The year of 2018 is very quickly coming to a close, and like the past several years, I am doing this post to honor the horses that have died in 2018. The list is shorter then it was last year, but no less painful. Even though several of those that passed in 2018 were very young, their memory will not be forgotten.
We didn’t get the chance to watch them grow and develop a strong presence on the mountain, but the lucky few that saw them and recorded their existence can remind us all of who they were. Thank you to those that allowed me to use their photos.
Below are the horses that have died (or are missing) in 2018.
1. Blue Moon (Flint). 2001 son of Shaman and Sitka. While Blue Moon has not been gone the official length of time to be declared deceased, all of that witnessed his deteriorated condition this past summer, can recognize that he most likely is gone. He not only lost his band last winter/spring, but he somehow got injured. He seemed to have a back/spinal injury that appeared to be very painful. Not only the physical injury, but it was also very clear that his spirit to live had greatly compromised. He was one of those stallions that just couldn’t settle into bachelorhood again. His heart was broken at the loss of his band.
I have many, many fond memories of Blue Moon. He and his band were frequent early morning/late evening visitors to my campsite. They seemed to recognize my truck, Abbie and myself. Blue Moon was the type of horse that if he could, he would have pulled up a chair and asked for a cup of coffee, and talked to us for hours about life. And his life was full of stories, he struggled as a young bachelor to devote full attention to his band. That lead for some painful memories for him, but in the more recent years, he became a devoted caring band stallion that gave his every minute to the care of his band.
He will be deeply missed.
2. Morning Star. 1996 son of Washakie and Plenty Coups. Morning Star lost his band one final time in the fall of 2017. (After losing them and winning them back in the spring of 2017). I don’t believe he was seen after that. He was looking quite thin in the summer of 2017, so without his band and his strength, he was not able to make it. Morning Star was a strong band stallion, who kept his band together. His death lead to the separation of his band, and as current as last week, it has been reported that they are still in constant turmoil. Morning Star was a strong presence on the mountain and will be greatly missed.
3. Sacajawea. 1996 daughter of Three Bars and Calamity. Sacajeawea has not been seen since June 2018. She has always been a strong independent mare, often setting out on her own and changing bands. She was by far one of the oldest and strongest bloodlines that the Pryors had. Her beautiful primative markings and gorgous Grulla color always took my breath away.
4. Sparrow. 2018 son of Pele (Penny) and Irial. Born the week of May 14, missing May 20, 2018. No photo available.
5. Stargazer. 2018 son of Quartz, father unknown. Born week of June 3. Died June 6.
6. Shamrock. 2018 son of Pegasus, father unknown. Born the week of May 20. Discovered missing by Abbie and Sandy, June 21, 2018.
Abbie and I were both so excited to look for Shamrock and so shocked and disappointed when we discovered her missing. Shamrock was a beautiful foal and seemed strong. But Pegasus (whom I discovered and named!) was with an unexperienced new band stallion (Missoula, whom I discovered and named!).
I am uncertain about what happened to the Sparrow and Stargazer, but I am quite certain that Shamrock was taken by a mountain lion. A few days after we discovered her missing, Abbie and I came across a large blood patch and drag marks with blood. While we can’t be certain, we concluded that it was most likely that of Shamrock.
7. Santiago. Son of Labrava and Irial. A beautiful strong colt, Santiago should have survived. Abbie, I and my last guests of the season discovered this little beauty early on the morning of our last day.
We can only speculate what happened to this beautiful foal, born to a large strong and stable band. There was and is a lot of young bachelors pushing for a band of their own. Abbie and I witnessed several very dangerous pursuits involving several bands at a time. There were also several people on the mountain at the time. Did Santiago get separated and injured from a bachelor confrontation? Did he get separated from people approaching too close ( like a foal from 2017?) There were conflicting reports of what happened. Only the mountain knows for sure, either way, this colts life ended way too soon. His death haunts me.
Rest in Peace wild ones. Your spirit still runs free on the mountain.
In all the years I have been going to the Pryors, I have grown to believe that the mountain gives you gifts according to what your energy or attitude is while you are walking on the horses’ ground. You just need to be aware of what and when they happen and be thankful for the gift. This morning was one of those times, and I will hold it in my heart.
On July 9, 2013, my guest Jeanne (who has become a very dear friend) and her two young grandchildren, along with my daughter Amber, witnessed a birth of a foal to a young two-year old filly named Labrava. I won’t go into the details here, but if you would like to read that post you can click on NACER.
Today, just a few days long of the July 2013 birth, Labrava gave birth again. And myself and Abbie were the first to witness this miracle.
We had 3 wonderful photographer guests that wanted to get first light in the morning. I actually love the early morning, and was eager take them out and find horses. After a few minutes of shooting Tecumseh/ Gringo band and Doc’s band, we decided to move down the road a bit. I parked the car and just took in the beautiful landscape while I sipped my first cup of coffee for the day. After spending several weeks on the mountain, I have often just enjoyed leaving my camera down and taking in the horses and landscape with my eyes. As I did this, I noticed Irial’s band to my left. I counted the horses, including Irial. Irial has the biggest band on the mountain at 11. He was one short. Abbie and I had been watching Labrava closely, and we thought she was very near to foaling. We saw them the night before and she was walking as if she was uncomfortable. In a perfect world, we hoped that she would foal that night, but we weren’t sure, because sometimes they can actually go on for days looking that way.
I looked through my binoculars past the other members of Irial’s band. Just below the hill, I could see LaBrava. I immediately thought she looked thinner. Could she have had her foal?? I turned to Abbie and said. Let’s go take a look. We took a very wide berth around her (more than 200 feet or more), we walked slowly over. There on the ground was a tiny dark foal! LaBrava was comfortable sharing her new life as we watched. As soon as he stood, it was obvious he was a colt that was going to look just like his father!
Thank you LaBrava for showing us this gift!
The 10th Pryor Foal was born to LaBrava and Irial. LaBrava is the 2011 daughter of Blue Sioux and Coronado. Irial is the 2008 son of Ireland and Prince. I’ll let you know when a name has been chosen!
The 7th 2018 foal has been discovered! This foal was born to two year old, Quillan. Quillan is the 2016 daughter of Ireland and Galaxy. The father of this foal is unknown. She has been named Silver Bow.
Thank you Dennis McCollough for the use of your photos! Abbie and I will be on the mountain very soon! I can’t wait to see this little one in person!
Each horse on the range has their own story, but the birth of this foal is a bit more special than most. Not only does this foal represent rare blood lines, but also shows the success of a mountain horse relocating to the Dryhead, providing a genetically viable new bloodline among the Dryhead horses.
In 2009, almost the entire population of Pryor Horses living in the Forest Service part of the range were removed. A few were able to escape this removal. One of the horses was a young bachelor named Hamlet. Hamlet was born in 2007 to Delilah and Pierre. In 2014, Hamlet acquired his first mare. A mare named Audobon. Audobon, born in 2000 to Feather and Challenger was not only the only offspring of this pair, but the only offspring each would have.
In 2015, Audobon and Hamlet produce a beautiful filly named Penn (Abbie and I call her Paris). This birth alone was a reason to celebrate. The following year Audobon and Hamlet would have another foal, Quicksilver. Quicksilver he would not live long and that following winter, Audobon disappeared as well.
During the disruption of Hamlet’s band, the young Paris ended up in the Dryhead, (the desert part of the lower mountain) with the stallion Jesse James, who claimed her for his own.
Jesse James also has a very special story. He is the son of Seneca (part of the Greeters) and the late Admire (who was killed by a drunk driver in 2011, along with his son Kapitan). Jesse James is the only remaining offspring of Admire and Seneca on the range.
Admire and his band were the first wild horses I ever saw when I drove up the Dryhead for the first time. Here is a link to my blog piece about the judgement against the person who killed them: ADMIRE Within that post is a video I made, where you will be able to see Admire with his band, including a young Jesse James.
Along with Paris, Jesse James has Cecelia, a very wise mare who was with the stallion Sitting Bull for many years. (he died in the winter of 2015-16). Unlike Jesse James’s very visible years with the Greeters, he and his small band have been seen very little and mostly from a distance. When Cecilia and Sitting Bull were together, they were rarely seen, often referred to as the “wildest of the horses on the range”. I am sure this is the reason why Paris became pregnant at the age of 2, this band could not be found or approached close enough for the administration of the PZP vaccine.
Last summer Abbie and I were able to spot this elusive band from a distance.
This 4th born foal of 2018 appears to be a colt. He is the son of Paris (Penn) and Jesse James. Paris is the 2015 daughter of Audobon and Hamlet. Jesse James is the 2009 son of Seneca and Admiral. He was discovered by Nancy Cerronni. He has been named Sentinel.
Hopefully this summer Abbie and I will be blessed with a chance to see this family and continue to watch him grow wild and free on the range!
The second known foal was born this week in the Dryhead part of the range. Born to the “Greeters” of the BigHorn Canyon.
As I started to write this post, it reminded me of how long I had been following this group. Although in recent years, the elusive Kitalpha joined them bringing with her Nova, her daughter from Bristol ( this move was very surprising to me. She was a horse that would not often be seen, but yet she decided to join the most visible band in the Dryhead) I decided to look back at one of my posts from the spring of 2012. Here is the link to that post if you would like to learn more about this band. THE GREETERS
The second foal of 2018 was born to the mare Nova and Hickok. Nova is the 2013 daughter of Kitalpha and Bristol. Hickok is the 2007 son of Belle Starr and Starbuck.
It has been reported that the foal is a colt and has been named Sundance. You can read more about this foal by clicking on this link. BHCRA Facebook
Thank you Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area for the use of you photos!
This will be the 6th year that I have made this post. This is a “fun” only post where any of you can suggest names for the 2018 foals born in the Pryors. Of course, like on all the previous years, I can not guarantee that they will be used, but it will be fun to list them, and I do know that whenever a foal is born, I come to this post to look at all of the suggestions. And if you can, please include the meaning for the name, it would be very helpful to know that.
In 2000, the BLM started using a letter for each year of foals, starting with A. This year is the S year. So please feel free to list your ideas in the comment section of this post. To read more about this system and why we use names, please refer to my Name Game post that I did last in 2013. Click on Name Game to go there. Or you can go to the Center’s latest post and read more about it as well. Click on Center to go there.
I am looking forward to reading all of your suggestions. If someone else has already posted your name idea, please list it again anyway. It will be fun to see what the most popular name suggestions are!
If you haven’t already read my post about “who will foal in 2018”, click on FOALS 2018. That way you can get an idea on who may foal. Thank you!
Mares within the Pryor Wild Horse Herd, are given PZP (birth control) every year. Each year there is a group of mares that are in the “window” of possibly being able to foal, meaning that they have not been given PZP. And every year, there will be some surprises from some, despite being vaccinated, and even though the below horses have not been vaccinated, it is not a guarantee that they will foal. Some have never conceived.
Because some of the horses were vaccinated later than normal last spring/summer, it is possible that they may have already been pregnant, (before given their vaccination), but will not be “officially” listed here.
I will start the list with the possible horses in the Dryhead. There are only two mares that fall into that window this year, and one has already had her foal!
Jewel, 2009 daughter of Waif and Corona, currently in Fools Crow band.
2. Morgana, 2012 daughter of Icara and Merlin. She was discovered by Bill Picket, NPS with a new foal last week. The foal is supposedly a colt and it has been named Sorcerer.
Mountain Top Horses
Jasmine, 2009 daughter of Aztec and Cloud. Jamine gave birth to a healthy colt named Ryden in October of 2017. If she conceived right away, she may have a foal in September of 2018. Jasmine is currently in Doc’s band.
2. Juniper, 2009 daughter of Sapo and Bolder. Another late foal (Ruby) was born to Junipter the first part of November, 2017. Again if she did conceive right away, she won’t have her foal until October, 2018. I’m hoping she skips this year and gets back on track with a foal earlier in the season in 2019. Juniper is currently in Horizon’s band.
3. Kohl, 2010 daughter of Quelle Colour and Lakota. Kohl is currently in Garay’s band.
4. Ketchikan, 2010 daughter of Gold Rush and Two Boots, currently in Jasper’s band.
5. Limerick, 2011 daughter of Ireland and Prince. She is currently in Galaxy’s band.
5. Labrava, 2011 daughter of Blue Souix and Coronado. She is currently in Irial’s band.
6. Lariat, 2011 daughter of Madonna and Duke. Lariat is currently in Jasper’s band.
7. Maia, 2012 daughter of Hera and Prince. Maia is currently with Hamlet.
8. Manuelita, 2012 daughter of Dove and Coronado. Manuelita is currently in Irials band.
9. Moenkopi, 2012 daughter of Galena and Jackson. She is currently in Cappuccino’s band. I hope this is the year that she gives birth to a foal that lives.
I am looking forward to seeing some new foals this summer. I am sure there will be some surprises!
I am a little late with this good news post. Foal # 9 for 2017 was born around November 8th, 2017. It is a filly who has been named Ruby. Ruby is the daughter of Juniper and Horizon.
Juniper is the 2009 daughter of Sapo and Bolder. Horizon is the 2007 son of Felina and Morning Star.
This was another birth that we were all looking forward to. This is also the band that the beloved Fiesta was in. I can’t help but think that he is looking down on this little one and watching out for her from above. I witnessed Fiesta with Joviana’s foal in 2012 (they were both removed in 2012), he was so in love with that little foal, it was really touching to watch him play with him.
Welcome to the world little Ruby, may you live a long and peaceful life on the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range.
Thank you Jack Sterling for the use of your photos of Ruby!
Another year is about to come to an end. It seems that the days passed very quickly this year, as I feel as if I just posted my tribute to the horses that passed in 2016. But another year has gone by, and this year was an equally hard year in terms of horses lost.
Sometimes the pain of the loss, is more than I can bear, and some days I feel as if I no longer want to go to the mountain. I just want to lessen the pain of the loss of so many familiar faces. But I will continue to go, the strong pull of the mountain is too great to walk away from, it calls me from within.
This year we have lost 12 horses, and there are some missing. I am going to be including the recently missing ones in this post as well. One foal was removed, and I will be including him too. That will bring the total to 14 horses and 3 foals for a total of 17 horses possibly gone off the range. This year there were 8 foals born, three died and one was removed leaving a total of four 2017 foals still on the range. The year of 2017 (so far) has left a negative growth of -13.
I felt in order to properly honor each horse that is no longer with us, I would go back over the years and find photos of the horses that I personally took. There are a few from others here, but for the most part, each photo was taken by me. It took me several days to go through the 1000’s of photos I have of the horses to find just the right ones. In many ways, it became a healing exercise for me. Seeing these horses in the land they loved. Each one did live a good life, wild and free. Some just left this earth way too early.
Below are the horses we lost and those that are missing. Listed in alphabetical order.
1. Audobon, born in 2000, she is the daughter of Feather. This quiet mare was with Morning Star for many years, and then in 2014, she and her daughter Niyaha joined up with the handsome stallion Hamlet.
Hamlet and Audbon produced two foals, Penn (Paris) and Quicksilver. Unfortunately, Quicksilver did not survive within a month after birth. Something happened last winter/spring and Audobon was separated from Hamlet. Paris ended up in the Dryhead with the stallion Jesse James. Audobon has not been seen since early spring 2017.
2. Belle Starr, born in 1993, daughter of The Old Mare and Hercules. Belle Starr was last seen early 2017. I usually saw her up Sykes in the early spring.
3. Baja,Reappeared!! Finally showed himself after missing since last fall on May 31, 2018!! Born in 1996, son of Tonapah and Looking Glass. Baja was last seen earlier this fall. London was seen with Bacardi and Quahneah in September. With Washakie’s health declining, the fate of their foal Renegade was in jeopardy. It is assumed that Washakie died and Baja and Renegade remained with her. Somehow Renegade found his way to his sister’s who were with London. Renegade was removed (see his post listed below).
Baja and Washakie were together for 14 years, I have a very strong feeling that Baja just simply gave up after Washakie died. He may reappear, and I hope he does.
To me, Baja was one of the most beautiful stallions, not only in looks, but by the way he cared for his band. He leaves behind just one offspring with Washakie, Quahneah. My hope is she will remain on the range to carry on his beautiful legacy.
4. Blanca, born in 1998, daughter of Phoenix and Raven, full sister to Cloud. She was found dead on September of this year, lying peacefully in one of the upper meadows.
This one is a hard one for me. Blanca was not only the matriarch of her band, but also the type of mare that I think we all thought of as a perfect example of how a lead mare should be. Blanca was always there to help the young ones in her band, and also her band stallion Cappuccino. She stood by Moenkopi during Obsidian’s death in 2014, (OBSIDIAN). This past summer, Cappuccino was wounded and lame and while he healed, Blanca held the band together and watch diligently over her stallion. I could tell story after story of the touching things this mare as done.
She had been with Cappuccino since early 2011. She produced her last foal, Kalispell, with Lakota, unfortunately, Kalispell died in the winter of 2010-11.
The thing I will remember about her the most is, Blanca could absorb the evening light with her golden coat, like I have rarely seen another horse do. She was a glowing star, and I will deeply miss her presence on the mountain.
5. Cascade, born in 1997, daughter of Aspen and Lone Wolf. She spent her life in the Dryhead. She had a special place in Laura Curtis’s heart and below are some of the photos that Laura took of her. Cascade has been missing since early 2017.
6.Corona, Missing, born in 1997, son of Sorita and Sam. Last seen sometime earlier 2017. I have had only a few memories of this beautiful stallion. The two most memorable ones were when I discovered Norte had been born. Traveling down Sykes, they were directly off the road in a very steep section of the road. The other was when they traveled up to the top of the mountain in July 2013.
7.Custer, born in 1996, son of Sitka and Shaman. With his long-time mare Winemucca’s death in the fall of 2016, Custer, Fiasco and Prospera stayed together. In January, 2017, Galaxy was seen with Fiasco and Prospera. Custer has not been seen.
I have thousands of photos of Custer. He seemed to always be around and his beautiful patterned coat was a treat to photograph. His kind and caring personality made it easy for me to spend hours with him. His presence will be greatly missed.
8. Fiesta, born in 2005, son of Phoenix and Teton. Last seen, September 2016. Fiesta, a horse that is larger than life. I don’t think I can find the words to describe this horse. He gave me so many gifts each and every time I saw him. The gift of unconditional love, the gift of laughter, the gift of tears, the gift of accepting myself for what I am and being happy with it. He was a true teacher to those of us that paid attention to what he had to say.
The one of the most memorable times I had with Fiesta was when I was camping with my daughter Amber. We were sleeping in the truck and woke the next morning with the sound of horses right outside the truck. I slowly sat up only to see Fiesta looking directly at me through the window! I wish I could have captured the look on his face! Here is that post if you want to relive that moment with me: FIESTA
Fiesta, you are so missed. I just could not get used to not seeing you with your family, and I don’t think I ever will. You were the one who would rush out and protect them from any danger. You loved your family, starting with your good friend Horizon. Looking back over your photos, I saw how much you cared for him when you both were just young carefree bachelors. You would risk your life to protect them at any cost, and ultimately I do believe you died protecting them.
Rest in Peace big, beautiful, silly boy, you will always be a part of my heart.
9.Inali, born in 2008, son of Iverness and Eclipse. Inali was orginally from the Forest Service part of the range. When both of his parents died, he was taken in by Cabaret. In the summer of 2010, Cabaret kicked him out of the band, forcing him to become a bachelor. That ultimately saved his life, as Cabaret and the rest of his band died up at the top of the mountain the winter of 2010-11. (That was the year that the fence was re-built). CABARET
Although he survived that, he ended up not being able to beat the next odds, he was last seen in the fall of 2016. He was still a bachelor at the time of his death, but he always found time to mentor the younger bachelors. He would often be seen with Orlando and Naolin.
You are missed Inali.
10. Isadora, born in 2008, daughter of Starman and Rosarita. Isadora died giving birth to her foal this fall. FOAL#7 The foal did not survive.
The first time I saw Isadora was when she was still in her family band. It was the 3 of them (Starman, Rosarita and Isadora) walking down the dirt road in the Forest Service part of the range. I remember being so impressed with her amazing marking she had on her face.
Isadora gave birth to a little filly named Lemhi the following spring. Starman had lost his band to Mescalero. Sadly, little Lemhi did not survive the winter of 2011-12.
Isadora was with Morning Stars band at the time of her death.
11. Medicine Bow, born in 1999, son of Twiggy and Cortez, he has not been seen since fall of 2016.
I had the privilege of seeing Medicine Bow several times. He spent his time on the Dryhead and Middle/Lower Sykes. His unique color was what caught my eye. He was a red dun sabino.
I think Matt Dillion told his story best. You can read his post here: MEDICINE BOW.
12.Raeleah J, born in 2017 to Icara and Johnston. Died about a month after birth. You can read her post here. RAELEAH. These photos were taken by Dennis McCollough.
13. Renegade, born in 2017 to Washakie and Baja. Renegade was removed after discovering him without Washakie. Washakie is presumed to be deceased.
Renegade was removed by the BLM and Nancy and Steve Cerroni adopted him. You can read more about those details in Nancy’s post: RENEGADE
The photos of Renegade after he was removed are taken by Nancy Cerroni.
14. Ryden (Rainbow), born June 28, 2017, daughter of unknown parents. You can read about her here: RYDEN Ryden (Rainbow) died a day after her birth.
15. Santa Fe, born in 1995, son of Twilla and Two Boots. Santa Fe’s remains were found in March 2017.
Santa Fe, where to I begin. He only wanted someone to love, always trying to gain a mare. His one remaining offspring on the range is Mandan (Santa Fe x Demure), but he was not able to raise his son. Doc stole the band before Mandan was born. After that Santa Fe worked hard to gain another mare, and he did. Judith a beautiful filly, but he would not be able to hold on to her either. Judith was removed in 2012. I was there when they removed her. I can still hear Santa Fe’s heartbreaking cries as they loaded her unto the trailer and took her down the mountain. My heart broke for him that day.
He was unable to acquire another mare, but spent the last several years trying. He dogged Coronado’s band for what seemed like forever. It was late June of 2014 where I saw a small crack in Coronado’s vigilance to keep Santa Fe away. He seemed to be warming to the idea of Santa Fe acquiring Manulita, and she was very interested. But, it would not happen. About a week later a helicopter fly over the range, causing a chaotic stampede of horses. It was during that time that Coronado lost his band to Irial, and Santa Fe’s chances were once again ruined.
He would still continue to try, but his age was catching up to him. He spent most of his time with old and new bachelors, Coronado being one of them. They had fought violently, but had somehow put that all behind them.
Santa Fe and his determination will always remain with me.
16. Seattle, born in 1997, son of Tacoma and Three Bars. Missing. I can’t remember when the last time I heard of someone seeing Seattle. My best encounter with him was on the mountain top in July 2013. I had seen him several times in the Dryhead, but most were from a distance. Yes, Seattle is a Dryhead horse, but the summer 2013 he ventured up on the mountain for a day. I was happy I was able to capture it with photos.
17. Washakie, born in 1994, daughter of Sitka and Shaman. She was an amazing mare. Nancy tells it best with this post WASHAKIE.
Washakie was a mommy machine. She had a foal every year since she was 2. Despite being vacinated with PZP, she continued to produce and was labeled a “non-responder”. But despite her many foals, she and her stallion of 14 years (Baja) now have only one offspring on the range. Quahneah. She must stay and carry on this perfect couples legacy.
My encounters with Washakie were many. The line I always heard from my guests and friends were: “she is HUGE”, she must be ready to foal any day. But this dear soul would keep us all waiting until SHE wanted the new little arrival to be born. Abbie and I blessed to see two of her foals shortly after their birth. Quahneah and Renegade.
Washakie and Baja had a love that few animals or humans have had. A constant love and devotion to each other and their family.
Rest in Peace dear Washakie, you will be so very missed.
Rest in Peace dear ones, run with the wind, I still feel your spirits on the mountain, and I am sure I always will.