Bulgaria’s Wild Horses- The Turpan

South East Bulgaria offers not only wild landscapes and nature, but wild horses too!

In early 2018, Reuters reported there are no true wild horses left on the planet, and while this might be true, (and of course, more than a little sad), the good news is, there is in fact, a semi-wild herd with an extraordinary legacy- roaming South East Bulgaria.

Wild horses roamed Europe for thousands of years, yet as humanity encroached these unique breeds dwindled and eventually died out.

One such breed was the Turpan, found in the regions which are now Germany, Poland and Hungary. Although the breed is long extinct, the Konik breed was developed by Dutch scientists from European horses most closely resembling the Turpan breed.

In 2011, a Dutch/Bulgarian initiative released 12 Konik horses into the mountainous and abandoned Boynik region in the Eastern Rhodopes, 1.5 hours south of Haskovo our regional town.

The horses now number over 70, and scientists are now campaigning hard to have the animals recognised as ‘wild-status.’ This would make Bulgaria the first country to give horses living in the wild this status.