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Institutional Funds

The Skyrian Horse Society has received funding from the Ministry of Agricultural Development, for the purpose of implementing Action 1, Item 5.1 of the "Agricultural Development-Reconstruction in the Countryside, 2000-2006" Action Plan, a project for establishing and maintaining "Records of Skyrian Horse Genealogical Trees". The financing was made available in the period 01/01/2007 to 30/06/2008 and the project was completed. As of 01/03/2009 the Society is the recipient of funding under Action 3.4, Sub. Item 3, Item 214, Axis 2 of the "ALEXANDROS BALTATZIS" Agricultural Development Action Plan 2007-2013, also in connection to keeping genealogical records of the small-bodied species of Skyrian Horse by the Skyrian Horse Society.

The Project started on 1/1/2007, and by 31/12/2009 the society had recorded 221 horses from all over Greece, of which 153 live in Skyros.

We contacted all owners, to inform them of our activities and for them to give us information about their horses (how many they keep, where and when we can see them). Each horse was marked with a microchip bearing a unique ID number. For each a preliminary recording and assessment note was drawn-up by the veterinarian Konstantinos Papaioannou and the specialist Nikolaos Kostaras. Hair samples were collected from each horse, for mapping the genetic material.

Each horse was photographed from the front, back and each side.

We followed the horses in the southern, hilly part of the island, where they live in the wild, located herds and monitored their activity. We made records of most of these horses individually when they left the "Mountain" and returned to their owners, as they do almost every year when water and forage run short.

We sent the hair samples we collected to the Rosilin Institute in Edinburgh for checking and mapping the genetic material; the findings helped us in our work with the genealogical trees.

We have completed the electronic filing of all the data by means of a special Microsoft Office Access application created for the needs of the Society in the context of the project to establish and keep genealogical records of the horses.

Our efforts in the field of controlled breeding include controlled matings by moving the most suitable studs to selected mares and vice-versa. Owners have started to show interest and ask questions about the choices they should make. Our efforts n controlled breeding led to the births of 25 horses.

The first impact of the Society's activities with the support of the Ministry are already evident. The number of horses has increased, demand in the marketplace has increased, theft and illegal exporting (long-standing practices that have decimated the species) were reduced, and, most significantly, owners are becoming more interested and are learning to care properly for their horses.