18 Captured Calico Stallions, Mare and Foal Start New Life, Thanks to Return to Freedom

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Update: On September 9, Return to Freedom learned that a 19th Calico stallion was available for rescue, after the person who purchased him in an online BLM auction declined to take him. Scroll down for photos of this beautiful buckskin stallion and the others saved in this groundbreaking wild horse rescue.

Some of the only remaining intact stallions from the Bureau of Land Management's Calico roundup, along with a Calico mustang mare and her foal, began a new life this week, thanks to Return to Freedom American Wild Horse Sanctuary

Shedding the BLM tags that identified them as livestock from around their necks, the Calico mustangs started their journey to a brighter future, one that respects them as individuals and honors the importance of their strong family bonds .

The horses were transported safely from BLM holding pens near Reno to temporary quarters in Fallon, Nevada thanks to Willis Lamm of Least Resistance Training Concepts and volunteers from the Wild Horse Preservation League, under the watchful eye of Deniz Bolbol, a volunteer who coordinated transport logistics for RTF.

Thanks to this all-volunteer crew, the Calico stallions, mare and foal were transported safely from BLM holding pens to start their new life.

At Fallon, they will await creation of a Return to Freedom/Soldier Meadows Ranch (SMR) wild horse preserve, on the lands adjacent to the homes that they, along with nearly 2,000 other wild horses, were captured from in January. RTF will undertake a groundbreaking effort to recreate for these mustangs the family bands that were shattered in the BLM helicopter stampede and capture operation.

The stallions are some of the few remaining intact studs from the roundup. Most were gelded in preparation for shipment to BLM long-term holding facilities in the Midwest.

Read more about the rescued mustangs here. Support this historic rescue effort by donating to Return to Freedom and earmarking it for the Calico Rescue Fund.

In April, Return to Freedom and Soldier Meadows Ranch submitted a proposal to the Interior Department and BLM for a pilot program to keep wild horses on the Calico range by converting SMR's public livestock grazing allotments to wild horses. Four months later, RTF and SMR are still waiting for BLM to schedule a meeting to discuss the plan.

Meanwhile, the stallions and the mare and her look-alike foal are adjusting well to their temporary quarters. Enjoy these photos, taken by Deniz Bolbol of the mustangs on their first days of their new journey. More to follow soon. . . .

Young stallion True, rescued along with his father General and his trusted companion Commander

Beautiful paint mare and foal adjusting to temporary quarters at Fallon.

Unnamed palomino and pinto stallions.

13 year old Calico stallion at center.

Unlike at BLM\'s holding pens, the stallions have access to shade at their temporary quarters in Fallon, NV.

Commander and General eat breakfast the day after arriving at their temporary quarters in Fallon, Nevada.

And here is the 19th stallion, whom RTF agreed to purchase on 09.10.10. Unfortunately, he was shipped to Oklahoma, where his purchaser declined him, so RTF is now working on transportation arrangements for this handsome guy back to the West where he belongs.