Monday, April 17, 2006
Extinction May Not Be Permanent
April 17, 2006
Poughkeepsie, New York
The biquine, commonly known as "half-horse" and once thought to be extinct, may be making a comeback. Recently found to have been entered in a dressage event in upstate New York, Double Trouble, pictured here, was at once placed on the list of endangered species. Owned by Mr. and Mrs. Sam Watt Squalid, Double Trouble has apparently been making quite a stir in her hometown of Poughkeepsie, New York where the Squalid family runs a bed and breakfast and riding academy.
"I've been riding her in events for almost a year now," said Reely Squalid, seen here astride Double Trouble as her father gives her some last minute advice just prior to her run. "She's terrific on turns and the flat course," continued Miss Squalid, "but she still has some problems with the jumps. She pretty much can't get over anything higher than one fence in a Training Level Prix Caprilli." Training Level is the starting point for show jumping and the highest fence is two feet. Having competed in nine events, Double Trouble has never won, in fact she has yet to finish, but Miss Squalid remains hopeful. "She has more than half a heart," she says.
Although the most recent remains of the thought-to-be-extinct animal were found in the Artic tundra and date to about 25,000 years ago, the biquine was believed to have died out some 10,000 years ago, perhaps due to dramatically changing weather conditions. The generally accepted theory of the animal's disappearance is that the end of the last ice age caused the slower two-legged creatures to drown in massive flooding of their habitat. However, Doctor Gordy Annaught, noted biquine expert, believes the breed became extinct due to the animal's inability to pull a wagon or plow. "People only cared about riding or work horses and the biquine is a better walker," said Dr. Annaught, "so they rode the four-legged ones and probably ate the two-legged ones."
"Shoeing is a lot easier," said Mr. Squalid, "and she eats less than her four-legged stable companions, but I don't think she'll ever make a great jumper or runner. She's a heck of a walker though." Added Reely, "She seems more like a person than a horse. Well, a person with a very big nose."