Horse peering through fence. Google image.

Wild horses being removed from mine site

Cross-posted from The Harlan Daily Enterprise


Horse peering through fence. Google image.

HARLAN, KY — Faced with an unusual dilemma, members of the Harlan County Humane Society are asking residents to help remove hundreds of horses from mining property so that reclamation work may be completed.

“There are approximately 300 horses on property owned by Sequoia Energy that will have to be either sold or given away as soon as possible,” said Harlan County Humane Society Special Investigator Mary Sizemore. “The property is located on Straight Creek in Dingo.”

“These horses have been here for years and years,” she said. “Throughout time, people have brought horses they no longer could care for to this area and left them there. Coal miners and residents in the area have always stopped by and left food or hay for the horses to eat in the winter.”

Sizemore said because the male horses have not been gelded, the population has grown and continues to grow each day.

“Most of these horses are wild, but some are tame,” said Sizemore. “I was notified by Bobby Adkins, with Sequoia Energy, and he told me they had been notified that the horses must be removed from the property so that the land can be reclaimed. He said every time they have tried to reclaim the property the horses eat all the grass they sow.”

Sizemore said Adkins told her Sequoia Energy has the authority to sell or give the horses away, just to get them off the property.

“Everyone involved would rather give the horses away,” said Sizemore. “When these horses are removed it will be understood they will be removed in a humane way. They are wild and, if you are planning to put them into a corral, it must be at least six feet high. No one needs to be out there on four-wheelers running these horses back through the mountains trying to catch them. Because of the terrain, it is impossible to get a helicopter in there to round these horses up like they do out west. It’s going to be very hard to catch these horses.”

Sizemore said anyone taking one or more of the horses must go through the Harlan County Humane Society.

“We want these horses to go to good homes — homes where they can be well taken care of,” said Sizemore. “It’s expensive to feed a horse, especially during the winter months. That needs to be taken into consideration before taking one home. We don’t want these horses mistreated. They have been on this property for so many years. People have driven from different areas just to look at these beautiful horses. Just remember, if you take a horse, the Humane Society has the right to follow up on their placement.”

Anyone interested in receiving one or more of the horses may contact Sizemore at 621-0358, Harlan County Humane Society President Marcella Chadwick at 909-4781, Vice President Linda Parsons at 573-4368 or Secretary Jenny Hickey at 573-9197.

From The Harlan Daily Enterprise

NOTE: We believe area code 606 will work for all phone numbers cited by the writer.

7 thoughts on “Wild horses being removed from mine site”

    1. I’ve talked with two of the humane society members and it seems the horses are getting the blame for the poor job that’s been done of reclaimg the mine site. The owner who leased the land has said he’ll move the horses tio his other land and cancel the lease but I don’t know for sure what he’ll do. Marcella was on their local TV and said they are going to fight to keep the horses and that they’re only about 150. I watched the news clip and the horses in it are as fat as butterballs and eating dried grass that looked like it was at least 6-8 inches tall . Horses have been there for 40 years and miners and even a mine owner have fed them. Also people come from other states to see them.


  1. Wild horses are being used to restore land in Europe. They will not over-graze an area if they can roam and their droppings fertilize the soil and also spread seeds and help retain moisture in the soil. I wonder who or what organization wants them removed and their real reason? If they are not starving why remove them ? Are hunters wanting them gone ? Have elk been stocked there as on other mined land?
    How many acres are there? Grass will grow back and horses are symbiotic to ecosystems . I am in KY BTW but not in the mountains.


  2. Need area code. Then we can spread the message. Knowing Kentucky, there are wonderful horses there. People have done right by them. Human Kindness-Overflowing. That is my special admiration for good deeds during the holidays. Maybe beyond.


    1. I wrote and asked for it but no reply. That’s easy enough to figure out by googling for the area code, which is 606.

      That should cover all these phone numbers if they are in the Harlan area which I suppose it is relatively safe to assume they are.


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s