We are celebrating Rosco’s Rescue and at the same time his 6th🎂 birthday today 3.2.22!
Once upon a time in the Tonto National Forest, (on the evening 🌙✨of March 2nd, 2016), there lay a shivering brand new foal all by himself in a field. Luckily, nearby, some Salt River Wild Horse Management Group volunteers (SRWHMG) were watching and waiting for his mom to come back, but sadly, she never did.
A half-hour earlier, the volunteers had witnessed in horror as the foal was being attacked by a new stallion of the band. This stallion did not let the mare return to the foal she just delivered. This was something we had never seen before, and have never seen since.
We did not have any agreements yet at that time, but Simone called the Forest Service and the AZDA Ag inspector, who then gave permission to rescue Rosco. He would have suffered a slow and cruel death all alone without the very important colostrum a newborn foal needs to survive. (the first mother’s milk with antibodies)
SRWHMG volunteers carefully picked up the shaking newborn and loaded him on a blanket in an SUV. Then our field team🚗 drove around late at night to find him the important colostrum.
In addition to the colostrum, he also needed plasma to gain strength, which was administered by our vet. From that point on Simone and our SRWHMG volunteers stayed with him around the clock, he was never alone and was fed his milk replacer🍼 every hour.
Rosco now had a new family, the SRWHMG family. But we knew that a real horse🐴 mom would be ideal for him, so after a long search on the internet and placing ads, we came across April who had lost her own foal at birth. She was so distraught about it that she had stopped eating or drinking and this is why her owner was looking for a foal for her.
However, the pairing up did not go quite as easy as we had hoped. After Rosco had learned to be fed by humans, he did not recognize the mare as his mom and did not want to drink from her, and April wasn’t quite sure about this little wild horse either.
But SRWHMG never gives up. After trying for days, the moment when Rosco finally latched on for the first time was quite exciting! And from that moment on……Rosco was her baby! They saved eachother and it was the best thing ever.
Of course, everyone at SRWHMG fell in love with sweet April, and we ended up purchasing her for 2000 dollars, which was all the money we had at the time. April was a wonderful surrogate mom to Rosco, and later she also was a surrogate mom for Pacman (more about that when we do Pacman’s story)
Like April helped Rosco, so did Rosco help April. And like we helped Rosco survive, so did he play an important role in helping us survive and become who we are today. Rosco taught us how much work it takes and how many volunteers we needed. We also realized that to be succesful in humane management, we needed our own rescue facility and our own foal barn.
Today we continue to build up our modest, yet functional facility along the Beeline, bordering the Tonto National Forest. We have since successfully rescued 18 other dying or orphaned Salt River wild horses, who all get to live happily ever after together. We will never forget our first rescue, sweet Rosco, who turns 6 years old today.
- April is now retired as a nurse mom and spends her days at the ranch in Prescott hanging out with her boyfriend Custer, who is a BLM 3 strikes horse. We will celebrate the anniversary of the night April came to us March 11th as her birthday.
- Rosco’s biological mom still lives happily in the wild, she has had 4 foals since Rosco. She is still with the same lead stallion who attacked Rosco. We have always kept a suspicious eye on this stallion each time one of his mares was pregnant, but he has never attacked a foal again, and has reared all of his foals lovingly. We never disclosed who this stallion was, for fear that people would hate him.
- The AZDA inspector who was kind enough back then to let us rescue our first foal, was Inspector Richard Shore, who has since retired and we wish him a wonderful retirement.
- the volunteers who took turns feeding and caring for Rosco, most of them are the expert caretakers still with us today, continuing to care for our rescues at our facility.
- the public who supported us from the very beginning are still our most loyal supporters today, who made it all possible from the very beginning.
- Our sweet boy Rosco lives happily ever after at the ranch in Prescott where he has lots of room to run together with his buddies Pacman and Diamond. 🎉Happy Birthday 🍰Rosco. We ❤️love you!!!!!!!!