Feral Horses of the Kaimanawa - New Zealand

The Kaimanawa Foothills

The Kaimanawa Wild Horses of New Zealand: Where did they come from?

These horses are a mixture of Exmoor and Welsh pony bloodlines imported in the mid 19th Century to provide sensible sure-footed and sturdy station mounts. They became highly valued as carriage horses and were exported to Australia and South Africa under the breed name ‘Comet.’ During the 1940s thoroughbred bloodlines were introduced and there have of course been escapees from local cattle stations which have joined the herd. They have been recognized by the Food and Agriculture Association of the United Nations as “a breed of special significance and rarity.” They were protected under New Zealand law in 1981 and have become known as the Kaimanawa Wild Horses after the area they range, the Kaimanawa foothills and the Volcanic Plateau of the central North Island of New Zealand. The word Kaimanawa means ‘eat the wind’ and Maori mean by this that the brave must survive on their own resources even when food is scarce and the future is in doubt, the brave will “eat the wind” and somehow, endure. It is a fitting name indeed for our beautiful wild horses.

Copyrite Notice: All images on this page are the property of of Cindy Sullivan (U.S.) and  Jenny Lomas (N.Z.). They may be reproduced for educational purposes only with appropriate credits given. They may not be reproduced for commercial purposes.

Kaimanawa Wild Horses

Dunes of Cumberland Island

Meadows of Cumberland

Marshes of Cumberland

Forests of Cumberland


Barrier Island Wild Horses Eastern U.S.  -  Prairie Wild Horses  -   Wild Horses on the Moor, U.K.  New Zealand Wild Horses - Virginia Wild Ponies 
Wild Burros