The Long Riders Guild Academic Foundation
Modern equestrian travel history includes ample evidence of how American’s wild horses have proved to be excellent travelling companions for Long Riders. The overwhelming example is German Long Rider Gunter Wamser, who used four BLM mustangs in 2013 to complete his 16,000 mile journey from Patagonia to Alaska.
More recently, in 2016 American Long Rider Samantha Szesciorka made two journeys through the harsh Nevada desert. Like Gunter, Samantha was also mounted on a tough BLM mustang. And in 2019 the Long Riders’ Guild Academic Foundation published an important Ecological Evaluation of Wild Horse Herds (PDF), written by Craig Downer.
Downer’s report, which documented how America’s wild horses were increasingly in danger, has proved to be prophetic. The LRGAF has previously published a report which documents the 1925 equinocide of America’s wild horse herds. New evidence indicates that a similar event is underway.
The Wild Horse Campaign has reported that a surge in funding — $21 million of additional taxpayer dollars for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Wild Horse and Burro Management Program — will be used for the removal of 20,000-30,000 wild horses and burros from federal lands this year and each year for many years to come, and the painful mass surgical sterilization of thousands of wild mares, according to a report issued to Congress this week by the BLM. The funding — and the consequent use of the money for roundups and surgical sterilization rather than humane fertility control such as the PZP vaccine — is the direct result of a backroom deal cut between the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), Humane Society Legislative Fund, ASPCA, American Mustang Foundation, Return to Freedom, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and other western ranching interests. The report, which BLM was required to provide to Congress for a 60-day review prior to utilizing any new funding, outlines a plan to cull wild horse and burro populations by 70 percent through inhumane helicopter roundups, brutal surgical sterilization procedures, and doubling the number of captured wild horses warehoused in holding pens at a staggering cost to American taxpayers. Under the plan, 20,000-30,000 horses would be rounded up yearly for up to 18 years. BLM estimates a cost of $65.5 million in FY 2020, rising to $360 million yearly.
Polling released in October shows a strong bipartisan majority and nearly three out of four Americans, oppose the new plan to round up mass numbers of federally protected wild horses and burros from America’s Western public lands.