The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:
I’ve got some exciting news about a famed band of wild horses that will hopefully bring all mustang lovers relief and happiness!
My name is Alicia Goetz. I am a member of the Board of Directors of the American Wild Horse Campaign (AWHC) and founder of Freedom Reigns, a nearly 4,000-acre sanctuary located in San Juan Bautista, California.
Freedom Reigns is home to more than 500 horses, most of them mustangs, rescued from the slaughter pipeline or cruelty situations. You may recall a few like Amelia, a young pregnant mustang recently saved from a kill pen in the knick of time, or the beloved mother-daughter duo Diamond and DeeDee captured from the Onaqui Herd Management Area (HMA) in Utah.
Well, I’m thrilled to announce that Freedom Reigns will soon be welcoming Blondie — a foundational stallion from the Fish Springs range in Nevada — and all 17 members of his family after they were captured by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) at a bait trap operation last month.
Photo of Blondie and his herd by Troy Wright Photography
When Blondie’s family was trapped and loaded onto trailers, three known generations of beloved wild horses were ripped from the Nevada landscape at once, leaving behind a fractured legacy and a huge hole in the hearts of all that loved them. We are all too aware of the horrific fate that can befall wild horses and burros once they are removed from their home on the range. What would become of them when they enter the BLM’s system? The possibilities were heartbreaking to think about.
Photo of Blondie’s herd in captivity by Pine Nut Wild Horse Advocates
The Pine Nut Wild Horse Advocates, the local group that stewards the Fish Springs herd, worked tirelessly to find placement for the horses, but came up empty and asked AWHC for ideas. So, when AWHC came to me with the news that there were no other options for keeping this family together, I knew I had to act — and quickly.
Blondie and his family will soon join 15 other Fish Springs wild horses who were removed from their habitat and found safe haven at our sanctuary – including Shadow, a blue roan, who might be one of the smallest mustangs at our sanctuary but has garnered the largest herd!
While I feel so fortunate to be able to provide a place for these deserving animals, I know that they are just 18 of more than 62,000 wild horses and burros currently confined in government corrals, at risk of injury, becoming victims of disease outbreaks, or worse, ending up in the slaughter pipeline. Advocating for those wild horses and burros – and addressing the systemic issues driving the removal of wild horses from their homes on the range – are the reasons why I joined the AWHC Board of Directors.
Together, we are proving there’s a better way to treat and manage wild horses and burros and I wholeheartedly believe in the work AWHC is doing. I am encouraged by the progress we are making toward better protection and preservation of our beloved wild horses and burros.
Thank you for supporting our work.
Freedom Reigns Equine Sanctuary, Founder
American Wild Horse Campaign, Director