Operation Badlands: Full speed ahead

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Help still needed to insure historic horses do not go to slaughter.

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO. (Sept. 25, 2013) — The Cloud Foundation (TCF) and Legacy Mustang Preservation (LMP) are proceeding full speed ahead with Operation Badlands, an effort to insure that none of the historic mustangs being rounded up at Theodore Roosevelt National Park (TRNP) this week end their lives on the floor of a slaughterhouse.

110 young horses will be auctioned off at Wishek Livestock Sales in Wishek, ND on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013 at 11:00 am. TCF and LMP have worked to raise awareness of the auction of these mustangs and plan to insure that those who do not receive bids from caring people offering forever homes will still find sanctuary. TCF and LMP can currently purchase 22-24 horses that do not receive bids, transport them to Legacy Mustang Preservation in Louisa, VA, where they will be halter trained, gentled and cared for until they can be adopted permanently.

“We are trying to raise enough money to finance one more transport which is on hold until we get more donations,” states Ginger Kathrens, Executive Director of TCF. “More funds will allow us to take 10-12 more horses to Legacy in Virginia.”

The Badlands horses are part of the history of America. Sturdy, colorful, and athletic, they descended from horses that once carried Mandan and Hidatsa braves to hunting grounds in the Badlands. They served the U.S. Cavalry Badlands remount station in this rugged landscape. They worked the lands with early pioneers who homesteaded the area.

“We tried to convince the Park to remove only half the young horses this year as forage is so great and to remove the rest next year,” added Kathrens. “110 horses, even those as beautiful as these, are tough for the market to absorb. If any young mustangs are purchased by kill buyers it will be a tragedy.”

In the past, TRNP wild horses have been purchased by kill buyers and have ended up going to slaughter, a practice the Park does not endorse but does allow.

TCF Board Member, Lisa Friday and members of LMP will be bidding against buyers who intend to take the horses to slaughter. “I just hope we have enough funds to secure a future for these young animals.” stated Lisa Friday.

A nationwide campaign to promote the auction has drawn the attention of many who are interested in purchasing their own piece of history. However, those who cannot attend the auction and take home one of these young horses can still help by donating to the Badlands Mustangs Fund.

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