The small-bodied species of the Skyrian horse (pony) is one of the rarest horse breeds in the world. In 2009, only 220 Skyrian horses were lived in Greece, of which 152 live in Skyros. The Skyrian horse is a protected species. The Skyros breed is believed to be descended from horses brought to the island of Skyros during the 5th to 8th centuries BCE by Athenian colonists. This ancient, rare Greek breed with the unique DNA, is renowned for its intelligence, wonderful disposition and temperament.
The Katsarelias-Simpson Project began in 2005 when Amanda Simpson and Stathis Katsarelias - rescued their first horse. In 2006 they began the project in earnest with three horses and the aim to protect the Skyrian Horse in its homeland. They were also spurred on by the wish to create a safe and secure place for the Skyrian Horse to live and to increase the quality of this extremely rare breed through selective breeding. Finally, they aimed to create a cultural environment where local and international people would come to appreciate the value and worth of the Skyrian Horse. Skyros Island Horse Trust is home to nearly 40 of these animals.
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