VAL was outside the fence, on the road between water users and the bridge yesterday, in the same spot where we saved his life in 2017!
But no worries, we calmly handle these situations and Val is safely behind the fence with his buddies again. Want to know more about this dark and mysterious bachelor? …
In the summer of 2017 we found a foal stuck in a fence line. His band did not notice, and he was now all alone. Luckily, because we log newborns immediately in our database, we knew which band this foal belonged to.
It was Valentina’s and King’s son, Val.
Earlier this year we lost Valentina to a terrible broken leg, but King, the very old retired lead stallion, is still kicking and keeps to his own around the area of Water Users.
Back in 2017, it was now upon us to find King’s band, where in the wild did they go? After a long search with many volunteers we found them the next day 5 miles removed from Val!! So yes we had an overnight team just to ensure that Val was OK, we never caught him, but just watched him.
We knew Val could not survive without his mother at this age, but we also did not want to give up yet and rescue him. We always make every attempt possible to keep them in the wild.
This project was a long and hot 2-day project with one team walking Val and another walking King’s band in the right direction.
The moment of the reunion was so emotional and happy we will never forget it. There is still a video on this page of that exact moment.
Admittedly some of us were sobbing.
Val with his stunning dark liver color, has grown up to look so much like his beautiful father King. There are not many horses of this color on the Salt River. This horse is still wild and free because of our efforts and actually, so is the rest of this herd.
Today we proudly continue to manage them humanely, in spite of all of the obstacles and challenges that face their freedom and well being.