Horseback Urges Donations to Laura Leigh’s Important work

Please support us in our efforts to make the world a better place for wild Horses and Burros.

RENO, (Wild Horse Education) – What many have long feared has now been confirmed. The Public has long suspected that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has been slipping horses “out the back door” to slaughter. We now have proof of this very ugly truth. In the last 4 years BLM, under the Department of the Interior (DOI) sold at least 1700 Federally Protected Wild Horses to one man, knowing that there was a high likelihood of them shipping to slaughter brutally in Mexican slaughter houses. BLM actively solicited the sales, including free transport to the kill buyer.

Link to the sad truth:

It is time to repeal the Burns amendment that allowed this to happen.

It is time for a full investigation and for those who are responsible for this to be held accountable.

You can take action.

CALL, EMAIL, WRITE! Do it now, do it every day until we get the needed reforms.

COPY AND PASTE ***THE LETTER BELOW*** AND EMAIL IT (better yet, write your own) and send to all the below Federal Agencies and your own Senators and Congressmen;

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Phone: (202) 324-3000

Address: 935 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington DC 20535

Department of Justice

Phone: 202-353-1555

Address:  950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington DC 20530-0001

Darrell Issa, Chairmen of the Congressional Committee on Government Oversight and Reform

Phone: (202) 225-5074

Fax: (202) 225-3974

Address: 2157 Rayburn House Office Building Washington DC 20515

The President

Phone: (202) 456-1111

Address: The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington DC 20500

Your Congressman and Senators can be located here



Federal Officials,

At least 1700 of our federally protected (protected from death in the Act) wild horses were sold by the Bureau Of Land Management (BLM) in the last few years to one man and ended up brutally slaughtered for human consumption in Mexican slaughter houses. Not only were they sold to slaughter, the BLM actively solicited the sales and provided free transport to the slaughter buyer.

This was done even though the congressional funding for the Wild horse Program currently contains a provision barring BLM from selling them into slaughter. BLM states repeatedly and emphatically that they do not sell to slaughter or sell to those who will sell to slaughter. Public trust has been seriously violated.

Here are just two of the many Statements from the BLM that they do not sell to slaughter~

1.     Joan Guilfoyle, division chief for the Bureau of Land Management’s wild horse and burro program. August, 2011. “The mission is for wild free-roaming horses and burros to be a continuing living legacy of the American heritage.” She added that BLM sells horses only to those who have “pledged” to treat them humanely and not sell them for slaughter. “As a matter of fact, BLM prosecutes people who do that,”

2.    Bureau of Land Management Director Bob Abbey, January, 2011. “They’re part of our nation’s heritage, and they need to be protected. We are not entertaining the use of slaughterhouses or selling horses for slaughter at all. Secretary Salazar and I have consistently stated since taking on our current roles that we do not support, nor are we willing to incorporate into any wild horse or burro strategy, that we pursue the euthanasia of healthy wild horses and the unlimited sale of older horses. Having taken the position that slaughter is not a viable or acceptable management option for America’s wild horses or burros which are removed from BLM managed land, then we must be willing to pursue other alternatives that address the challenges we have when managing wild horses and burros.”

Congress passed the Free-roaming wild Horse and Burro Act to prevent these very types of abuses to wild horses at the requests of many Americans to preserve and protect, not slaughter. The slaughter of wild horses allowed by BLM is a complete breech of the public trust. Slaughter sale was never the intent of the Act passed by congress backed by the American people. This is a crushing outrage to those of us who believe in our government and freedom. It is not possible that BLM and the Department of the Interior (DOI) did not know where these horses were going; they simply turned a blind eye.

It is time and the public expects a full and thorough investigation into this matter, where the orders to sell came from, who is responsible for the sales and hold all those responsible for slaughter sale our wild horses fully accountable. Secondly we must repeal the amendment (Burns Amendment), the law that allowed this to happen. The Burn’s amendment, a potentially illegal and unconstitutional amendment, that was slipped in late in the night before a recess as a rider to an Omnibus Spending Bill, without the knowledge of Congress and with no chance for debate our public comment. This outrage MUST BE REPEALED.

These are America’s horses, and all too often the government has forgotten that they are simply “representatives” for the people, Americans do not want wild horses brutally slaughtered.

In these hard times, remember us, Middle America, the lands and the wild horse we own. These horses represent how America was built, the rugged tenacity of the people of our nation. In these difficult times Americans need something to feel good about. Fully investigate this tragedy and repeal the “Burns amendment” that has allowed this to happen and restore the original intent of the Wild Free roaming Horse and Burro Act.




How this wild Horse slaughter issue came to light.

Stone Cabin roundup, February 2012; Reporter Dave Phillips meets with Laura Leigh to discuss the wild horse situation. Philips and Leigh discussed many aspects of the BLM Wild Horse and Burro program, spending hours together. Leigh explained that we suspected (based on things she had heard and witnessed) that wild horses were being sold off to slaughter and to get to the truth he needed to FOIA (Freedom of Information Act request) the “bulk sales receipts” of wild horses sold by BLM. Dave Phillips pursued that and was quite shocked at what he received in the FOIA requests. This confirmation spurred him on to pursue the investigation further.

Wild Horse Education, in concert with Philips, has been assisting the gathering of information for the article to shed light on this tragedy.

Transparency is crucial for the horse’s safety. BLM has never disclosed to the public in any transparent way, where all the horses are, where they have gone, and what has happened to them.

Wild Horse Education’s ongoing “First Amendment” law suit calls for “FULL DISCLOSURE” of “ALL” the horses and burros “from the range through to their ultimate destination”. The public MUST be allowed to KNOW.

25 comments for “Horseback Urges Donations to Laura Leigh’s Important work

  1. Margaret
    September 30, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    Oh Laura how could I not remember Hope? There were actually two colts about the same time this happened to. One was the subject of an essay Ginger did. That’s the colt I named Courage for not giving up. And you named the second colt Hope Springs Eternal.

    I know sometimes it feels like there isn’t any Hope, but if WE give up who will be there for the horses?

    • October 1, 2012 at 12:03 am


      • October 1, 2012 at 12:09 am

        Prov. People will continue to hope even though they have evidence that things cannot possibly turn out the way they want. (From Alexander Pope’s poem, “Essay on Man.” (

        Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
        Man never Is, but always To be blest:
        The soul, uneasy and confin’d from home,
        Rests and expatiates in a life to come.

        -Alexander Pope,
        An Essay on Man, Epistle I, 1733

  2. September 30, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    Please excuse the typos in my post… I was a bit “vaclempt”

  3. Margaret
    September 30, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Cowan a couple of times at different hearings. This man works his hind end off for the horses! Next to George Knapp I consider him a true horse warrior extradinaire! But that’s just my own opinion.

    Laura sold EVERYTHING she owned to witness for us the abuse. I’m not sure how anyone can call into question anything that she does. She has gone way out in the boonies of the Nevada desert by herself. Not for fame, not for glory but because she saw Hope die a death that none of us would wish on anyone. That’s what initially fired her up. And then out of tragic loss came a desire to change things.

    Sure it’s slow going. But both Laura and Mr. Cowan are making gains that hopefully someday will result in REAL PROTECTION for all horses–domesticate and wild, and their cousins the burros, donkeys and mules.

    Change can’t happen fast enough but the wheelsmof justice are slow. I hope the change I want to see happens in my lifetime.

    BTW no forces anyone to donate. If you don’t care to for whatever reason that’s fine. But keep it to yourself. Kay?

    • September 30, 2012 at 7:15 pm

      Oh my… Margaret you remembered Hope.

      I wish people could know what that felt like. To look into the eyes of that baby while his feet were beginning to fall of laying on that ground in January with no wind break… and then all the lies that came afterward from the agency tasked with his protection. I have not been the same since that day, how could I?

      I wish everyone that fails to recognize the value of this work… everyone that sees this as a competition… everyone that spends more time talking and not doing… could for ten minutes know what that felt like…
      and get real for the horses.

      No we are not a 501 and don’t have to be. We have helped others raise money to get there 501’s and bills paid… but WE have never had enough funds to get a 501 (it cost $850. just for filing) when filing the Court docs and getting the documentation IS our priority. A 501 (c)4 might be a better designation when we can file… no tax deduction then either but we can lobby Congress.

      THANK you all…. this thread was needed today. This work s*cks sometimes.

    • Sioux Sarlis
      September 30, 2012 at 7:54 pm

      Yes, that is the kind of stuff that drives us to work on causes we Do! Something inside us triggers a “Let’s try to fix this mess, NO MATTER WHAT IT TAKES!” Because it is the right thing to do!

  4. EConrad
    September 30, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    I too advocate for the wild horses but I think it needs to be noted here that the organization asking for money is not a 501c3 and donations are not tax deductible. On another website the actual level of participation by Ms. Leigh and her organization has been called into question as well.

    Just sayin’

    • admin
      September 30, 2012 at 2:48 pm

      Horseback Magazine has investigated the allegations against Ms. Leigh and found them to be wanting, inconsequential, and petty. The designation of 501(c)3 is one of several status categories for non profit organizations set up by IRS. In fact, the amount of a likely deduction to this organization would likely not register on the average taxpayer’s return unless it was quite substantial. In our opinion, Leigh would be advised to re-apply for a 501(c)4 and forget the restrictive tax deductible issues altogether. Further, we have found the whisper campaign mounted against Laura Leigh in some cases to rise to the level of slander. The fact is, she and her attorney, Reno’s Gordon Cowan, have selflessly worked to benefit wild horses and unlike others the two have achieved the most consequential victories of any advocates for wild horses in the courts to date. For her work in the arena of press freedom and media access to BLM sites alone we are proud to stand with her. Further, we have often considered investigating those making allegations as well as their motives.

      The Editor

      • Connie J Cunningham
        September 30, 2012 at 5:45 pm

        Editor… Thank you so very much for your support and for helping to spread the truth!

      • LoriSchmidt
        September 30, 2012 at 5:59 pm

        Thank you, Thank you, Thank you Horseback, your support of Laura Leigh is GREATLY appreciated. It is high time that people actually opened their eyes and perhaps if they spent half as much time actually doing something positive as they spend bashing people who do, we would be far further ahead in our fight for our horses. THANK YOU!

      • frisco
        September 30, 2012 at 6:16 pm

        Thank you for setting the record straight on the allegations of “jumping the gun” for personal gain ! Very sad some of the advocacy can’t support the common goal here.

        with gratitude

      • Sioux Sarlis
        September 30, 2012 at 7:50 pm

        All I can say is Thank God Laura and the reporter had the guts to get THE REAL TRUTH OF THE BLM’S rotten program brought on by the BURNS AMENDMENT! I would like to know is how in the heck those two men Burns and Reid were even allowed to slip this in and and be able to get away with this outrageous amendment and for soooo long! This needs to stop! AND NOW!

        Thank You Horseback Magazine for publishing this and I will continue to donate to WILD HORSE EDUCATION , as I too feel she has and continues to make huge strides to help our wild horses and their welfare, and HAS THE GUTS TO DO IT!


      • Dolly
        October 1, 2012 at 2:12 pm

        What a wonderful reply. While not directly involved with Ms. Leigh’s work, I count myself among the MANY advocates singled out by that very same group of sociopathic hoarders who masquerade as rescues. If you ever DO decide to investigate those individuals targeting Ms. Leigh, feel free to contact me for a myriad of police reports detailing neglect and abuse from just one of those very sad and pathetic entities. Recent emails show that while time is spent on the internet posting libelous and inflammatory fabrications about others, their own horses are going without much needed feed and vet care, even going so far as openly admitting they’ll be sending horses to auction if donors don’t cough up some dough. As usual, some people can walk the walk. Others hide behind a keyboard and look at the window. Keep up the good work.

    • September 30, 2012 at 5:42 pm

      EConrad. The Editor was very kind and truthful in his reply to your once again slanderous attack on Laura Leigh and her attorney. I do not intend to be as kind. STFU.

    • Joe
      October 2, 2012 at 9:29 am


      It seems strange that even a 501(C) 4 is appropriate. The IRS 501(C) 4 is,,id=156411,00.html

  5. September 30, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Thank you for publishing this article and for supporting Laura Leigh.

  6. Margaret
    September 30, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    I was told last night that nothing was lost by the outing of this article. I know I found it disturbing that BLM won’t start asking the tough questions like where are the horses? BLM as told to me last year– sell authority horses there is no safety net, no follow up on them. Once BLM sells them it’s like they just don’t care.

    Thank you for this well written letter. I will use it and commit myself to starting letter writing again.

    But I have a question that I’m not seeing an answer to. Who do we contact to try to repeal the Burn’s Amendment? And how do we circumvent Harry Reid who will no doubt do everything he can to block it?

    • admin
      September 30, 2012 at 1:24 pm

      Begin with your own Senator and Congressman. Also, urge the president to issue an executive order banning horse slaughter, or at the very least, use of the captive bolt gun for horses.

      The Editor

      • Margaret
        September 30, 2012 at 6:45 pm

        Got it thanks! I also totally agree we need to repeal Burn’s.

  7. Royhobbscolorado
    September 29, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    This breaks my heart and the hearts of my family members. The Burns Amendment allows them to to be sold in bulk and without limitation. This has been going on since 2004…EIGHT LONG YEARS….hundreds if not thousands of wild horses trucked to slaughter in Mexico and Canada and most likely even in the US plants before they were shut down in 2007. The article on Davis mentioned almost 100 wild mares being pregnant and sold to Davis. This makes me sick to my stomach. These people are not human. They don’t respect life or have any integrity whatsoever. Thank you Horseback for sharing this information.

  8. Michelle Freshteh Brown
    September 29, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    Thank you for bringing this to light ! The work investigating with the Wild Horse education and miss Laura Leigh. The BLM have stepped over the line far to many times and have no respect or consideration for the health, welfare or lives of the mustangs and burros ! We must give Laura Leigh the support that’s need in the great work she does for them in the field and in court ! Again thank you for bringing all this information to light and your continued work to save And protect them.

  9. deborah
    September 29, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    you rock Horseback Magazine!! great proactive article :) TY

  10. LoriSchmidt
    September 29, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    Steven, thank you for publishing this important article. This work needs support in order to move forward. Yes it is time for us to DEMAND a repeal of the Burns Amendment, it should never have happened and put thousands of our icons at risk, and for a full investigation into the whereabouts and fates of OUR Federally Protected horses. This saddens me greatly, it has always been a suspicion, but now that it is becoming a reality it is deeply disturbing :-( Thank you again for your support of Laura Leigh.

  11. frisco
    September 29, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    Thank You for getting this much needed information to the public. I hope HMB stays on this story so we get answers to this bull the BLM is pulling and put it to a stop immediately. This is still happening no doubt in my mind or any advocates mind, and we won’t let it go or forget !

    with gratitude,

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