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More Kaimanawa horses to be targeted today

June 4, 2010

Musterers were hoping to herd another 20 horses from the Kaimanawa ranges today after a clockwork operation yesterday in which 130 animals were gathered.

This year's Kaimanawa muster had gone like clockwork, according to the Kaimanawa Wild Horse Welfare Trust.
The 130 horses mustered yesterday had been pulled from the southern area of the range, Kaimanawa Wild Horse Welfare Trust welfare officer Marilyn Jenks said.

Marilyn had been in contact with her husband, trust chairman Elder Jenks, who had headed into the back country to witness the muster. He reported that the horses were in beautiful condition and were a multitude of solid colours, unlike the usual predominance of bays and chestnuts, with the odd gray.

Marilyn said the musterers had spotted another 20 or so horses which, weather permitting, they intended herding early today into the Argo Valley holding pens, where the horses are processed.

Elder, she said, was impressed by the condition of the horses. "They are all in beautiful, beautiful condition."

All horses gathered in the muster should be gone from the holding yards by lunchtime today.

The trust had homes organised for 82-84 horses, and she understood the Kaimanawa Wild Horse Preservation Society had homes for another 20.

She said it was too early to provide a breakdown of the horses in terms of age and sex, but said the number of homes available meant that all younger stock would go to homes.

The older horses and stallions would go immediately to slaughter.

Marilyn said requests for horses bucked the trend this year, with more requests for older horses. The trust had received about 20 requests for older mares, aged two to four.

This ultimately meant that fewer horses would go to slaughter.

Marilyn said Elder reported that the muster had gone like clockwork.

She said horses being rehomed by the trust would be transported to yards in Huntly, Levin, Paihiatua and Taranaki - about 20 animals to each - and from there would go to their new homes.

About six were South Island-bound this year, but would need some handling first.

The muster was originally scheduled for a week ago, but unsuitable weather had forced a delay.

The trust has always assured that no young stock will go to slaughter. It has arrangements in place to take any surplus youngsters and get them handled, making them more readily able to be placed into homes.



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