The Wild Beauty Foundation welcomes you to the nineteenth edition of our weekly newsletter!
Read the newest wild horse and burro focused headlines for the week of September 24th, 2022
From left to right; Kimerlee Curyl, Richard Avis, First Gentleman Marlon Reis, Kai Krause, Erik Molvar, Edward Winters, Ashley Avis, and Scott Beckstead during the Wild Beauty Panel at Breck Film Festival
Highlights from the Breck Film Festival
Last weekend, The Wild Beauty Foundation celebrated the World Premiere of Wild Beauty: Mustang Spirit of the West at the Breck Film Festival. We were extremely excited to show the world what we have been passionately crafting for the past four years… showing you both the spectacular beauty, as well as the shocking truth of America’s wild horses.
Edward Winters and Ashley Avis introducing Wild Beauty: Mustang Spirit of the West
We at WBF are incredibly proud to have touched so many hearts during the premiere and were honored to receive a standing ovation from the audience as the credits rolled. This is only the start of an impactful journey for Wild Beauty, and we cannot wait for the rest of the world to see both the beauty and tribulations that we captured in the American West.
Edward Winters, Ashley Avis, and Scott Beckstead during the Wild Beauty Panel
WBF would like to give an enormous thank you to Governor Polis and First Gentleman Reis for attending our world premiere!
Governor Jared Polis and Ashley Avis at the Wild Beauty Premiere
First Gentleman Marlon Reis, Scott Beckstead, and Ashley Avis at the Wild Beauty Premiere
After the screening, Wild Beauty: Mustang Spirit of the West cast and crew held a Q and A panel for those in attendance. We at WBF were proud to have First Gentleman Marlon Reis speak during the panel and offer his support for protecting our wild world and standing with wild horses; both in the state of Colorado, and the country as a whole. We are so grateful to Polis and Reis for joining us last weekend as special guests and hope that their support brings lasting change to the state of Colorado’s wild horse management.
This weekend, we will be hosting our East coast premiere of Wild Beauty at the Boston Film Festival! We look forward to showing the northeast U.S. the elegance and freedom that our wild horses deserve.
Keep an eye on our blog this week for a full recap on Wild Beauty’s debut!
Please support WBF’s efforts to get Wild Beauty: Mustang Spirit of the West to as many viewers as possible. We hope to screen our documentary in as many cities as we can to share the beauty of wild horses with everyone!
We thank you, wild horses thank you.
Colorado Elementary School Writes Letters to Lawmakers on Behalf of Wild Horses
WBF founders and filmmakers behind Wild Beauty; Mustang Spirit of the West, Ashley Avis and Edward Winters visited Upper Blue Elementary in Breckenridge, Colorado to teach children about our nation’s wild horses.
After the premiere of Wild Beauty at Breck Film Festival, Ashley and Ed were invited to the Breckenridge elementary school by a local advocate, to guide students in a letter writing campaign on behalf of wild horses. Students chose a lawmaker to write directly to, asking them to stand with our wild horses and stop helicopter roundups.
We at WBF were extremely proud that 80 students used their voice to stand with the voiceless equines of our country and their own state. We hope that lawmakers see the impact that wild horses have on our school age children and the importance of keeping wild horses free so that the upcoming generations can experience their beauty and strength.
Updates on the SAFE and PAST Acts
If you have been involved in the fight to protect horses, you know that the fight to end horse slaughter and put an end to the slaughter pipeline has long been the “holy grail” of equine advocacy. That’s why it pains us to report that the Save America’s Forgotten Equines (SAFE) Act, which enjoyed broad, bipartisan support from a majority of US House members, has been killed due primarily to opposition from two veterinary groups, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP).
These groups betray their allegiance to the most abusive elements in the equine industry, rather than the horses themselves or the 80 percent of Americans who strongly oppose the slaughter of American horses for human consumption in foreign countries. We urge all of you, especially those who own horses, to reach out to your veterinarians and veterinary medicine contacts to call or email the AVMA and AAEP to register their support for an end to horse slaughter and to urge these groups to start standing for horses, not the kill buyers who prey on our beloved equine companions.
On a more positive note, Congress has moved the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act to finally bring an end to the horrendous practice of “soring” of Tennessee Walking Horses, where trainers and exhibitors intentionally cause intense pain to the front feet and legs of show horses to produce an exaggerated show ring gait known as the “Big Lick.”
Although a federal law passed decades ago is supposed to stop soring, the law has been plagued by an entrenched show horse industry that places blue ribbons above their concern for the horses. The PAST Act will stop counting on those who engage in soring to police themselves, and instead impose serious penalties on anyone who continues this abusive practice.
Please call your members of Congress at 202-224-3121 and urge them to support the PAST Act to put an end to the abusive practice of horse soring.
A Still from Wild Beauty: Mustang Spirit of the West
Scott Beckstead Educates on the Protection of Wild Horses
Wild Beauty Foundation team member Scott Beckstead voiced his opinions to the press this week on why wild horses deserve to remain free on western rangeland. Beckstead brings to bear his background as one who was raised with horses and livestock, and his special expertise in animal and wildlife law in arguing that our American wild horses are being used as scapegoats for public land damage caused by private livestock overgrazing and that it is cattle and sheep, not wild horses, that the American people want removed from our public lands.
“It’s time to reject the BLM’s false narrative that wild horses harm public lands and embrace an approach that truly protects them. Wild horses and burros belong right where they are.” Beckstead says.
We are extremely appreciative of Scott for sharing his knowledge of wild horses with local publications; educating readers who may not know about the struggles that these animals face. You can read the full article published on Writers on the Range, here.
This Week’s Calls To Action
Celebrate National Public Lands Day by Standing with Wild Horses
WBF’s 2nd Annual Short Story Contest’s Equine-Loving Celebrity Reader: Beth Behrs
Returning as an Equine-Loving Celebrity Reader for our Second Annual Short Story Contest is actor Beth Behrs!
Best known for her roles as The Neighborhood’s, Gemma Johnson and Caroline on 2 Broke Girls, Beth has graced TV screens across the country since her breakout role in 2011. She currently hosts her own podcast, Harmonics, where she discusses creativity, healing, and wellness.
In addition to her work on popular sitcoms, Beth spends her time with her rescue horse, Belle. Since adopting Belle, Beth has become a passionate activist for equine welfare and protection. She has lended her voice to several equine organizations including WBF, and we are very appreciative to have her participate in our Short Story Contest for a second year.
Continue writing your stories!
The deadline to enter is October 31st, 2022 so be sure to get your stories in soon so they can be considered by our wonderful panel of judges. To learn more about the short story contest or submit your story, visit our website!
Updates on the Cedar Mountain and Calico Complex Roundups
Two significant roundups are ongoing in Utah and Nevada. As roundup season begins to die down, we mourn the loss of freedom that so many of our wild ones are facing.
*Update: According to updates to the BLM Gather and Fertility Control Schedule, 300 wild horses are set to be released; 150 mares treated with fertility control and 150 stallions. Though, there have not been updates to the official Cedar Mountain Gather page with exact numbers.*
The Cedar Mountain wild horses of Utah continue to be driven by low flying helicopters as the BLM attempts to suppress the HMA to a population of as few as 190 horses. The BLM has already captured 377 of the 700 wild horses they plan to roundup. So far, the BLM reported that there has been one euthanization of a 20+ year old stallion due to blindness. The beautiful horses within this HMA can be found in almost every color and pattern, making it a popular location for photographers and tourists. With the HMA being reduced to extremely low numbers, the genetics of the herd are at risk of becoming unsustainable, and the future of the herd’s unique horses are in danger.
In the Nevada Calico Complex, wild horses enter the second week of the BLM’s helicopter descent. As of September 22nd, the BLM reports that 639 wild horses have already been rounded up. This is only a little more than half of the approximate 1,000 wild horses the BLM plans to remove. At this time, 17 horses have already lost their lives for reasons such as blindness or preexisting injuries that they would have continued to prosper with if living free on the range. There are several wild horse advocacy groups on the ground in this HMA, capturing first hand accounts on the treatment of wild horses during the roundup efforts. Captured horses are set to be sent to Indian Lakes Off Range holding facility, which has come under fire in past years for mass deaths of wild horses in their care.
We at WBF call for a halt in helicopter roundups, an inhumane management method that causes immense stress and injury risk to wild horses that the BLM claims to protect. By implementing safe and effective management solutions backed by scientific research, we can aim to preserve the beauty of our wild horses for generations to come.
Glimpse of Wild Beauty
Sandy Sharkey’s intimate photo of a Utah mare and foal pair spotlights the deep family bonds that wild horses create, further proving horses and humans are more alike than they seem.
A Still from Wild Beauty: Mustang Spirit of the West
A Quote to Graze On
“He found himself wondering at times, especially in the autumn,
about the wild lands, and strange visions of mountains
that he had never seen came into his dreams.”
– J. R. R. Tolkien
As we venture into the cooling autumn air, take in the wildness around you and use its artistry as inspiration for your next creative journey.
Thank you for being a supporter of wild horses, and protecting the wild beauty of our world.
– The WBF Team
Have an idea for a story or a tip for us?
Email [email protected]
Are you a wild horse photographer who would like your work featured in our newsletter or social media pages?
Email a ZIP or link to your photos, along with a short written approval to [email protected]!
Join Us On Our Journey. We’d love to stand beside you.