Core Sound Waterfowl Museum to celebrate Shackleford Horses Foundation with photo competition, exhibit

In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the organization’s founding, the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum and Heritage Center will sponsor the 2021 Shackleford Horses Photography Competition and Exhibition and host a reception to open the exhibit and honor the foundation. (Contributed photo)

HARKERS ISLAND — For the last 25 years, the nonprofit Foundation for Shackleford Horses Inc. has worked to preserve and protect the wild horses of Shackleford Banks.

In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the organization’s founding, the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum and Heritage Center will sponsor the 2021 Shackleford Horses Photography Competition and Exhibition and host a reception to open the exhibit and honor the foundation.  The reception will be open to the public and held Sunday, Aug. 8 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the museum, located at 1785 Island Road, Harkers Island.

The photography competition is limited to photographs featuring the Shackleford Horses. Eligible subjects must include images of the Shackleford Horses. All entries must be taken on or offshore of Shackleford Banks. Photographers of all ages are eligible to participate.  

Photography registration runs from July 31 to Aug. 6, and the exhibition will run from Aug. 8 through Oct. 30.  Awards will be given for first, second and third place, and in addition, a People’s Choice award will be given based on voting conducted during the exhibition.  Entries may be offered for sale.

“We are grateful to the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum and Heritage Center for showcasing the Shackleford Banks horses in this photography competition and exhibit,” noted Margaret Poindexter, president and chairman of the foundation.  “But more than that, we are grateful for their support of the foundation and our work over the years, and appreciate partnering with them to bring attention to a precious resource that makes Down East unique and special.”

“From its beginning, Core Sound has been an ally in keeping this important herd of horses safe and free on Shackleford Banks,” Karen Amspacher, director of the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum & Heritage Center explained.  “We honor their historic place in our culture and will continue to support the foundation and Cape Lookout National Seashore in making sure they are part of our future as well. Our thanks to the foundation for their leadership, determination and commitment to the Shackleford Horses.”

The Foundation for Shackleford Horses Inc., was organized in August 1996 by a group of Carteret County citizens concerned about the announced plans by the National Park Service to reduce the size of the herd of wild horses on Shackleford Banks to numbers that people believed would be detrimental. Those first foundation board members consulted with scientists, veterinarians and equine experts who shared their time, expertise, thoughtful consideration to maintaining a viable herd on Shackleford and the concerns of the public, and gave the foundation members the necessary information to move forward as confident and credible advocates for the horses.  That information and advocacy resulted in the enactment of the Shackleford Banks Wild Horses Protection Act in 1998, which ensured the preservation and protection of the wild horses of Shackleford, and co-management of the herd by the National Park Service and the Foundation for Shackleford Horses Inc.

Since that time, the NPS at Cape Lookout and the foundation have worked together to monitor the health and progress of the herd, to make decisions regarding the management of the herd and to educate the public about the herd and how it can help ensure its survival.  Any horses that are removed from the island are turned over to the foundation for care and placement.  The foundation has no paid staff. Its work is done solely through the efforts of volunteers, and its operations are conducted solely through donations and grant funding.

For further information about the 2021 Shackleford Horses Photography Competition and Exhibition, and to obtain registration entry forms, contact Pam Morris at Core Sound Waterfowl Museum and Heritage Center, via phone, 252.728.1500 x 104, or email, pamdmorris@coresound.com.

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