This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
On any given day there are over 30,000


wild horses in Bureau of Land Management (BLM) long-term holding pens and another 11,000 in temporary holding pens. Gath- ered forcefully in oſt en-reckless roundups and chased for miles by helicopter, they are plucked from their native rangelands to mill in crowded holding facilities, oſt en in the sun with no chance of fi nding shade. Fam- ily units and bands are ripped apart won- dering... What did we do wrong? How did this happen? T ese 40,000 captive equines now outnumber those running free—the BLM estimates the number of still-free Mustangs at just 28,000. A number so low it virtually guarantees extinction of irreplaceable genetic material. It should be noted that the BLM does


not own the Mustangs; they are charged with managing the grasslands. T e Ameri- can people own the Mustangs.


HORSES ARE THE TRUE HEROES


Madeleine poses with members of the Santa Ynez tribe. T ey are very sup- portive of Mustang Monument and rode on the Mustang Monument fl oat at the Rose Parade. Photo by Jim Sanders


Horses have roamed this part of the world since before


the plates shiſt ed, creating the continents. T ere are fossils and skeletons in museums that prove their early existence. T en 600 years ago, horses were reintroduced to the Western hemisphere by the Spanish. It is their descendants running proud and free trying desperately to preserve their own heritage. Madeleine came to the US as a young woman drawn by the spirit of its freedom and her love of the West and horses. She remembers fondly watching old Westerns with her father as a young girl in Iraq. T ey loved John Wayne, the West, the heroes. T e horses. She always felt the horses were the true heroes. Madeleine has long been an advocate for those who have no voice of their own. In the aſt er-


math of Hurricane Katrina, she chartered commercial airliners from New Orleans to California to rescue abandoned and lost dogs and cats of the storm. T ey called this mission “Orphans of the Storm.” Later many of these were returned to their rightful masters. It was through her work saving animals and speaking out for them that she found out about the horse-slaughter industry. She was amazed and disheartened that, as involved as she was in the racing community, it took


her so long to discover the fact that such a thing existed in this country. She and her husband T. Boone Pickens became actively involved in helping put an end to horse slaughter in the US. It was about that time she became aware of the capture and removal of the American Mustang. She was just as surprised and dismayed that she had not known of their bat le to survive.


A WOMAN OF ACTION She sprang into action, fi rst doing research. All the while she was tormented by the question,


“How did we reach the point that the noble Mustang is considered a feral nuisance that must be removed?” T e BLM was created with the guidance and support of ranchers who were the primary users of the vast open rangelands of the West. T ey were charged with managing mil- lions upon millions of acres’ grazing rights and other management practices. As time went on, and more people with diverse views and plans to use the BLM managed lands came along, and horses got crowded out of the actual planning. Everyone made the point of how important their views, plans and usage of the vast lands were, but time aſt er time as rules and considerations were structured and enacted, the Mustangs and other wild horses had no voice.


A FIGHTING CHANCE FOR SURVIVAL Madeleine knew if the Mustangs were to have a fi ghting chance of survival, the plan would


need to be presented fast. One hundred years ago, there were two million horses on the range. continued next page


WWW.TRAILBLAZERMAGAZINE.US • August 2012 | 73


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50