THIS MONTH IN WILD BEAUTY: February into March 2023
The Wild Beauty Foundation welcomes you to the thirty second edition of our newsletter!
Read the newest horse and burro focused headlines for February into March 2023.
Wild Beauty: Mustang Spirit of the West Screens at the World Equestrian Center, Sedona International Film Festival, and will be Released this Spring.
This past month, we were thrilled to bring the beauty of our nation’s wild horses to passionate equestrians and horse lovers at the World Equestrian Center in Ocala, Florida. Director Ashley Avis and producer Edward Winters, founders of The Wild Beauty Foundation, were joined by animal/wildlife attorney and passionate equine activist, Scott Beckstead, and fifteen-year-old WBF youth ambassador, Josselyn Wolf for a panel following the film’s private screening.
The very next week, the team traveled to Sedona to speak to residents in Arizona. An incredible amount of information was shared with those wanting to know more about the plight of our wild ones, and we are extremely grateful for the wonderful response we received from both audiences. To see a glimpse behind the scenes of last week’s showings, be sure to follow WBF on social media.
After nearly five years of creating this documentary, we are finally beginning the big push to get the plight of wild horses out into the world. We have major news to share very soon about the film’s official release in Spring 2023! Be on the lookout for announcements coming soon.
Can you help us?
We are currently fundraising to bring WILD BEAUTY to Washington D.C. to screen for members of Congress. We need to raise funds for a theater, along with other expenses to get the wild horse issue directly in front of lawmakers.
Beloved Pine Nut Wild Horses Unjustly Removed by the BLM
As we wrap up the month of February at WBF, heartbreaking news has come out of Nevada. Advocates and avid wild horse lovers who have followed the Pine Nut wild horses and their families for generations were shocked to find that the BLM captured 18 well known horses with plans to remove them from the HMA.
Pine Nut Wild Horse Advocates express that three generations of the famous herd were removed this month, leading to potential eradication of the herd as a whole. Now, these horses are destined for the Palomino Valley temporary holding facility where they will remain until they are gelded, branded, and ready to be sent to auction or private sale by the BLM. These beautiful horses have now been stripped from their herds that so many have watched and documented over the years and face a cruel system of government holding; potentially leading to unsafe and insecure homes once adopted and even potential slaughter. This follows the agency’s trapping, capture and removal of a young filly named Bunny, who was separated from her mother during the operation, as well as other band members from the Pine Nut herd. In 2019, despite a global outcry from tens of thousands of Pine Nut fans, the BLM trapped and removed an entire four-generation family of Pine Nut horses, including two famous brothers, Samson and Jet. Fortunately, sanctuaries stepped up and took in these horses, but their genetics are lost forever as are the opportunities for wild horse enthusiasts, photographers, and tourists to see them on their native home range.
It is becoming increasingly obvious that the BLM is targeting well known and beloved herds. In this HMA, the famous blonde chestnut stallion, Blondie, and many members of his family were cruelly targeted for removal. By setting up bait traps and other forms of removal in these popular HMAs, they aim to threaten advocates at the expense of innocent wild horses and their loss of freedom. Not only will they be incarcerating the 18 removed horses for likely the rest of their lives, they have left reliant herd members without their closely bonded family structures in the wild. Advocates on the ground during the removal captured their distress as those who remained wild chased after the trailer carrying their loved ones to a life of captivity.
We must stand together to condemn the wrongful removal of the Pine Nut wild horses from their home. The BLM should be held accountable for their futile removals, especially those under false pretenses such as trespassing on private property and lack of forage. We as lovers and protectors of America’s wild horses must stop these actions by the BLM for good.
This Month’s Call to Action
Call the Nevada BLM Office and Demand the Release of the Pine Nut Wild Horses
As wild horse advocates, we must stand up for the continued freedom and livelihoods of our cherished wild ones. To champion for change from the BLM, we urge you to call the Nevada BLM at 775-861-6400 and demand they return Blondie and his family to the range. Additionally, you can send an email to their office at the following address;
We thank you, the Pine Nut wild horses thank you.
Changes Made to the Newly Introduced Colorado Horse Slaughter Bill
Last month, a new bill was introduced to the Colorado state senate, banning the slaughter of any equine with the knowledge or intent of buying or selling it for human consumption. After being proposed at the State Capital on February 16th, the Senate Agriculture Committee offered what is known as a “gut and stuff” amendment, which completely removed the original language and substituted language regulating the transportation of over 20 horses to slaughter instead of instituting a complete ban. The new bill would support the slaughter industry and give it the appearance of being regulated, and therefore legitimate and humane. The slaughter pipeline puts both wild and domestic horses at risk, and without an effective bill to protect them from this inhumane practice, many horses will continue to be shipped to slaughterhouses outside of the country while kill buyers collect their profits and return back to the states for another group of horses.
The first bill was adjusted due to increasing opposition by farmers and livestock associations, who defended the predatory kill buyers and sought to remove all language of a slaughter ban. We at WBF are discouraged to see that the proposed bill aiming to be a wonderful revolution for all horses in our country is now being scrapped for a harmful piece of legislation. However, this 4-3 vote will move the bill forward and allow it to open back up to refinements in the future, which would be a victory for wild horse advocates battling a hostile committee. If you are a Colorado citizen, we urge you to contact your local senators and urge your support for a bill that ends the export of equines from Colorado for purposes of slaughter for human consumption. By having more voices supporting the wild horse cause, legislation is likely to reflect the public’s opinion on their freedom and protection.
You can read the full introduction of the original bill, here.
Wyoming Bill Supporting Roundup of Wild Horses to Sell to Slaughter Dies in Committee
The new bill introduced last month requesting Congress to allow wild horses to be slaughtered and shipped both inside and outside of the United States has now died in committee. We at WBF are thankful that this bill did not receive the support necessary to move forward, as its inhumane nature would have allowed countless wild horses to be stripped of their freedom and sent to slaughter outside of the country. Not only would America’s beautiful symbols of freedom be subject to increased removal at the interest of livestock associations and private landowners, but old, sick, or excessive horses as well as those deemed “unadoptable” would see cruel destruction outside of our nation’s borders.
We at WBF want to thank the Wyoming citizens who stood with our wild horses and contacted their local lawmakers urging them to condemn this bill. It is because of you that the wild horses who have called the state home for hundreds of years will not have to see this legislation become a reality.
If you would like to learn about this bill and its time in committee, you can read its contents and updates, here.
BLM Releases Plans to Decrease Herd Size in Sand Wash Basin
In a press release posted by the Bureau of Land Management earlier this month, Colorado BLM officials announced plans to spend more that $600,000 on the slow eradication and removal of wild horses from the Sand Wash Basin HMA.
This popular herd, known for their flashy pinto coats and personable demeanors, is a favorite of photographers and Colorado tourists alike. Several famous wild stallions like Picasso, Corona, and Ohitika are just some of the wild beauties that have called this HMA home. We hope to see their descendants continue to live out their lives wild and free. In order to see this through, we must stand with our wild ones and dispute the BLM’s irresponsible spending of taxpayer dollars on unnecessary removal and fertility control in Sand Wash Basin.
As they often claim, the BLM blames wild horses for a decrease in the sage grouse population and uses this as an excuse to scapegoat wild horses and push for their near to complete removal from our western rangeland. The BLM plans to resolve this problem by implementing increased fertility control and what they claim to be “small-scale” gathers via bait and trap methods. We at WBF support that any wild horse population management techniques can be taken advantage of by BLM officials, and could lead to the complete eradication of a wild horse herd if not implemented properly.
You can read the full press release on the BLM’s plans for the Sand Wash Basin wild horses, here.
We also note that in an area not far from the Sand Wash Basin, a Colorado-based nonprofit that owns and operates wild animal sanctuaries has purchased over 224,000 acres of land to be used exclusively for Colorado equines, especially formerly wild horses, as a safe place to live out their lives wild and free. The land is home to a multitude of native wildlife species, and we look forward to seeing wild horses living in harmony with those species. The owner and operator of these facilities, Pat Craig, spoke in favor of Colorado legislation to end the buying and selling of horses for slaughter, and assured the legislative committee that his facilities will be available for equines who might otherwise land in the slaughter pipeline.
A Still of Beloved Onaqui Patriarch, Old Man, from Wild Beauty: Mustang Spirit of the West
Wild Beauty: Mustang Spirit of the West Upcoming Locations and Dates
As we draw closer to announcing the debut of Wild Beauty to the world, the film continues gracing audiences across America on the festival circuit! We encourage those who have not yet seen the documentary to purchase tickets to an upcoming showing; There is nothing better than seeing the beauty of wild horses on the big screen!
This month, we will first see Wild Beauty at Mammoth Film Festival in Mammoth, California and Atlanta DocuFest on March 5th followed by Zions Indie Film Festival in Orem, Utah on March 15th-18th. For those in New Jersey, you can find Wild Beauty at both the Garden State Film Festival in Asbury Park and the Princeton Environmental Film Festival on March 26th. In April, those in Portland, Oregon will have the opportunity to catch a screening of Wild Beauty at Portland EcoFilm Fest on the 15th. The following week, Florida residents can find Wild Beauty at the Palm Beach International Film Festival from the 21st-28th.
Screening dates and locations will continue to be announced as details are released, so be sure to check our website often for updates. We thank you for showing your continued support for our documentary, and are so proud to bring Wild Beauty to the world this spring!
Get Ready for Spring Adventures with The Wild Beauty Boutique
While staying inside, cozy and warm, for the final few weeks of winter why not prepare for the start of the spring season with a new wardrobe of apparel and accessories; all benefiting The Wild Beauty Foundation!
You can find a wide range of products to show your support for wild horses. From T-shirts to drinkware there is something for everyone in the family to enjoy! Each purchase from The Wild Beauty Boutique directly helps WBF support and save wild horses around the country through film, creativity, rescue, and advocacy. We thank you for showing your support for our nonprofit and our wild ones across the country.
Glimpse of Wild Beauty
In this stunning image by Sandy Sharkey, the closeness of a wild horse’s familial bond is evident. Relying on each other for protection, strength, and comfort, this band of wild horses proves to show similarities to our own, human family structures and friendships.
Photo Credit: Erin Phillips
A Quote to Graze On
“Sit with animals quietly and they will show you their hearts. Sit with them kindly and they will help you locate yours”
–Ramblings of the Claury
Any animal, especially a horse, will share the magic of their soul with those willing to listen. We have abundant knowledge and love to receive from our wild world; returning that sincere love is something we all must strive to pursue.
Thank you for being a supporter of wild horses, and protecting the wild beauty of our world.
– The WBF Team
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