Horse News

Is the BLM Setting Its Sights on “Cloud”?

(The News As We See It) by R.T. Fitch~Director of the HfH Advisory Council

The International Face of the American Wild Horse Could be Culled

Cloud the Stallion ~ photo by Terry Fitch

In a recent Billings Gazette article it was reported that the local BLM office may be considering removing the world famous wild stallion, Cloud, from his family and home in the Pryor Mountains of Southern Montana because it is alleged that his coloring is not of Spanish descent.

The article states;

“The Bureau of Land Management, the agency responsible for managing the horses and range, says a recent genetic analysis of the wild horse herd suggests that the spread of the stallion’s genes has been at the expense of the Old World Iberian horse line brought by Spaniards to North America — a lineage that has made the herd unique.”, a statement that is not supported by the document in question.

The Gazette goes on to state;

“A cream-colored coat is not an Old Spanish horse trait.”

Using these erroneous assumptions as fact the Gazette goes on to claim that Jim Sparks, manager of the BLM’s Billings Field Office,  says that the public needs to understand that if the BLM continues to protect Cloud and his progeny, that genetic influence will only grow stronger.

“We’re going to continue to favor the Spanish characteristics, but doing that can narrow down the gene pool,” Sparks said, hinting at the possibility of a BLM plan to remove Cloud and his offspring from their protected native range.

But the above assumptions, regarding coloring and Spanish lineage, are countered by an early 1990s report compiled by Dr. Phillip Sponenberg, DVM, PH D who wrote;

“The colors of the Pryor mountain horses are also interesting. Included are: black, bay, chestnut, the linebacked derivatives of these: grullo, zebra dun, red dun, the non-linbacked dun derivatives, if only rarely): smoky, buckskin, palomino, cremello (these last three potentially if not presently)… The range of colors also is consistent with a Spanish origin. It is difficult to come up with that array of colors, and in the frequencies present, by another origin… A few of the combinations will then occur rarely, but will assuredly pop out at least occasionally. Included would be cremellos (essentially white), and the splashier sabino types. The will result in a very cosmetically appealing group of horses, with great appeal both for the somewhat naïve tourist (who is fascinated by the pretty variation ), but also for the more knowledgeable viewer who recognizes these horses as a genetically significant population due to their being Spanish.”

International Spanish Colonial horse experts, who have viewed the three PBS “Cloud” documentaries produced by Emmy award winning nature film producer Ginger Kathrens, have noted and commented on the single-footed gait of Cloud as he enters a fast trot, a uniquely Spanish trait witnessed in person by this reporter.

Additional evidence of palominos being of Spanish descent is documented at Horse-Genetics.com;

“Pale palominos are sometimes called Isabellas, after Queen Isabella de-Bourbon of Spain, who is much remembered for pawning her jewels to fund Columbus’ voyages to the “New World”. The word Palomino is itself a Spanish surname, derived from a Latin word meaning pale dove. Queen Isabella kept a hundred golden horses (but forbid her commoners to own one!). She did, however send a Palomino stallion and five mares to her Viceroy in Mexico (then called New Spain!) to perpetuate the horse in the “New World”. North America palominos originally came from the Spanish settlements, presumably descendants of Queen Isabella’s horses.”

Now taking into account that Gazette contends that the coloring of Cloud is not of Spanish decent and Sparks, a BLM employee, states that Cloud is weakening the Pryor herd’s genetics and then weigh their assumptions against the research and findings of noted, educated experts it makes one beg the question;

“Did the Gazette put the anti-Cloud thought into the BLM’s head or was it the other way around?”

Either way, the world needs to keep a watchful eye upon the Billings BLM office as they may not realize the value of the treasure that resides just outside their back door that goes by the name of “Cloud”.

(Special thanks to Makendra Silverman for abundant research assistance)

77 replies »

  1. This whole “how much Spanish blood” does this or that Mustang have has got to stop. A Mustang is Nature’s Horse. Once humans start tweaking with who breeds and who does not, then the horse will not be the hardy, intelligent breed that it is. Color should not matter, either. Again, that’s a human construct. Color ranges were bred out of the Iberian breeds, but they still exist and some Iberian breeders are trying to get colors back into the breed. Look at Saphiro, a Cremello Lusitano, for example – http://www.jcandalusians.com/JC/horses/Saphiro/Saphiromain.html . Either way, let the Mustang be a Mustang.

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    • I agree 100% and just had this argument again online with someone who believes mustangs are a ‘breed’ thy are not a Breed anymore than Americans are a breed, we are actually very much like a mustang in our heritage..it is the spirit the hardiness and the instinct and ability to survive against all odds that exemplifies the mustang..lets not tinker with the mustang to fit our box..what we have done to “breeds” is to select for qualities that have nothing to do with survival..When we can find hair and bone marrow from the prehistoric horse who was born in n. america and migrated out during the ice age..we can start talking heritage..every breed on earth came from that DNA..we have bred to dilute it.

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    • Well said Jo! I am a “Spanish Mustang promoter” and just recently bought/adopted 4 Wild Horses from Nevada. I do think it is absurd to speak of “purity” when it comes to Mustangs/Wild horses. Though I greatly admire the Spanish type, I do believe each and every Wild horse earned the right to stay on our Public lands and roam wild and free, because they stand for something…..Freedom!……….If the BLM experts, really knew what they were doing, they would NOT “manage” the Wild horses to extinction. Even their practices of “sorting” the WHs immediately, and tearing the family bands apart, depicts lack of common sense and knowledge. When they turn horses back on the range random, how do they know if they are not turning closely related horses out ? Along with the over use of PZP and skewed sex ratios, their practices completely destroy our magnificient Wild Herds! I think the BLM is “smarter” then try to “remove” Cloud, for this would cause an uprising at the “Global level”……negative publicity they don’t need right now. The Billings BLM person is just looking for a “reaction”….let us not give her one!

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  2. If the BLM tries to remove Cloud and his offspring, no doubt they will encounter more than just polite bystanders. I think that there are enough people who are sick of their stupidity that would buy a plane ticket out there and stop the BLM from removing them.
    This is becoming a vendetta against the horses and their supporters. It is an outrageous situation.

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    • kathryn, you sure hit the nail on the head. BLM or who ever HAS NO RIGHT TO REMOVE CLOUD & HIS GET! Not all Mustangs these days are completely or even part Spanish any way but they are STILL MUSTANGS & we LOVE them just the same!
      It sounds like Cloud & his should now have an unseen guard put on them so he can’t be sneaked out when we aren’t looking or worse, … I won’t say it.
      I’m really mad about our horses now but this is beyond RAGE if BLM touches ONE HAIR of Cloud.

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    • NOW THAT’S WHAT I HAVE BEEN SAYING FOR YEARS. IF EVERYBODY WERE TO GO THERE, & I MEAN EVERYBODY. STAND IN THEIR FACE & SAY NO MORE!!!

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    • I’m with you there! Not that Cloud is any more or less important than any other wild horse — it’s just that he’s a prominant symbol of wild horses in America. To take Cloud from the wild would be the BLM’s way of giving us the middle finger salute. If this agency plans to remove him from the range, I’ll do whatever it takes to be there on site, doing whatever is necessary to peacefully — yet ASSERTIVELY — protest his removal.

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  3. It seems the BLM comes up with any kind of excuse to round up the wild horses, no matter what the color, etc., to try and justify taking them off the range.

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  4. The BLM doesn’t care about the gene pool, otherwise they wouldn’t have taken as many horses out of it in other places. Cloud is an icon, that’s what all this is about. Sneaky, under-handed “pay back”. They had better leave him alone, the repurcussions would be earth shattering.

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  5. Why all the BLM sudden “concern” over wild horse bloodlines? There is scant evidence of this in the agency’s roundup history. Herds are removed from their legal range lands, family units are broken up, and those that survive the aggressive roundups are stockpiled in short and long-term holding facilities.

    Could the sudden focus on Cloud’s genetic heritage be a BLM ploy to remove an equine celebrity from public sight in an attempt to lessen worldwide scrutiny on the wrongdoings of Department of the Interior and the BLM’s gross mismanagement of the Wild Horse and Burro Program?

    Thank you R.T. for educating your readers on the true definition of equine Spanish bloodlines as they relate to the American wild horse. If BLM agent Jim Sparks and “Billings Gazette” reporter Brett had done the necessary research on wild horse bloodlines, their false assumptions would never have made it to print.

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  6. I agree with the previous comments. Why should the BLM care if Cloud has any Spanish blood lines? This baffles me because they randomly gather horses here and there without regard for their existence. Does that mean the ones with the bloodline are shipped off to slaughter houses or sold off to the highest bidder. These people waste precious resources, animals, funds, and destroy under a clandestine cloak of government rightousness.

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  7. Hopefully this is nothing but an irresponsible reporter’s ugly illusion. I would hope to think that not even BLM decision makers are that stupid.

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    • You are so right TJ. Mother Nature does quite well manipulating balances, although sometimes somewhat harshly. It is only when man gets involved and enforces capricious decisions that it gets all screwed up. Sometimes man is not even as smart as a tree.

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  8. What better way to play the childish game of “pay back” than to now decide to pick
    on Cloud.

    Yup we have managed to piss off the BLM and this is their comback!

    When you deal with cerebral midgets you have to expect this type of behavior.

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  9. LINDA from New Mexico here.

    Does the 1971 Act say anything about “Spanish Colonial Ancestry” or “Wild Horses of Iberian Descent”? DEFINATELY NOT!!! So what justifies the BLM entering the horse breeding business? Are they already out on the HMAs observing mustangs with the intent of “zeroing out” and “retiring” HMAs based on a herds “non-Iberian” characteristics?

    I remember reading about stallions being shot and replaced by other stallions – especially paints – because “color” mustangs were more “adoptable”. Did the stallions have “Iberian” bloodlines? I think not! Probably QHs, because adopters also prefer “bigger” mustangs. When you check out the Internet Adoptions, larger “color” mustangs (even horses over 4) go for higher prices. I swear I’m going to write a poem entitled “Pity the Bay Mare”!

    This is a Letter to the Editor from Sunday’s (11/7) Billings Gazette criticizing French’s article:
    http://billingsgazette.com/news/opinion/mailbag/article_29cc6eab-c554-5b17-be7a-aef7c6f408dd.html

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  10. You better get busy now with your research and druming up support from DC folks for Cloud. The BLM is angry and not beyond lashing out at those perceived to be the root cause of their “pain”. If it were me I would publish a rebuttal in that paper, or get this reporter armed with the correct info., and I would get whatever supporting documentation you can and be ready necessary to defend him before the attack is launched. This was a warning shot to say; “You fav., horse is not beyond our reach.”

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    • Cloud is a symbolic of the many. It will never lessen my love for these horses if he or any others have been removed. He has had his life recorded beautifully by Ginger who
      has done something no one else has; document the life of a wild horse. We will always have Cloud. The threat is very real. This is a sad scenario for all of us. It is a warning and it it is like blackmail, oozing out of BLM pores. mar

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  11. http://elkodaily.com/news/opinion/article_216f7a42-ebb3-11df-b8b3-001cc4c03286.html?mode=story

    Quote from letter to the editor:

    “By not allowing any horse slaughter in the United States they have created a problem bigger than just feral horses. What happens to the thousands of thoroughbreds that are finished with their racing careers or other horses that can no longer be cared for by the private citizen?”

    ‘Sabrina’ seems genuinely clueless — this type of wide-eyed, bewildered “golly-gee-whatever-will-we-do-with-all-the-horses?” is really growing tiresome. Are people really this profoundly baffled??

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  12. Uhm? How old is Cloud? And this is how long it takes to determine yellow is not an Old Spanish trait???

    Sounds like it has been fun to take advantage of Ginger Kathrens her study, work and input and now the BLM has had enough of it.

    When will they realize about the treasure of the Pryor Mountain Horse herd? Leave them alone. They are God’s gift!

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  13. Horses are a Native species to ONLY North America!! There is now evidence (dna in ice) horses never went fully extinct in north america.

    The BLM is crazy to think a naturally selected horse doesn’t belong to that land just as much as the 50 million year long line of horses belong to ONLY north america!

    Another proof of all the colors of the horse is the art and words of George Catlin. He wittnessed, visited with, wrote about and painted indians with spanish blood. Half breeds AND Catlin also painted and wrote about ALL THE COLORS OF HORSES. Here is his text. Many of Catlins art and books are in washingtondc today!
    please use Catlins text to show what idiots the BLM are about colors of horses! for gods sake everyone with beans in their attics knows the color of animals is one of the easiest things to change! color doesn’t matter at all. The evolving of horses as a native species is all that matters!

    “” There is an eye witness to where wild horses were in the 1800s. His paintings and hang in washhington dc, he painted the half spanish/half indians and he painted the wild horses. and he wrote lots of books!! This is what George Catlin said about the wild horses he saw.

    Catlin writes:

    The tract of country over which we passed, between the False Washita and the Red River facing the direction of the Rocky Mountains is stocked, not only with buffaloes, but with numerous bands of wild horses. In this herd we saw all the colors, nearly, that can be seen in a kennel of English hounds. Some were milk white, some jet black, others were sorrel, and bay, and cream color—many were of an iron grey; and others were pied, containing a variety of colors on the same animal. Their manes were very profuse, and hanging in the wildest confusion over their necks and faces – and their long tails swept the ground.”””””””””””””

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  14. Would someone be kind enough to publish travel arrangements that would need to be made to get to this location? The threat to destroy this family will bring us all out. Some may need time to drive.

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    • Yet the BLM has the DNA of every wild horse sent to Gus Cothran. Wonder why? Maybe it’s not “junk” DNA and somebody wants to patent it and “own” this life form, too.

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    • Yes, but the silence of the Mustang Breeders has been ominous. They are BLM cronies and the Pryor Wild Horse Center is theirs as is Matt their representative. The PZP plans and the future of this herd are now very questionable. This Refuge is singular and BLM is going after the stability of this herd in their aggressive way. All we can do is rise to the occasion and save wild horses as best we can. mar

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  15. You are right Kathryn, I think the BLM is now taunting us, Well I am also sure they will get more than they bargained for !!! Now they are getting ridiculous, this would be done in direct defiance to all America,,,,,,,,, Done to show all that they can do whatever they want ………. Just to show all they are untouchable by anything or anyone !!!! ( they are a bunch of SPOILED IDIOTS) There are some things that sacred……………… I would buy a plane ticket for sure …….

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    • We must conduct ourselves very carefully now as the BLM is pushing our buttons as much as possible to get us to over react and take any step astray that would discredit the campaign. Do not let them manipulate you. Do not go rushing into a confrontation that they are hoping we will give them!

      Stay the course and be cautious. Be calm and do nothing rash! mar

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  16. Horses are a Native species to ONLY North America!! There is now evidence (dna in ice) horses never went fully extinct in north america.

    The BLM is crazy to think a naturally selected horse doesn’t belong to that land just as much as the 50 million year long line of horses belong to ONLY north america!

    Another proof of all the colors of the horse is the art and words of George Catlin. He wittnessed, visited with, wrote about and painted indians with spanish blood. Half breeds AND Catlin also painted and wrote about ALL THE COLORS OF HORSES. Here is his text. Many of Catlins art and books are in washingtondc today!
    please use Catlins text to show what idiots the BLM are about colors of horses! for gods sake everyone with beans in their attics knows the color of animals is one of the easiest things to change! color doesn’t matter at all. The evolving of horses as a native species is all that matters!

    “” There is an eye witness to where wild horses were in the 1800s. His paintings and hang in washhington dc, he painted the half spanish/half indians and he painted the wild horses. and he wrote lots of books!! This is what George Catlin said about the wild horses he saw.

    Catlin writes:

    The tract of country over which we passed, between the False Washita and the Red River facing the direction of the Rocky Mountains is stocked, not only with buffaloes, but with numerous bands of wild horses. In this herd we saw all the colors, nearly, that can be seen in a kennel of English hounds. Some were milk white, some jet black, others were sorrel, and bay, and cream color—many were of an iron grey; and others were pied, containing a variety of colors on the same animal. Their manes were very profuse, and hanging in the wildest confusion over their necks and faces – and their long tails swept the ground.”””””””””””””

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  17. My rotton printer quite me again!, I’m sending another rather large Snail Mail box on our Mustangs to President. Please, people, print every article & our comments on the bottoms of them off, send by snail Mail to reps of this land. Hit them hard! Pray hard, WRITE HARD!
    I’ve already sent one large, thick packet to Pres. This time I’m telling him I want a responce back!
    I’m very OBESSED with saving our Mustangs/ Burros. We can’t just leave it to the advicots, They NEED OUR HELP TO SAVE OUR Mustangs/ Burros.

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  18. In Hope Ryden’s books there were horses just like Cloud! This is a sham and totally uncalled for. The last couple days I have seen people who work for BLM claim the activists are to blame for the wild horses deaths and now this happens?? This is an all out war to discredit us including the very horses we have come to love and respect so! This is the new tactic… use the volunteers to confuse the public and make like we are the bad guys! Now they will stoop to this and I am shocked. I have no doubt that Matt Dillon and family will be backing this atrocious line of bull, too. He was the one who had several family members taken from Cloud’s band at the roundup last fall because BLM could not get some of the other horses it was after! This stinks! mar

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  19. If this information is true, that they play mad scientist now, showcasing their power-abusive mentality with this new waste of resources – it calls for a revolution.
    Enough is enough. Here you have it: the co-operative partnerships… in preserving the legacy on it’s rightful habitat… or the translation of how else can we win ?
    The absence of ethical commitments and values of our government is truly disturbing and this reporter ought to get axed. They love to play powergames and tease. In a school, this would be called a bully. Instead of focusing on true change for the betterment for the horses as it was meant to be, they keep abusing their authority and are drunk on winning a battle that is pure greed and ignorance.
    It’s time for a revolution.

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  20. I picked this up prior to the reporters article- at Matts blog of the Pryors- in my discussions with him, he put this theory out there and HE is the one making the decisions for BLM as to who to cut-beware the polite and smiling face of thine enemy..for those who worship at the feet of Matt..I got an underlying sense of who is behind this and his father has expressed outright hostility toward Cloud to people who have taken the tour..I suggest people not support that center..matt got very defensive when I suggested i had never heard of the Pryors until cloud and I detected and noted his bias for the future..I personally believe this is a personal vendetta as it has diminished their influence in the Proyors with the world wide fame of cloud.

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  21. Since WHEN did they give a rat’s petootie about genetics and where they came from???? They have already ERADICATED SEVERAL herds that tested STRAIGHT SPANISH… and NOW SUDDENLY they have NOTICED there are PUREBRED SPANISH LINES to worry about??? THIS is only another ploy to “justify” what they KNOW they otherwise (and still won’t) get away with!!! WHAT TOTAL CRAP~ LIES!!! Come on people!!! WHO IS THERE WHO CAN FINANCIALLY OUTGUN THESE HOOLIGANS???? All of the phone calls are filtered through flunkies who just trash can them, email are done the same as are real letters sent. It is reality and people need to wake up and SEE what those jerks in Wa. are considering important and what isn’t!!!………How about we get together and march on Washington and DEMAND a chance to be heard?? I am sick and tired of having to pay taxes for what THEY DEEM important, but have NO SAY in HOW MY MONEY IS spent!!!

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  22. i just noticed that the pryor mountain blog posted this last week (it’s about pryor mountain fertililty control)….the EA comments are due no later than 1 december, 2010

    http://pryorwild.wordpress.com/2010/11/04/november-4-2010-fertility-control-preliminary-ea/

    The Billings Field Office has released its preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) and an unsigned Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for a fertility control program. The Dear Reader letter reads as follows:

    November 1, 2010

    Dear Interested Party:

    Enclosed for your review and comment is the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range (PMWHR) Fertility Control Tiered Preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) DOI-BLM-MT-010-2011-0004 and unsigned Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the implementation of a fertility control program on the PMWHR. The documents will be available for 30-day public review and comment beginning November 1, 2010.

    (click on link above to read the entire article & to see the EA)

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  23. I feel confident that Ginger and the cloud foundation are very aware of the threat to cloud, and yes these BLM folks are stupid enough to think they can make make cloud mysteriously disappear.
    I would like to point out the stupidity of the statement there were no palaminos..and that is what cloud is..not a cremolla and a creameolla is NOT a white horse either..people who are uneducated should back out of this conversation, the grullas duns buckskins are all a dillution gene on a different base color..a double dillution gene-contribute to with one from the sire and one from the dam is responsable for acremolla its just dilution to its lightest shade..there are no defects associated and no DNA reflected by it..The spanish have always prized the palaminos and were among the first to be brought to california with the spanish ranches..It is why palamino horses were so prevalent in calif and not else were for years..The spanish brought many colored horses grays as well and the Adobe Town herd is a predominant Gray herd and has equal spanish markers..and who gives a rats behind..what a wild horses DNA is??? Only people who want to impose qualifications..thanks Gus for nothing

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  24. Uh, excuse me – so all those 13th, 14th and 15th century paintings of cream and white Spanish horses were made up?

    Has this guy never been to a art museum or strolled through the pages of any art book? Don’t even need any science for this one – what a joke this guy is.

    Anyway, Cloud was already DNA tested and confirmed old spanish blood lines – it is documented in the first Cloud show.

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    • Roxy I seriously doubt the stroll into the world of art. To appreciate art requires knowledge and a certain depth of soul, not much of what you find with these soulless morons.

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  25. i’m having trouble pulling it up but pryor mountain blog has the latest (sept 2010) genetic analysis from gus cothran…….i’m having trouble pulling it up to post here but it’s on the pryor mountain mustang blog if you all want to read what gus said in it…..

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    • To quote from the document by Gus Cothran that Jo Bunny referenced:
      “The Pryor herd clearly has some mixed blood ancestry but shows strong evidence of old Spanish blood as well.”

      Guess Mr. French forgot to check for accuracy before he published his story.

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      • First, what is wrong with this 1980 blood line and what is the direct ancestry of that particular introduced herd? And what was the size of that herd and the Pryor herd at that time? There must be some documentation of this. Just to state that Clouds grandfather was introduced in 1980 tells me little to nothing about the topic.

        Second, every Cloud foal that breeds will ‘dilute’ it anyway.

        Third, BLM themselves keep saying that if a herd becomes genetically challenged they will just bring some horses in from other herds.

        I know slightly more about dogs than horses – so I know very little over all – But I do know that in countries where domesticated dog breeds (parts of S. and Central America, Mexico, Africa and, and across remote Eurasia) have formed feral dog societies, intermingled with native wild dogs and more currently integrated released domestic dogs, they all ‘dilute’ back to a primitive looking dog. The genetics, apparently, of all ‘human controlled un-naturally selected breeds for specific outcomes’ of dogs are less hardy than the primitive naturally selected ones.

        This would probably be true of horses as well? Over time, left alone, they would more and more develope dorsal, wither and leg stripes? Curious.

        In any event the horses have hsitorical value whether re-introudced 500 years ago or 200 years ago.

        The fact that a few more recent introductions have occured, like some intentional introdutions of quarter horses to certain herds I have heard about to increase the mustang size (have no real documentation and should never have happened intentionally – the wild horses are sized for their environment), is “only interesting’.

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  26. Good grief! Is the BLM now going to take what few horses they ahven’t managed to eradicate and start a selective breeding program? What part of WILD horses don’t they understand? Where the heck is this insanity coming from? They squawk because supposed ly these are non-native horses “introduced” from Europe and now they want to selectively breed them for the European bloodlines??? Can’t they all find another cause to vent their idiocy on?

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  27. BLM is resorting to Games with us !!!! Whether or not Cloud has had a DNA proving he is Spanish decent, do we really think they wont do what they say !!!! I think not, they are Brutal murdering Bastards with a license to do so !!! They will do whatever they want !!! Whos going to stop them???? Nobody yet can ????

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  28. This has gotten way past ignorant! Are “they” really stupid enough to think that America will believe them? That America will let them get away with going after Cloud, of all wild horses!!?? Cloud is world famous, are they that CRAZY!! There will be no end to this blatant, barbaric abuse, UNLESS we STOP them!! The White House should consider itself “lucky”, if they don’t end up getting death threats!! If Mr. Obama doesn’t stop this right now, we HAVE to take matters into our own hands, call every news station & media in the country, &, the world, get MAJOR international involvment, ASAP!We can NOT let the assinine BLM go after Cloud & his family, again, or, let them destroy him, & all he stands for! WHERE are all the wild horse rescue groups & sanctuaries? Cloud needs ALL of them to save him!

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  29. Going after Cloud again , Its a war game fashioned right at the BLM………………….They are trying to provoke all of America flaunting their power !! This is unbelievable……………………..President Obama , needs to know about this ploy……..They will destroy every horse just to prove their POWER !!!! This is totally ridiculous………………….. They are so very STUPID !!!! 3rd grade Mentality over there!

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  30. I think as many people that can, should get together & make immediate plans to fly or drive out to where Cloud is. We NEED a definite plan of action to stop the BLM in their tracks, perhaps we can all make a gigantic human fence barricade between Cloud & “them”.They will have to get through all of us to get to the horses! I have had ENOUGH, I’m ready to buy my round trip airline tickets right away. HELP, R.T., we need more specific info. on how to help, where to go, what to do, etc. The BLM is playing the “stupid” game, it doesn’t matter what color the horses are, this is just as much of a vendetta against us, as it is against the wild horses, only now they’re dangling Cloud in front of us, using him as “bait” to get even with us! Speaking of color, perhaps Mr. Obama seems to have forgotten that he’s the first man of “color” to sit in the White House, as commander in chief, this little story SHOULD get his attention, but, I don’t really think he gives a damn about anything but his fancy speeches!! Sorry! Had to vent, enough is ENOUGH!!

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  31. This is more threatening and very real distraction by BLM and cronies from us doing the other battles with BLM; stop the roundups, save the wild ones. But now they will have us fight for the public ear even online, twice as hard. Misdirection that is a real threat will have people peel off and rightfully work to save Cloud, who like all of our wild horses, is an innocent being used by BLM to harm the campaign to protect the devastated wild herds. They will do anything, are doing all they can to stop Us! This is a vendetta to them and real tough war for us. But our advantage is our base in truth and preservation of our returned native wild horses. They belong No Where Else. The continued attempt to destroy them flies in the face of reason. mar

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  32. I hate to say it but the wild horse is on its last legs. They say their are 22 to 33,000 wild horses running in America and that’s not true, if their are 16,000 we would be lucky. We spent so much time lobbing and suing we didn’t notice that the horses were going away. Most states cried that we were losing the mustang but they all said I don’t want them here. They are going away because one did anything those few voices in the wilderness are now just echos fading into the wind. The indignation and outrage that is being put forth now will also subside and the people of America will say when the wild horses is gone, isn’t it a shame and I remember when they ran free.

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    • I agree with you but for one thing, many of us know how few are likely left and have tried all we can to stop this and yet it happened. Many of us have been watching this and speaking out and writing the comments… and some of us have been at the roundups. But to win we need more than what we have all been putting into this, apparently. mar

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  33. Think back–Salazar’s Zoo and the “Treasured Herds” designation to make “certain” wild horse herds “treasured” (for eco tourism) while justifying zeroing out other herds not carrying “Spanish” blood. Jim Sparks didn’t think this up on his own–this is coming straight from DC—and it is a diversion from the roundup fiascos and deaths of our wild horses. Why all the sudden is the BLM paying for expensive DNA genetic studies and who is doing the interpretting of these studies? The beauty of our wild horses is that they are hardy creatures that have survived generations in our western lands and it is not up to the BLM to “play god” by selecting who gets to live or die. Obviously they don’t much care when they put the lives of these horses in the hands of the helicopter wranglers.

    http://blogs.westword.com/latestword/2010/06/ken_salazar_frustration_riding.php

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  34. ONCE AGAIN I AM OUTRAGED! SHAME ON THE “BILLINGS GAZETTE”!!!!! It is our Local Paper…I’m ashamed of them and will NEVER buy Again!!! And of course I will be passing the word!!!

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      • Funny You said that! 😀 I’m not a daily “paper reader’ like some, but I do know some things I’ve read are questionable, to say the least, Plus I have heard lots of Locals talk about how like so many papers etc these days, are pretty much run by a select few or ‘particular’ political party etc. I just wish Papers would print “truth News’ I’m finding anything you seem to read nowadays, once you’ve read it, best hit the internet and start researching what you’ve read, Then try & figure it out ;-P

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  35. The BLM could give two craps about bloodlines, but it remains Cloud is a living breathing Wild mustang, no matter what else thats all we need to know he belongs in the Pryer mts, and there he will stay !!!!!! End of Story !!!!

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  36. The BLM knows that every color that exists in the USA today has Spanish heritage. The Spanish brought over every color even what we call Appy’s today. Cloud is wild horse that’s enough and that’s what the weekend and corp. ranchers want off the land, the wild horse. Most of the ranchers who respect the land refer to the BLM ranchers as Welfare ranchers. They overgraze the land and then move on and have no respect for the land the livestock or the western way of life. The true rancher cowboy/cowgirl will tell everything has a place including the wild horse. It was their back this nation was built on , they fed us when we were hungry, transported us when we were weak and help us build this nation into what it is today. Its a shame that the people of America have turned their back on the mustang, because we all know if enough people were outraged then it would be stopped.

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  37. Really? This is the best attack their brains could come up with besides continuing the stampeeds – well bravo BLM your stupidity knows no bounds and my toddler even has more sense then you seemingly do.
    What this tells me is that the BLM is truly being affected by what we are doing. We need to stay strong & clearminded and not be rash. We need to keep the pressure up! ITS WORKING! They’re fishing for ways to discredit us. So they’re throwing a feeler out to see what the reaction is on ways to punish us by once again using the beautiful equines as pawns and attempting to get peopel to resort to breaking laws just like them. Not surprising though truly they’d be beyond daft at potentially lashing out at such a grand symbol of freedom. For each horse they stampede or harm in any way it’s only strengthening our resolve. But we cannot stoop to such low sludge as them and discredit all that’s been accomplished.They are hanging themselves and even making their own rope to do it with.

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  38. That’s a funny conclusion…I mean the Chincoteague Ponies are of the same decent and come in all the horse colors of the damn rainbow!!
    Also I found this –
    Chestnut, Palomino, Buckskin and the ‘creams’ – accepted as Andalusian Horse colours, popular as Spanish stallions and mares of unusual coats.
    and this on Wiki-
    When the breed was first developed, most coat colors were found, including spotted patterns.[1] Today, around 80 percent of all Andalusians are gray. Of the remaining horses, approximately 15 percent are bay and 5 percent are black, dun or palomino or chestnut.[5] Other colors, such as buckskin, pearl, and cremello, are rare, but are recognized as allowed colors by the International Andalusian and Lusitano Horse Association
    SOO if anything the Creams should be protected as that is being breed out in domestic populations!

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  39. Agreed 200%. Yes it’s nice to keep our Spaish breeds as pure as we can & BLM better get it through their THICK HEADS that Spaish Palomino’s are a rear & Important coloring.
    They also need to realize that not ALL MUSTANGS in the 10 States that have Mustangs carry the Spanich genes but WE LOVE THEM & WANT THEM NO MATTER WHAT!
    One Mad Woman!

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  40. The BLM is feeling the rope start to get smaller and smaller around their neck. So who do these heartless people go after ? Cloud. First of all, how do they know if he is of Spanish blood ? Have they captured him and his offspring to run DNA test? No they haven’t. These people who claim that they have the horses interest at heart are going after Cloud and his offspring because our Goverment is finally starting to listen to our concerns about the BLM. We have to continue to be the voices for the horses and keep Cloud and his family running free.

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  41. Unfortunately this would not shock me one bit. During the last round up a few years ago at the Pryor Mountains, I started to do a great deal of research to figure out why such a small herd of Mustangs would be targeted by the BLM as many times as they had. What I found was very disturbing. The situation with the Pryor Mountain Mustangs is definitely not the same as the other herds that have been removed.

    I started my research with a the person that was in the process of helping the BLM at the time of the round up to figure out which horses would be released and which ones would not. His name is Matt Dillon and he works for the Pryor Mountain Mustang Center. They are well know to give tours of the wild horses and they claim to be concerned with the preservation of the herd. At that time I emailed Matt Dillon to ask him more about this situations. He preached to me many things about genetic preservation and gene pools and stating that his biggest concern was making sure that this herd was as strong as it could be genetically. He was the one that would be chosen to recommend which horses were to be removed from the herd and which ones would be released back in the herd. Seeing that he was not an expert in this field, I was even more troubled. Who was really making the recommendations and how were they being made?

    The Pryor Mountain Mustang Center has done nothing to stop these cruel round ups. The Cloud Foundation has done everything it possibly can and they are both supposed to be the same and concerned with the preservation of this same herd. Digging more I realized that the board members of the Pryor Mountain Mustang Center are some of the same breeders there at the Pryor Mustang Breeders Association.

    The Pryor Mountain Breeders Association state it right on their web site:

    ” To supply horses to restore a depleted Pryor herd, due to sickness or other catastrophic events, should that ever happen.”

    At this time the web site has been removed but I have copied and documented it from archives.

    I believe the breeders association is interested in doing this because of the following statement on the Carnahan Ranch breeders web sites:

    “RARE BREED BECOMES EVEN MORE RARE”

    “The BLM has been experimenting on the herd with methods to control herd size to eliminate future roundups of Pryor Mountain Horses. Using an immunocontraceptive known as PZP (Porcine Zona Pellucida) the BLM hopes to keep herd size at range capacity. The PZP and natural predation will eliminate the need for future roundups. Eliminating the Pryor Mustangs from roundups will in effect close access to the breed. The only way to acquire a Pryor Mountain Mustang is from a private breeder. At present there are only two breeders known to us, Carnahan Ranch and the Hartmans. Feel free to contact us for information on how you can own one of these wonderful horses.”

    If you read what Sue Cattoor ( wife if Dave Cattoor) who was hired for this roundup recently says on her web site, she claims that the BLM and the Pryor Mountain Mustang Center agree that the need to gather the horses and remove them is because of inbreeding. She had stated the following to me:

    “These wild horses are not genetically pure. Other horses have been introduced over the years.”

    She also tries to quote Dr. Gus Cothran, a professor at Texas A&M University who specializes in horse genetics who had said the following,

    “In the short term, the Pryor mustang herd won’t be hurt by a reduction from 188 animals to around 130, he said. The Bureau of Land Management, the federal agency in charge of the herd, had originally proposed removing about 70 animals. But the roundup ended Wednesday before the agency reached its target. In its new management plan, BLM is proposing a maximum herd of 120 animals, excluding the current year’s foals.” “The concern in keeping only 120 horses on the range, Cothran said, is the threat of a potential die-off that could reduce the herd even further, reducing the herd’s genetic diversity. In the Pryor horses’ favor if such an event should occur, though, is that the horses that have been adopted out could be used to recharge the herd in such a dire situation.”

    Of course we know this not to be true and we know that over the past years The Pryor Mountain Mustang Breeders Association has introduced new horses when needed, NOT the ones that were removed.

    And although he states that it could reduce the herd even further as being a possibility, he never mentions that inbreeding was an issue at the Pryors. In fact, The Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center had quoted him saying in a letter earlier this year that.

    ” The higher the effective population size , the less chance there will be for inbreeding to occur.” He does go on to state that “the population size is what determines the genetic diversity within the population and thus how genetically viable the population is”.

    He states that the herd will not be hurt by a reduction of 188 to 130 ONLY because other horses can be added later if necessary. He admits that keeping the herd at 120 on the range could propose a risk of reducing the herd’s genetic diversity which is exactly what he later says can cause inbreeding. I see Sue Cattoor trying to twist what he has said. I hardly think it is okay to remove some horses just to add new ones later to SAVE THE HERD.

    Of course I am not a breeder that wants to add “new bloodlines” into the herd. I am just an everyday person that believes that it is unfair to remove ” some horses” from a herd knowing that it will become genetically un-viable only to add new ones in later. And stating that the ones that were adopted out would be the horses that would be added in at a later time is what I would call a flat out lie. The BLM is helping a breeding operation to breed better horses. It is just that simple, and we are flipping the bill. It is outrageous to remove just ONE of these horses to add even ONE other at a late time. The cost to remove just ONE horse is outrageous.

    It is not the job for the BLM to worry about genetic bloodlines of wild horses or gene pools. They are there to manage the land and nothing more. When the BLM starts to work with breeders of Mustangs that have specific interests, it becomes apparent for me as to why this small herd has been targeted and why Cloud may now be targeted as well, but rest assured that if Cloud is removed, it will not be the doing of the BLM but rather the decision of Matt Dillion and the Breeders that he works for.

    Since he color of Cloud is in question, I thought I would also point out that Pryor Mustangs can come in all colors.

    The Carnahan ranch site states the following:

    “Color: Pryor Mountain Mustangs come in all colors, with dominant colors of Dun, Red Dun, Grullo, Black, Bay, Blue and Red Roans, sorrel, Brown and Chestnut. Paints are not typical of the Pryor Mountain Horses. Many Pryor Mountain Mustangs are born showing evidence of the striped legs common to the grullo and dun, primitive horse color markings. As they grow into adulthood, solid color horses stripes disappear.”

    The Pryor Mountain Mustang Center and The Pryor Mustang Breeders Association have crawled into bed with the Cattoors and the BLM. Like I had told Ginger Kathrens of The Cloud Foundation, sometimes the enemy smiles in your face!

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  42. Yah… I like that idea, Carlos.
    And I’d still like to see BLM and their hired roundup thugs be held accountable for the crimes they have done. And that is also going to take money to hire attorneys who will not only be willing to take on the the case… but be determined to WIN – for the Horses and Burros!

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  43. We have been doing it here and now have 30,000 acres plus and are hoping to buy another 1700 acres this year. This is just a few individuals workin together. We have over 200 head protected.

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  44. GUESS WHAT I FOUND!! PROOF that Cloud IS of the Spanish herd blood lines.
    YouTube clip “NATURE | Cloud’s Legacy: The Wild Stallion Returns | Roundup”
    The URL for that clip is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfywu-ycBoM&feature=related
    Watch from 1:42 min.
    At 2:05 min. it describes the blood tests done on all captured horses, including Cloud’s captured family and Cloud himself. It says the TESTS PROVE Cloud is of Spanish blood lines.
    I wonder who managed to “lose” that piece of documentation in the BLM files – for them NOW to be saying he isn’t.
    Creating new “facts” or whatever it takes to benefit their plan to wipe out all the wild horses and burros, I guess.

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