It is very likely that this will have been the last tour of wild horses in Long Term Holding facilities, or “Off Range Pastures” as the BLM are now calling it. If the provisions in the 2018 Trump Budget which allow the killing of wild horses in holding and on the range, by this time next year there may be no horses at this or the other facilities – they may all be dead.
The last time I saw the Red Roan Stallion, with his son in 2005
I am returning to the Hughes Ranch for the second time. My first visit was in 2005, after the roundup in Adobe Town in August of that year. I went to the Rock Springs Corrals looking for an older red roan stallion who had captured my heart in my visits to Adobe Town. He was going to be released back to Adobe Town, given his age (22) but at the last minute, the BLM decided to take older horses to Long Term Holding. I could not find him at Rock Springs, and was told he had been shipped to the Hughes Ranch. I called John Hughes and asked if I could come and see the horses, and he agreed, so I flew to Tulsa and rented a car to drive to Bartlesville. Although I looked at many horses in many pens and pastures, I was not able to find him. But I have never forgotten him. I hope he did live out his life there.
Horses just arrived at Hughes Ranch in 2005
Today, I am in one of two huge buses filled with people eager to see the horses. Debbie Collins, Wild Horse and Burro Outreach Specialist for the BLM is on my bus, and she starts a promotional video on the bus that we listen to as we drive to see the horses. She tells us that we will make three stops to the see the horses, picking up Robert Hughes at the first stop, then on to a second area with horses, and to see a “Virtual Reality” tour on the new Mustang Heritage Foundation trailer, then on to a third location near the house where she says the horses are so gentle they come right up to you. There are over 1400 horses here at the ranch, almost all geldings.
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