Untamed Lowcountry

Critically endangered Marsh Tacky horses on Daufuskie could get new Beaufort County home

Say hello to the first marsh tacky horse to be born on Daufuskie Island in decades

This as-yet-unnamed marsh tacky foal was born on Friday and is healthy, happy and frisky. She's the first of the once-common breed of Sea Island horse to be born on Daufuskie Island for at least 40 years. Here, she frolics with her mother, Reina,
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This as-yet-unnamed marsh tacky foal was born on Friday and is healthy, happy and frisky. She's the first of the once-common breed of Sea Island horse to be born on Daufuskie Island for at least 40 years. Here, she frolics with her mother, Reina,

A Beaufort County organization dedicated to reviving a critically endangered horse breed could soon to be expanding with a new location on the mainland.

Beaufort County Council voted unanimously Monday night to approve the first reading for the lease of Duncan Farms in the Seabrook area to the Daufuskie Marsh Tacky Society.

The organization has grown from having two of the rare horses four years ago to 10 at its Daufuskie Island locations, according to founder and director Erica Veit.

“We desperately need more pasture land for the Tackies,” Veit said. “For us (Duncan Farms) is necessary to be successful, and to have a place to keep hay, grain supplies and horses.”

Veit said the organization has worked for a year to get a proposal together for the county’s approval.

The proposal would allow them to lease approximately 40 acres for equestrian use for a maximum rate of $4,800 a year for an initial term of five years with four possible additional five year extensions. If the lease receives final approval from council, it would begin May 1.

“The property is strategic for us,” Veit said. “It’s super important and a milestone.”

The society would be responsible for improvements to the property and setting up conditions conducive for its needs. The first stage of those improvements would include putting up fencing, installing power, a well and septic system, and building a barn.

Those improvements would continue to include paddocks, more barns, stables and a manager apartment.

Four new jobs would also be created on the farm.

With the lease comes the promise of continued public education about Marsh Tacky horses.

“So far we’ve had a few barriers to entry with the cost of the Daufuskie Island Ferry for visitors,” Veit said. “At the new location, it would allow people to get to us easier and participate. It also gives us space to expand.”

Veit said she would like to see the society expand to include options to rescue and rehabilitate horses and allow programs for wounded veterans, first responders and at-risk youth. The new location would also be an evacuation option for hurricanes, serve as a breeding facility and allow the horses to be rotated on and off Daufuskie Island for events, vet visits and training.

The hope is to be at the new location by the end of September, Veit said.

“As we’ve grown, we’ve identified one of our top needs as having a location on the mainland,” she said. “It’s very exciting for us.”

Those interested in donating building supplies and other items for the improvement of the farm may contact Veit at 843-290-9119.

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