The ~Texas~ Mustang Project's Blog

Working for better management options and cohabitation through compromise and communication for the American Wild Mustang

(Updated on Sept. 20th) Fallon Auction, Saturday, September 18, 2010

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on September 19, 2010

Here is a link to the Alliance of Wild Horse Advocates story on the “Fallon 101” rescue this past Saturday.
The lack of transparency as to where these horses came from raised concerns that many of the horses could have been BLM or Indian Nation horses that had strayed off their ranges and were “claimed” by private landowners.  Nobody was getting a straight answer. Jill Starr eventually determined that most of the horses were ranch stock or the offspring of ranch stock and the origins of a handful of “mustang like” horses will likely never be identified.  Since Lifesavers and their allied advocates had already “engaged” in this matter, they stayed on this issue and outbid the kill buyers for the horses.
The problem with “transparency” in this instance has nothing to do with BLM, but rather a system that is in place that makes it extremely difficult to track the origins and history of horses that, had the advocates not been present, would have entered the human food supply. Even BLM had difficulty trying to determine if any of the horses could possibly be theirs.  There is no accounting for what drugs or medications some of these horses may have been given.  With HR.503 possibly being resurrected, the lack of accountability in the chain of transactions involving horses intended for food is the big story here. It is discussed in greater detail in the AOWHA article.
“:O) Willis

From Willis… We had an interesting day on Saturday. Once again the kill buyers left with empty trailers (or near empty trailers, as will be explained below.) 

101 horses ended up on the consignment list for the auction, less than “advertised,” which was a relief.  Most clearly were ranch horses, or at least former ranch horses, that conclusion being drawn from their body types, behavior and hooves.  There is certainly a distinction between well worn mustang feet and the overgrown platters of the ranch horses that didn’t get much attention.  Plus there were quite a few geldings and as one advocate observed, “They don’t do that on their own.” 

There were a few mustang-looking types but they certainly weren’t the majority of this sale. Here are some interesting statistics that are based on comparing notes, the haul out records and the catalog. 101 horses were listed. Lifesavers bought: 

29 mares
10 youngsters (weanlings / yearlings)
15 studs
46 geldings

That came to 100 horses although the Lifesavers contingent only bid on and bought 96 horses.  30 of those are going to a new sanctuary group in northern California.  A few paint horses had a lot of white coat and pink skin.  They’ll go up there where they can be turned out under the trees and stay out of the sun.  (I apologize for not remembering the name of the new group.) A local family bought two weanlings and a mare. The mother of one of the sale yard staff bought a terribly skinny orphan foal. 

Kill buyer Ole Olsen bought one horse.  In fact it was a saddle horse that Ole brought to the auction, didn’t think was bringing enough money, so he bought his own horse at the sale.  Other than that he left with an empty trailer.  I kind of hated to see any horse be stuck with Ole but the old buzzard does recognize that this horse is worth more under saddle than hanging from a meat hook. 

Where the extra four horses came from are a puzzle, but this whole affair has been a puzzle. There are several really nice big ranch horses that appear to be really well broke and not bothered by much.  They might be fantastic for someone needing a good outdoor horse. Harold Roy Miller took a few photos as we were lining up to load out.  The first two are of a “conversation” that took place in one of the stallion pens when the sale yard crew inadvertently ran one of the mares into the stallion pen. 





One of the Foals


BTW, Mike Holmes raised a fuss about the mare in the stallion pen and the auction crew immediately straightened that one out. A short while later they found and removed a happy stud that should have been in the stallion pen but ended up in one of the mare pens. The mare in the stud pen came out a bit lame so she went to Shirley’s for some focused care and a much overdue trim. 

Thanks to the trailer volunteers (in order of “appearance” in the trailer train.). 

Harold and Diana Miller
I pulled Trailer #2
Sharon Lamm and Betty Retzer
Sheila Schwadel
Gordon and Lavonne Hutting
Shirley Allen
Mark ???  (who Shirley knows and joined up at the last minute.)

This “rescue” was made doable through the cooperation and support of several allied horse groups. All horses have been transported safely and photos of the horses that will be available for placement will be posted once the northern California group’s horses have been sorted from the larger groups. If anyone wants to find out more about any of these horses please contact Shirley Allen at, 775-246-7636, or Mike Holmes at 775-720-2412. As a result of the two recent auctions Lifesavers is holding a huge number of horses so anyone who might like to take home a horse or could provide Foster care should contact Shirley or Mike. 


“:O) Willis


3 Responses to “(Updated on Sept. 20th) Fallon Auction, Saturday, September 18, 2010”

  1. Morgan Griffith said

    Well I’m glad Ole contributed to the economy by buying his own horse back. With hope this horse will end up in someone’s backyard and not someone’s stomach. Why’d they have to ruin that stud’s little bit of heaven by pulling him out of the mare pen? It ain’t often a stallion gets handed a ready made harem

  2. Jan said

    Love happy endings – now if the blm would just stop all roundups we could have a nice end of the year celebrating madeline’s great news

  3. Linda said

    Willis, great report. Thanks to you and all the good people who participated and contributed. Knowing these horses have been taken from under the nose of a notorious killer buyer is such a good thing. Now the rehoming starts.

    Is there a centralized “Mustangs Available for Adoption” website that combines all the rescues (not breeders) nationwide? If not, maybe it should be considered so the rescues can get more mustangs into good, forever homes and make room for others.

    The BLM says so little about the horses on the Internet Adoption site, and most of the photos are terrible. It’s not that I want to see the site closed down, but there is certainly much room for improvement.

    Since these horses hadn’t been processed, they wouldn’t “bear the mark”, and, as you said, the only way to guess their origins was by characteristics. I’ve read the very freeze brand that marks our wild ones has become valued by adoptors. Strange days.

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