Monthly Archive for: ‘October, 2015’

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Goodbye to Lucky Three Sundowner



Foaled June 2, 1980, Lucky Three Sundowner was the last mule born at my mother’s Windy Valley Ranch and at two weeks old, the first mule to become part of my own Lucky Three Ranch. He showed successfully at Halter, English and Western Pleasure, and became the 1984 World Champion Reining Mule at Bishop Mule Days. However, his greatest accomplishment was to make it to Fourth Level Dressage after introducing Dressage to our Bishop Mule Days show, and after winning the World Championship at Third Level Dressage in Bishop in 1992 and 1993. (They did not offer Fourth Level.) He never really liked the Full Bridle and did all this in a Snaffle Bridle. Mules were not allowed to compete in the A.H.S.A.-sanctioned shows with horses during that time, so we were limited to schooling shows with horses to measure our progress. However, with his help, and with the help of other Dressage enthusiasts like Carole Sweet and Audrey Goldsmith, we laid a foundation with goals that were finally realized eighteen years later when mules were finally officially accepted into the Dressage Division of the United States Equestrian Federation. To date, “Sunny” is the only mule in history (that I am aware of) to be schooled at Fourth Level Dressage. He was working on Piaffe, Passage and Flying Lead Changes every two strides when he was retired at twenty-three years old…truly a remarkable friend and ambassador for his breed! This week, he finally crossed over the “Rainbow Bridge” due to a tumor that eventually prevented his ability to chew. He will be profoundly missed!


WN-Sunny103015-003 WN-Sunny103015-002



Action Alert: Protect Mustangs from Illegal Slaughter in Mexico


The following action alert is from the American Wild Horse Preservation

BLM Mustangs

They always say it doesn’t happen, but we know it does, and now the Interior Department Office of Inspector General (OIG) has confirmedit — nearly 2,000 federally protected wild horses were illegally sold by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and then brutally slaughtered in Mexico.

Here are the faces of some of our cherished mustangs, heartlessly rounded up from their homes on our western public lands, thrown into holding pens, and then sold by the truckload to a known kill buyer, Tom Davis. Even Davis admits BLM employees who sold him more than 50 truckloads of wild horses “had to know the horses would end up at the slaughterhouse.” 

Yet no one — not the BLM employee who sold the horses despite receiving reports that they were being sold to slaughter, not her boss or her boss’s boss — is being held accountable. In fact, Sally Spencer, the employee who sold the horses to Davis, is being allowed to keep the monetary bonuses she received for moving so many horses out of the BLM holding system during the years she was selling them to Davis!

The OIG report gives these employees a pass. Worse it politicizes the issue by suggesting that the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Program is a shambles because it is illegal to sell captured wild horses and burros for slaughter!

This is unconscionable. We must demand that the President and Congress hold the BLM accountable for this travesty. And, we must stop this from ever happening again by permanently outlawing the sale of America’s mustangs for slaughter!

Take Action

AHC Washington Update


The following update is from the American Horse Council

Recreational Trails Program Included In House Highway Bill

american horse councilOn October 22, 2015, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved its version of a multi-year national highway bill known as the STRR Act. (HR 3763). The bill would reauthorize the Federal Highway Administration’s Recreational Trails Program (RTP).

Since its inception RTP has provided money for thousands of state and local trail projects across the country, including many that benefit equestrians.  RTP provides funding directly to the states for recreational trails and trail-related facilities for all recreational trail users.   It is funded with a portion of the gas taxes paid into the Highway Trust Fund by recreational off-highway vehicle users.

Earlier this year, the Senate passed its version of a multi-year national highway bill, called the DRIVE Act. The Senate bill would also reauthorize Recreational Trails Program.

It is a victory for recreational users that RTP has been included in both the House and Senate versions of the bill.

The full House must now take action on the bill.

If you have any questions, please contact the AHC.

Read The Full Article

Chilly Pepper Rescue Update


The following post comes from Chilly Pepper Equine Rescue.

Quick Update – Both mares were successfully delivered to Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah.

We have found a forever home for one of our orphans At Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang, so only Cowboy, his mom Lacy and Cicero will still be available for adoption.

With 18 horses at one facility, which need to be moved within the next month, and 38 horses left at the new facility, we have a total of 56 including the babies. (We would have had 51 after 5 were adopted but that number has increased to 9 who are supposed to be leaving next week). So we are looking at new totals.

We are extremely hopeful that these placements work out and circumstances do not change.

To summarize, a planned transport of 9 horses this coming week and 10 the week after will reduce the total number of horses to 37, (Cowboy and his mama are not included in these figures as they are at Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang.) Transportation fees for these 19 horses will take another large chunk out of the funds. (10 are going as far as Texas)

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3 Days Left to Take A Stand for Oregon Mustangs


Just two days are left to add your name to the petition against the Mega Mustang Roundup planned by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for the Beatys Butte Herd Management Area (HMA) in southeastern Oregon. Your signatures will be hand delivered to at a joint meeting of the BLM John Day-Snake and Southeast Oregon Resource Advisory Councils (RACs) this Tuesday, October 27, so please sign today!

The massive helicopter roundup — which is targeting an astounding 1,500 wild horses for permanent removal from their homes on the range — is scheduled to start in just ten days. The roundup is being conducted to appease ranchers who graze cattle in the HMA. The capture operation will cost American taxpayers up to $76 million for the helicopter stampede lifetime warehousing of the captured mustangs. It will cost the horses their freedom, their families and, in some cases, their lives.

The two RACs that are meeting next week advise the BLM on policies that affect most of the HMAs in Oregon. Help us deliver a strong message to these citizen advisory boards to show that the American public will not tolerate this brutal treatment of our cherished wild horses and burros!

BLM Proceeding with Fertility Control with Nevada Wild Horses


The following update is from the American Wild Horse Preservation 

Fertility Control

Ely, Nevada (October 14, 2015). . . The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC) today blasted the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for ignoring scientific advice and environmental complaints in its decision to proceed with the use of an experimental fertility control vaccine on wild horses in the Antelope Herd Management Area (HMA) in eastern Nevada.

Last month, AWHPC filed a complaint with the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) against the BLM to stop a precedent-setting plan to use the experimental drug, known as GonaCon, for the first time ever on federally protected wild horses. The long- term effects of the vaccine on wild horses are unknown, and the National Academy of Sciences recommended that more research was needed on GonaCon’s impacts on wild horse behavior before being used in wild horse populations.

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Sulphur Mustangs Safe in Sanctuaries in South Dakota and California


The following update is from the American Wild Horse Preservation 

In February of this year, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Utah rounded up and removed 103 wild horses from the Sulphur Herd Management Area (HMA) in Utah. Among those captured, was a 26-year-old grulla stallion whose plight captured the attention of the public. Over 24,000 Americans signed a petition calling on the BLM to release this proud stallion, who spent over two decades in the wild, back to the range to live out the only life he had ever known — one of freedom.

The BLM ignored the request, and proceeded with an Internet auction of this stallion and his herd on April 21, 2015. Wild horse advocate Jacquelyn Hieber reached out to Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary who agreed if she were able to win bids on a few Sulphur stallions including the senior now known as #3907, they could provide a forever sanctuary for these horses.

Learn More

URGENT ACTION ALERT: Massive Oregon Mustang Roundup


The following action alert is from the American Wild Horse Preservation 

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is planning a mega roundup of wild horses in the Beatys Butte Herd Management Area (HMA) in southern Oregon later this month. The roundup will shatter the lives of 1,500 wild horses and cost American taxpayers as much as $76 million for the helicopter stampede and lifetime warehousing of captured mustangs in government holding facilities!

This massive roundup is being conducted to appease ranchers in the Beatys Butte Grazing Association, who graze their livestock on our public lands at taxpayer-subsidized rates. This small group of ranchers has been pressuring the BLM to remove horses so they can graze more cattle in the same public lands area.

Please take a stand today! Your signatures will be hand delivered later this month to the Oregon BLM at a joint meeting of the agency’s citizen advisory boards that oversee most of the wild horse areas in the state.

Sign The Petition

Lessons Learned from Chilly Pepper Miracle Mustang Rescue


This is a long post but Meredith thinks it is very important to share. 

The following is from an email update from Chilly Pepper Miracle Mustang Rescue 

Wow, there is never a shortage of lessons to be learned not only in life, but in the wild horse world. A week or so ago, two women traveled over 800 miles to pick up 2 of the original 65 Wild Horses Saved From Slaughter. Although we brought in both mares, there were a few mistakes unfortunately made. The first mare was brought in the night before by the lady handling the operation, and was correctly held in the round pen with a companion horse. Wild horses are much more stressed when they are not only locked up, but left by themselves. Everything instinct they have is not to be trapped and certainly not to be left alone.

However, the next morning the companion horse was released (simple inexperience by someone trying to help), which led the lone mare to become more stressed. (To make matters worse, due to more inexperience, the mare was in an incredibly lightweight round pen that was never intended for wild horses.) Meanwhile we all started working together with low energy and lots of patience and we managed to bring in the horses and separate the ones that we didn’t need. We were down to the last two horses and the one that we needed when the lone mare slid her feet under the panel, slid her neck along the bottom of the panel, lifted and pranced happily off to find her companions.

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Project Wild Horses Needs Help and Donations


The following update is from the American Wild Horse Preservation 

SAYLOR CREEK PHOTO 2For the first time ever, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is proposing to convert a wild, free-roaming mustang population into a non-reproducing herd of sterilized horses. The BLM Idaho plan for the Saylor Creek Herd Management Area (HMA) would destroy the wild horses’ wild, free-roaming behaviors and is a recipe for managing this beautiful wild horse herd to extinction. If implemented, it would set a dangerous precedent for destroying healthy, sustainable wild horse populations into sterilized groups of horses that will die off. AWHPC’s formal protest of this destructive and devastating plan is pending, but we need the public to weigh in to help Keep the Saylor Creek Wild Horses Wild!

Sign The Petition

The American Wild Horse Preservation Organization also needs help funding the  lawsuit.

Donate Now

American Horse Council Tax Bulletin


The following update is from the American Horse Council 

american horse councilThe latest Tax Bulletin from the American Horse Council has been released.  The AHC Tax Bulletin is a digest of current tax developments affecting the horse industry.

  • Tax Court Finds Arabian Breeding Farm Operated as a Business
  • Income Tax Considerations in Buying & Selling Farms

Click Here To Read the Publication

Chilly Pepper “Help Wild Horses Saved from Slaughter” Update


The following update is from the Chilly Pepper Miracle Mustang Equine Rescue 

wild horsesMatt and I spent 4 days in NV with some wonderful folks who helped get the shelter up. We were able to camp in our trailer to save funds on lodging, so the Rolling Foal Hospital is being used for many wild horse endeavors. Matt is heading back with Tim (a friend and volunteer) to finish some structural aspects and we will be getting temporary siding (tarps) until we can afford more permanent siding.THANK YOU to everyone who loves and supports these wild horses. Without your help, we would not be able to do this. However, together we did it. With your help to secure roofing materials we were able to take our shelter to NV so we would have a dry place to store the hay these horses so desperately need to survive.

Again, we want to say thank you to everyone who helped make this possible. Y’all covered the fuel and roofing material costs and we so appreciate that.

There are many beautiful horses waiting to be adopted. We are trying to secure as many homes as possible before the bad weather inhibits transportation.

That being said, Matt and I will be heading to Utah to deliver two of the wild ones in the very near future. We also have another group of 5 heading out in the next week or two. So that means a few less mouths to feed, PTL! Of course we have to thank the crew who will be staying here taking care of the critters while we are gone.

Click Here To Read the Full Update

Race Horse Cost Recover Act and Equine Tax Parity Act Introduced


The following update is from the American Horse Council 

american horse council

On October 1, 2015 Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY) re-introduced the Race Horse Cost Recover Act (H.R. 3671) and Equine Tax Parity Act (H.R. 3672). The Race Horse Cost Recover Act would permanently place all race horses in the three-year category for tax depreciation purposes.  A 2008 provision that temporarily put race horses in the three year category expired at the end of 2014.  The Equine Tax Parity Act would make horses eligible for capital gains treatment after 12 months, rather than 24, similar to other business assets.

Race Horse Cost Recover Act

The 2008 Farm Bill included language that allowed all race horses to be depreciated over three years, regardless of their age when placed in service.  Prior to then, race horses were depreciated over seven years if placed in service before they turned two.  Horses placed in service after two (24 months from foaling date), could be depreciated over three years.  A horse is generally deemed to be placed in service when it begins training, which is usually at the end of its yearling year. This change to the tax code was set to “sunset” at the end of 2013, but was extended until the end of 2014.    The Race Horse Cost Recover Act would permanently make all race horses eligible for three year depreciation.

In July the Senate Finance Committee approved a tax extender bill that included a two year extension of this provision, but there has been no further action on the bill.

Depreciation is a means of recovering the cost of property, including horses, used in a business through deductions of portions of the horse’s cost over a period of years.  Generally, the recovery period approximates the estimated useful life or economic life of the property.  The horse industry believes a three year deprecation schedule more accurately reflects the actual time a horse will be raced and a seven year deprecation period unfairly penalizes the horse industry.

Permanently placing all race horses in the three year depreciation category would be of great benefit to the horse industry.

Equine Tax Parity Act

The Equine Tax Parity Act (H.R. 3672) would make horses eligible for capital gains treatment after 12 months, rather than 24, similar to other business assets.

Under the current federal tax code, gains from sales by individuals of property used in a trade or business, including horses, qualify for long-term capital gains and are subject to the maximum capital gains tax rate of 15% for taxpayers earning less than $450,000 or 20% for those earning more.  Since the individual income tax rate can go as high as 39.6%, the lower rate is a real advantage.

Horses held for breeding, racing, showing or draft purposes qualify for the capital gains rates only if they are held for 24 months.  All other business assets (except cattle) qualify if held for 12 months.

The Equine Tax Parity Act would end this discriminatory treatment of horses under the tax code and allow horse owners to enjoy the reduced rate upon sale after holding a horse for 12 months.  For most owners and breeders shortening the capital gains holding period to 12 months should be a benefit.  Reducing the holding period by half would give many horse owners and breeders more flexibility to sell and market their horses.  It would mean that every sale of a horse which is held for at least 12 months will qualify as a capital gain or loss unless that horse is held primarily for sale.

The American Horse Council supports both of these bills.

Click Here To Read The Full Article on the AHC Website

White House Asked to Halt Experiment on Nevada Wild Horses


The following update is from American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign 

On September 24, 2015, AWHPC’s law firm, Meyer Glitzenstein & Eubanks, filed a complaint on our behalf  with the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) against the BLM to stop a precedent-setting plan to use an experimental fertility control vaccine on wild horses in the Antelope HMA in eastern Nevada. Unlike the PZP fertility control vaccine, which has been studied and used for more than two decades, the vaccine in question, known as GonaCon, has never been adequately studied in horses. The National Academy of Sciences itself concluded, “Further studies of behavioral effects of [GonaCon] are needed.”

The long-term effects of GonaCon on horses are unknown, but include potential behavioral impacts that will change the social dynamics and organization of wild horse herds, and miscarriage if the vaccine is administered to mares in the early stages of pregnancy. The agency’s plan to use GonaCon for the first-time ever on wild horses under BLM management without scientific study is unjustified. As a result, AWHPC is calling upon the CEQ to prohibit the BLM from using GonaCon in wild mares in the absence of a formal scientific study that accurately collects and analyzes data on the physiological and behavioral effects of the vaccine on horses.

Click Here To Read the Full Update

Update: Ranchers Drop Anti-Mustang Lawsuit


The following update is from American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign 

RENO, NEVADA (September 28, 2015) … Pershing County and six public lands ranchers today dropped their lawsuit against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) seeking the removal of hundreds of wild horses from public lands in the area. The ranchers and the BLM entered into a private settlement agreement that does not commit the government to any action. The agreement merely creates a drawn-out schedule over BLMseveral years during which time the BLM is to consider the removal of wild horses from 16 wild horse habitat areas that overlap public lands utilized by the ranchers for grazing their privately-owned livestock. This dismissal comes three months after the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC) and Pershing County property owner Debra Davenport were granted intervenor status in the case.

“This agreement is not court sanctioned and is little more than a face-saving way for the ranchers and local government to drop a lawsuit that had no legal merit and was bound to be dismissed by the court,” said Deniz Bolbol, AWHPC spokesperson. “The BLM should not reward ranchers for filing meritless lawsuits by prioritizing the removal of horses from the public lands at issue. Rather, the BLM should focus on humane on-the-range management and fulfilling its legal mandate to protect all wild horses and burros on our public lands in the West. Prioritizing removal of horses in these areas will simply encourage more baseless legal actions by ranchers and their local government allies.”

The lawsuit sought to force the BLM to immediately round up hundreds of wild horses from Congressionally designated wild horse habitat on public lands in Pershing County, Nevada.

The lawsuit was part of an attempt by ranchers, who view mustangs as competition for cheap taxpayer-subsidized grazing on public lands, to use the court system to compel the BLM to remove more wild horses from the range. To date, AWHPC has intervened in five of these cases. Earlier this year, Judge Du granted AWHPC’s motion to dismiss a similar case filed by the Nevada Association of Counties against the BLM, and the U.S. District Court in Wyoming granted AWHPC’s motion to dismiss the State of Wyoming’s lawsuit against the BLM seeking the removal of thousands of wild horses from the range.

Click Here To Read the Full Story

Action Alert: Protect the Wild Horses of Wyoming’s Red Desert


The following update is from American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign 

Comment deadline: October 9, 2015

Photo: Casper TribuneThe Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is accepting public comments on an environmental analysis (EA) of a massive helicopter roundup and removal of nearly 2,000 wild horses living in Wyoming’s Red Desert Complex, which includes the Antelope Hills, Crooks Mountain, Green Mountain, Lost Creek and Stewart Creek Herd Management Areas (HMAs). The action would leave behind just 480 horses on this 700,000-acre (more than 1,000-square-mile) public lands area!
The EA ignores over 6,000 public scoping comments submitted earlier this year calling for the humane management of Red Desert wild horses on the range with PZP fertility control, and for humane capture methods, instead of using helicopters to chase horses into holding pens. Alternative 2 — the Proposed Action in the EA — calls for removal of over 1,700 wild horses from the Complex — that’s 45% of the total estimated mustang population in the entire state — and includes the token application of PZP fertility control to just 23 mares. Alternative 1, a second alternative analyzed but not proposed in the EA, would more fully utilize fertility control and return more wild horses to the range, but would still permanently remove approximately 830 wild horses from the Complex. Both alternatives call for using traumatic helicopter capture methods.
It’s time to take a stand for Wyoming’s wild horses.  We must insist that the BLM stop ignoring the public andstart humanely managing the Red Desert wild horses on the range, allowing the horses within the HMAs to remain where they are on our public lands! The BLM should raise the “Appropriate” Management Levels (AMLs) for the Red Desert Complex wild horse populations. The BLM must fairly allocate range resources to ensure that wildlife — including wild horses — have a fair share of the forage on our public lands, rather than giving exorbitant resources to the privately-owned cattle and sheep operations.