Adendum: I take it all back. Since the letters were given, the BLM has not only not made a decision on Mercuria but have also taken Montana (only non-inbred offspring of his dam Fresia) and Moorcroft (one of Brumby’s two remaining kids – a mare who has now seen 4 out of 5 offspring removed and 3 out of 5 grandchildren removed, with another likely to be removed next year). Jared is a lazy moron who is taking horses just for the sake of removing them, with no further thought towards the importance of their bloodlines.
Great job everyone! Brigitte delivered 39 letters to Jared early this afternoon supporting the release of Mercuria and Paquita. She currently is busy enjoying her time in the Dryhead – she’s earned it! So here is the update:
Brigitte delivered the letters and had a nice conversation with Jared Bybee (Pryor Wild Horse Specialist) explaining our position on Mercuria and her filly Paquita. Jared was described as being a good listener and semed like he might be receptve to the idea.
So now we play the waiting game. One I know what will happen to Mercuria one way or another, I will let you all know. If I had to take a guess, I would say that the odds of Mercuria’s release are 50/50. The letters and the manner in which they were delivered should give Mercuria a chance. At the same time, the odds are stacked against her.
Win or lose, though, I know in my heart that this did matter. So lemme explain:
If you are familiar with my blog or me as a person, you will know that I am not the BLM’s biggest fan. I’m an ornrey, argumentative cuss and I don’t like it when people go against what sems like simple logic. I think a lot of people reading this can relate. Fighting The Man is exhausting, especially when The Man is doing things like zeroing out herds to make ranchers happy, or removing horses to make room for more oil and gas.
The funny thing about the BLM, though, is that they aren’t all bad. Wait! Keep reading, I ain’t done yet. I firmly believe that the organization as a whole is corrupt. They are, after all, a part of the federal government and thus are inclined to corruption and questionable business practices. The BLM as a branch of the government does not bat an eye when approving the zero-out yet another wild horse herd or at the death count when the helicopters literally run the older and younger horses to death. They don’t seem to care about 26 year old stallions who die in their pens after the stress of being gelded, nor have they ever apologized for selling Tom Davis thousands of horses that disappeared down in slaughter faciliies in Mexico.
Yet while the organization is bad, not everybody who works for the BLM is a mustache-twirling villian. I like Jared Bybee and Jay d’Ewart, the wild horse specialists out of Rock Springs and Billings, respectively, as people. I do not like the decisions that come out for the herds they are charged to monitor and care for (and sometimes I suspect they probably don’t either), but I have never doubted that those two men do care about the horses and do not want to see them come to any harm. This is not true of every wild horse and burro specialist – some are real jerks.
So I guess what I am getting at is that Jared is good people. I may not like this roundup. I may not like the number of horses they are taking or some of their specific choices. But all those quibbles aside, this removal was the first time that I felt like the BLM actually listened to my comments and took my suggestions into account. That may sound silly, but after spending hundreds of hours over the years writing comments on EA’s, sending emails, and making phone calls there was something so wonderful about just feeling like the BLM acknowledged my opinions. I am keeping my fingers crossed that Jared will listen again and release Mercuria & Paquita.
But at the end of the day we just don’t know. Maybe Jared will release Mercuria. Maybe he won’t.
Either way, this can make a difference. Thirty-nine people made their voices heard today, and did so in a calm and polite manner. This wasn’t about giving the BLM grief or busy work or flambeing them over an open fire. The local BLM now knows that we deeply care about this young mare and her filly, and they have information laid-out in front of them as to why she is so important.
Even if it was not enough to save Mercuria and Paquita, at least it sent a positive message. When we can be polite & friendly while still openly disagreeing, it can open doors for the next time. Maybe Jared rejects the idea of releasing Mercuria & Paquita, but he lets Jewel stay off PZP long enough that she can foal whether she hits a threshold or not. Maybe Mercuria doesn’t get to enjoy her freedom, but this united message gives us enough respect and leeway that we can stop something like this from happening next year. Because mutual respect builds up. It may take a while, but it does make a difference.
Maybe Mercuria & Paquita get to go free. And isn’t that a nice thought?
Now just to give a few other updates: the captured horses all look fantastic. The internet adoption (link here) is off to a good start – 9 out of 12 of the horses on there have received bids. There are three horses who have not been bid on yet: Meriwether, Norte, and Ojai. There are 9 days left, so if you have the room in your yard and the space in your heart for a new friend, there isn’t bad one in the bunch.
Or maybe you are interested in adopting a horse, but for a variety of reasons the Pryor horse of your dreams is not a practical choice. There are other excellent horses from other herds that have not been bid on yet.
The Sulphur Springs horses that are in the Delta, Utah facility also have a Spanish heritage, and last I read, actually have the highest concentration of Spanish blood amongst wild horse herds in the U.S. Sulphur horses are also a little taller than Pryor horses, so if you are 6’2 and think you’d look a little silly riding a horse that will max out in the 13-14 hand range, the Sulphurs could have the horse for you.
Palomino Valley & Fallon also have some beautiful horses who deserve to get the heck out of those facilities. They come from a wide variety of herds, and can range from short to tall, beefy to refined.
And if you live in the Midwest, there is a nice little short term facility just a ways southwest of Kearney, Nebraska that has some nice older horses with gentle eyes up for adoption. There are another three that are up for bid in Paul’s Valley, Oklahoma. It’s not their fault they ended up there, so won’t you protect their sensitive, pure ears from the shouts of Boomer Sooner no all sides?
And did I mention the burros? There are all the cute little long-ears you barn/boarding facility/future barn or boarding facility can only dream of housing!.
Sorry, not sorry about the extra adoption spam. I just got my application approved as an “emergency backup” for one particular Pryor horse (it’s probably no great mystery who), and seeing all these other horses without a single bid… it just tears me up a little inside. Even if I know that I know that adopting a ten year old bay mare with sad eyes who reminds me of Ziggy is not practical right now… I know we can’t place all 50,000 captive wild horses into good homes, but boy it’s a tough pill to swallow. I just want to save them all.
Anyway, thank you all once again, so much for your amazing outpouring of support! I will let you know once I hear the final word on Mercuria & Paquita
19 thoughts on “Mercuria & Paquita Update”
If we were neighbors, she wouldn’t have a worry in the world. Of course, then I would also have to share the shovel, but it would be worth it. Thanks for all your work.
Not necessarily! My neighbors to the east have an eight year old boy who opened a business with his friend. They come over every few days looking for work. I’m too cheap to pay him for it but it’d always an option. 😉
Glad to see everyone looking relatively content! It does break your heart to see them in pens and tags around their necks though 😦 I think it’s a wonderful idea to promote the other wild horses still in need of homes! I wish I was in a position to help. Not surprised that Ohanzee has the highest bid….I wish someone would bid on the other three!!
I know what you mean. It’s hard… even with my own horses whom I love to death it is difficult to see them and think of what happened to them & what might have been if only they weren’t removed.
Ojai just got a bid! Woo hoo! I am anxious for Meriwether and Norte yet, but I’ve also been checking the website 10 times a day since this started and now that we are seeing an uptick in bidding it is a real relief. For the first thee or four days only three horses had bids on them. I can say that even if Meriwether does not find a home this round, I can still personally guarantee you that she will be adopted.
I can imagine! It must be very bittersweet to see pictures of them from when they were wild.
Good for Ojai! I knew someone would be charmed by her cuteness 😀
Glad Meriwether has a back-up plan in place, she is such a sweetheart. Hopefully someone will see what they’re missing and snap up Norte! What are they waiting for with Orion?! I feel like they need to put him up there ASAP!
there was quite a few people there looking today so that was great to see
I can’t remember if it was Brigitte or Kristen who told me this, but they are waiting to capture more horses so they can do the processing and gelding ay once. He will be put up for adoption from there.
Glad that lots of people were stopping by!! We need to find all these guys homes!!! That does make sense about doing multiple horses at once, I’m just concerned that Orion will have less opportunity for viewing and bids Brigitte, did they say how many more horses they were shooting for at this stage in the game? With Mercuria they have 14 (may soon be 13-we’ll see!! 🙂 )
I was re reading the EA again (you know, for some fun, light reading) and was wondering what everyone’s interpretation of the targeted population for next year is. I understand that 2015 foals born to mares 2-4 years old or over 10 years old (Paquita, Prima, Pax, Pegasus, Washakie’s foal, Audubon’s foal [though this one may get a by as a recognized rare bloodline on both sides? One can dream] ) are going to be the core demographic for removal. However, the EA also makes mention of removing yearlings from mares within the PZP window who have had two offspring or more make it to the age of at least a year. I was wondering how everyone had interpreted this….does this mean that, for example, Pele should be lower priority as there is only her and Nickle as offspring from Fools Gold on the range? Or because Fools Gold had Kiva (who was removed) does that make Pele at risk for removal? I’m hoping it’s the former option but I was curious as to how everyone else had interpreted that information.
Ooh boy. Next year is going to be tricky because none of the usual fertile myrtles foaled. So I do think there is a risk of the foals born to young mares will be at a bigger risk than Oklahoma or Okiotak are at the moment. I would also hope a higjer count this year means they go with the minimum number next year. I think Pegasus and Pride are probably a sure thing. As is Sacajawea o
If she foals. Maybe one of Audobons, either Niyaha or this years. After that… It’s trickier. I don’t think Prospera or Pele are safe. Possibly Prima and Pax… We will have to wait and see. I wish they’d skip mext year because it doesn’t feel like there are even six that I’d feel comfortable with losing.
I’m secretly hoping they’ll at least skip next year!! This year is very much a transition year. Apart from Feldspar (Pride), Ireland (Pegasus) and Washakie’s, none of the mares have much to show in the way of offspring. I really hope they leave Niyaha and baby-Hamlet! Audubon’s bloodline has been “recognized for preservation” and Morning Star has only Niyaha and Oracle. And at 19 that may be all he gets. Plus, baby-Hamlet will be his first foal and also a carrier of the (nearly) decimated Forest Service bloodline. I’m not sure all that will matter though as, like you said, there aren’t very many good candidates for removal. Pride and Pegasus (as much as I adore both of them) are sadly very logical choices. And I think Pax, Paquita and Prima are at much higher risk than Okiotak and Oklahoma were this year (as you pointed out). Prospera and Pele make me sooooo nervous. There is no way either should be removed. Fools Gold is the only foal of Amthyst who is the only foal of Regina….I guess Prospera is even trickier as Nodin got by as Custer’s only offspring but I don’t know that they’ll prioritize Prospera in the same way as that would make three for Fiasco and Custer has several full siblings. Galena would have three if they keep Petra but Petra needs to stay because of Doc’s lines!!! Argh, such a mess!!
Hmm, odd. I didn’t mean for my comment to post as “Anonymous”. It’s Abbie, in case anyone couldn’t guess lol 😛
The EA says following removals will be used to balance births and deaths, and the target number is 6-12 horses, yearlings and 2-year-olds who weren’t captured in the last removal.
Breaks my heart – not being able to DO anything for any of these horses other than comments,emails & little donations once in a while. Golden years, baloney!!! I know I’m not alone being older and not having the financial ability to help that much. I will tell you, it sucks! Enough self pity!!!
I understand your feeling for that one bay mare-and honestly, all the others. Since she’s 10 – is she or any older ones – in danger of sale authority? Or can that be done to Pryor horses?
The mare is not listed as sale authority, but there are horses in this online adoption who are. The Pryor horses will probably not ever be in danger of sale authority anymore, though it happened in the 2009 adoption. Right now all the Pryor horses have received bids – woo hoo! However, there are at least another three who have not been put up on the adoption website yet. Hopefully the enthusiasm will stay high and the others are adopted next month.
Just happened to think – only 39 letters? Where were all the rest? There are certainly more than 39 people who follow the Pryor horses!
Okay, I’m gonna let my Math nerd side take over,but that actually is a really good number. By the time the extended deadline for submissions closed, this blog had 198 unique visitors. So the 39 letters was a 19.7% return rate. When you consider an average petition only gets a 10% return rate (15% if you’re really lucky), the fact that we got 20% on such a tight deadline, and that a person had to write their own letter (versus signing a name or the like), getting as many letters as we did was nothing short of amazing.
Yeah! F*** it! Let’s keep the inbread foals in the Dryheads and remove the more healthy genes!
And let everyone fight over the Pryors (“OMG, I own a horse related to Clooooud!!!!”) and pay a crazy amount of money on that when other horses meet an uncertain future, to put it mildly. Don’t get me wrong, I’m releaved beyond imagination that all the Pryors have bids, but it shouldn’t really matter if it’s a “famous” horse or not. They all need help and a loving place to call home. I just went through all the photos on the adoption page, and even though it was devestating I just couldn’t stop. It’s heartbreaking! They ALL deserve a second chance!:/
Sorry about the rant and angry tone. Just feeling down about the whole thing:/
And I’m probably swearing in the church now, but wouldn’t it have been much better to remove Mato Ska than Moorcroft?