Final Alert – Now is the Time Wild Horses Need Your Help the MostMarch 8, 2018
Wild Horses Need Your Help Urgently on Take Action TuesdayMarch 19, 2018
Two Wild Stallions are Saved by Cana Foundation
by Carol J. Walker
In September and October of 2017 the BLM rounded up and removed 1968 wild horses from Adobe Town, Salt Wells Creek and Great Divide Basin, three of the largest remaining herds in the country. I was there for three weeks observing as close as I could possible get, which was not very close. Out of those 1968 wild horses, only 5 were offered at the latest BLM online auction. I had called everyone I knew and tried to visit the Axtell and Bruneau facilities where most of these wild horses were taken in order to photograph and help get some of these wild horses adopted, to not avail. I was delighted that Cana Foundation was adopting two of the former stallions that I had watched rounded up and torn from their families, and so at least two of them would be ensured a good home.
I first met the palomino stallion and his family in fall of 2016. They were unafraid but watchful, and I was utterly captivated by this beautiful family. They were in a very remote area of Salt Wells Creek, almost to the border of Wyoming and Colorado. They had not been rounded up in 2014 as they were outside of the Checkerboard Area, and were in the pure public area of the Herd Management Area.
I saw this beautiful family again on the fourth day of the roundup. I drove out into this area on County Road 19, Bitter Creek Road and finding them again was bittersweet. I was imagining that it was probably inevitable that they would be rounded up in a matter of days and removed, separated from each other forever.
There was a new member of the family! A pale dun foal who was quite curious.
As I left I was dreading seeing them again running from the helicopter. Unfortunately that was exactly what happened. As I drove out on County Road 19 I was deeply upset, knowing that all of the beautiful horses I had seen the week before would soon be gone from this area and I would likely never see them again.
I could tell that the palomino had probably been rounded up before – he tried hard to keep his family away from the trap, going back and forth but the helicopter would not leave them alone, and finally pushes them into the trap.
I was not able to see them at the temporary holding facility that they were taken to – they were shipped out before the BLM let us in to see the horses.
On October 6 I drove around Salt Wells Creek in an area I had not visited for a few years, off of Highway 191. I saw many beautiful horses, including Curlies. These are rare and there is a small population of Curly Horses in Salt Wells Creek. As I drove out to the highway, I saw a big group of horses not far from the highway taking a nap. As I approached, I saw a gorgeous red and white stallion. He was beautifully built, and moved around the horses protecting his family. I would later find out that his name was Maestro and he was well known by some people in the area of Rock Springs. There were several families of horses, including many curlies, and I was concerned that these horses might be next to be rounded up.
The next morning when we started driving down Highway 191 I had a terrible sense of dread – I knew they were going after the beautiful horses I had so admired the day before. As we pulled off the highway while the Cattoors were deciding where to set up the trap, I saw a group of wild horses on the ridge, including Maestro. They had no idea what was going to happen to them.
We drove down near Maggie Springs, an area that the horses visited for water. The wind was blowing hard. We initially thought were were going to be able to be near the trees out of the way but then were moved up a hill incredibly far away from the trap. As in the rest of this roundup, the BLM went out of their way to place us as far away from the trap as possible, claiming safety concerns when the real reason was just to keep as far away as possible so we could see as little as possible. I was bracing myself on my car trying not to be blown over, and trying to get photos of the horses coming in. Maestro was hard to miss because of his coloring.
The next day I heard from the BLM Public Information person that they would be releasing 6 horses, two mares and four stallions since they took too many horses. I asked if the red and white stallion would be one of the stallions released and I was told no. I did not understand why they would want to keep such an extraordinary older stallion, who I heard was in his twenties, and known and loved by people in the area.
Both the Palomino stallion and Maestro are older stallions, over 10 years old, so they are subject to sale without limitation. When Manda Kalimian of the Cana Foundation told me that they were going to bid on and take the older stallions I was so relieved, knowing that they would have a good life and be protected from the possibility of killing and slaughter that faces the other horses rounded up and the 45,000 that were already in BLM holding facilities. They will never see their families again. But they will be able to live out their lives.
Please visit Cana Foundation’s website to find out about Rewilding and about their mission and to follow the story of these two extraordinary horses: www.CanaFoundation.org
If you would like to know how you can help the other horses rounded up and currently in holding facilities, please go here: