Elmira Mohandesan is an evolutionary biologist researching Equines at the University of Vienna, Austria. Elmira obtained her PhD in New Zealand (Massey University) where she became interested in Kaimanawa horses. This inspired her to design a project, investigating genetic diversity in Kaimanawa horses; something that is much needed & hasn’t been investigated since the 1990’s.

Genetic testing has come a long way in the last 20 years so this is a very exciting opportunity to know more about our wild horses, their genetic diversity in the past & within the small herd of 300 individuals today. It’s hoped that results from this testing could have a direct impact on how Kaimanawa horses are managed in future & ensure that herd health & diversity are maintained.

In order for this research to be a success & to offer up as much information as possible, Elmira will need as many hair samples from individual horses as possible & across the broadest time span. We know that some of you still have horses that were mustered in the 1993, 1994 & 1997 musters & we’d love to hear from you! The goal is to sample 500 individual horses across every muster from 1993.

This is a fantastic opportunity for every Kaimanawa horse owner in New Zealand to make a tangible contribution to the future of our wild horses so please take the time to get involved & contribute a hair sample. It’s as simple as plucking a small handful of tail hair with roots attached. All information on sample collection, including a link to an instructional video, will be provided.

Please contact Simone for information on sample gathering.