsh tacky was born there. “Some say 50 years, some say 60, nobody really knows.”
In fact, marsh tackies were in danger of vanishing completely, but they are making a comeback. There are now some 450 in existence, and the breed was designated the South Carolina State Heritage Horse in 2010. And now the breed is back on Daufuskie.
Those looking to see the foal will have to make their way to Daufuskie Island. The foal is being kept at the society’s farm at 1 Cooper River Landing Road next to Freeport Marina. Veit said people are welcome to stop by between noon and 3 p.m. daily.
In the meantime, the society, a 501c3 nonprofit charity, is accepting donations that can be made through its website, daufuskiemarshtackysociety.org, and its Facebook page, Daufuskie Marsh Tacky Society.
Jay Karr: 843-706-8150