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Unless you’re from the Lowcountry, you’re not likely to know about the marsh tacky, the feral swamp horse descended from hundreds of Spanish horses that ran in the sea island marshes for generations. They are small. Their haunches are skinny. But they were for generations the mudders, the horses that did it all: carrying children to school, mucking deepwater swamps after deer, running races on the beaches. They are steady, smart and not at all hesitant to go where thoroughbreds would buck. They could live off marsh grasses other horses wouldn’t touch.
The marsh tacky almost was lost, disregarded as prettier horses became more available and affordable. A small group of devotees has organized to bring the breed back from fewer than 200 that are left.
The Carolina Marsh Tacky Association plans its annual “beach race” on Daufuskie Island at noon April 27, 2013. Contact the association for more information, 803-517-2545.