Two Wyoming mustangs and a burro will be the stars at a free event Friday, July 2, commemorating the federal law passed 50 years ago to protect wild horses and burros. The celebration will run 1 p.m. …
Two Wyoming mustangs and a burro will be the stars at a free event Friday, July 2, commemorating the federal law passed 50 years ago to protect wild horses and burros. The celebration will run 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Friends of a Legacy (FOAL) informational kiosk about 4 miles west of the junction of Wyo. Highway 32 and the Wild Horse Highway, U.S. 14/16/20.
Marijn Werquin from the Hideout Lodge and Guest Ranch in Shell will demonstrate “Authentic Horsemanship” with her mustang Aisha, a gray mare originally from the McCullough Peaks herd.
In the demonstration, which is choreographed to music, Werquin will work Aisha through training exercises at liberty, meaning without a halter or a bridle. The mare will perform maneuvers over obstacles and various other moves as directed by Werquin.
“It’s an incredible performance,” said Mary Scuffham, president of the FOAL board.
The two other stars, the mustang Sweet Carolina, nicknamed Cara, and a burro called Rowdy will also headline the event. Both adopted from the wild, Cara came from the Fifteenmile herd near Worland and Rowdy from the Cibola-Trigo herd near Yuma, Arizona.
For the occasion, FOAL has designed a collectable envelope that’s available at www.friendsofalegacy.org and will be sold at the celebration. The U.S. postmaster from Greybull will attend the event to sell postage stamps and hand-cancel the envelopes with a special 50th anniversary commemorative imprint that will only be available on July 2.
Proceeds from the envelopes’ sales will go toward FOAL’s Living Waters Initiative, a collaborative, 10-year plan to maintain and restore 20 reservoirs across the wild-horse range.
“The resulting water will provide a vital resource for the horses and all wildlife in the McCulloughs, as well as the cattle that graze there seasonally,” Scuffham said. “The targeted distribution of the water sources will encourage dispersed grazing, which will enhance the habitat.”
Also during the celebration, representatives of FOAL will discuss the nonprofit’s history and its partnership with the federal Bureau of Land Management, which oversees the McCullough wild horses.
“The Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, which Congress passed on Dec. 15, 1971, pledged federal protection of these symbols of the American West,” Scuffham said. “This also marks the 16th year that FOAL has worked not only to keep the McCullough mustangs wild and free but also to enhance the habitat for all creatures living in the Peaks.”
BLM staff will be on hand to answer questions about the fertility-control method used to maintain the McCullough herd at a sustainable level. In one of its collaborative projects with the agency, FOAL purchases the supplies needed to administer the birth-control treatments, a program that began in 2011.
“Along with that assistance, FOAL supports BLM’s adoption program for mustangs and burros removed from the range,” Scuffham said. “FOAL also strives to educate the public about the wild horses, with the overarching goal of preserving and protecting them.”
Celebrants are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and binoculars to the event.
Adopt a wild horse at June event in Lovell
The Bureau of Land Management is kicking off the summer with a wild horse adoption event in Lovell. Untrained horses will be offered to qualified adopters on a first-come, first-served basis for a $25 fee.
From Thursday, June 24 to Saturday, June 26, horses and burros will be available at both the Pryor Mountain Mustang Center and the Britton Springs Facility near Lovell. The adoption begins at 8 a.m. all three days.
Wild horses available for adoption have been removed from overpopulated herds roaming Western public rangelands.
“As part of our efforts to find every horse and burro a good home,” the BLM says it offers up to $1,000 to adopt an untrained animal. The bureau will provide that incentive for all the horses offered in Lovell.
In addition, the BLM’s Rock Springs Wild Horse Holding Facility offers untrained horses for adoption by appointment. Contact the facility at 307-352-0292.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, passed unanimously by Congress and signed into law on Dec. 15, 1971. To mark this anniversary, the BLM is holding a series of events around the country “highlighting the value of wild horses and burros as enduring symbols of our national heritage.” Learn more at www.blm.gov/programs/wild-horse-and-burro/50th-anniversary.