Wild Horses of Abaco Preservation Society (WHOA)
The Wild Horses Of Abaco Preservation Society (WHOA) was registered in 2002 as Friends of The Abaco Barbary Horse, DBA as WHOA to resign the name Barb and emphasize the more accurate Spanish Colonial as the correct designation of the horses’ breed.
WHOA is a local non-profit Bahamian Charity, overseeing official disbursement of funds raised locally, and disbursement of the major funding efforts of Arkwild Inc., a registered US 501 (c) 3 charity in existence since 2004.
Why the horses are important:
“The Colonial Spanish horses are important because they represent a component of equine genetic diversity that no longer exists in its place of origin, Spain and Portugal. All CS population are small in the number of horses and are thus threatened with extinction. The Abaco horse clearly shows evidence of Spanish ancestry and thus represents a CS breed. Loss of any CS gene pool is a loss of the total gene pool of the horse and to CS horses in particular.
Each of the CS populations has a unique set of the total gene diversity of the CS horses. Abaco horses represent a distinct part of that set so that makes them valuable. Even if only a fraction of the gene pool can be saved it maintains some part of that diversity." - E. Gus Cothran, Ph.D.,Texas A&M University
Dr. Cothran is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Veterinary Integrative Bio-sciences, which is in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Science. He has worked closely with WHOA, monitoring our DNA and making recommendations for well over a decade.
The Wild Horses of Abaco Preservation Society, and Arkwild, Inc., a non-profit organization, have been actively involved in the restoration of the breed, campaigning for funding and support to ensure the wild horses of Abaco's return as a living part of the island's history. Throughout the world, Spanish Colonials are recognized as critically endangered. A proposal has been submitted to the Bahamas government to activate their plan, and this will be the first ever restoration of an extinct breed of horse.
How to Support
You can support WHOA by making a one-time donation or becoming a Subscription Donor, which enables you to choose a donation amount and then make easy monthly payments which are automatically withdrawn from your account. Visit the WHOA website link below to find out how.
There is also the online Cafe Press Gift Shop, where you can purchase items the proceeds of which go towards supporting the effort.