In early September, we removed a wild Banker mare named June from the wild because she was exhibiting symptoms associated with pythiosis (a life-threatening waterborne, infectious disease) by a wound on her lower leg, just above her hoof. She was first taken to our farm on the mainland, the Betsy Dowdy Equine Center, for further assessment by our veterinarian who examined her, took x-rays, and consulted with specialists at NC State University. The veterinarians at NC State advised us to bring June to their hospital in Raleigh the next day. Once there, she underwent immediate surgery for the disease, and her treatment and analysis continued for almost three full weeks.
When June was able to return to the farm, she made small improvements each day. After her first week at the farm, she finally felt comfortable enough to enter her stall voluntarily, which was a major sign of her developing trust. She enjoyed taking walks around the farm during recovery, and over the next year, grew quite affectionate with her caretakers.
As of September 2023, June shares a pasture with another mare, Buttercup, and a special stallion named Junior. June was a part of Junior's harem in the wild years ago, prior to Junior's own rescue and removal in summer 2021 after he suffered a choking incident from being fed an apple. Junior underwent surgery in January 2023 due to a lipoma that had attached to his intestines. Both June and Junior have spent their fair share of time going through medical assessments and procedures, yet both horses are now happy and comfortable. Despite the tragedy of losing them from the wild herd, they are still just as essential to the preservation and conservation of the Banker breed. Not only is the farm a permanent sanctuary for them and around 20 other rescued horses, but it is also a research and education facility carrying out work that the Corolla Wild Horse Fund takes pride in.