This Month in Wild Beauty: January into February 2023

THIS MONTH IN WILD BEAUTY: January into February 2023

The Wild Beauty Foundation welcomes you to the thirty first edition of our newsletter!

Read the newest horse and burro focused headlines for January into February 2023.

Photo Credit: Sandy Sharkey

Congratulations to The Wild Beauty Foundation’s 2022 Short Story Contest Winners and Finalists

The Wild Beauty Foundation is beyond delighted to announce the winners and finalists in the Elementary School Category for the 2022 Short Story Competition.

The theme was “Connection & Wild Horses”.  Thank you, Elementary entrants, for using your voice to protect our wild world.  The full stories, along with videos featuring celebrities reading the winners & finalists aloud will be published on WBF social soon!



Elementary Category Winner:  “Wichapi”

Written by:  Kayleigh O.

Age 11 – 5th Grade

From Township of Washington, NJ


Finalist:  “A Wild Beauty”

Written by: Adriana S.

Age 10 – 5th Grade

From Toms River, NJ


Finalist:  “Heart Connection”

Written by:  Gracelynn B.

Age 10 – 5th Grade

From Clarksville, Tennessee


Finalist:  “Spirit’s Journey”

Written by:  Abigail P.

Age 10 – 5th Grade

From Rome, NY


Finalist:  “The Wild Foal”

Written by:  Paige P.

Age 8 – 3rd Grade

From Joliet, Montana


Honorable Mention:  “Lanie Be Good”

Written by: Jordan G.

Age 9 – 3rd Grade

From Tomball, Texas



Middle Grade WINNER:  “Building Trust”

Written by: Gretchen M.

Age 12 – 7th Grade

From Littleton, Colorado


Finalist:  “To See A Mustang’s Soul”

Written by: Jocelyn M.

Age 12 – 6th Grade

San Jose, CA


Finalist:  “Tale of the Runner”

Written by: Faith W.

Age 12 – 7th Grade

From Costa Mesa, CA


Finalist:  “The Unbreakable Bond”

Written by: Teigen D.

Age 10 – 4th Grade

From Burns, Wyoming


Finalist:  “Wonder of Life”

Written by: Reegan B.

Age 12 – 6th Grade

From Albany, OR


Honorable Mention:  “Thunder the Kindest Horse”

Written by:  Ellie P.

Age 11 – 6th Grade

From Joliet, Montana



High School Category Winner:  “The Light of the Sky”

Written by Jaden C.

Age 16 – 11th Grade

From Unionville, Ontario


Finalist:  “Jeolho”

Written by Noemie P.

Age 16 – 11th Grade

From Singapore


Finalist:  “Killara”

Written by Zahara P.

Age 16 – 11th Grade

From Cortland, New York


Finalist:  “Drifter”

Written by Sophie-Marie N.

Age 15 – 9th Grade

Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa


Finalist: “Zephyr Comprehends Connections”

Written by Aditi Y.

Age 17 – 12th Grade

From Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India


Honorable Mention:  “Thunderbolt”

Written by Lark M.

Age 14 – 9th Grade

From Los Alamitos, CA


Thank you to every single child & teen who submitted, to our amazing judges, along with our sponsors for providing gifts to these talented young writers!  We appreciate you La La Horse, AtelierCG, Kimerlee Curyl, Tara Coyote and Living Images by Carol Walker.

Watch & Read the Winning Stories from 2021


Photograph by Hollynn Lee

The National Parks Service Plans to Slowly Eradicate Wild Horses from Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Recent proposals by The National Parks Service could cause the iconic herd of wild horses living within North Dakota’s Theodore Roosevelt National Park to be captured and incarcerated in the coming year. On December 12th, 2022, NPS issued a press release inviting the public to comment on the development of their management plan for both livestock and wild horse herds within the park. The NPS has been outspoken about reducing wild horse herds to genetically unsustainable levels, with their only alternative to their low appropriate management levels being complete removal of all horses in the area.

We at WBF believe that the NPS should be working with advocates to create an alternative that will benefit both the horses and the park as a whole. Theodore Roosevelt National Park is one of the few national parks where visitors can observe free-roaming horses. According to the National Park Service’s website, their presence “represents Theodore Roosevelt’s experiences here during the open-range ranching era and policies were written and enacted to manage the horses as a historic demonstration herd.”

Unfortunately, these horses are not protected by the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 due to their location within a National Park. Regardless of their federal protection status, these horses, who are deemed as historical wildlife, deserve to remain free on the public land they have called home for hundreds of years.


Photograph by Carol Walker

McCullough Peaks Wild Horses Facing Imminent Roundup

Another famous wild herd in our American west is facing a proposed roundup at the hand of the Bureau of Land Management. The McCullough Peaks wild horses of Wyoming are adored by advocates, photographers, and tourists alike for their bold colors and patterns. At this time, the BLM estimates that there are 179 horses living on the range, with the proposed roundup removing as many as 109 horses from their homes and stripping them of their freedom.

According to Gus Cothran, professor emeritus at 4he Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, 150 breeding age adult horses are necessary for genetic diversity. By the BLM proposing an Appropriate Management Level as low as 70 horses, this herd could face eradication due to lack of genetic diversity. Not only this, but the BLM’s current plans cite fertility control treatment for horses left in the wild. Ultimately, this will lead to almost no genetic diversity and a slow decimation of the famous herd as a whole.

Fertility control has proved successful in managing a stable population in this herd since 2011, proving that this new roundup proposition is unnecessary in managing a healthy population. However, due to pressure by powerful commercial livestock interests dictating the actions of the BLM, these horses face harsh removal and already overcrowded holding facilities. At this time, there is absolutely no room in holding for these horses, and it is in the best interest of the herd and our taxpayers to leave these horses in their rightful place in the wild.


This Week’s Call to Action

Submit a Public Comment to the Bureau of Land Management in Support of the McCullough Peaks Wild Horses Keeping their Freedom

Join us in standing behind the beautiful McCullough Peaks wild horses who call the public rangeland of Wyoming home. By submitting public comments to the BLM, our collected voices will make every effort to see that these horses retain their wildness, and do not end up in crowded, unsanitary holding facility conditions. We urge you to express your concerns for roundup proposals and the plans for genetically unstable population levels in the McCullough Peaks HMA. The BLM’s comment period will remain open until February 7th, 2023.

You can find more information in our Call to Action, here.


Photograph by Sahna Foley

New Colorado Bill Aims to Criminalize Equine Slaughter for Human Consumption

In a new bill introduced to the Colorado state senate, the slaughtering of any equine with the knowledge or intent of buying or selling it for human consumption would become illegal. While the last equine slaughterhouse in the United States was closed in 2007, the slaughter industry still profits off of America’s horses by shipping them to international markets where slaughter remains legal. Both wild and domestic horses are at risk of falling victim to this inhumane industry, and we as equestrians and passionate horse people must stand up for the voiceless souls who have been carelessly abandoned.

With the passage of this bill, the buying and selling of horses for slaughter would be stopped. This would play a critical role in not only the protection of many domestic horses who have ended up in auctions, destined for the slaughter pipeline, but also the numerous wild horses that continue to be threatened with removal by the BLM within the state of Colorado.

If you are a Colorado citizen, we urge you to contact your local senators and voice your support of bill SB-23-038. You can read the full introduction of the bill, here.


Photograph by Carol Walker

Wyoming Bill Supports Roundup of Wild Horses to Sell to Slaughter

In Wyoming, a new bill proves to be in disagreement with Colorado’s newest introduction. House Joint Resolution No. HJ0003 requests Congress to allow wild horses to be slaughtered and shipped both inside and outside of the United States. In a time where wild horses are facing stripped freedom despite federal protection as well as the risk of being abandoned for profit at auctions destined for the slaughter pipeline, we at WBF are shocked to see this type of legislation being proposed.

Several of the individuals that sponsored this bill are members of livestock associations themselves, and aim to prioritize their own special interests over those of wildlife and the conservation of protected species. This bill would not only destroy wild horse populations in the state, but put them at risk of one of the most inhumane practices that horses of our time are facing. Language in this bill supports that any old, sick, or lame horses captured during roundups will be “destroyed” and any excess horses deemed “unadoptable” will also suffer the same fate. ​​

You can read the PDF version of the new legislation, here. We encourage Wyoming citizens to contact their local lawmakers and urge them to denounce this proposed Resolution, and stand with the wild horses who have called the state home for hundreds of years. We stand with wild horses, will you?


A Still from Wild Beauty: Mustang Spirit of the West

Wild Beauty: Mustang Spirit of the West Upcoming Locations and Dates

Wild Beauty: Mustang Spirit of the West continues to screen in major cities across our country in 2023! We encourage those who have not yet seen the documentary to purchase tickets to an upcoming showing as it continues its on the film festival circuit. There is nothing better than seeing the beauty of wild horses on the big screen!

Wild Beauty will be traveling to Winona, Minnesota for the Frozen River Film Festival on February 8th followed by the Sedona International Film Festival in Sedona, Arizona on the 23rd and 25th. March will see Wild Beauty at the Garden State Film Festival in Asbury Park, New Jersey, Mammoth Film Festival in Mammoth, California, and Zions Indie Film Festival in Orem,Utah. In April, those in Portland, Oregon will have the opportunity to catch a screening of Wild Beauty at Portland EcoFilm Fest.

All March and April screening dates and times will be announced soon, 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 more cities in 2023!


New Offerings from the Wild Beauty Boutique

The Wild Beauty Boutique is excited to launch our exclusive artwork collection in three unique styles.  These pieces of artwork feature still images from the documentary, “Wild Beauty: Mustang Spirit of the West” and are available as canvas prints, museum-quality framed posters, and museum-quality unframed posters.

Each piece of artwork brings its own unique emotions to your space, and will be a wonderful addition to any room in your home– as well as making a fantastic gift for the equine-loving friend or family member.

Check out our new Wild Beauty Artwork Collection in the Wild Beauty Boutique today!


The Wild Beauty Foundation also has a new Fine Art Collection available.

These pieces are of exquisite quality, and printed on gallery-quality Dye Sublimated Aluminum, with only one Artist’s Proof print available for each size.

Only a limited number of each piece of art will be sold in this line, so we encourage you to place your order for these exclusive pieces today!



Photograph by Chad Hanson

The National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board Taking Nominations to Fill Two Vacancies

In January, The Bureau of Land Management and The U.S. Forest Service opened nominations for two positions on the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board. Unfortunately this advisory board has been nothing but a mouthpiece for the BLM in order to support their plans of eradicating wild horses from our public lands. The Board reappointed three members earlier this September, all of which supporting the mass removal of wild horses. The current positions that the Board is looking to fill are in livestock management and wildlife management.

WBF feels that the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board needs to include more advocates who support the humane management of wild equines on the range that doesn’t include removing them to accommodate commercial livestock. According to a December BLM press release, nominations must have been received and post-marked no later than January 23, 2023.  We encourage advocates with expertise in wild horses and public lands, and who are committed to on-range solutions, to continue seeking appointments to the Advisory Board as they become available. At this time, appointments have not been confirmed, though we will update as information becomes available.


Photo Credit: Mary Hone

Glimpse of Wild Beauty

As we round out the first month of 2023, we look ahead to the rest of 2023 with wildness in our hearts and an optimistic view of our spectacular, wild world. Mary Hone captures the essence of wild beauty in this beautiful golden hour photograph.


Photo Credit: Sandy Sharkey

A Quote to Graze On

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.”

-John Muir


When venturing into the wildness of nature, we often abandon our expectations for the journey. This beautiful mystery is something only nature can provide you, and that our future generations deserve the chance to experience.


Thank you for being a supporter of wild horses, and protecting the wild beauty of our world.
– The WBF Team

#istandwithwildhorses #wildbeautyspirit

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