Napa Mustang Days, Elyse Gardner
Napa Mustang Days: Stunning young mustangs from recent BLM roundups in the High Rock, Fox Hog, and Owyhee Herd Management areas are “on display” in the beautiful wine country of Napa, California through the weekend of June 14 through 16. The event ends late Sunday afternoon (June 16), when any remaining unadopted mustangs will be returned to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) corrals in Litchfield, California, where they may be viewed during the week.
The Napa Mustang Days is a bi-annual event produced in partnership between Napa Valley Horsemen’s Association, the Bureau of Land Management, and WIHB Volunteers. Visit the web site for details on this year’s event, but do it quickly because today (Sunday, June 16) is the final day.
I was captivated and simultaneously saddened as I watched spellbound by the sturdy, elegant beauty of these young horses. Fox Hog and High Rock horses are particularly leggy youngsters, promising to be gorgeous, well proportioned horses easily 15 hands. The sad comes as I watch these animals thrust into this alien situation far from the peace and beauty of their natural mountain homes with their families. They have become captives, no longer the elegant wild horses the 1971 Congress made such a focused effort to protect “from capture, branding, harassment and death” in the unanimously-passed Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act, stating therein that they were “to be considered an integral part of the natural system of the public lands.”
This image is one that has come to represent the strength and protection of a “Mustang” father. After capture this Stud and his yearling stud colt were separated from their family. The young stud harassed and terrified. HIs father comforted and protected him from the other stallions…. for two days. In holding we saw the older stud offload, but never saw the youngster again.