In the summer of 2010, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) rounded up and removed 174 wild horses that had migrated off protected public lands in the Pilot Valley and Toano Herd Management Areas in Nevada. As a result, the horses lost their legal protection under the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, and were put up for sale at a livestock auction in Fallon, Nevada. Bidding for over five hours against kill buyers from Canada, Ellie Phipps Price, our Founder, partnered with Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue to purchase every horse at the auction to save them from going to slaughter.
There were 18 mares with foals by their sides, two orphan foals, 76 stallions and 59 other mares, many who had lost their foals in the roundup.
One of the horses rescued was Bender, named after his quirky ear that bends to the left.
At the Ranch, Bender runs with a herd of 19 horses which we call “Annie’s Group” referencing the lead mare Annie, who is a very large dapple brown BLM mustang. The band is made up of a hodgepodge of horses from different areas across the West - Pilot Valley, Ft. McDermitt Reservation, and depending on the day, members of the Deer Run herd can be seen with them.