First Published on SFTHH in May of 2010
It’s now been a year since the seizure at convicted wild horse abuser, Jason Meduna’s 3-Strikes Ranch.
Many thoughts come into play when we think of the events one year ago as so many stories were written, so much was lost and new hope, for a few, was born again. Each of us remembers with shock and horror when Habitat for Horses President, Jerry Finch, took the lead and with the help of the local Sheriff seized the 200+ starving survivors on April 22nd, 2009. I, personally, felt the shock and the outrage from the wanton neglect that led to the slow death of dozens of wild horses and I equally shook with fear at the realization that we now were responsible for 200 additional horses and how would we cope. But these are separate stories, ones to be told when the time is right.
Instead, today, we would like to share with you the story of an individual and family that knew of the trouble, first, that were witness to the brutality and had to live next door to the evil that is Jason Meduna and his wife.
Long before the good folks on the ABR forum urged Jerry Finch to go and investigate 3-Strikes, this “Good Neighbor” was blowing the whistle on Meduna but no one was listening. Through pictures and personal testimony she attempted to get the proper authorities to listen yet her laments fell upon deaf ears. And then when all was said and done the corrupt and disgusting Meduna, along with his buddy Ray Fields, pointed fingers at her and her friends claiming that the good neighbors were at fault. When that lie failed to gain traction Fields went down a demented path that some strange sickness possessed the horses and still the property next to the good neighbor was littered with bones and bodies, never cleaned up by Meduna and his twisted spouse.
Today we share with you the anniversary perspective from the woman who suffered long before any of us were aware of Meduna and who continues to suffer, today, from witnessing the evil that walked on two legs and killed wild horses as a hobby and pastime. Her name is Vicki Freiberger and this is her story, in her words and through her eyes.
We bless her for bearing witness. ~ R.T.
The Anniversary of
the Death of 3 Strikes Ranch
There is a lot of discussion happening
about what should the actual date be
which would mark the anniversary of the
saving of the horses that remained
in the hands of Jason Meduna,
or you could call it the
end of 3 Strikes Mustang Ranch.
It would seem natural that the date would be when
the last surviving horse was removed from the hell hole
that engulfed so many others; a final count that will
never be known for sure as to how many perished.
We will never know how many innocent babies died,
out in those sand dunes of Nebraska.
The land so abused, as abused as the horses;
in the care of Meduna and his wife.
For myself, the first anniversary was March 6 of 2010.
I started taking pictures long before that day of March 6, 2009,
but it was that Friday afternoon that he walked
out of the trailer, and noticed me on my 4-wheeler.
It was Friday, March 6, that he saw me taking pictures.
It was that afternoon:
he knew that I knew.
This picture was taken Saturday, April 10, 2010
It is already different from when I first saw it earlier. My mom stands in the background. That day Mom, Dad, and I went to the bone pile. They had never seen it; in person. As we crested the hill and the bones were in their view for the first time, there was a little gasp. My dad said, “That’s not right.” My mom said, “Oh my God.” It is hard to imagine someone just dragging a bunch of horses to a pile and leaving them to rot. It’s hard to imagine until you stand at the pile, and those bones become bodies of helpless, loving and innocent horses. Horses of all ages. A baby laying by it’s mom in bones over the hill. A sight that those who were out there could have seen, if they just could have been allowed off the trail, because the trail was so close. Many would have driven right by this pile….they did not hear the cries of the horses. They did not listen. They listened to Jason. Now, people are listening. The horses and burros will always be remembered. Time will go on, more horses will have unimaginable endings somewhere else, but some horses will be saved…. By loving, unselfish people who do what they do, because they are called? or because they just know they are needed. So in their compassion they reach out and give all they can to help. They do this time and time again. The strength they have is something I cannot imagine; but it is something I could only hope to be blessed with. Thank you Mom and Dad for all you helped me with during this whole entire ordeal. And thank all the people who had anything to do with the saving of these wonderful animals.
One of my favorite songs, “Bless the Beasts and the Children”…I think I’ll go sit down at my piano now. I haven’t played this in ages. I imagine I’ll have a whole new perspective on the song.
Visit Vicki’s touching and heart rending blog by clicking (HERE)
Copyrighted Photographs reproduced with Permission, not for redistribution.