A story we’ve seen develop over the years, the Kuntz family’s life-long devotion to the Nokota horses.
Nokota horses descended from the last surviving population of wild horses in North Dakota. In the 1950’s, the breed nearly went extinct when the Theodore Roosevelt National Park tried to remove all the horses.
When the Kuntz family stumbled upon the rare breed on Nokota horses about 4 decades ago, there was only about 200 in existence. Now, with the work they’ve done, there’s about 1000, and the family owns more than 1/3 of that population.
And the horses have brought in buyers from across the globe.
Francios Marshal; French Horse Breeder: “First time we come here, we just fall in love.”
Francios Marshal was the first to bring Nokotas to Europe, helping this population grow.
Francios Marshal: “I am very proud, we have now 4 breeders in France. All people that visit my horses say, ‘Oh! Unbelievable!'”
Frank Kuntz and his family are largely responsible for saving the Nokota breed.
Frank Kuntz; Board Member of Nokata Horse Conservancy: “Our goal is to establish a sanctuary for these horses because we need a place where they can continue to be what they always have been.”
He’s brought in new buyers from around the country as well.
Gary Gray; Cattle Hearding: “They stick together, and the way they bond to you. It’s just- they’re really amazing animals.”
And for buyers and trainers alike, they all notice the difference in this breed.
Jack Lieser; horse trainer: “These horses, when you first meet them, it’s like they look at you, and they look right to your soul and they know who you are.”
As the Kuntz family continues to help this breed, the world begins to recognize the Nokota horse. Frank and Leo Kuntz have received awards for their work with the Nokota horses over the decades.
To read more about the history of Nokota horses and the Nokota Horse Conservancy, click here.