Horse Health

Assateague Island Filly Dies, Park Service Completes Wild Horse Census


There are 75 wild horses on Assateague Island, according to the most recent population census by the Maryland Park Service.

According to officials, there are 22 stallions and 53 mares in the herd on Assateague Island National Seashore.

A 5-month-old filly named Chantilly Lace was the only documented death in November.

According to park officials, they were notified about the filly showing signs of neurological symptoms on Oct. 29. The horse died soon after the park service was notified.

A necropsy showed that filly’s death was natural — due to an intestinal blockage — called an intussusception.

The National Park Service does a full census of the wild horse population six times a year — in February, March, May, July, September, and November.

The Assateague ponies roam more than 27 miles of the barrier island and sometimes can be difficult to find.

2 replies »

  1. Sadly my first thought was what was it she ate, wondering if it involved people feeding her weird things, or perhaps her picking up trash. I had a horse once eat a bread bag with a ham and cheese sandwich inside !) which he eventually passed but it was a touchy time thinking he might not. He was lucky.


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