Marsh Tackys on Daufuskie

The whole island was talking about Marsh Tackys when Melrose on the Beach and Freeport announced that the annual Marsh Tacky Race would be held on Daufuskie Island this year. In the chatter about these little ponies , I heard a couple of interesting stories related to Marsh Tackys on Daufuskie.

Martha Hutton told me that when she lived in the Bloody Point Lighthouse (“years and years  ago”), she would wake in the morning to the sound of crunching outside in the yard. It was the local Marsh Tacky dining on the apple tree outside the lighthouse window.

Chief Boys told me that Carvin Robinson (the namesake for Carvin Road) owned one of the last two Marsh Tackys on the island  around 1988 to 1990 adding that the Marsh Tacky that Carvin owned was much smaller than the horses that were barged over here for the event. Carvin’s horse, explained  Chief Boys, would go around the island and eat grass (wonder if this was the same guy eating Martha’s apples!) One day the horse wandered over to the stables at Melrose and upset all the horses who were permanent residents there (such snobs!). So the Chief had to lasso him to try to get him out of there and when he did, the horse bit him on the face (resisting arrest?).

The actual Marsh Tacky Race on Daufuskie was an exciting event and I had a great view of the race from the booth where I was selling Spartina handbags. What was most exciting, however, was the energy and enthusiasm of people visiting Daufuskie for the first time. With an estimated 1,000 plus visitors on the island, it was fun to be in the middle of all those good vibes and I had visions of Melrose returning one day soon to its previous glory.The Marsh Tacky Race may not be exactly what I had in mind for the Melrose rebound, but it was a pretty darn good start! Congrats to Freeport, the team at Melrose, and the Marsh Tacky Association for a memorable day on Daufuskie!

Marsh Tacky Race

Riders raced in different heats near the Melrose Beach Club

Marsh Tacky Event

Riders raced on the beach near the Melrose Beach Club









Until I heard the presentation from the Marsh Tacky Association at the recent Marsh Tacky event Daufuskie, I didn’t know that this little horse is the official state heritage horse of South Carolina. (I also didn’t know that the mule is the official state heritage work horse of South Carolina. Both designations were granted by the SC State legisature in 2010)


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