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Why we love horses...

Britain mourned racehorse Best Mate last week. But why do we take these animals to our hearts? Lucy Cavendish tells of her own very personal love affair

Sunday November 6, 2005
The Observer

I find horses graceful, glorious creatures. There are so many things that are perfect about them; the way they are put together, the way they move, their fluid bodies and shining coats, the way they smell, their velvet noses and ticklish ears.
I find every one of them fascinating, different. Some horses are just simply magnificent. They are beautifully bred, handsome creatures with lots of attitude and character. Best Mate was one such horse. I remember going to see him at Henrietta Knight's yard in Berkshire. She loved that horse.

Full story: http://observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,6903,1635392,00.html
 
Wednesday, June 1, 2005
Jim Laurie / Associated Press


 
Jerry Reynoldson, left, of Las Vegas shows off an adopted BLM horse to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. Ford Motor Company is taking part in the Bureau of Land Management's "Save the Mustangs" campaign, pledging to pay for getting horses to adopted homes after they're rounded up on the range.

Ford pledges to help wild mustangs
http://www.detnews.com/2005/autosinsider/0506/05/0auto-200068.htm

 

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Associated Press - 9/25/2004 10:54 pm

Land sought for wild horse sanctuary

Horses Foraging

Lisa J.Tolda/RENO GAZETTE-JOURNAL

FORAGING: Wild horses and a foal graze in the Virginia Highlands in 2002.
Wild horse advocates are seeking a land donation from TRW Inc. to establish a wild horse sanctuary in Storey County, east of Reno.

Storey County commissioners signed a letter from two groups asking the corporate giant for all or part of 6,600 acres it owns next to the Reno-Tahoe Industrial Park.
"This letter is just to show TRW that there is public interest in the land," said Chris Askin, executive director of the Reno-based Community Foundation of Western Nevada, which is seeking the land along with the Virginia City-based Virginia Range Wildlife Protection Association.

Askin said TRW has been unsuccessful in efforts to sell the land for some time. The property is worth from $8 million to $16 million.

The corporation has made "significant gifts" to other organizations in the past, so the request is not unreasonable, Askin said.

"Through gifting of the property, not only would TRW realize significant tax benefits ... but (it) would have a profound impact on the preservation of nationally recognized natural resources," he wrote in the letter.
Supporters say the sanctuary would provide protection for estray horses not protected by federal law.
If created, the preserve would be known as the TRW Wildlife Sanctuary and would provide refuge for other species such as bighorn sheep and sage grouse.

The area also would feature an equestrian events center, and provide access to nearby petroglyphs. Supporters hope the sanctuary would make helicopter roundups of wild horses less frequent. During such a roundup last year, a wild mare was killed when it ran into a fence with its head down.

Agency may drag wild horses away

http://www.dailycamera.com/bdc/nation_world_news/article/0,1713,BDC_2420_3210771,00.html
By Joby Warrick and Juliet Eilperin, The Washington Post
September 26, 2004

PARACHUTE - In the West Douglas area of Colorado, sandwiched between the Roan Plateau and Utah's Book Cliffs, the fate of the small band of wild horses grows more tenuous daily.

The herd, which a decade ago numbered more than 150, has been documented in the area since at least the early 1970s. Genetic tests trace the animals' lineage back much further, to Spanish horses that came to North America by ship centuries ago. Local historians hold that the horses were present here in the 1600s, when they were encountered by Franciscan priests who were among the first Europeans to
survey the region.

Under a 30-year-old congressional act, the government is required to designate a preserve where the horses can live freely. But the West Douglas herd has been viewed largely as pests by ranchers and by at least some of the local Bureau of Land Management officials. Numerous plans have been drafted since the 1970s for reducing or eliminating the herd, mainly because they compete for forage with local cattle.

Some local gas companies also fear that the horses will lead to future limits on drilling. One firm, the El Paso Production Oil & Gas Co., filed a petition in 2001 urging the BLM to make good on its earlier promises to eliminate the herd. The petition said that wild horses had been a "destructive nuisance" on public lands.

In March, the BLM unveiled a plan to remove the horses as soon as possible. The rationale was the poor quality of the herd's habitat, owing to the agency's earlier decisions to lease 93 percent of the preserve for oil and gas production. And the plan allowed for drilling on most of the other 7 percent. Steve Hall, a BLM spokesman in Colorado, said the decision was difficult because of the horses' "emotional and symbolic" value but added that the horses would be handled humanely. "It is overly simplistic to say that oil and gas drove the horses off the land," Hall said. "But years of management decisions resulted in so much development that the horses can no longer thrive here."

The BLM plan would preserve the herd area in name only, keeping open the option that wild horses might some day be returned to the region, "after the oil and gas resources are depleted." That makes some horse lovers laugh.
"We've never seen an area where horses were zeroed out and then put back in - and it isn't going to happen here," said Toni Moore of the Colorado Wild Horse and Burro Coalition, which advocates preserving the herd.

She sees the entire wild land going the way of the wild horses.
"Once you've taken that away," she said, "you'll never get it back again."

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