The ~Texas~ Mustang Project's Blog

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

December 30, 2010 – Two More Horses Struck on US-50

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on January 4, 2011

Just before 5:30 PM Thursday evening (Dec. 30, 2010) I received a call that two horses had been struck on US-50 just west of Topaz St. in Silver Springs. (Map of the Area)  I responded and the following is my report.  I’m posting this report to the horse advocates since this event was entirely avoidable.  The horse range to the north of US-50 is completely fenced from Stagecoach to “Four Corners.”  (The fencing runs behind the houses and businesses that front US-50 and the county roads that cross through the fence all have cattle guards.)  Horses are getting onto the highway due to persons unknown who are intentionally opening wire stock gates alongside these county roads and leaving them open.  This problem has expanded from Stagecoach to Silver Springs and is resulting in avoidable hazards posed by horses and cattle.
The attached photos are graphic and are presented to underscore the seriousness of this situation.
For privacy reasons I did not photograph any vehicles involved in the accident.  Suffice it to say, horses can leave significant vehicle damage and injure occupants when struck. Upon arrival, eastbound traffic was stopped and westbound traffic was attempting to drive along the dirt frontage north of the highway shoulder.  I parked on a private road north of the highway in a position so as to illuminate a safe path for westbound traffic and I guided traffic to a safe location by which to reenter the highway.
Once westbound traffic resumed normal travel in the westbound lane, I proceeded up the shoulder and checked in with a Sheriff’s Deputy on scene. I removed a dead buckskin colt from the north shoulder of the highway that was laying adjacent to the traffic lane, dragging it with my pickup to a safe location in the shallow roadside ditch.
A buckskin mare was laying alongside the south side of the highway.  She appeared to have one or two broken hind legs, was struggling but was unable to stand.  Once traffic could be cleared and it was safe to do so, a deputy euthanized the mare using a shotgun with slugs.  It required two shots due to the awkwardness of obtaining a good shooting angle that faced away from the highway, however the deputy was an excellent marksman given this difficult situation.
I tracked the horses’ origins back to an open wire stock gate alongside the cattle guard at the north end of Opal St.  I need to point out that these wire gates are located next to the cattle guards, their purpose simply being to allow stockmen to move stock past the cattle guards in the event their animals escaped.  The cattle guards are sufficient for any kind of vehicular or pedestrian travel so it is unnecessary to open the wire stock gates except for the purpose of allowing animals to pass.
In addition to fresh horse tracks, there were fresh tire tracks passing through the open wire stock gate.  I secured the gate.
NDoA Brand Inspector Darryl Peterson was on-scene at the accident and I advised him of the gate having been left open.  He informed me that persons leaving various gates open have been an ongoing problem and that he, too, has been going around finding open gates and securing them.
We will attempt some forms of community awareness involving range gates in hopes that this is a problem arising from lack of knowledge, not intentional vandalism, and perhaps through education this problem can be curtailed.
Willis Lamm

1.  Approaching the scene
2.  Colt after being removed from paved shoulder
3.  Mare after euthanasia
4.  Open wire stock gate on Opal St.
5.  View of hoof prints and gate secured

~~~WARNING: Some images are graphic. Viewer discretion is advised.~~~

1. Approaching the scene

2. Colt after being removed from paved shoulder

3. Mare after euthanasia


4. Open wire stock gate on Opal St.

5. View of hoof prints and gate secured


~~~WARNING: Some images are graphic. Viewer discretion is advised.~~~ 


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