This Week in Wild Beauty: December 3rd, 2022

THIS WEEK IN WILD BEAUTY: December 3rd, 2022

The Wild Beauty Foundation welcomes you to the twenty eighth edition of our weekly newsletter!

Read the newest wild horse and burro focused headlines for the week of December 3rd, 2022

Photo Credit: Carol Walker

BLM Wild Horses Found in Kill Pens Across the Country

After a roundup, the future for a wild horse is uncertain. A small percentage of horses make their way into good homes, and even fewer find themselves being returned to the wild. Many will live out the rest of their days in privately-owned holding facilities. While some facilities include spacious pastures, other long-term holding facilities are little more than overcrowded and unsanitary feedlots where horses are warehoused like livestock.

As a result of the federal government’s aggressive campaign to round up and remove tens of thousands of wild equines from their wild public lands home, there has been an increasing risk of horses being adopted through the BLM’s Adoption Incentive Program landing in the slaughter pipeline. The New York Times first exposed the relationship between the AIP and the slaughter pipeline in August of 2021, and the BLM promised reforms.

Despite those promises, large numbers of BLM animals adopted through the AIP continue to be sold into the slaughter pipeline by unscrupulous adopters, and advocates and rescues have struggled to save as many as possible from shipping to Canada and Mexico to be slaughtered in foreign meat plants. When confronted by documentation of BLM equines sold for slaughter, the BLM has simply stated they see “no evidence” that this is actually happening. We at WBF are outraged that these horses have been sold into the slaughter pipeline and demand the BLM take meaningful steps to stop AIP animals from going to slaughter and take responsibility for the results of this deeply corrupt adoption program.

Advocacy groups have been instrumental in exposing the truths of the disastrous consequences of the AIP and assisting in rescuing these beautiful wild souls from unknown fate. Our wild horses should ultimately be protected though, and they should never be found in terrible places like this. The Adoption Incentive Program must be ended immediately. We need to make this change before it is too late. We urge you to contact your local lawmakers and tell them about the atrocities of the Adoption Incentive Program. Additionally, teach your friends and family about the plight of our wild horses and encourage them to spread the word to everyone they know. The more voices we have in this fight, the more change we can make. We thank you; wild horses thank you.


Wild Beauty Wins Best Documentary Feature at Academy Award Qualifying Film Festival

WBF is proud to announce that Wild Beauty: Mustang Spirit of the West has won “Best Documentary Feature” at the Academy Award qualifying St.Louis Film Festival! This recognition is a major win for wild horses, and we are so proud we have the opportunity to bring this issue to a global audience.

As Wild Beauty continues on the festival circuit, we will continue to update you with new locations and dates as we have them. For those eagerly awaiting the wider release of the film, we look forward to bringing you more information in early 2023. We thank you for standing with wild horses; congratulations team.


Photo Credit: Sahna Foley

Herds of Cattle Found Grazing the Onaqui Herd Management Area

The Onaqui HMA just south of Salt Lake City, Utah recently held an event for volunteers who wished to help clean up the range for the benefit of wild horses in this area. This herd is famous for being curious and personable, with a variety of colors and patterns ranging from bays, grays, and palominos to pintos and roans. Many wild horse advocates jumped on the opportunity to help clean up the home of these beautiful creatures.

Just a week after the cleanup, advocates on the ground in the HMA found not wild horses, but herds of cattle grazing the land freshly tidied up by generous volunteers. This has become a typical and regular occurrence; the BLM allows livestock to overgraze wild horse Herd Management Areas, but then blame horses for that overgrazing as a pretext for conducting more round up operations to remove horses as competition for forage.

Over 300 Onaqui wild horses were rounded up in 2021 with the BLM blaming drought and lack of forage for decreased body condition in horses. During filming for Wild Beauty, WBF was on the ground during the roundup and captured video of wild horses in perfect body condition. Barely one year later, the BLM has authorized hundreds of cows and sheep on land apparently “overgrazed” by the wild horses that are now stripped of their freedom. The blatant discrepancy in BLM narratives and motives needs to be publicized. Our wild horses deserve to remain wild, and the best interest of protected species should be prioritized over the profit of private industries.


Photograph by Erin Phillips

WBF Celebrates Giving Tuesday

We want to thank everyone who celebrated Giving Tuesday with The Wild Beauty Foundation this year! Without your support, we would not be able to bring the beauty of wild horses to as many people as we have in the past year! As we continue to screen Wild Beauty and begin working toward bringing Wild Horse Week to middle grade schools in early 2023, we are always reminded of your gracious support.

From everyone at WBF, we thank you.



A Still from Wild Beauty: Mustang Spirit of the West

Wild Beauty is Coming Back to California!

Those who missed our last premiere of Wild Beauty Mustang Spirit of the West at the Los Angeles Documentary Film Festival, are invited to a screening at the Santa Clarita International Film Festival next weekend, December 8th-11th. We are excited to be back in California to share wild horses with another wonderful audience.

Dates and times are not yet announced, so keep an eye on our website for official information; we will update you as soon as we have details!


Herd of horses

Photo Credit: Sandy Sharkey

 Coming Soon: Winners of our 2nd Annual Short Story Contest

We received so many great submissions to our short story contest from kids and teens across the world this year and want to thank every child who used their creative voices to stand with wild horses. Our amazing judges have loved reading each of your stories and carefully selecting their top stories. The top 10 winners have officially been chosen and we look forward to releasing the names of the winners very soon! Watch our social media for announcements in the coming weeks.

To learn more about our annual short story contest, visit our website!


Photo Credit: Tori Gagne

Glimpse of Wild Beauty

Winter descends on the American west and our wild horses. Tori Gagne has captured a stunning image of a single horse roaming in the fresh snowfall.


Photography by Mary Hone

A Quote to Graze On

“The world is but a canvas to our imagination”

-Henry David Thoreau


The natural beauty of our wild world inspires us every day. From writing, painting, or capturing it through photography or film, wildness is in the art all around us.


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

#istandwithwildhorses #wildbeautyspirit

Have an idea for a story or a tip for us?
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Email a ZIP or link to your photos, along with a short written approval to [email protected]!

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