National Help a Horse Day: What Cirrus Inspired

Happy National Help a Horse Day! 

It’s hard to put into words just how important holidays like today are to our team at the American Wild Horse Campaign. To celebrate a national holiday specifically dedicated to protecting the animals we hold so close to our hearts means so much to our team who day in and day out carry on the fight to protect the lives and freedom of our wild herds.  

So today, as we celebrate a holiday meant to inspire the masses about the plight of our dearest equines, we wanted to tell you about Cirrus — a mare whose story continues to inspire each and every one of us at AWHC. 

In 2018, an AWHC field representative was on-site to report on the ongoing helicopter roundup and removal operations happening at the Warm Springs Herd Management Area in Oregon. There he saw the most extraordinary mare: 


Cirrus had the likeness of a horse imprinted on her neck. As she ran, chased by helicopters, the horse moved with her. To see something so beautiful in the most devastating of circumstances… was surreal, in a way that perfectly embodied the beauty of these innocent animals and the tragedy they are plagued by. 

We managed to keep track of Cirrus while she was in holding, hoping to find her a forever home. However, we found that she was slated, along with a dozen other mares, to be a test subject for a surgical sterilization study — an unproven and brutal procedure with a high mortality rate. 

When we found this out, we knew we had to continue fighting against these studies. So we joined forces with two of our partner organizations and filed a lawsuit to stop the barbaric surgeries from proceeding. And team, we won. 

Thanks to donations made to our Legal Fund and our amazing legal team, we were able to make this court win a reality. Saved from an uncertain fate, Cirrus is living out the rest of her days at AWHC’s Board President Ellie Phipps Price's 2,000-acre sanctuary, Montgomery Creek Ranch — the next best thing to being wild and free.   

So, friend, this National Help A Horse Day, we’re asking you to make a contribution of whatever you can afford to fuel our Legal Fund to help us win more battles in the field, on the Hill, and especially in the courts to protect more horses like Cirrus.


Thanks for your continued dedication to our wild horses and burros, team.

Suzanne Roy
Executive Director