Posted by Outer Banks Blue

Corolla Wild Horse Story

Blind horse recovering after nearly drowning

Note:  Today's Blog entry is a reprint of a story that ran earlier this summer in local newspapers.  Credit goes to Karen McCalpin, Corolla Wild Horse Fund Director.

If the Corolla wild stallion, Amadeo, was a cat, he would have used up all of his mythical nine lives in one evening.

Already missing one eye for about two years, Amadeo recently was involved in a brutal battle with a much younger rival stallion.  Apparently his remaining sighted eye was severely injured and he became blinded.
Amadeo in the Dunes
Disoriented, the 16-year-old stallion plunged into the ocean on the evening of May 2nd, with 30-mile-an-hour winds and six foot waves.  He was then caught in a rip current.

Fortunately for Amadeo, a resident saw it happen and called 911, who in turn called the Corolla Wild Horse Fund Herd Manager, Wesley Stallings.

Knowing that the fund had neither the expertise or equipment to attempt an ocean rescue, Stallings called Corolla Fire and Rescue.

Pulled a mile and a half south by the current, the stallion struggled for his life in the 50-degree water.  Each time he disappeared under the waves, he fought his way back to the surface.

Luckily for Amadeo, he his a sandbar and was able to regain his footing.  Guided by Stallings via phone, trained rescuers waded out to the exhausted horse, put a tow strap under his tail and moved him forward to the shore.

A protective human circle was made around the shivering stallion once to shore and Stallings arrived with the Corolla Wild Horse Fund trailer.

With his right eye missing and his left eye swollen shut, he was loaded onto the trailer and transported to the safety of the Corolla Wild Horse Fund's facility on the mainland.
Amadeo on a happier day
Amadeo was examined by Dr. John Sangenario of Dominioin Equine Clinic.  Due to the swelling in the eye, it was not possible to immediately determine the extent of the damage.  Under Dr. John's direction and CWHF staff's care, the eye was treated several times a day with medication.

Dr. John re-examined Amadeo once a week.  By the third week, he was able to determine that the stallion had suffered a prolapsed iris and that his vision was very poor and unlikely to improve.  Otherwise, he is healthy for his age.

The mission of the Corolla Wild Horse Fund (a non profit charity) is to protect, conserve, and responsibly manage the herd of wild Colonial Spanish Mustangs roaming freely on the northernmost Currituck Outer Banks.  The fund also promotes the continued preservation of this land as a permanent sanctuary for horses designated as the NC State Horse and defined as a "cultural treasure" by the State of North Carolina.
The fund also cares for several injured horses, like Amadeo, who cannot be returned to the wild, or be trained and adopted after rescue and rehabilitation.

In order for Amadeo to be able to safely go in and out of his stall, a special enclosure must be built for him from galvanized steel panels.  About 30 panels will be required to cover the half acre pasture the fund has set aside for him at their facility.  Each panel cost approximately $100 and will have to be purchased.

Those who would like to help build "Amadeo's Half Acre," send contributions to the Corolla Wild Horse Fund, P.O. Box 361, Corolla, NC 27927 with "Amadeo": in the note line.
All contributions will be acknowledged and are tax deductible
Amdeo is also available for symbolic adoption on the fund's website

Amadeo enjoying his pen on August 27th
Update on this story.   Amadeo is in his Half Acre and enjoying his life.  While he is blind, he is being treated well, and is thriving in his new protected area.   For more information on Amadeo and all the Corolla Wild Horses visit the Corolla Wild Horse Fund on Facebook!

By Tim Cafferty, President, Outer Banks Blue Realty Services

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