Tragedy struck a band of Salt River wild horses on Golfield Road at 2 am on Sept 18th.
After MCSO alerted our hotline, our SRWHMG team and AZDA Officer Makenzie responded in the middle of the night to the terrible scene. It was a hit and run.
We found Belle with a broken, severed lower hind leg and had to work quickly to end her suffering instantly. We then had to get Charger’s band, back to safety. Another horse in the band, Elite, who was also reported down, had roadrash, but luckily no broken legs and we expect her to heal soon.
Goldfield road (the end of Usery Pass road) is a dead end road with a posted speed limit of 25 miles an hour and we do not understand what someone was doing there speeding at 2 am, nor do we understand why the driver kept going without reporting it. Were it not for a witness calling 911, Belle would have suffered a very long time.
SRWHMG and AZDA have worked for years with MCDOT and they have put a lot of money towards safety features in Salt River Horse habitat for all the former horse crossings and recreation areas and cattleguard deterrents which are coming soon. However, this area used to be the crossing of least concern, as the road is only 25 miles an hour and dead ends into Goldfield rec area. The horse crossing sign on one side of the road was recently stolen and we have requested a new one, as well as speed bumps or rumble strips from MCDOT. The option of an overpass is still being pursued as well for the Coon Bluff crossing. We cannot close this crossing either as it connects the Northern and Eastern habitats with each other.
Our SRWHMG road patrol team guards this crossing from 5 am to 11 pm daily, because as we are highly concerned about the increasing speeding on this road. It is so sad that regardless of our intensive efforts, our worst nightmare still happened. We are devastated about this loss of a beautiful, healthy mare in the prime of her life, and we worry also about the new filly and her band who use this horse crossing as well.
Belle was the only female offspring of the older stallion Beau and we were planning on leaving her “open” to continue his bloodline. We will now discuss leaving Belle’s only daughter Chabelle “open” once she turns 5 years old.
It seems like our good news is so often ironically followed with bad news and we are so sorry to bring it, but we think our supporters want to know either way.
You can support our teams who work so hard to keep these horses safe by going to our website: www.SRWHMG.org
We sincerely thank the witness who called 911, we thank MCSO for alerting our hotline, we thank AZDA officer Makenzie for doing the hardest job, we thank our volunteers who answer their phonelines in the middle of the night in service of the Salt River wild horses. Lastly we thank you, our supporters and followers for living the good days and the bad days with us. Please continue the fight with us for the humane treatment of all wild horses everywhere.
Run forever free, Belle.