LINTON, N.D. (AP) — The official North Dakota horse could be wiped off the state map.
A conservancy says high hay prices caused by a prolonged drought and a sharp drop in donations have combined to limit food supplies and threaten breeding herds for the Nokota horse.
The horse originated in Theodore Roosevelt National Park. It is descended from Plains Indian horses, including ponies confiscated from Sitting Bull's band when it surrendered in 1881, and ranch stock.
Representatives of the nonprofit Nokota Horse Conservancy say the dwindling hay supply could force the dispersal of the herd, which is now pastured in fields near Linton. That would mean the loss of valuable breeding stock.
The Forum newspaper says (http://bit.ly/17e7sN7) the conservancy owns 118 horses, representing the rarest bloodlines of the breed.
Information from: The Forum, http://www.in-forum.com