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Wild Horses of Skydog: Blue Zeus & Families

Wild Horses of Skydog: Blue Zeus & Families

ISBN: 9781646012138

Author: Clare Staples, Jamie Baldanza & Steve Rymers

Publisher: Trafalgar Square

Format: Hardcover

Price: AUD $99.00
Horsebooks Club: AUD $79.00

A searingly beautiful tribute to wild Mustang family groups that have been reunited after suffering roundup and separation in the American West.


In 1971, the US Congress passed an act that declared wild horses and burros as “living symbols of the American West” that should, therefore, be protected. But since then, the US Bureau of Land Management—charged with the management of the Mustang population—has rounded up over a quarter of a million horses, often using helicopters. In these intense and frightening scenarios, it is not unusual for wild horses to suffer catastrophic injury as they desperately fight to escape or to reach family members from whom they have been separated.

The Skydog Ranch and Sanctuary covers over 9,000 acres in Malibu, California, and Bend, Oregon, where wild horse advocates are working tirelessly to save these captured Mustangs from certain death through “kill pens” or a life of captivity in institutional “holding pens” and return them to freedom. To date Skydog has rescued over 300 wild horses and 50 donkeys and mules, with a special focus on finding and reuniting bonded families who may have once roamed the West together but who were separated during the roundup and “adoption” process.

In this striking book, gorgeously illustrated with hundreds of dramatic photographs, Skydog founder Clare Staples recounts heartbreaking tales of liberty lost and the dramatic extents to which some Mustangs will go to flee captivity or rejoin their family bands. She describes the mission that drives her and the Skydog team to identify and locate iconic wild horses that have been removed from public lands, and then secure them in order to assure them freedom at the Sanctuary for their remaining years—whenever possible, in the company of their original wild herdmates.

Readers meet Blue Zeus, the stunning Wyoming stallion who Staples admired in the wild for years before, in the fall of 2020, his herd was slated for roundup and captured, in one day losing both their freedom and each other. The story of the urgent search for him and his mares and foals, and their eventual reunion in the hills of Oregon, encapsulates all that Skydog hopes to accomplish for hundreds more horses in the years ahead. Incredibly moving, inspiring, and offering the hope of wildness and beauty preserved for future generations, this book is for every animal lover and all those who honor the natural inhabitants of the American West. A percentage of all sales goes toward supporting Skydog Ranch and Sanctuary.

Trailer courtesy of Horse & Rider Books

Book Title: Wild Horses of Skydog: Blue Zeus & Families
ISBN: 9781646012138
Author: Clare Staples, Jamie Baldanza & Steve Rymers
Publisher: Trafalgar Square
Format: Hardcover
Author Notes: Clare Staples is the founder and president of Skydog Ranch and Sanctuary in Malibu, California, and Bend, Oregon, which provides long-term homes for formerly free-roaming wild horses gathered from the American West by the United States government. Staples is a lifelong wild horse advocate, managing the Sanctuary with a passion and commitment that has helped make her one of the world's leading voices on the plight of Mustangs and the myriad social and political issues that surround them.

Jamie Baldanza has been a horse lover since birth. After 14 years as an art and creative director in advertising, Baldanza left New York City to follow her passion: photographing wild horses all across the Western United States. She created her own production company This Mustang Life, which concentrates on bringing animal causes to the public through film and photography. She is the director of the docuseries Wild Lands. Wild Horses and a short film called Pass the SAFE Act Now.

Steve Rymers is a photographer who followed a family of Mustangs he had been photographing in the wild to Skydog Ranch and Sanctuary when they were rescued after a Bureau of Land Management roundup. Rymers now regularly returns to the Sanctuary to photograph the herds, donates all the images he takes to use in promotional efforts that support the Sanctuary's mission.
Number of Pages: 224

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