Legend has it the Ocracoke ponies arrived here with shipwrecked explorers in the 16th or 17th century, and they’ve called the island home ever since. While many of these early ponies were claimed by residents, some were left to roam wild. The National Park Service took over their care and maintenance in the 1960s to keep them safe as the island’s human population continued to grow.
When we launched Outer Banks Forever this past April, we brought back the popular Adopt A Pony program so that you can help these beautiful and unique ponies by symbolically adopting your favorite! Your support of the ponies – individually or the herd – helps fund their ongoing care and feeding.
This month, we’d like to introduce you to one of your Ocracoke Pony families: Sacajawea and her daughters, Hazelnut and Winnie!
Sacajawea: Hello there! My name is Sacajawea, and I am a Bay mare. I was born on Shackleford Banks at Cape Lookout, which is just south of Hatteras Island, in 2007. I’m about 12 years old in pony years, which makes me about 36 years old in human years! I joined the Ocracoke Island herd in 2010 and became Mom to Hazelnut in 2015 and to Winnie in 2018. I am named after the Shoshone Indian guide who led Merriweather Lewis and William Clark on their Western expedition in 1804, and I live up to my name by acting as the leader of the herd! (Adopt me here!)
Hazelnut: Howdy! My name is Hazelnut, and I was born on Ocracoke Island on February 4, 2015. I’m four years old in pony years, which means I am 12 years old—almost a teenager—in human years! I love grazing alongside my younger sister, Winnie, and my mom, Sacajawea. I got my name from the Ocracoke Pony volunteers who care for and feed us each (I like hazelnuts and my coat is the color of a hazelnut!). I have a lot of energy, and I am always ready for a new adventure. (Adopt me here!)
Winnie: Hi! My name is Winnie, and I was born on May 3, 2018, on Ocracoke Island. I am the youngest member of our happy herd (I am a little over a year old in pony years, which makes me three years old in human years), and I like spending time with my mom, Sacajawea, and my older sister, Hazelnut. Sometimes, when I am feeling brave, I venture out on my own to explore my island home. (Adopt me here!)
Click here and you can adopt Sacajawea, Hazelnut, Winnie – or the whole family – with a gift of $35 or more and we will send you an adoption certificate and a picture of your pony. (Holiday tip: these make great presents for the horse lover in your family!)
Learn more about the history of the Ocracoke ponies here.