Horse News

Knappster: Wild Horses Targeted For Possible Slaughter

By George Knapp, Chief Investigative Reporter – bio | email – of KLAS TV, Las Vegas Nevada

“but one horse for every 575 acres is one too many…”

photo by Terry Fitch

LAS VEGAS — Any wild horse advocates who were hoping for big changes when the Texas cowboy president gave way to the urbanite from Chicago have been sorely disappointed. During the past four years, the number and pace of wild horse roundups have seemingly increased.

Millions of acres that were set aside by federal law to be the permanent home of wild horse herds have been zeroed out, that is, wiped clean of mustangs, though thousands of private cattle have been allowed to remain on the public lands. And each time a roundup operation is undertaken by the Bureau of Land Management, horses are terrorized, injured and killed while running across miles of rocky terrain.

In-depth Coverage of Nevada’s Wild Horses

Now comes word of a new — some say insidious — plan to remove every single mustang from a gigantic area: the 575,000 acre Sheldon Wildlife Refuge in northern Nevada, along the Oregon line. The government thinks there are less than 1,000 horses in that vast area, but one horse for every 575 acres is one too many, and they all have to go. The irony of removing wild horses from a wildlife refuge is not lost on the mustang advocates, but they’re not laughing. That’s because unlike mustangs captured by the BLM, these horses will almost certainly end up at a slaughterhouse, and then on the dinner plate of horse flesh fans in France or Japan.

The Sheldon refuge is controlled not by the BLM, but by the Fish and Wildlife Agency, and that agency figures it does not have to abide by the same laws that offer minimal protection to mustangs on BLM land. Both agencies are under the Department of the Interior, so we wanted to ask the head guy, the Secretary of Interior, “What’s the deal?” Our I-Team colleague Steve Sebelius interviewed Secretary Ken Salazar via satellite about the roundup…

Click (HERE) to visit KLAS, read the interview, view the video and to comment

42 replies »

  1. The BLM has never got there figures right on anything !!!!!!!!!! They have no right to even be involved with the Wild mustangs , are they really authorized to do anything else but preserve and protect them ???????? I dont believe so !!!!!!!

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  2. After reading the rest of Knapp’s piece, all I can say is, “OMG!”

    Slaughterczar actually says about the Sheldon removal by USF&W, “I don’t know about that”!!!!!!

    I’m not kidding.

    OMG!

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      • Dear Chris, the Punishment should fit the CRIMES in this case, I was thinking something along the lines of Tar and feathering and run out of America , Just thinking out loud !!!!!!

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    • He’s playing the nut roll..playing stupid and I’m sure that he’s been covering up any info to Obama or lying through his teeth.

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    • The only thing we got with Romney is that his wife loves and ownes horses and he has first hand on how wonderful they are. Maybe if he gets in she can take on the welfare of horses as her mission. You know kind of like Obama took on kids health. Oh, well its that important to many of us.

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      • Lynette, In the world that Ann Romney occupies and that I have been in (dressage at the National and International levels), most people who are “into” dressage and hunter/jumpers couldn’t care less about Mustangs, QH’s, Arabians, etc. We’re talking Warmbloods, anglo-WB’s, big, talented Thoroughbreds, etc; those are the horses they are interested in, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Ann Romney sneers at Mustangs, or if not that, wouldn’t feel they have any value for anything except as little trick horses, backyard peoples horses, etc (and I’ve been a trainer for nearly 40 years in dressage, hunter/jumpers, some western events, driving, etc, however, when I moved to Nevada 20 years ago and met Mustangs, I was hooked on their intelligence, their beauty —-even the ones with the classic Mustang roman-nosed head! —— their loyalty, their hardiness, etc, but I can tell you, many/most of the dressage and hunter/jumper people I knew in So. CA think Mustangs are dinks and worthless).
        At those levels too, horses are usually a means to an end and what this means is that they “love” horses to the extent the horse can do something for them like win, or produce foals, make them look good, give them power, etc. When the horses usefulness is over, a lot of people in those areas of involvement in the horse world don’t care too much about what happens to their horse, so they may sell them as a “school horse” to pack people around in lessons, they might sell to backyard people with the problem being many are on drugs to keep them sound for showing, so they get kinda crippled up when the drugs wear off in their new homes and then go through the kill sale, etc. That level of horses is not what you think it is unless you’ve actually been there and seen it; pretty ugly in many ways actually.
        What I’m saying is please don’t count on Ann Romney to give a single thought regarding “saving” the wild horses because I don’t think that will happen in a million years.

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  3. When it comes to sucking resources at the expense of humans, wildlife and the land…..Republicans and Democrats are equally culpable. Doesn’t matter who is in office….to a point….some just dress up the pig better than other candidates.

    They both STINK! I still think we can shame Obama into doing the right thing. Maybe.

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    • I’m not happy with Obama at all on this issue (horse slaughter AND wild horses being managed primarily in the wild) however, I think we have a much better chance of forcing the issue on Obama if we have 4 more years then if we have to start over with Romney.

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      • You really have a point. Obama isn’t going to do anything right now, because Nevada leans Democratic. Don’t want to upset any corporate and Rollex ranchers, mineral companies and energy wildcatters. There might be a chance to slow down or have BLM and USFWS work with advocates if Obama gets another term. Otherwise, I don’t believe Mitt or Ann would do anything for the wild ones as beautiful as they are, because these people do not see that beauty. It’s only money they see. Heck the Olympic horses were sold two days after winning gold for their owners. “I’ll Have Another” was sold to a farm in Japan for 10 Million, because they bid higher than those in Kentucky. What is happening in the Nevada range of Sheldon is an outrage. These people should never, ever work with wildlife, and instead they should be punished appropriately for animal abuse.

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      • Im sorry, i do not believe that we have any chance of saving the mustangs with Obama as president. Everyone thinks he is such a nice guy, but there is a whole other side to him that is cold, ruthless, and calculating. I can sense these undertones every time i hear him speak, which is why i did not elect him the first time. At least Romney has a heart and compassion, as proved by the accounts of the people in his church have stated about he helped them through rough times. I just dont get the vibes from Romney that he has ulterior motives about our country and what it stands for and i think he would be much more willing to listen to our concerns about saving the mustangs than Obama would.

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      • Bottom line, Romney is a corporatist, and its the corporations that I see taking over all of our public land where I live and that I am surrounded by (as a matter of fact, cattle guards and fencing is being strung even as I write this on Hwy 50 on the way to Fallon where the cattle last year kept getting hit on the hwy crossing over to Lahontan Resevoir and also over on Hwy 95 on the west side on the way over to Fernley from Silver Springs where we do not have cattle turned out but I am positive we will see grazing out there this winter and will prompt more wild horse captures because that side of the highway is usually where the wild horses are)…..follow the money trail when it comes to the corporations and the people who have made their livings and their money by being associated with them….and I’m sorry, but corporate raiders do not have hearts…….

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      • Judith:

        If you think Romney is better (I said before, both STINK)….I can’t help you.

        Not sure…check Baine Capital’s record and Prez Obama. Not much difference really.

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  4. They all need to realize that it is “political suicide” to harm these Federally Protected Wild Horses and Burros. Remember when one of our Presidents picked his Beagle up by the ears? He NEVER lived that down.

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    • This President continually turns a blind eye to the Wild Mustangs, I have called , emailed and begged for an answer Never in 4 yrs has he ever gave an answer to any of my calls or emails, it is highly unlikely her ever will????????? I have given this the best of me and nothing ever!!!!!! To me he has committed political suicide , this is so important an issue I can have no respect for for anyone who does not even address this issue……………………….

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  5. All I know is that if an agency, DOI can separate wild wild equines by states and their own internal directorates (BLM v USFG&WS) and USDA with their Forestry Service are allowed to whack wild equines like this….then that 1971 Act is a pile of dead equine compost.

    There is something seriously wrong with that law…as many advocates have said for a long time.

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  6. If I am wrong, I will rejoice and be glad about it, but there is nothing in President Barack Obama’s personal or political history that indicates he would have any at interest in intervening on behalf of wild horses and burros. NOTHING!

    The very idea that R. T., an American citizen traveled all the way from China to Washington, D. C., to deliver the letters wild horse and burro letters to the President along with his wife and another U.S. veteran, Jerry Finch, but the President did not even have two minutes to shake their hands fairly shouts at us. To be sure, the timing was most unfortunate. Nonetheless, the President has time to call the PIMP WITH THE LIMP so that his conversation could then be broadcast over every air wave and pictured with text in every media outlet in America for campaign purposes. Are you kidding me? He can go on Letterman, fly to Nevada for a campaign trip, take time to appear with Jayzee and Beyonce and drink $700 or $800 champagne, and you think that it is Romney that has a values problem.

    Here you have a candidate who has become interested in horses and has purchased his own horse to trail ride with his wife, has gotten so into Dressage that he selected music for Rafalca’s free-style routine, and yes, he claimed $77,000 on his tax returns for Rafalca’s expenses as passive losses that resulted in a savings of $50.00 of income returns. What seems to escape our advocacy is the understanding that if you own all or part of a horse that may earn income through any source, such as competing for a championship worth $10,000, $20,000, or $30,000 or breeding, you are required by law to declare those earnings as income if those earnings exceed an amount that varies from state to state. In my state, for a horse business owner who is not also a equine farm based business, the requirement to report is $7,000. Rafalca is co-owned with two other parties who are also required by law to report any income earned from Rafalca’s earnings.

    For the media who have no interest in the horse business and no experience in the horse business or any long term interest in better understanding how the horse industry works, so they can more effectively work to achieve their objectives of saving wild equines and burros and preventing horse slaughter, a little reporting ignorance is scarcely acceptable. But if we prefer the comfort of our uninformed beliefs to the uncomfortable truths we might find if we just investigate a little bit, it makes no more sense at all.

    As for the so called fraudulent sale of Mrs. Romney’s doped up horse, I have been investigating this story through multiple approaches including asking my veterinarian who has attended the same AAEP conferences and presented at them that Steven Soule, the paid-for-by-the-plaintiff DVM whose unprofessional and highly provocative opinion, i repeat, opinion, not verifiable and therefore, not fact, was used to create the sensationalized headlines and defame Mrs. Romney, and his comments were included that it was ridicules to think that Mrs. Romney who was not present during the exam would have any idea about the number of drugs in the horse’s system during the exam. He also told me that what was in the horse’s system could be found in about 75% of the horses that board at my barn—-he is not the vet for all the horses, so that is his opinion based on knowledge of local practice regarding similar populations of horses used for similar purposes…

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    • With all respect, I disagree. I don’t disagree with many of your facts…I disagree with your opinions and conclusion.

      Vote for whomever you want…it doesn’t appear any one candidate will save our National Icons.

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  7. When my mustang’s teeth are floated, she needs to be sedated, and I have also sponsored hoof trimmings for another mustang who was suspected of having and treated for EPM, and he not only needed to be sedated but required the support of several people to help him maintain balance. The vet stayed the whole time, and helped in every way he could. And yes, these horses are very, very dopey for a relatively brief time. It is true that Mrs. Romney bought Super Hits in Germany with her trainer and was told at the time she purchased him that he had some problems with a foot that could be addressed effectiely by periodic injections—-which is very common. Despite this vets bluster, a quick check should inform you if you didn’t know before, that the AAEP has not adopted any standard, required pre-purchase examination. In fact, you can find Dr. Soule’s only summary of the subject at TheHorse.com, but essentially he says, the question is whether or not a particular horse is suitable for the intended purpose of the rider. This horse was seen and treated by two different veterinarians, one of whom perfored surgery on Super Hits. Clearly, if he had considered Super Hits’s injury untreatable, he would not have done the surgery in the first place. So, here you have an expert witness essentially discarding the decisions of two other veterinarians.

    However, there was an fourth drug not provided by either veterinarian according to the toxicology study, and that drug should not have been there in the horse’s system during a pre-purchase exam or during any FEI competition. As an FEI veterinarian who used Super Hits’ score sheets to come to the conclusion that his injury was chronic, he should also have been aware that as he and Mrs. Romney won their classes and ascended through the FEI Dressage ranks to the Grand Prix level, FEI requires each first place horse and one randomly chosen horse to be tested for any of a long list of substances banned for use during FEI competitions, but not necessarily banned to treat pain or other conditions when not in competition.

    If you spend much time around horses, one sad irony you discover is that horses for all their strength and speed are amazingly adept at injuring themselves just playing around in the pasture. Unfortunately, this happens despite vigilant maintenance of fences and pasture. This is why we tell school children to stop their horseplay. There is no way to know that Super Hits injury was a result of training, idiopathic structure, or from something that happened in the pasture.

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    • What I’m noticing the most from your writings HorseHugs is that you don’t appear to have much in the way of practical knowledge of the high dollar horse show world other than what you read….until you’ve seen first hand what occurs with show horses getting injections routinely when in as recent as the late ’70’s most show horses might have gotten bute (often to illegal levels) and were also tranqed to calm them for showing (also illegal, but done by many trainers anyway to make up for their training inabilities), but we didn’t see much in the way of joint injections to keep horses held together enough to compete, you wouldn’t understand just how habituated people have become to drugging when people used to be more appalled and disdainful abut drugging horses “back in the day”…..the “win at all costs” attitude is the name of the game nowadays, but there are those of us who will always feel it is entirely unacceptable to have to drug the hell out of a horse in order to show them….human athletes know they may hurt their bodies when they compete in certain sports but they make the decision to do it anyway….horses don’t have that choice, and I have more than a few horses that have been at our rescue who were throwaways and it was up to us to give them a dignified, humane death when they were in too much pain after the people who hurt them were long gone…….

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  8. What you won’t pick up from your Buzzfeed or Care2.petition is that the expert witness resides practices in Wellington, Florida, which the center of the Dressage, Hunter-Jumper, and Polo World during the winter months. During the summer months, most of these same people travel north to compete in New Jersey, the Hamptons, and other places. This veterinarian resides in Palm Beach County, Florida, in the very heartbeat of the ultra-wealthy, ultra-liberal society where just about the worst faux pas you can commit is to be a conservative. It is a place where people pay cash for homes well over a million dollars. Yet, there was no other vet closer to San Diego who could serve as a paid-for-by-the-plaintiff expert witness testimony than this Palm Beach/Wellington Fl. veterinarian.

    I am not going to attribute motivation to this vet, but it is interesting that his deposition and the toxicology report made their way to the media, with a provocative statement that the vet had to know would stimulate the allegations that were made because, he, himself initiated them knowing that our media, as non-horse interested people, would be unlikely to question his opinion.

    I don’t know what customary and usual is in the field of law, but I would be willing to bet that Dr. Soule made the calculated decision that Mrs. Romney would settle out of court, and that he would not be cross-examined about his libelous statement by an attorney. Far more prudent, professional, and accurate to report the facts and contrast them with what is usual practice in veterinary medicine than to slam Mrs. Romney.
    Interestingly enough, this veterinarian can be seen with his FEI credentials around his wrist and a lanyard around his neck during Stephen Colbert’s series of “Dressage, the Sport of the Summer” for a brief few seconds at the beginning or end, depending on where the clip starts, awkwardly smiling as he raised his beverage-filled hand in the air as the band played, the crowd sang and waved their oversized, red dressage 1’s in the air. Bet Ann Romney may have had had the last laugh.

    2008-Woman buys horse who has been “out to pasture” for two years, and decides to maintain the horse at the same facility and presumably still being treated by the same veterinarian who was used by the previous owner, 2009-Woman has falling out with previous owner’s trainer who is now working with her, 2009-Woman moves horse to different horse, 2009-New veterinarian performs surgery on horse, 2010-Woman files suit against eight different plaintiffs including Ann Romney for fraudulently selling her a horse, 2011-(Sept.) The case is set to be heard in court, Mrs. Romney is dismissed from the suit on the eve of the case as the Presidential campaign begins to heat up

    By the way, the attorney for the purchaser, gets special certification from University of Kentucky in summer of 2011 in Equine Law. She is an amateur dressage rider. The purchaser’s dressage scores can be seen on-line, and she competed with Super Hits with some success initially. This is a small world and most of the people in the case are probably known to each other.

    We have a President who has been in office almost four years, who has been hounded by equine welfare advocates and has chosen to ignore us— On the other hand, we could elect…

    A president who gets a kick out of choosing music to accompany the choreography for his horse’s 15 minute free-style dressage routine. For someone who did not have a love and a connection to horses this would be like volunteering to undergo waterboarding—or choreographing a synchronized swimming routine.

    Vote however you want to vote for whatever reason you choose to vote that way, yet I cannot help but recall hearing Buck Brannaman’s words at a conference almost a year ago. “The human race is the only species that insists on continuing to do the wrong thing over and over again, but expect a different result.”

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    • If you think Mitt Romney will care one bit about the plight of Mustangs and/or disposing of horses at slaughter for FREE, you’re outta your mind…..I’ve been in the dressage world around the rich folk since 1974 (and at least back then, we saw A LOT of different breeds competing successfully Nationally….I was ranked 19th in the country in first level on a very “different” cross breed horse) and although many are just plain clueless about wild horses in general, many actually sneer and think they shouldn’t even walk the earth because they contribute nothing.
      Mitt is also involved for many years with corporations (as most of us know by now)……the very same entities that are intent on stealing our public open range/land for cattle ranching that only produces 2-3% of the beef consumed in the US but dominates our State of Nevada (and now we’re mired in the rescues of the State of Nevada Virginia Range wild horses that were just auctioned at our weekly kill sale (and I was asked to be the bidder for the wild horses) and the owner of the sale yard ran the prices up to over TRIPLE the going kill price to be spiteful and make us rescues not come back for the next round this coming Wednesday), the mining industry, developers (they are central, along with the ranchers, on the removal of our State wild horses/the Virginia Range horses), gas pipeline industry, oil industry in some states, etc.
      As long as the wild horses are on the public land, the factions can’t simply do what they do to all the other wildlife and animals who compete with the cattle for food and water, are predators to the cattle and sheep, or simply are in the way of what the factions are doing, and thats whats called “sanitizing” where they shoot, poison or burn out dens of animals to eliminate them….the problem for them is that wild horses are federally protected and can’t just be killed, otherwise, they’d have already gone out and murdered every, last one of them…..so instead, we the tax payers are forced to pay with our tax dollars for the wild horses to be removed….and funny enough (not really!) horse slaughter still is not banned entirely yet, so ANY wild horses in dry lot holding, on long term pasture, etc are in grave danger of being shipped to slaughter.
      And if you are really involved in the higher levels and upper echelons of dressage, hunter/jumpers, and even reining, racing, reined cow horse, etc as I have been throughout the past 40 years, you know it is corrupt, people don’t think twice about drugging horses and using them up and then trying to ditch them for decent money before they break down, many of the horses are complete and total nutballs from being kept in boxstalls and only “turned out” in smaller areas so they don’t hurt themselves and won’t be able to compete, so they have vices such as weaving, wall kicking, stall walking, wind sucking, biting, etc. Do you really think that people at these levels (that I’ve been around for a long time) care one bit about wild horses when they are dealing in high dollar horses that they are still willing to drug to compete, contain in an environment where they develop really bad vices and their mental health is diminished, and also where they take grade mares and use them as embryo transplant mares just so a show mare won’t have to be pregnant, raising a baby and unable to show?
      Its nasty stuff and I know that MOST of those people at that level, and most likely the Romney’s too, won’t care one bit about wild horses and will not protect them from being captured and sent to slaughter or wherever as long as they are OFF the public and State’s land.
      Someone made a good point too that I hadn’t considered and that is that just like George Bush (and I can’t stand the guy and did not vote for him) and the Iraq “war”, Obama doesn’t necessarily know in-depth EVERYTHING thats going on with this issue, and when questioned, Salazar had to “play dumb” in order to buy himself some time on how to spin the dirty deeds against our wild horses. Hard to say because unfortunately, with our political system and what it has evolved into, anyone who gets elected owes so much to so many people and entities in terms of “favors”, I don’t see how anyone can be ethical and honest anymore when elected as the president of the US. .

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      • Laura,

        I freely confess that it is entirely possible that I am partially or completely out of my mind. So let’s get this out of the way, up front. However, my attempts to get this confirmed by professionals have thus far fallen flat as they insist that my mind just works in ways that the minds of most people do not, but they refuse to confirm that, that alone, and in and of itself, does not mean that I am out of touch with reality. However, I promise to keep working on becoming certifiable.

        I am very sorry that you have had such an embittering experience with the dressage world. I believe that what you say reflects the experience that you had. In other words, I do not question the validity of your accessment within the context that you experienced it. What I object to is that you hold up your experience as a young woman with high hopes, talent, and ambition but few resources decades ago to be the universal truth about every person with high hopes, talent, ambiton and plenty of resources who wants to participate in dressage, hunter-jumper, or polo today.

        You are making gross generalizations based on the behaviors of people you knew years ago about a specific person whom you have never met. Furthermore this specific person differs in significant ways from the people you knew when you knew them. In fact, the only thing she has in common with them seems to be that she is wealthy, and because she is wealthy and interested in competing in dressage, she has easy access to a world that you could have participated in, but your access would have been much more difficult.

        First, Ann Romney is a 63 year-old mother of five boys, all married with families of their own. She is the mother of 18 grand-children and she has been happily married to the first man she ever loved and she has been the love of his life. They are almost inseparable. At 16 or 17 years of age, it might seem like winnng gold in the Olympic’s Dressage, or a World Championship is the most important thing in the whole world. But to a woman has enjoyed the love of the love of her life, her children, and grandchildren, everthing thing else is icing on the cake. And for a husband who has been able to love the love of his life, raise his children with her, and enjoy the fruits of the marriage and the fruits of the spirit with her always at her side, who has at the age of 65, he cannot help but know that he has been extremely blessed. His private acts of compassion to members of his faith commenty who were everyday working people far exceed what most “charitable” people are able to do. To visit the hospital room of a dying boy to provide comfort and light, not once or twice, but regularly…to write a will for this boy, so the boy will have the piece of knowing that his stuff will end up in the hands of the right friend, and then to arrange and take this boy to a relatively isolated area of shoreline where he could set off a grand display of fireworks to bring some light and joy into the life of a child who didn’t have much…—-these are not the actions of the callous, unfeeling wealthy, but the actions of a person who has acquired and protected his wealth, in order to secure a future for his family and to have some power to do good acts that he, not the government, can choose to do one on one person to person. Had he been a teacher like me, he could not have made this choice.

        Maybe, I see the influence of faith, in this case Governor Romney’s Mormanism as a force clearly evident in their lives that separates the greedy wealthy from the more philanthropic wealthy that includes people like Bill Gates whose daughter is also a member of the rarefied air you so hold in contempt. I have a cousin who became Mormon after first being a care-free Baptist kid who enjoyed hanging out with the guys at the firehouse. After he did his mission, he returned a changed man, married a Mormon, and has raised four wonderful, healthy, wholesome children, the youngest of whom has some serious health issues. I have seen first hand the positive effects that being a member of the Morman faith has had on him and his family, have seen the way the members of the faith community reach out and support each other. When we talked about the Mormon version of the old testament, I was skeptical. However, since being involved in wild horse issues I have come across bits and piece of information that at the very least supply scientific evidence that the phenonmena that I understand the first text of the Book of Mormon is based upon actually happened during the time period that has been attributed to them. In other words, there is scientific evidence that for what has been observed. I am not well versed enough in any part of it to draw conclusions.

        I know that some of you believe that Bain Capital is the nail in the coffin. I choose to see it like this. If a person is injurred in an accident, say he breaks a leg and it doesn’t heal properly. After a few weeks he develops gangrene. The doctor and the patient have to make a decision. Will they amputate the diseased limb and allow the patient to live or will they refuse knowing that eventually the patient will die as the gangrene eventually spreads to the entire body. Bain capital is the doctor. The ailing company is the patient. The injurred limb is the segment of the company that is not profitable. The gangrene is the realization that the unprofitable segment of the business can cannot be turned around as it is. The decision is the difficult (not easy and not without the realization that life will be forever altered) decision, to either excise the financial drain of kill the entire company. I see this as eliminating some job, so that others can be saved. Businesses to do not exist to employ people; they exist to earn a profit. But they cannot earn a profit unless they offer a service that the consumer wants, needs, and can afford.

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      • HoofHugs, I feel the need for some reason to dispel some of your unfortunate conclusions when it comes to me. First: You write, “I am very sorry that you have had such an embittering experience with the dressage world. I believe that what you say reflects the experience that you had. In other words, I do not question the validity of your accessment within the context that you experienced it. What I object to is that you hold up your experience as a young woman with high hopes, talent, and ambition but few resources decades ago to be the universal truth about every person with high hopes, talent, ambiton and plenty of resources who wants to participate in dressage, hunter-jumper, or polo today. You are making gross generalizations based on the behaviors of people you knew years ago about a specific person whom you have never met.” I am only embittered by people like you who make excuses for people who use, abuse and throw away horses and get away with it because people like you once again don’t believe that that is how it works at those levels for the most part. I’m not bitter about dressage when done correctly and still compete and also train using classical dressage principles with every student I teach no matter the discipline they will be riding in. Anyone whom really knows dressage as I do agrees with me that competitive dressage went “off the tracks” a long time ago, so the next time you watch International level dressage, notice almost every horse that wins top honors is wringing their tail throughout the test; for those who don’t know any better, that is a sign of tension and unhappiness, but happiness and relaxation has been sacificed for flamboyance and exagerated gaits instead, and THAT is a tragedy.
        Second, you wrote: “Furthermore this specific person differs in significant ways from the people you knew when you knew them. In fact, the only thing she has in common with them seems to be that she is wealthy, and because she is wealthy and interested in competing in dressage, she has easy access to a world that you could have participated in, but your access would have been much more difficult.” How the heck would YOU know who I knew? Hmm, I really want to know the answer to that….perhaps you are psychic or something and regressed back to that moment in time? Ann Romney is no different in the present time then people I have dealt with in the past and also currently deal with to this day…its not just her wealth either; it is her mindset from not having the experence of anything else but horses, dressage, riding, etc at anything but this level of wealth and environment…beliee me, she’d be likea fish out of water at some of the ranches and farms I’ve trained out of. I’d also like to know how YOU know anything about Ann Romney other then seeing her on tv, reading about her, etc….are you related and/or personal friends, bcause you write like you know her personally very well?
        Third: you write: “First, Ann Romney is a 63 year-old mother of five boys, all married with families of their own. She is the mother of 18 grand-children and she has been happily married to the first man she ever loved and she has been the love of his life. They are almost inseparable. At 16 or 17 years of age, it might seem like winnng gold in the Olympic’s Dressage, or a World Championship is the most important thing in the whole world.” If you are speaking of me when you talk about “winning gold” when I was 16 or 17, quite frankly, I never aspired to go to the Olympics…..however, I was told many, many times by Internationally rated dressage judges and clinicians beginning when I was in my late teens that I in fact had the talent to go to the Olympics and probably do very well with the right horse…..and I have also been offered sponsorships by several people through the years of buying me a horse to go to the Olympics on, but seeing as I began to dislike the direction dressage was already starting to go in the early-’80’s at the International level, and I also knew I would never be capable of doing “whatever it takes” to go to the Olympics (and that includes pushing horses too hard, hurting them physically and mentally, applying training and techniques that were not in line with classical dressage principles, etc, I turned them all down and was content to compete successfully at the local, regional and National level.
        Fourth: you write: “But to a woman has enjoyed the love of the love of her life, her children, and grandchildren, everthing thing else is icing on the cake.” Ann Romney is not competing her Olympic horse, the trainer is doing it, so it would be living vicariously through her trainer if any medals were won, which they were not; not the same thing, or even close, to my circumstance and experience, with or without the wealth.
        Fifth: you write: “His private acts of compassion to members of his faith commenty who were everyday working people far exceed what most “charitable” people are able to do.” Many people without wealth make great sacrifices of their time, their meager money, their compassion, empathy, etc, so to say that Mitt Romney does all these great things and everyone is supposed to think he’s wonderful doesn’t make sense….and I’m really more interested in how many animals, including domestic and wild horses, Mitt and Ann have at their animal rescue…..oh, do they not have a rescue?…..I’d think with all their wealth, compassion, empathy and all, they’d have a huge rescue.
        Sixth: you wite: ” Maybe, I see the influence of faith, in this case Governor Romney’s Mormanism as a force clearly evident in their lives that separates the greedy wealthy from the more philanthropic wealthy that includes people like Bill Gates whose daughter is also a member of the rarefied air you so hold in contempt.” Why would you think I’m contemputous of them because of their wealth? I personally know a lot of people who are wealthy, and have known wealthy people since I was an apprentice at the Thoroughbred race/breeding/rehab farm….many wealthy people I know are very humble, love all kinds of animals, they give of their time and their money, but unlike youI don’t put wealthy people on a pedastal…..and I am also all about making money because money is very important in regard to taking care of ones responsibilities. What I do hold in contempt are people whose negative ACTIONS speak much louder than their WORDS….talk is cheap, but I watch what people do far more than listen to what they say.
        Seventh: you wrote: “I have a cousin who became Mormon after first being a care-free Baptist kid who enjoyed hanging out with the guys at the firehouse. After he did his mission, he returned a changed man, married a Mormon, and has raised four wonderful, healthy, wholesome children, the youngest of whom has some serious health issues. I have seen first hand the positive effects that being a member of the Morman faith has had on him and his family, have seen the way the members of the faith community reach out and support each other. When we talked about the Mormon version of the old testament, I was skeptical. However, since being involved in wild horse issues I have come across bits and piece of information that at the very least supply scientific evidence that the phenonmena that I understand the first text of the Book of Mormon is based upon actually happened during the time period that has been attributed to them. In other words, there is scientific evidence that for what has been observed. I am not well versed enough in any part of it to draw conclusions. I know that some of you believe that Bain Capital is the nail in the coffin.” I’m not going to go into religion at the risk of insulting someone, however, suffice to say that there is good and bad in all religions as far as I can see, but I myself am not religious and instead practice my spirituality every second of every day by trying to be a kind, honest person. I will say though that I am making no connection between wild horses and Mormonism, so I’m not sure what you’re referring to there…… and regarding Bain Capital: Mitt Romney is a corporate raider, nothing more, nothing less, so instead of calling himself a “venture capitalist” which he is not, it would be refreshing to me if he’d own up to what he does for a living. And regarding his compassion, being charitable, empathy, etc? Maybe we should ask the employees who lost their jobs after Mitt & company came in, used the good credit of a struggling company to borrow money, pocketed the money and didn’t make payments, and then let the company go bankrupt so no one had a job…..what do you think these peons would have to say about that?

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  9. Here are more wild horses, likely mixed with BLM horses because they have been migrating east to the Calicos and Black Rock Desert and back for who knows how long?

    Madeleine, if you want to prevent really good, historic blood lines from being lost though this continued murder, you could abandon the BLM Contract and begin by saving these horses. You could actually become someone who saves our mustangs. What do you think? There will be plenty more coming soon. They need land and help. Please help.

    And we have to DO MORE.

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    • Mar; I couldn’t agree with you more… instead of these folks trying to make money on the deal through tax payer dollars and protect their own under a 501, they need to step up to the plate and do what they claim is their mission statement. I am sooo sick and tired of people trying to make a buck and the suffering of others both human and otherwise while claiming that they have the best intentions! I don’t believe a damned word they say!

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      • And here’s what really irks me: my husband and I filed for our 501c3 a year ago after being a private rescue for 20 years…..so now we’re still waiting for our filing to go through after a year while taking care of over 45 horses (many of them Mustangs and I just rescued another one when I was bidding on behalf of the rescues for the Virginia Range horses at Fallon last Wednesday—-I used my own bidders number and was not going to let this Titled Mustang gelding go to slaughter), 3 burros, a mule and a 17 year old pet steer with our own money, and then we see 2 so-called “rescues” (horse traders in disquise) have their non-profit filings go through in 3 and 5 months respectively…..those “rescues” I’m speaking of only take in pretty, sound and no older than middle aged riding horses, while we take in the horses who are old, very old, lame, foundered, have training issues which make them dangerous to ride, etc. Ticks me off that we’re really struggling but not asking for help because we’re not a non-profit officially yet and these jerks breeze right through with their filings, and get donations, while actually selling (oh, I mean “adopting”) horses out for a fee of $800+! And now this crap with Madeline Pickens…..really unfair…….

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  10. I haven’t read through every ones post here, however, Sheldon was originally set up as a wild horse refuge area AND NOT A WILDLIFE AREA i.e. with funding from Leo Heil and a few other concerned wealthy Nevadans not much known about until about 20 years ago when…

    NDOA and BLM wanted to do a bunch of land swaps and sell offs in checkerboard areas in and around Reno/Sparks rural areas specifically Dayton, what is now Virginia Highlands, and Silver Springs, Reno Tahoe industrial park areas and even parts of Fernley to developers.

    The developers didn’t want the horses around so NDOA and BLM cut them a deal that they would ship the horses to another area since slaughter to the developers (thank you) was unacceptable, that area was Sheldon. Sheldon was already ‘supposed to be a state operated wild horse refuge.

    The state made MILLIONS on the deal and sent the horses to Sheldon which appeased both developers and advocates with a promise that those horses would live out their lives there..then of course they find out this area is rich with Elk, Antelope, and Deer, and even had some big horn sheep… then of course the same old tired BS of too many horses caused the fiasco of 2008 and now they want to completely remove horses from Sheldon…another zero’d out HMA!

    They think I forgot what Sheldon was supposed to be……a wild horse sanctuary…. so I am blabbing it to anyone and everyone that will listen! I’m sure Mr. Heil is rolling over in his grave, and if he was still around he would be calling them all on the carpet!

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