Issue: "Trap and toss" horse management. Nevada's horse dumping machine continues to rumble on.
Date: January 11, 2013
This is Part Fourteen in a series on the Virginia Range horses and the Nevada Department of Agriculture. To understand the context of this report, please start at Part One.
RETURNS TO STAGECOACH
(Continued from 42 Virginia Range Horses Rescued.)
Bandit had been a local favorite of the folks in south Stagecoach for years from the time he and his two half-brothers were kicked out of the Whiteface band that lived in the hills south of the Turf Farm.
2-year olds on the town, visiting some of the "locals."
As bandit matured, he displaced an older stallion known as Big Bay and took over the Misfits Flat band (the same band that appears in Deanne Stillman's book, Mustang: The Saga of the Wild Horse in the West.) He became an impressive stallion that commanded the territory between US-50 and Misfits Flat.
(Note: Misfits Flat is where the horse catching scene was filmed in "The Misfits," starring Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe.)
Bandit, named for the appearance that he is wearing a mask, watches over his band.
Part of Bandit's group.
Bandit is even a "poster horse" at a Carson City casino.
When the town learned that Bandit and his band had been caught at the Desert Lane "bait house," a number of townsfolk became outraged. The sheriff had to send several cars into the neighborhood multiple times. Some of the south side residents decided to bring Bandit home.
Stagecoach is a rural, fairly poor town, so a rescue was devised where resident Melanie Hudson agreed to let the band live on her property. The band used to frequent her open lot to take sand baths and sun naps, so it was familiar to them but it needed to be fenced. Neighbors got together and pooled what materials they had. A south county advocate donated funds to complete the fencing project.
The Horse and Man equine blog established a "bucket fund" to secure the horses at the auction and the residents "passed the hat" to buy hay.
Volunteers from LRTC and the Wild Horse Preservation League hang fencing.
In the trailers, the horses started whinnying as soon as they descended the hill into Stagecoach, and they kept up the noise until they were delivered to their now-fenced pasture.
Having been confined for several weeks, the horses first explored the new fences, then took sand baths, followed by the colts cutting up and frolicking around.
Exploring their new space.
There were a few residual funds remaining after the fencing was installed and horses were purchased and transported, and those funds allowed the purchase of a steel water tank with electric deicer to replace an old plastic water tub and a couple of safety improvements, and when they are old enough, two stud colts will be gelded so they don't try to breed their relatives or run afoul of Bandit.
This particular rescue was facilitated by the Let 'Em Run Foundation that has used donations for this project as well as paying for infrastructure and transportation expenses associated with the other horses in the "Virginia Range 42" rescue.
Meanwhile you can help try to end this onslaught on Velma "Wild Horse Annie" Johnston's historic herd by contacting the officials listed at the bottom of this page and expressing your views as well as supporting the organizations that have put forth extraordinary efforts to protect these horses.
It has taken a great deal of teamwork and coordination, both locally and nationally, to deal with the expenses, logistics and volunteer commitment to pull off the recovery of 42 additional horses on top of the load that the groups are already carrying.
At the same time the field groups were still engaged in their "regular" duties, responding to animal emergencies, recovering animals for Animal Services Departments, etc. Similarly the "behind the scenes" support groups still had a variety of other issues that they were dealing with. However everyone still found the time and ability to do what was required to pull off a substantial rescue.
The exceptional number of groups involved in this ongoing effort has produced some confusion. As if we had to eat an elephant, different groups accepted responsibility for specific tasks and/or portions of the effort. As a result several groups were simultaneously raising funds and acquiring the resources needed to pull off this rescue. Amazingly, all of these groups met their self-imposed goals in order to "deliver" in their areas of responsibility ... and the results speak for themselves.
If I've overlooked a group that participated, it is inadvertent. Please email me and I'll edit this page accordingly.
Of course this effort couldn't have been successful without the support of dozens of volunteers, hundreds of donors, and the "Information Brigade" who spread the word via email and social media - all too numerous to identify. The rescue groups will be supporting these horses through what is turning out to be a pretty harsh winter, and placing as many as they can with qualified adopters and legitimate sanctuaries.
- Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund
Primary rescue group, legal owner of most horses rescued, adoption entity.
- American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign
Primary fundraiser for horses recovered by Hidden Valley, publicity, inter-organizational coordination and logistics.
- Horse and Man
Primary fundraiser for the Stagecoach horses, transportation expenses for all horses, and publicity for the overall rescue project.
- Let 'Em Run Foundation
Fundraising, major funder of facilities preparation and improvements needed for nearly 100 horses currently being held by the groups, funding for hay, funding for logistic expenses.
- Least Resistance Training Concepts
Fundraising, site preparation, logistics (transporting hay, horses and other materials,) logistic coordination, animal holding, special needs animal care, publicity.
- Wild Horse Preservation League
Fundraising, publicity and volunteer support.
- Protect Mustangs
California protest organizing, publicity and fundraising.
- Wynema Ranch - Shari and Eddie Floyd
Two tremendous advocates who suspended their cattle operations in order to care for far more horses than anyone ever anticipated.
The horses can't say it, but thank you one and all!