Helen is a five-year-old sorrel Tobiano mare from the Virginia Range outside of Reno, Nevada. Helen came to Montgomery Creek Ranch with four other mustangs (known as the VR 5) after being rounded up by the Nevada Department of Agriculture in 2016, because of a concern that they would be struck by a vehicle. (They were getting water from a trough at The infamous Bunny Ranch).
The Virginia Range is now the center of a huge development called the Tahoe Reno Industrial Complex. (TRI) It is also still the home to thousands of wild horses who cross through construction zones, housing developments, and even highways on their daily migration paths to find grazing and water.
Virginia Range wild horses have no federal protection -- (they are managed by the Nevada Department of Agriculture) and as a result, Helen and her band would have been sent to auction and been vulnerable to kill buyers who purchase horses for slaughter.
Helen’s herd is comprised of Doobert, her colt, Holy Handsome, a former herd stallion, who is easily recognizable because he is missing half of his left ear -- likely from a battle with another stallion -- and two bay mares. Helen is very confident and is the lead mare of her band at the Ranch. In the past, while gathering horses for our twice-yearly trim, Helen will instinctively take off in the opposite direction, moving her herd with her into the hills. She is head-strong and still acts very wild when we bring her in for hoof trimming and routine care.