A herd of wild horses has been roaming the Ozark hills for nearly 100 years
It’s believed the ancestors of the Shannon County wild horses go back to the Great Depression era, with farmers releasing their horses in search of better jobs.
In 1991 the National Park Service threatened to remove the horses which motivated local citizens to start the Wild Horse League. After about five years of legal battles and even a congressional hearing the horses gained federal protection in 1996, as long as the herd stays below 50 horses.
The Missouri Wild Horse League is responsible for adopting out some of the horses when the herd gets over 50.
There is a Missouri Wild Horse League Facebook page where people share their stories and photos. The site was helpful in connecting KMOX with the photographers who took the photos in the slideshow above.
Speaking with different League members this week, they’re enthusiastic to share the story of the wild horses.
They just ask two things: don’t get too close and let the wild horses stay wild.