Horse News

Utah Woman Fights to Save Wild Horses

Story by Salt Lake’s ABC News 4

Sonya Richins Speaks Out in Defense of Native Wild Horses

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) –Utah has dozens of wild horse and burrow herds but now some say the mustangs and burros, along with those nationwide, are in danger. Two Bureau of Land Management roundups are planned in July. There is growing fear taking more animals from the wild could lead to the western icon’s extinction.

Sonya Richins has several horses; two are wild mustangs, adopted from the BLM.  “They are a living breathing symbol of the United States. They carry history on their backs.”

Richins says she is trying to protect the wild mustangs as an icon of the American West. “It would be a sad day if you can’t go out in the wild and see a wild horse herd running. It’s one of the most majestic powerful things I have every seen in my life. It touches your heart, it’s amazing.”

She says forty thousand wild horses and burros have run from the wild, into holding Bureau of Land Management holding pens nationwide. “There are less than fifteen thousand left in the wild and in July they are scheduling more roundups. They are rounding up eight to ten thousand more mustangs.”

The BLM disputes her numbers saying the current range population is more than 38-thousand, and greater than in 1971 when an Act was passed to protect the animals. The BLM does not dispute that there are tens of thousand of horses in holding facilities, and admits tens of millions of tax payer dollars are spent annually to keep them there. The BLM says the wild horses and burros are removed from public lands to ensure both rangeland and horse health. Richins says she believes there are other motives at play. “They are actually leasing the land back to cattle and mineral extraction, mining and coal mining”

Richins group wants the government to reconsider how tax dollars are spent on the wild horses and burros before removing any more from the wild. “Helping fund private equine sanctuaries where the animals are safe, giving incentives to cattlemen to have wild horses on their lands.” ‘

She says the wild horses have not only earned their place in history, they have earned the right to a future. “They deserve respect and to be treated humanely.”

Richins is asking Utahns to contact their representatives in Washington on behalf of the animals. A petition drive is now underway. To find out more you can visit her website at

12 replies »

  1. This is great. Another advocate for the wild horses and burros. I hope she can garner more publicity to get the American citizen that doesn’t know what’s going on to demand the BLM to stop their roundups. One more person to help our beautiful, majestic wild horses and burros helps spread the word that they need help.


  2. Is this BLM outfit an offshoot of Adolph Hitler-s neo Nazi outfit.Am very surprised that Obama a Black man would be party to such a Scum outfit.


    • I doubt if the president knows or cares anything about the wild horses or the wolves or anything that is endangered in wildlife.


      • Well then lets make him aware,the only way an Evil Poltico becomes aware when he starts getting pushed off the gravy-train.I receive about 3 letters a day from his cohorts asking for money to keep this president in power in 2012.I would sooner vote for Adolph Hitler.
        But if all wrote to Obama and told him that all would not be voting Democrats in the next election I reckon that might be a WAKE-UP Call.


  3. I fully support Sonya’s intent and am proud that she is from Utah. Sort of makes up for the embarrassing fact the BLM’s primary wild horse stampede contractors are also based in Utah. When I began writing to my Utah senators and representative about this subject a couple of years ago, all I got in return was the same old crap BLM has been feeding them for years about populations and range capacities. Since the disgustingly inhumane and cruelty so well documented in the recent Antelope Complex operation and others their tone has shifted to agreement that this needs to be looked into more deeply. Keep hammering at your representatives no matter where you live and stress the urgency to stop the roundups that BLM is using to decimate what still remains of OUR wild herds and the cruel methods being used. Those points seem to elicit the most positive responses. The only way it will be stopped is if congress steps up and does it by kicking the BLM completely out of the equine management picture. That would entail massive bureacratic changes but, as I see it, that is the only way saving the remnants of the Mustangs can happen. The equine related corruption in the BLM runs too deep to be corrected by firing a few honchos.


  4. I am also fully supporting Sonyas attempt to save Our Icons the backbone of America………….. The fear of losing them forever is real and we all must do everything we can to STOP THE BLM …………..The BLM is a corrupted Agency hell bent on zeroing out the Wild Mustangs…………………


  5. This is an interesting article with some good pictures…circa 2005. Has this HMA been Zeroed Out by BLM? These people, while clearly enjoying the Wild Horses, did believe the MYTH.

    Onaqui Mountains HMA, Utah

    We were fascinated to notice that at some unheard signal known only to the horses, the separate bands would come together as a huge band when it was time to go to water, then they would all arrange in single file and move out. It seemed as if each band stallion would yield authority at these times to become one unified group that seemed to move with one mind. During the trek to water there were no squabbles among the horses, no noticable anxiety among the stallions as the mares and young of the various smaller bands all mingled together
    Clearly these horses are fit and healthy. They seem able to find everything they need to thrive in this environment.


    • Thank You Louie, i enjoyed all the photos there………………….. Especially the ones where the are FREE to Roam, the others you can see their despair……… loved the horse in the water, also when they all come together there , their are no disputes………..What a beautiful site !!!!


  6. You are right on Sonja. Please keep up the excellent job you are
    doing. I see from all the emails the mission to save Americas
    Mustangs and Burros is snow balling. Thank God for people willing
    to blow the whistle on this corruption. The corruption must stop and
    I believe Americans are waking up to the fact that we have been
    lied to for too many years. I watched Carol King’s interview with
    Joe on MSNBC. I sent an email to the show and said Carol only
    touched the surface of a very serious problem with the Mustangs
    and Burros. In the email I said that there was a story there,
    whether they follow up I do not know. The media today is also
    controlled by greed and corruption and I’m sure if it means
    stepping on someone’s toes, it will not be told. But one can only
    hope that God will allow the truth to prevail.


  7. Go Sonya!!! Let us all band together to save these horses and burros! They are getting perilously low! Calling my representatives tomorrow! Calling the White House again!! What else can we do….we need to do as much as we can…Blessings to all!


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