Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary


Equine Wellness will donate 40% of each subscription purchased using promo code EWA085 to IRAM and Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary.   

Location of Black Hills: Hot Springs, SD

Year established: 1988 

Number of staff/volunteers: 14 full and part time staff; 20 volunteers.

Types of animals they work with: Many animals call the sanctuary their home, including unwanted BLM horses, rescued wild horses in need of a second chance, and breeds that have dwindled to near extinction (American mustang, Choctaw pony, Curly mustang and Spanish Mustang). The sanctuary is also home to many species of native wildlife.

Fundraising targets: Financial support is needed for continued conservation programs to improve range conditions, education and public awareness. In addition, IRAM plans to develop an educational and cultural center for conservation and historic and cultural programs, and purchase additional land for sustainable hay production for the wild herds.

Favorite rescue story: “Born years and miles apart in dusty deserts of Wyoming and Nevada, two mustang mares, Mariah, a blood bay, and Rioja, a red roan, found themselves in the same place at the same time,” writes Dayton O. Hyde.

“White freeze brands on the necks of captured BLM mustangs give a timeline of the life of the horse. After 2004, a large U was added to the brand to designate that a particular animal was unwanted and termed a ‘three striker’. Mariah and Rioja were both branded with the U and shipped along with 300 other mustangs to a private ranch in Nebraska, ironically called the Three Strikes Ranch.

“Two years later, in what has been termed ‘the worst animal abuse case in Nebraska history’, some 80 mustangs had lost their lives. The remaining mustangs were seized and moved to the local fairgrounds, once more awaiting their fate. Thin and starving, Maria and Rioja ended up in Minnesota. With loving care, the two mustangs survived. After months of rehab, the two friends were ready for a forever home.

“During the summer of 2012, Mariah and Rioja were loaded into the vet’s trailer to begin another journey together, this time back to a life of freedom at the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary in South Dakota. Shared experiences keep them bonded together despite freedom to run on thousands of acres.”

About Running Wild, the film: Dayton Hyde’s life is a dramatic journey of challenges and successes that began in Michigan and took him across the West. From rodeos, conservation battles and wild horse rescues, to his award-winning books, personal heartbreak and newfound love, Running Wild is the self-told tale of a 6’5” cowboy who demonstrates the importance of defending our natural world before it’s too late. On his 12,000-acre sanctuary, Hyde provides freedom to wild horses rescued from slaughter and misery, and enables them to live and run on protected prairieland.

Upon meeting Hyde years ago, director and producer Suzanne Mitchell was captivated by his passion for wildlife, the sound of hooves on the prairie, and by the stunning backdrop of the Cheyenne River and Black Hills. She immediately began filming. Said Mitchell, “I had to make a film about this incredible man who has handed his heart over to the West and accomplished so much through sheer will.”

wildmustangs.com, spanishmustangspirit.com, daytonohyde.com, runningwildfilm.com

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