I have been at a loss for words lately. After the five days of round ups and with 434 horses now in captivity, my heart and my mind feel empty. So much was poured into stopping the round ups. People of all walks of life from across the globe stepped up to speak out. Congressional members tweeted and pleaded for our administration to step in, children wrote letters and painted pictures, movie stars used their influence to bring light to this atrocity.
Documentarians shared amazing facts and footage. Legal cases battled in D.C. where the Bureau of Land Management committed perjury to persuade the judge that the horses needed rescue due to drought. They claimed the photos that were introduced to the court "the Onaqui are dying from the drought" "the photos are taken by amateur's and are not the Onaqui". Lies, lies, lies. Deceitful lies.
Then there were the regular folks like me who signed petitions, sent post cards and wrote letters to everyone from the Interior Secretary to Joe Biden himself. I have so many auto replies from him its more than I can count. But still, in the end, they won, and the horses lost. They lost their freedom forever.
Of the 434 rounded up last week 130 will be returned to the range. As it stands now, of the approximately 500 horses that called the 240,000 acres of the Onaqui home, only 65 remain. Those that remain are roaming around looking for their lost friends and family. Their faces distraught and confused. Deeply saddened eyes that look out trying to find a glimpse of their loved ones.
During all the hellacious panic and fear from the helicopters and ugly energy that spread across the range last week, something miraculous occurred. Little Phoenix, the filly in the picture alongside her mother and grandmother, was born. Her mom was able to find refuge somewhere, along with other members of their family, and together amongst the rubble they welcomed a new baby girl. They kept hidden and avoided the trap. The first filly to be born on the new Onaqui. She is beautiful in every single measure and by the looks of it she has quit the spirit to go along with her poignant name.
For all of us who grieve the loss of this National Treasure, Phoenix could not have come along at a better time. I have never cried so much in all my life. This event, this destruction, is hard to heal from. But Phoenix has come along to lift all of our spirits. She is an inspiration. She points us all to the road ahead to keep trying to do good by these incredible beings. To stay the course for all the wild horses of America. Phoenix may not know how important she is to us. But if you asked all of her thousands of fans, she represents hope for the Onaqui, and for the future.
Run wild little Phoenix. Run wild little girl.
Photo credit: The Onaqui Catalog