Wild Stallion of Corolla Herd in Currituck County North Carolina
8 by 10 inches Watercolor Original
by Artist Linda L Martin
Two Socks is also a story of the challenges of managing the of wild horses in areas where development is happening quickly. While local governments are struggling to play catch up with regulations, they are also trying to increase their tax base in order to provide services necessary to those moving into the new developments. It is the challenge of land that has multiple use and multiple owners. All the while sustaining the population of wildlife and wild horses in a dwindling habitat. It is a further challenge because land is limited simply because these are islands.
The beach at Corolla is also considered a main road for 4x4 vehicles and a way for people to get to their homes, as well as to visit the Atlantic Beach for sun and swimming. Driving has always been permitted on the beach as long as I can remember and at this time there is no real move to close a portion of the beach to vehicles.
On the night of May 28th the black stallion, Two Socks, was either defending his band or having a bit of frolic on the beach with his mares when it was reported that he ran into a vehicle and received terminal injuries. Speed was not an issue with the vehicle, nor was alcohol, according to newspaper accounts. The driver was said to be very fond of the wild horses on the island and was heart sick at the accident.
While a lot of people want to place blame in this situation, anyone who has faced a wild deer on a back country road in the dead of night knows that brown is hard to see if there is no additional light. Two Socks was a deep blue black and would have been impossible to see on that dark moonless evening running through the sand. Having spent a night or two on the beach at the Outer Banks myself as a child I know how dark it can get even with the white sand on a starry night.
It is incredibly sad to have lost one such as this noble stallion in any circumstances, especially, one such as he, who was so well loved. At some point, and soon, changes that favor the safety and preservation of the horses will need to be made to lessen and end the opportunity for the devastating impact of such accidents.
To read more about the management and challenges of protecting the Wild Horses of the Outer Banks and what is being done to protect them and their habitat please go to: http://www.corollawildhorses.com/management/
Reference photography for tonight's painting provided by Kim Galluzzo. Information about Two Socks and the challenges of managing horses in a suburban area was gathered from personal experience, stories from people visiting the Outer Banks, a variety of local and regional news publications including the Virginia Pilot News Paper.