From left; Edward Winters, Ashley Avis, Tick Segerblom, and Daniel Carranza
The March 15, 2023 Las Vegas premiere of Wild Beauty: Mustang Spirit of the West received strong praise from an audience of at least 150, and featured recognition from a member of Congress and Clark County, Nevada.
The Las Vegas premiere holds special meaning given Nevada being home to over half of the nation’s population of wild horses, and coincides with the Nevada legislature considering a bill brought on behalf of Nevada schoolchildren to designate the wild mustang as the state’s official state horse.
Congresswoman Dina Titus (D-NV), long a friend and ally of the American wild horse, presented via Daniel Carranza, her Director of Constituent Services, a Certificate of Special Commendation to the Wild Beauty Foundation, expressing thanks “for raising awareness regarding equine conservation efforts in Nevada.”
Ashley Avis is presented with official proclamation of “Wild Beauty Day”
The premiere was also heralded by the Clark County Commissioners, who issued a proclamation recognizing March 15, 2023 as “Wild Beauty Day.” Presented by Commissioner Tick Segerblom, the proclamation acknowledged the cultural and symbolic value of wild horses and their persecution at the hands of the federal government.
Directed and written by Ashley Avis, who directed Disney’s 2020 Black Beauty, the award-winning documentary features stunning footage of horses living wild and free on public land across the American West. Juxtaposed against the beauty of the horses and their habitat is hard-hitting investigative journalism that exposes the bitter reality for the nation’s iconic wild herds of free-roaming horses and burros, especially the cruel policies and practices of the Bureau of Land Management, the federal agency charged with managing them under the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971.
The BLM has embarked on an aggressive depopulation campaign that has resulted in tens of thousands of wild equines being chased down by helicopter, trapped, and removed to crowded, disease-ridden holding facilities. Many of the animals end up in the slaughter pipeline, including a Texas slaughter auction shown in the film that sends countless formerly wild animals to a horrific death in Mexican slaughter plants.
Following the showing of the film, Avis, her husband, producer Edward Winters, and wild horse expert Scott Beckstead answered questions from the audience about the topic of wild horses, the impacts of livestock grazing, and the disinformation campaign by the BLM to mislead the American public about the truth of its cruel and corrupt wild horse and burro program.
A still from upcoming documentary, Wild Beauty: Mustang Spirit of the West
“We were honored to bring Wild Beauty to the big screen in Las Vegas and introduce the audience to the extraordinary beauty of our iconic wild herds, their families, and their habitat; as well as their tragic persecution by the federal government,” said Avis.
“As with other audiences who have viewed the film, they were inspired by the sweeping imagery of the wild horses and beauty of our public lands; but also outraged at the behavior and policies of the BLM in rounding wild horses up and removing them to benefit commercial livestock interests. We look forward to the global release of the film in May to drive awareness, and our team believes the film will play an important role in reversing the corrupt policies of cruelty and exploitation by our government. It would be a travesty for future generations to never see wild horses, and ultimately all of this wild beauty on our public lands. That is what we are fighting so hard to protect.”
The trailer for the film can be viewed at: