Remembering Acadian

Acadia  A Sable Island band stallion—Acadian—grazing in a freshwater pond. Photo Z. Lucas

In August 1988, Krista McAllister, with a fellow student from the Nova Scotia Agricultural College (Truro NS), spent two weeks on Sable Island studying the horses. During their project they monitored the activities of several family bands on the western quarter of the island. Among the horses studied was Acadian, a bright chestnut stallion with a ginger-red mane and tail.

In December 2003, Krista McAllister visited the Green Horse Society website and shared the following recollection:

"It was truly one of the most memorable places and events I have ever experienced. I had the most wonderful experience with Acadian on one of our last evenings there. We hadn't approached him during our study, but on this night I was alone on a dune writing in my log and felt a presence behind me. I had been watching the mares and didn't notice Acadian anywhere. He had come up behind me and nuzzled my hair, sniffing me all over. Wasn't sure what to do, so did nothing. After the inspection was over, he just kept his nose on my shoulder for about ten minutes. It was a moment I will remember always. Still makes the hair on my neck stand up when I think about it."

Krista completed her studies at the Atlantic Veterinary College in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, and now lives and works in Northern Alberta.

Acadian died in 1992. He had been a band stallion for over ten years. While paternity can not be determined based on field observations, it is quite likely that Acadian sired some, if not all, of the many foals born in his group during his tenure.