This Week in Wild Beauty: July 16th, 2022


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

Read the newest wild horse and burro focused headlines for the week of July 16th, 2022

A Black and White Photo of Two Wild Horses by Sandy Sharkey

Photograph by Sandy Sharkey

Governor Jared Polis Issues Statement Regarding the Piceance Basin HMA

Early this week, Governor Jared Polis and First Gentleman Marlon Reis sent a letter to the BLM interim state director, Stephanie Connolly. In this letter (read in full below), Polis urged the BLM to work closely with the governor’s office to protect the Piceance Basin wild horses. He asked Connolly to allow his State Veterinarian’s office to be on the ground during the roundup to bear witness to the events and assist if needed. Along with having a veterinarian on site, Polis urges for roundup contractors to be held accountable for the care and safety of the wild horses they are rounding up.

Governor Polis and First Gentleman Reis know the harms of stripping foals away from their mothers much too young during roundups and mention the harm in doing so in their letter. Given these stampedes (which have sadly just begun) are so close to foaling season, the use of helicopters can severely injure a foal or even cause death, if the young horse is run too far or too long in hot temperatures.  No baby of any kind should endure such inhumane treatment.

WBF thanks the Governor for standing with wild horses and continuing his support in the fight to protect them in the beautiful state of Colorado.  You can read the full letter below.

A Letter to the BLM sent by Governor Jared Polis Page 1A Letter to the BLM sent by Governor Jared Polis Page 2


A Wild Horse Walks Toward the Camera in a Photo by Chad Hanson

Photograph by Chad Hanson

BLM Plans to Roundup 1,900 Wild Horses in the Triple B HMA

The below news is particularly personal for us at WBF, given the very first roundup we ever filmed for our upcoming documentary WILD BEAUTY was at Triple B in Nevada during July of 2019. 

Our two WBF Ambassador Horses, Zephyra and Zion, were once part of this herd.  We rescued them following this shocking roundup, which utilized two helicopters in maneuvers we have never even seen during stunt work on feature films. 

Zion was approximately one month old when he was driven, all by himself, into the trapsite.

Zephyra and Zion in Holding at Palomino Valley in 2019

Zion and Zephyra in BLM holding at Palomino Valley, 2019.

Not all the young foals survived that 2019 roundup, as they were dramatically stampeded in heat that exceeded over 100 degrees based on each of our crew member phones that day.  But Zion did survive.  He was thankfully reunited with his mother Zephyra in holding, and we traveled to the facility in Palomino Valley to adopt them.

Zion at Flag Is Up Farm with WBF Youth Ambassador, Jocelyn M. during Monty Roberts' "The Movement" event this June 2022

Zion at Flag Is Up Farm with WBF Youth Ambassador, Jocelyn M. during Monty Roberts’ “The Movement” event this June 2022

Now the Triple B herd is being targeted again, in almost exactly three years.

Beginning Friday, July 15th, 2022 the Bureau of Land Management will round up nearly 2,000 wild horses in the Triple B and Antelope combined HMA near Ely, Nevada. At this time, 1,800 are to be removed and an additional 100 mares will be treated with the potentially irreversible and damaging GonaCon contraceptive vaccine.

Unfortunately, this roundup will be conducted yet again using a helicopter-assisted method which has been proven to be dangerous after deadly roundups this season. The BLM claims that the AML for this HMA is 482-821 horses. For the expansive combined HMAs in this area, WBF believes that this population is extremely low and damaging to the dynamics of the herd.

While the BLM states that the reason for the roundup is overpopulation and lack of water and forage, they continue to allow livestock grazing and mining within the HMA.

WBF supports that this narrative given by the BLM to excuse their roundup efforts is false, and allows for those in favor of special interests to profit off the land allocated for wild horses.


The eye of Old Man, an Onaqui wild horse from our upcoming WILD BEAUTY documentary

The eye of Old Man, an Onaqui wild horse from our upcoming WILD BEAUTY documentary

One Year Since the Onaqui Roundup

One year ago today, WBF was on the ground as the BLM rounded up hundreds of America’s most iconic wild horses. The Onaqui of Utah were subjected to a tragic helicopter roundup in the heat of the summer. Over 400 horses were taken from the wild and had their freedom stripped away.

While some horses were adopted months later, numerous deaths occurred following the roundup – both at the Delta holding facility, the Sutherland facility, and even in trailer rides to their future adopters.

This has to stop.  Will you help us?  Keep reading.

This Week’s Call To Action

Share the “Loss of a National Treasure” Onaqui Video
To Your Social Media

One year after their roundup, countless wild horses across different parts of our country are being chased for miles, held in holding facilities, or transported to an unknown fate.

We must stop these continuous, destructive practices that the BLM uses to “manage” these intelligent and emotional animals. This week, WBF asks you to share the above Onaqui video on your social media channels. By using their tragedy to educate, we can hold the BLM accountable for their actions and stop future roundups before they become as harsh as this beautiful herds.

Our documentary crew was there to witness the harsh truth of BLM roundups. What we saw was heartbreaking. You may be shocked by what you see, including a small child riding around in the helicopter as the horses are being stripped of their freedom – while our professional film crew was denied access to film the trapsite area.

This year, we hold the freedom of the Onaqui in our hearts. 

Please share the video on social media this week in memory of the Onaqui.

WILD BEAUTY Documentary Update

Wild horses kick up dust in Sand Wash Basin, Colorado from our upcoming WILD BEAUTY documentary

Wild horses kick up dust in Sand Wash Basin, Colorado from our upcoming WILD BEAUTY documentary which at last debuts in September!

We’re going to reserve the details for now, but WILD BEAUTY: Mustang Spirit of the West will at last debut on the film festival circuit in September 2022!  Watch our social media channels for announcements and calls to action.

We will invite all wild horse groups to support the release, and for collaborative and positive personalities to promote #wildhorseteamwork

We don’t always need to agree.  But we must stand together.  For them.


A Freeze Branded Mustang Lies in the Center of Several Others in a Photo by Kimerlee Curyl

Photograph by Kimerlee Curyl

Members of Congress Call for Better Protection of Devil’s Garden Wild Horses

In a letter sent to the U.S. Forest Service on Thursday, July 14th, 2022, 39 members of Congress urged the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to amend their management practices for California’s wild horses. This letter comes after the Devil’s Garden Plateau Wild Horses of Modoc National Forest have recently been subjected to extensive roundups and a lack of regulation during sales. The members urge that these practices will cause many of America’s iconic symbols of freedom to end up in international slaughterhouses. 

Led by Congressman Ted Lieu of Los Angeles, California, the letter pushes for a comprehensive animal welfare program to guide the management of wild horses in the herd territories as well as the implementation of reversible contraceptive measures in current herd populations. The letter requested an immediate moratorium on the roundup, sale, adoption, or transportation of any wild horse by the USFS.

The Devil’s Garden Plateau Wild Horse Territory is the largest territory managed for wild horses by the U.S Forest Service in both land size and herd population. In 2014, the territory was issued an Appropriate Management Level of 402 adult horses on 258,000 acres of land. For being the largest wild horse territory in the U.S., we feel this AML is extremely low.

WBF thanks these members of Congress who are urging the government to issue more protective measures for these animals. 

Carol Walker

Join us July 19th for a Live Interview with Wild Horse Photographer Carol Walker

WBF is happy to announce an upcoming live interview with Carol Walker as we discuss her new book, “Blue Zeus: Legend of the Red Desert”!

Join us at 9am PT/ 12pm EST on WBF’s Facebook page as Carol answers some of our questions. Learn what brought Carol to the Red Desert and how the horses there changed her life forever. WBF appreciates Carol for her time to chat with us and educate others.

You can support Carol’s creative work and her advocacy by purchasing a copy of Blue Zeus on Amazon, or visiting her website to discover her art.

You can also support the rescue of other wild horses, for sometimes the less colorful or famous are left behind.  Blue Zeus now lives at Skydog Sanctuary in Oregon, an organization that works hard to rescue wild horses of every color, in addition to older geldings and those who may be picked last, or never picked at all.

Consider making a donation to Skydog directly to support their efforts by clicking here.


Black Beauty Exclusive Screening at The Unbridled Heroes Project Poster

July 23rd Event to Benefit Unbridled Heroes Project

To benefit veterans and their families, as well as to raise awareness for wild horses, WBF founders & filmmakers Ashley Avis & Edward Winters will be hosting an event with the Unbridled Heroes Project!  UHP will be opening up their sanctuary in New Jersey, and Ashley and Ed will do a Q&A and special viewing of Disney’s Black Beauty for local children and families. They will be signing posters and discussing the upcoming WILD BEAUTY documentary.

100% of proceeds will benefit the Unbridled Heroes Project.

A Herd of Dilute Mustangs Runs Free in a Photo by Carol Walker

Photograph by Carol Walker

Glimpse of Wild Beauty

In celebration of I Love Horses Day, WBF urges you to post a picture of a wild horse you love this week. We cannot forget those who once called our public lands home on this day. This photo by Carol Walker showcases the beauty of the wild horses we love so elegantly.


A stallion stands under the sunset in our upcoming WILD BEAUTY documentary

A stallion stands under the sunset in our upcoming WILD BEAUTY documentary

A Quote to Graze On

“Horses do not know how much you know until they know how much you care.”

-Theodore Roosevelt

Standing with wild horses in order to make a change is one of the best ways to show a horse you care. We at WBF care about every wild horse’s well-being and freedom. Will you stand with wild horses?

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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