Monday, December 14, 2009

Moving!

La Victoria will be leaving Parker, CO on the 29 Dec 2009 and will be coming back to California! If you would like to come see Victoria please shoot me an email. We will be living in Temecula, CA. I also plan on breeding her to Mestene's Pueblo for a 2011 foal! This will be Victoria's first purebred foal. What a pedigree the foal will have as well! If you are interested in this future foal, please send me an email. Pueblo is by Sulphur's Chance and out of Mestene (The Blue Stallion x Sulphur's Molly). If she has a breeding quality filly, then I may choose to keep her.

weyekin@hotmail.com




Mestene's Pueblo

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Saving America's Horses

I just watched this video and found it really shocking. There HAS to be a better way to handle the excess amount of horses besides sending them to a horrible death. These poor horses aren't being treated like a living, feeling being. They are treated like they are a product on an assembly line! Please view this video and donate so that America will be forced to view what is happening to our horses! Warning, video is very emotional, but also educational. This isn't another video on slaughter that just shows video or pics, it also gives information.


Monday, June 15, 2009

New Website!!

I have made a new website about the Spanish Sulphur horses. If you own a Spanish Sulphur horse, please send me information about them as well as pictures so I can put them up in the gallery section. Click on La Victoria's picture to see what I will put up on each individual horse.

www.spanishsulphurs.org

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Video of La Victoria

Victoria is still a bit thin and is still shedding out.



Here is the direct link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CA0l1YTPlp4

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

California Spanish Show Saddle

This is the saddle that I am going to try to have made for me to show my Spanish Sulphur horses in.



You can hardly believe that today's modern western saddle came from this!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Revolt and Conquering

© 1999 Lost Treasures of Utah

During the second half of the seventeenth century, the slave trade was stronger than ever before. Indians were dying by the thousands in the mines and fields of the Spaniards, and a leader was rising to save his people. He was called Pope. Pope seemed to be everywhere, constantly urging Indians of many different nations to revolt. Pope believed, and convinced his followers, that he was in direct contact with the god Quetzacoatl and therefore they could not fail in driving the Spanish from their land. It is hard to understand how a simple man from the San Juan Pueblo could coordinate such a revolt involving so many different nations over such a wide region. If it was not so well documented, it would be impossible to believe.
In 1677, Friar Juan Francisco wrote a letter to the Viceroy, asking him to stop the abuse of the Indians and warning that a revolt was eminent. His plea fell on deaf ears, so in 1679, he made a journey to Mexico City where he brought the plight of the Indians to the attention of the Bishop. He was informed that helping the Indians "was a useless and needless expense." About the same time, there was a horrible accident at the Chalchihuitl Mine. About 100 Indians were killed at the bottom of the pit when a section of the mine collapsed. This was the spark that lit the fuse of revolt.

As the sun rose over Taos on August 10th, 1680, the rebellion began. Thousands of soldiers, miners, merchants and clergy were killed. More than 400 Spaniards were killed at the supply towns of Chama and Abique. Countless others died at mines and missions in remote mountains. At Taos, where Pope himself led the attack, priests were killed at their own alters while praying for deliverance. Everywhere, the Spanish and Jesuit priests were taken by surprise and overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of the Indians. Even Franciscan and Dominican priests, who showed little interest in mining and shunned slavery, were shown no mercy.

The few Spaniards that survived were all driven back to Santa Fe, but even there they were not safe. 2500 Indians attacked Santa Fe, cutting off irrigation ditches and setting fire to the buildings. Governor Oterman was seriously wounded, and later reported on the incident.


"I lost much blood from two arrow wounds I had received in the face and from a remarkable gunshot wound to the chest ........The Indian leader approached, carrying two flags, one of white and one of red. If we chose the one of white we must agree to leave the country immediately, but if we chose the one of red we must perish, for the rebels were many and we were very few."
Oterman chose the white flag and led a forced evacuation south back to New Spain. The rebellion had been successful and the Spaniards were driven south of the Rio Grande back into Mexico. In Arizona, the Spaniards had been driven south of Tucson. Even distant California was not spared, for most Spaniards had been driven south to Baja. It would be twelve long years until the Spanish first began to reclaim the north.

The Indians took great care to destroy what the Spanish left behind. Mine shafts were filled in, or covered with logs and soil. Tunnels were concealed by covering the entrances with slide rock. The missions were torn down and scattered so that no trace of them remained. Remote cabins and visitas were burned to the ground. Many church and mine treasures were discovered by the Indians and were buried in the mines or re-hidden in some secret location. It was during this era that many legends of lost treasure were born.

New Mexico had been reclaimed by the Indians, and in the last 10 years of the seventeenth century, the French were expanding their territory in the far north. Back in Spain, King Charles II had no intention of losing this province to anyone. He ordered an army assembled and commissioned Diego Jose de Vargas as its Captain General. Vargas arrived in El Paso in February, 1691, where he found the Kings army in such poor shape that it took almost 2 years to prepare for an assault on the north.

On August 21st, 1692, Vargas began his trek north with a well trained army and two dozen Franciscan Friars. He did not think it wise to be accompanied by the Jesuits who were so hated by the Indians. He found many deserted posts along the way which had either been burned or destroyed. He felt he was being observed the whole way, but his army was too strong to be attacked. Vargas and his army reached Santa Fe on September 12th, where they found the Governor's Palace in ruin, but the only building left intact. Mission San Miguel, which was built in 1610 had also been burned, but it's stone walls were still intact. It was soon rebuilt and now, nearly 400 years after it's establishment, still holds services as the oldest church in the United States.

Santa Fe was re-taken with relative ease by Vargas, but the Indians had been few and the army was large. They had not yet encountered the Navajos and the Ute's. When Vargas did venture north of Santa Fe, he was met with much resistance. He found he was being attacked on every quarter. Even the weather turned against him, for 21 of his men froze to death. The Indians stampeded most of his livestock and drove Vargas back to Santa Fe. Vargas managed to capture hundreds of Indians and had 70 of them hung in the public square at Santa Fe. This quelled much of the resistance, but it still took him 2 years to reclaim Taos, Chama and Abique.

Towards the end of 1694, Vargas reestablished a mission in the San Luis Valley of Colorado. Mining parties soon made their way from there back to the mountains. Some of the mines were not located, due to the fact that they had been concealed so well by the Indians, but many mines were reopened and new mines were also discovered. By the beginning of the 18th century, there was once again a vigorous slave trade in New Mexico and the northern mines were again being worked.

In 1705, Rogue de Madrid led an expedition north from Taos to return runaway slaves. In 1709, Juan de Uribarri pursued runaways into the San Pete Valley of Utah. More evidence that the Spanish were once again using Indian slave labor to work in the mines. Uribarri led another expedition in 1709, to the furthest limits of Spanish control. Here he met with French fur traders, who had traveled west from the Mississippi. Uribarri claimed the northern Rockies and the surrounding area in the name of the king.

The increased presence of French and British traders was a threat to the Spanish crown, and in 1719 Pedro de Villasur was sent to stop the incursion. Villasur's expedition was accompanied by Father Minguez, 45 soldiers, and 60 Indian servants. Villasur traveled into Colorado where he turned northwest into the Uinta Mountains, continued into Wyoming and then journeyed eastward into Nebraska. His instructions were to establish missions in the north from which the country might be populated.

Dr. Moorman, of Utah's Weber State University, has spent much time researching the line of missions that were established by Villasur. He is convinced that one of those missions was built, or was an earlier mission rebuilt by Villasur, north of Duchesne, Utah on Rock Creek. There is a great deal of evidence to show that he is correct. Indian traditions tell of a mission on Rock Creek, there are references to it in church archives, many old names, dates and church symbols can be found on Rock Creek, not to mention the physical evidence. Spanish type spurs, bronze church bells and Catholic crosses have been found on Rock Creek, as have cannons and cannonballs. There is a stone ruin of an ancient structure on Rock Creek that was probably the mission itself, and there are European graves near that mission. Too many Spanish artifacts have been found on Rock Creek over greatly separated periods of time to ignore.

One of the first well documented forays into Utah was by Juan Maria de Rivera. Rivera led no less than 2 expeditions to Utah in search of gold and silver. One expedition in 1761 through southern and central Utah, and one in 1765 into northern Utah and Idaho.

Slaving and mining was once again instated full scale in New Mexico and showed no sign of stopping, until one day in June of 1767. The Viceroy and other high ranking officials were gathered at Mexico City to witness the unsealing of a secret order sent directly from King Charles III. When opened, the orders stated that all Jesuits throughout New Spain and New Mexico were to be seized and returned to Spain.

The Jesuits, who were officially known as The Company Of Jesus, were in a different class from Franciscans and Dominicans, in that they reported directly to the Pope in Rome, bypassing the hierarchy of bishops and even the King of Spain. The King himself had to have the approval of the Jesuit General before he could appoint Governors to his new world provinces. Over time, the Jesuits became exceedingly cruel to the Indians, forcing them to work in their mines or fields, and subjecting them to cruel punishments. They were now being arrested, not only for their cruelty to the natives, but also because many of them were not Spanish but of German, French or other European decent.

Over the next century, Spanish activity in the north would slowly start to taper off. There were still many small, illegal mining and slaving parties that would make the trek to the northern mountains, but the age of great exploration and terrible exploitation was over. There would be only one more major expedition to Utah.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Wild Horses of Utah's Mountain Home Range
part 5

CONCLUSION
Historical evidence points to the wild horses of the Mountain Home Range as being descended from southern California Spanish horses. These horses probably escaped from Ute Indians who made frequent horse stealing raids on Spanish missions and ranches, or were hunting, gathering pine nuts, or after Paiute Indians, for slave trade, while in the Needle Range area. They may have also escaped from traders herding the horses along the Old Spanish Trail enroute to Santa Fe or trading posts in and around northern Utah.

The Spanish horses, which established themselves in the Needle Range evidently had an influence of the ancient Iberian horse in their genetic make up as is shown by the prominence of the primitive dun factor coloration, their ability to survive in a very harsh environment, and their willingness to inhabit such a rocky, mountainous area as the Mountain Home Range.

After the white man settled southwestern Utah, ranchers turned out larger domestic horses with the smaller, wild mustangs to try to increase the size of the mustangs through cross breeding. This, to a large extent, was successful for those horses that inhabited the valleys. The wild horses of the Mountain Home Range, due to their behavior, apparently did not mix with the domestic horses in the valleys and stayed isolated in the mountain areas. Mustangers were unable to capture the Spanish type mustangs of the mountains due to the rough, rocky terrain, and the heavy stands of pinion-juniper.

Eventually, the large herds of wild horses in the valleys and lower foot hills were caught out or killed off, leaving the wild horses of the Mountain Home Range. This small population of horses, the last remnant group of southern California Spanish horses, came under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management's Warm Springs and Beaver River Resource Areas in 1977.

This, I feel, is the most logical explanation of how this unique population of horses was established, and where they came from. The question still remains of how pure Spanish the horses really are. Hopefully, an eventual blood-typing evaluation of the horses will take place. This may help to answer that question. There probably are some mixed blood horses in the population, but I believe the majority are pure, or at least as pure as can be found in these times and on this continent.
Sulphur's Chance
Dr. Phil Sponenberg's recommendation to the BLM was to manage the Sulphur herd to enhance the Spanish type. He suggested that a population level be set so no outside horse introductions would be needed, any horses that are removed from the population should be the least typically Spanish especially those horses with the broad chest, and color variation besides dun factor should be maintained. One statement of importance that he made was: "Since the Spanish Feral horses are the only feral horses of truly unique and irreplaceable genotypes, they should be managed a genetic resource in addition to other BLM requirements.'

With this type of management, the wild horses of the Mountain Home Range, which is probably the only living historical representatives of the southern California Spanish horse of colonial times, will be strengthened genetically, and the population will be protected from contamination or extinction.

Last August, Dr. Sponenberg gave a lecture on Spanish mustangs at Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area's Horseshoe Bend. He was discussing management of the Pryor Mountain horses for Spanish characteristics and made a statement that, I feel, also applies to the Sulphur Herd Management Area horses. He said, "Say that my philosophy somehow is wrong, which of course it's not, but say that it was. Well, if you do it my way (manage the wild horse herd) you don't lose anything. You still end up with horses that have eye appeal. If I happen to be right, then you've lost something that's irreplaceable."
Photo and mare(Sulphur's Anica) owned by Deb Baumann of California

I hope this paper at least instills an awareness of the wild horses of the Mountain Home Range. To ignore them or to not appreciate them for what they are is a shame. If there ever was a wild horse herd that truly epitomized the spirit of this nation's heritage of the old west, this one does.

The Utah connection and the Spanish Mustang Registry.
It was about eight years ago when I first started investigating what the Bureau of Land Management calls the Sulphur horses, and at that time I didn’t realize the connection of Utah mustangs to the Spanish Mustang Registry. I eventually read about Monty, sire to the two SMR foundation stallions Buckshot (SMR 1) and Ute (SMR 2), who was captured in Emery County, Utah by Bob Holbrook during the late 1920’s. Later I interviewed Kent Gregersen, a former member of the SMR.

Kent showed me a copy of one of the first SMR Studbooks, and he pointed out a large number of horses that came from Utah. Kent was an old time mustanger and it was during that interview that he revealed his secret place where he used to capture Spanish type Utah mustangs. What was so interesting was both Bill Stabler and Emmett Brislawn later told me that Kent never would tell where he caught his mustangs. A friend of mine, who knew Kent and used to run mustangs with him, also said Kent had a place he would never show to his friends. Kent told me his secret place was the Mountain Home Range, which is now the north end of the BLM’s Sulphur Herd Management Area. He pointed out horses in the studbook that he caught from the Mountain Home Range, including Doby (SMR 406), a dun stallion he traded to Bob Brislawn for four mares.

I interviewed other people besides Kent, did a lot of library research, spent time with Dr. Phil Sponenberg looking at Sulphur horses for his evaluation, and talked to Dr. Gus Cothran over the telephone about blood typing the horses. With the information I collected, I wrote a paper about the Sulphur horses for the BLM and SMR, which was included in the SMR’s 1996 Annual. At that time Dr. Cothran had not completed his study of the Sulphur horses, but has since completed it. In a 1997 letter to me, Dr. Cothran wrote, "What I can tell you is that the Sulphur horses have the highest similarity to Spanish type horses of any wild horse population in the US that I have tested. There is more to learn. But they definitely have Spanish ancestry and possibly are primarily derived from Spanish horses."
Sulphur's Cortez

A few years ago I began wondering just how much influence Utah mustangs had on the SMR. So, I took my copy of the SMR Studbook and started compiling the original horses inducted into the SMR from wild and private herds, which was from the beginning of the registry to 1995. The following is a list of horse numbers and states or country (including specific herds) in which they were found: Montana (Cheyenne) - 1; South Dakota - 1; Oregon -1; Colorado -1; Washington (Yakima) -1; Canada - 1; California - 2; Wyoming -3; Nebraska (Ilo Belsky) - 4; Idaho and Shoshoni - 5; Nevada and Paiute - 5; Mexico - 5; New Mexico – 8; Oklahoma and Texas (Choctaw) - 9; Arizona, Cerbat, and Wilbur Cruz - 21; Feral Mustang (unknown origin) - 22; North Carolina (Banker) - 25; and Utah and Sulphur - 68. I then sent this information to Emmett Brislawn and had it confirmed by him. No doubt it is off by some but clearly the majority of horses came from Utah. All it takes is a little browsing through the SMR Studbook to see what influence horses like Monty, Doby, and a number other Utah mustangs have had on the SMR.

When I first wrote my paper "Wild Horses of Utah’s Mountain Home Range" I only touched on Utah’s history and how Spanish horses may have come to this region. By thoroughly looking at the documented evidence and analyzing Utah’s history it is very understandable how the horses came to Utah and why descendants are still here. Whether it was searching for gold, Indian slaves, or opening trade routes, Spanish explorations into Utah were many. Francisco de Ibarro was probably the first to come to Utah in 1565. Fray Estevan de Peria came in 1604, Vincent de Salvidar in 1618, Fray Geronimo Zarate Salmeron in 1621 and 1624, Alonzo de Leon in 1669, Juan de Urbarri in 1705, Fray Juan de Rivera in 1761 and 1765, and the Dominguez-Escalante expedition in 1776. Then there was the early Indian horse trade that brought horses into Utah by Shoshoni and Utes. Finally there was the Old Spanish Trail that was said to have reached its heyday during the early 1800’s whereby virtually thousands upon thousands of Spanish horses were driven out of southern California into Utah. From Doby’s Mountain Home Range to Monty’s Book Cliffs, one only has to look at the distribution of wild Spanish horses caught in Utah to see how the horses could have been brought to specific areas by route of the Old Spanish Trail. Today remoteness and seclusion have preserved the largest number of Spanish type horses on only the Mountain Home Range.

Evidence of Spanish occupation in Utah still exists today, from Spanish mines, journals, artifacts, rock inscriptions, to the horses themselves, and so exists the Utah connection to the Spanish Mustang Registry. If in doubt, read "OLD SPANISH TRAIL" by Leroy R. Hafen and Ann W. Hafen along with "LOST TREASURES ON THE OLD SPANISH TRAIL" and "SOME DREAMS DIE", by George A. Thompson, and take a good look at the SMR Studbook, or just ask Emmett Brislawn or Bob Holbrook. If still not convinced, go for a ride with me on the Mountain Home Range.Sulphur's Takita

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sulphur HMA History 1971-1998

Author is unknown and information should not be taken as solid facts. If you have more information than I have below or corrections, please email me.

1971-80: Horses were inventoried and monitored with no removals ever taken place during this period.

1980: The first authorized removal of any horses took place from the Sulphur HMA, 19 horses were captured and adopted out locally.

1985-86: 78 horses were removed from the HMA, and BLM managers began to take notice of the unique characteristics of the Sulphur HMA. Many of those were returned to the HMA because BLM realized that they were something very special. I (Gus) remember seeing a photo of the returned animals, and they were all a bunch heavily marked-up line back duns with strong Spanish characteristics.

1987: The Sulphur Herd Management Area Plan was signed February 1987. Specific objectives were put into place including the objective to: "Increase the occurrence of animals with good conformation and those displaying the characteristics of the wild Tarpan type of horse and those with colors that occur less frequently to increase the adoptability of horses removed for management purposes."

1988-89: 78 horses were captured and adopted to individuals across the state of Utah. This seemed to spark an interest by a number of private individuals regarding the uniqueness of these horses. Here's the information I have so far on the horses gathered from 1990 until present. Much of it comes from oral relation by Gale Bennett and from notes compiled by him and Ron Roubidoux, who were trying to determine where all the bloodtyped horses had been captured. Some of this information requires further confirmation. The rest of the information came from BLM records, all of which have not yet been examined, and various other sources.

July 1990-25 (740300, Delta, had previously been captured and released in 1985. She was recaptured at this time, making 25 horses total) horses gathered at various sites on the Mountain Home Range. Three of these (two dun stallions and a dun mare) were released to the Conger HMA, two were sent to a sanctuary, and the rest were adopted out. Three of those, including Delta, were taken to Oregon, where they were inspected for registration in the Kiger Mesteno Association (KMA). One of these, 740501 or Cortez Amigo, was accepted into the registry and is now known as a "found horse", which is a term used by the KMA to describe outside horses that it registered in order to broaden the captive Kiger gene pool. (Just to clarify: the Sulphur Horse Registry doesn't recognize the term "found horse" in reference to any horses it has registered other than Cortez Amigo, since it only registers horses of known Sulphur descent.) Nine of the 25 horses captured, including those released to Conger and those inspected by the KMA, were bloodtyped2. Delta was mtDNA tested, and found to have the "D1" pattern.

August 1990-Seven horses likely gathered from the south end of the Sulphur Springs HMA. All the horses captured in 1990 were caught by running and roping, so it is difficult to ascertain where they were caught. There was a serious accident during the roundup, in which one of the ropers accidently roped another rider around the neck, and jerked him off his horse. Fortunately, the rider survived.

August 1991-Ten horses captured on the HMA. The documentation I have so far on these horse is scanty, but since there is no dun factor horses amongst them, it's likely they came from the south end of the HMA.

March 1992-several horses gathered up on the Sulphur Springs HMA that were branded with and as Cedar Mountain Horses. At least one of these horses was released into the Cedar Mountain HMA.

July 1992-10 horses (including Mestene, SHR 1023) gathered at a trap several miles south of Cougar Spring, (the bloodtyping notes say Indian Peak [Green Canyon], but further research indicates the trap was on the Speers reseed, several miles to the northwest of the actual peak) and placed for adoption. These horses were water trapped (one of them, 596 or the "Blue Stallion", was released into the Conger HMA).(blog author here) Despite the information that the Blue Stallion was released onto the Conger HMA, one must realize that this is not first hand information. First hand information came from Ron Roubidoux in his report that the BLM reported that the Blue Stallion was released onto the Mountain Home Range and was never captured again. This first hand report can be found here: http://business.fortunecity.com/mars/221/ron.html

July 1992-17 horses (including Takita) illegally gathered during a weekend from the trap site at the Speers reseed. They were recovered, two were released into Mountain Home, three died, and the others were eventually placed for adoption. As part of the investigation of the attempted theft of these horses, blood samples were drawn from them as well as from the other horses captured at that trap and were sent to Gus Cothran for comparison between the two groups. Takita, Barb and Mestene were later mtDNA tested, and found to have the "D1" pattern.

August 1992-36 horses (including Cortez, Lancelot, Spice, Tia and Smokey; all of which were bloodtyped after adoption, and all of which but Lancelot were mtDNA tested, and found to have the "D3" pattern) gathered from Cougar Spring and placed for adoption. (Upon further research, it appears that about 1/4 of these horse were the ones captured further south, in Green Canyon, a few miles northwest of Indian Peak. Gale Bennett stated that the horses from Green Canyon were identical to the ones gathered further northwest. The horses from Cougar Spring and Green Canyon were mixed together when processed, so it's impossible to know which came from where, although he does remember that Cortez came from Cougar Spring).

January 1993-48 horses (including Diamond D Madrina [blood typed after adoption] and Colorado's Lady Hawk, both of which are SMR registered and also Sundance) gathered at a trap(s) on Mountain Home. One, a chestnut mare, was released to the Swasey HMA. She was recaptured in 2003, and sent to a sanctuary.

March 1993-69 horses (including Diamond D LaGrima [Annie], Chance [SHR 1024] and Spanish Lady, who were bloodtyped after adoption [Chance and Spanish Lady were also mtDNA tested, and found to have the "D1" pattern], and Sampson [SHR #1003] and Blossom [SHR #1006]) caught at Pot Sum Pah in the Southeast quadrant of Mountain Home. Four of the unadopted horses were released back to Mountain Home.

April 1993-three foals born in captivity.
In August 1993, the BLM paid Dr. Phil Sponenberg's expenses to visit Utah and evaluate the Sulphur horses.

December 1993-nine horses(740292, had previously been captured and released in 1985. She was recaptured at this time, making nine horses total. She was adopted by a [then] Sulphur breeder) caught southeast of Vance Springs. All but 740292 were bloodtyped. One of these, a dun stallion, was released to Conger and four others were released in Mountain Home.

February 1994-three horses caught on "state land reseed east of the Speers Ranch", (this should not be confused with "Speers reseed" trap site the 1992 horses were captured at. The Speers Ranch is in Nevada, about due west of Indian Peak) to prevent them from trespassing on the state-owned lands. All three were bloodtyped; and a dun stallion was released to the Chloride herd. By removing these horses from Indian Peak, the BLM created something of a "horse free zone" extending from the line I previously described as "from the crooked fence indicated on the map, extending southeast through the middle of Green's Canyon to the Indian Peak Game Management Area" extending south to another imaginary line running northwest from the southwest corner of the Indian Peak Game Management Area, which draws a lot of human traffic, discouraging horses from migrating back into the area.

February 1994-two more mares caught at the January trapsite southeast of Vance Springs. Both were bloodtyped; one was adopted by an early Sulphur breeder.

March, 1994-Ron Roubidoux writes Wild Horses of Utah's Mountain Home Range. At the time, Spanish Mustang Registry (SMR) inspectors would travel to inspect horses for inclusion in the registry (a year or two later, the SMR changed its bylaws and mandated that horses be brought to the registry's annual meeting to be inspected), so two months later representatives of the SMR came to Utah, inspected 20 Sulphur Horses, and accepted 17 of them into the registry.

Later in 1994, Ron Roubidox and some other Sulphur owners tossed around the idea of starting the "Utah Sulphur Springs Mustang Association", and conducted a survey to determine interest in the organization. The results weren't favorable at the time, but Roubidoux did go on to work with some Kiger owners in Oregon and Vicky Ives of Texas to form the "Spanish Mustang Coalition". That organization fell apart, and Ives went on to revive the Horse of the Americas Registry. However, one excellent remnant of the Spanish Mustang Coalition is the breed standard, which can be used by Sulphur fanciers to judge horses they are considering adopting, buying or breeding.

In June, 1995, representatives of the SMR visited Rexburg, Idaho, and accepted 12 (including Chief Wakara, Sampson (SHR 1003), Blossom (SHR 1006), Tafel and Strawberry) horses into the registry. Unfortunately, only Chief Wakara was actually registered. Early in 1997, most of these horses were leased to the Blackfeet Buffalo Horse Coalition.

September 1996-148 horses, including REO (SHR 1095), Cisco (SHR 1061), Mere (SHR 1030), LaBlanca (SHR 1060), Chulito Ballo (SHR 1082), Sulphur's Prince (SHR 1091) and Senior Diego (SHR 1085) captured on Mountain Home. Hardy Oelke visited Utah to evaluate the horses and included several of them in his book Born Survivors on the Eve of Extinction. A report of his evaluation can also be seen at Sulphur Springs and Sorraia Mustangs.

April 1998-16 horses captured south of Indian Peak.
In June 1997, Ron Roubidoux took Sulphur's Candy Stripe, Sulphur's Riddler, Sulphur's Sunshine and Sulphur's Dona Wana (these mares were captured in the 1996 roundup. The names aren't the ones these mares are known by now; they were subsequently sold to new owner who renamed them before disposing of them himself) to the 1997 SMR meeting, where they were inspected for registration and rejected (there were two other Sulphurs taken to the same meeting by another individual; those two were accepted).

Not long thereafter, Clinton Galbraith acquired most of the Sulphur Horses leased to the Blackfeet Buffalo Horse Coalition, and, along with the founders of the Sulphur Horse Registry (SHR), tried to follow through on the SMR registration. The one year time limit from the inspection date had lapsed, so, rather than try to get horses reinspected they, Ron Roubidoux, and other early Sulphur owners began work to establish the Sulphur Horse Registry.

September, 1997-Gus Cothran releases his blood typing analysis of the Sulphur Herd.3

September 1998-111 horses, including Desert's Fancy Lady (SHR 1101), La Victoria (SHR 1059) and Tequila Ole Oro (SHR 1051), rounded up west of Mountain Home Pass and placed for adoption. 17 old horses were gathered during this roundup; 15 were branded and released along with two stallions that had been previously branded. The brand of one of these stallions, a stunning grullo, had third and fourth digits, 4 and 5, that would indicate he came from the Pryor herd.4

October 1998-a membership campaign begins for the Sulphur Horse Registry. By the time the first newsletter is published in February, 1999, the registry has 36 members and 92 horses (SHR 1001 through SHR 1092) registered.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Picture from the Past

This is Sulphur's Cortez. He is a 1991 dun stallion owned by Deborah Elliot from Colorado.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Wild Horses of Utah's Mountain Home Range
part 4

Written by Ron Roubidoux in 1994

OBSERVATIONS
Gus Warr invited me to go with him on a horse trapping project in the southern part of the Sulphur Herd Management Area. The trap consisted of metal corral panels with long wings of burlap material extending out from the corral in a V shape. A helicopter was used to push the horses into the trap. Five attempts were made to drive groups of three to five horses into the trap. Only one attempt was successful, and five horses were caught during the entire day. I gained a greater appreciation for the difficulty in catching the Sulphur horses. The weather was very cold and windy with frequent snow flurries. I also gained an appreciation for the work that the BLM men have to go through to catch horses, and their frustrations when projects are not successful. They tried to trap horses at a different location the following week and came out completely empty handed. Seeing the difficulties in trying to catch horses nowadays confirmed, to me, how the wild horses of the Mountain Home Range could have been impossible for the mustangers of years past to completely catch or kill out.


Craig Egerton told me that there are probably horses in the Sulphur herd that men have never seen before. During my few travels through the area I have found it difficult to find or see many horses, due to the dense stand of pinion and juniper trees. Craig also said that during the last time he was out to the Sulphur Herd Management Area, he saw a herd of horses on the hills to the west of the Mountain Home Range across Hamblin Valley. He thought these were probably the horses they had been wanting to catch, and the commotion the BLM was making in the area, had driven the horses completely out. Craig said the horses would probably return after things quieted down. Elk will do the same thing, when there is any human impact on an area they are in, they will move completely out. This again shows the wild nature of the Sulphur horses.

Another unique characteristic of the Sulphur horses, as pointed out before, is the color, and especially the prominence of dun factor horses in the population. Of the horses that were adopted out during 1992 and 1993, I could account for 148, though there were a few more. I was told that this was a good representation of what is in the total population on the Mountain Home Range. Out of the 148 horses, there were 22% buckskin, 18% dun, 16% grulla, 14% bay, 11% black, 9% chestnut, 8% sorrel, and 2% brown. (The colors are BLM terminology. The buckskins were actually line backed horses with black points, and the duns were various forms of red dun.) Over half were dun factor horses, 56%, which shows the strong influence of this color in the population.

At one time I thought the dun factor Spanish mustangs in the United States were actually Spanish Sorraias. I wrote to Dr. Phil Sponenberg about this, and he wrote back, concerning the Sorraias: "They are a remnant of a primitive type of Iberian horse. It was not Sorraias that were brought over to the New World, but rather it was related Iberian types. As a result, any horses in the New World with these line backed colors are not descendants of Sorraias, but are probably cousins of some sort or another.,, The dun factor coloring with the right conformation is very characteristic of Spanish type through descent from the Iberian horse. I have seen pictures of Sorraias in various horse books, and many of the Sulphur horses I have seen look just like them, both in color and conformation. In describing the Sorraia, Encyclopedia of the Horse states: "It is a true 'primitive' having characteristics of both the Tarpan and Przewalski and being extremely hardy it is able to survive on the very poor vegetation available, whilst withstanding the extreme climatic conditions." Exactly the same description can also be said for the wild horses of the Mountain Home Range.

I looked at several Nevada mustangs that were being held in the BLM's Delta corrals. These horses looked to have some Spanish blood in them. They were small, had low set tails, and a sloping croup. There were many bays and blacks and a few dun factor horses. They had common heads, though, and were generally course looking. The wild horses from the Mountain Home Range, on the other hand, have stronger Spanish type features and appear to be a higher grade horse. I have read references of Chief Walkara and his Utes stealing the finest Spanish horses out of Southern California. If there is any truth to this, and these horses escaped from the Utes to eventually populate the Mountain Home Range, that could explain the better features of the Sulphur horses.

I wondered what would attract horses to the Mountain Home Range if they did escape from Spanish horse herds being driven across the Old Spanish Trail Gus Warr told me that the Needle Range probably had more water than any range west of Cedar City. Gale Bennett also told me that of the routes going north to the Sevier River, Pine Valley also had the most water. This could have been a possible route for horse traders such as Miles Goodyear to have driven their horses on their way to Northern Utah and Fort Bridger. Undoubtedly, Ute Indians drove horses through Pine Valley also.

Most people I interviewed said the Mountain Home Range horses won't mix with domestic or other types of horses. Last summer I put a friend's mare, which was daughter of an adopted Rock Springs, Wyoming mustang, with my Sulphur stallion and mare with her foal. My three horses would not have a thing to do with my friend's mare and actually avoided her.

Present day description of Spanish mustang conformation is very specific. I have seen that the Sulphur horses may sway from this slightly. In some horses I see a wider chest, larger chestnuts, and longer ears. I wonder if the Spanish horse of southern California, later to be captured by Ute Indians and eventually escaping to the wilds of the Needle Mountain range, may have developed certain characteristics of their own. On the other hand, they may still carry the same characteristics of the old southern California, Spanish horse, or be tainted with the blood of domestic horses. In Dr. Sponenberg's North American Colonial Spanish Horse Update.

August 1992, he writes: "The original Spanish type was more variable, including some horses with higher set tails, broader chests, and rounder conformation generally." In Cunninghame Graham's Horses of the Conquest he writes: "Forced to rely upon themselves for their protection, all the descendants of the Spanish horses throughout America developed characteristics that in the course of centuries rendered them very different from the Spanish type. Possibly by reason of being obliged to think and to rely upon themselves, their heads grew larger and their ears, always strained to catch the slightest sound, grew longer and more mobile than those of horses stable-fed and cared for from earliest years."

If behavior is any indication of difference in breeds of horses I certainly see this in my Sulphur horses. In the seven-acre area that I kept my three horses and my friend's mare, I also have a five year old buck mule deer. My horses had closer contact with and acted more like the deer than they did my friends horse. At any noise or movement, they erect their heads with ears extended just like the deer. Of course, this is probably due to their former existence in the wilds of the Mountain Home Range where predators like coyotes and mountain lions are prevalent. The foal I have, though, which was born in captivity, acts just like the other horses. There are no confirmed southern California, Spanish horses left to make comparison, so determination of Spanish lineage is subjective. Positive proof is impossible, and again the horses are at the mercy of personal opinion.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Picture from the Past

Gale Bennett's two Sulphur mares and a foal. I am uncertain as to who these mares are or who the foal is unfortunately.

Wild Horses of Utah's Mountain Home Range
part 3

Continuation of Ron Roubidoux's article on the Spanish Sulphur. Written in 1994.

"INTERVIEWS
I first interviewed Gale Bennett because of his familiarity with the Mountain Home Range through his work for the BLM since 1973. Gale was the first to tell me of the Pegleg Smith-Walkara story. He had read about the story in the book, "Claw of the Hawk". He later came upon the book "0ld Spanish Trail", which confirmed his theory of where the horses came from. Gale believes that the horses were brought into the area by the Ute Indians. Not only from Walkara's exploits, but also from the Ute's hunting and gathering pine nuts in the area. During helicopter flights,.Gale has seen circular rock pits, 35 to 50 feet in diameter, and in a row . He says these were use by Indians to cook the pinion pine cones from which the pinion nuts were used for food. He has also seen many arrow head chippings in the area.
BR Lakota's Dreamweaver

I asked Gale if there was a difference in the Sulphur horses compared to those horses from other herd management areas. He said that they are a little bit smaller and more intelligent; they are afraid of people when first caught, but gentle down quick and accept people quicker than horses in other areas; and they are built stronger than other horses and have nicer heads. I asked if there were many dun factor horses in the other herds in Utah. He said, "No, that's one definite difference, at least in that bunch, is the coloring, of the buckskin (line backed), the dun, and the grulla, and that, we do not have in any other areas."

Glenn Foreman had told me that the Sulphur horses were wiser than horses in other herd management areas and were therefore harder to catch. I asked Gale about this and he said, "I think they are in an area that's harder to trap more than they are hard to trap. They're in an area where there's juniper- pinion.trees just so thick. The terrain, the timber, the country there is just definitely harder to trap horses in."

Craig Egerton told me, he noticed that when the horses are first caught, branded, and worked on, they sulk, lay down, and actually make a whimpering sound. This, to me, seems to be a typical reaction to captivity of an animal that exhibits a truly wild behavior. He also said that he heard that mustangers and local people left the horses alone because of their color and uniqueness. He told me of four Pryor Mountain horses that were put in with the Sulphur horses years ago. The Sulphur horses wouldn't accept them and the Pryor Mountain horses ran alone, at least for the years that the BLM could keep track of them.

Kent Gregersen, from Marysvale, Utah, first went into the Mountain Home Range in 1944, when he was fourteen years old. Kent became a mustanger in later years and caught many horses out of the area. He did a lot of mustanging in Nevada and Utah, where he caught and sold many horses. Kent recognized there was something unique about the Mountain Home horses, and after catching some, had them inspected by Bob Brislawn, founder of the Spanish Mustang Registry. These horses were confirmed as Spanish and were registered in the registry. Kent said that Bob Brislawn traded three horses for a buckskin-colored, line-backed Mountain Home stallion he had caught. This stallion was named Doby. Dr. William Stabler, president of the SMR, wrote to me and said he was the one that inspected Doby for registration. Marye Ann Thompson, registrar for the SMR, sent me some photos of Doby, and he looks typical of the Mountain Home horses. Kent told me that the only horses that he ever kept during his mustanging years were those from the Mountain Home Range: "They were a more intelligent horse, had more speed, and more cow savvy."
Painting of 1700's Spaniards and their horses in southern California.

Kent says that from the late 1930s to the early 1950s there were from 3,000 to 4,000 wild horses in the area, and most were caught by mustangers for the meat market. He said that many ranchers put domestic horses in with the wild ones to try to increase the size of the horses through cross breeding, but: "The little mustang studs would kill the domestic' stallions, and those that survived didn't adapt. They got sore footed, got down in condition, and winter killed. So, there has been a retention of the old original blood lines." I asked Kent if the domestic horses could have been those that were caught out in the early days, and the Spanish type horses, which were isolated in the mountains, were left undisturbed. He said, "Definitely." He also said the domestic horses would not mix with the Spanish type horses.

In Minersville, Utah, I interviewed 81 year old Cheryl Carter, 74 year old Daisel Davis, and 63 year old Nole Wood. Cheryl Carter said that the horses have been there all his life, and knew of no other outside horses being brought in. Daisel Davis started going into the Mountain Home Range when he was 19 years old. As far as he knows they are all Spanish mustangs, and there have never been any other horses mixed in with them. He said there have always been the buckskins and other colored horses, and a few pintos were there but they aren't there anymore. He said, "The horses have been, more or less, where nobody else is." Nole Wood also said that the horses have been there all his life, and specifically mentioned them as being buckskin with a black line down the back and having a black mane. He knew of no ranchers turning horses in with the Mountain Home horses, and felt they were pure. He said, often, that they are smarter than other horses. Nole also said his father told him that they have always been the same color, and in Pine Valley there was a thousand head of horses at one time, but the Spanish type horses were up in the hills all by themselves.
Sulphur's Corderio Riscado (Sulphur's Corderio Cruz x Sulphur's Arista)

What few people I was able to talk to in Milford, Utah, who knew anything about the horses, thought they came from the Dominguez- Escalante expedition. There is a park in Milford with a display telling about the expedition, so I'm sure that is how these people got the notion of where the horses came from.

Lad Davies is a rancher whose land is south of Garrison, Utah, in Hamblin Valley on the northwest side of the Mountain Home Range. He has been there for 63 years. He tells of draft horses being turned out with the wild horses before 1950, but none being turned out after 1950. This, he says, was an attempt by ranchers to increase the size of the wild horses. He believes that at most five percent of the wild horses bred with the domestic horses, but any cross breeding has never shown in the horses. He said, "I'd say these horses are ninety-five percent straight mustang, and I think you can go there and eyeball them, and someone that was knowledgeable could pick every one of them out, and that's my opinion." He went on to say, "These tame horses here all ran in the valley and all the wild horses ran in the mountains because the tame horses feet wouldn't stand up in the mountains, but they did mix a little, not a lot."

When I interviewed Gale Bennett, I asked for his opinion of the horses in the Sulphur unit as far as the Spanish ancestry goes? He answered, "I think these horses are the closest thing to the Spanish horses there are in the United States or in this continent, in my opinion." On the other hand, I interviewed Carl Mahon, a retired BLM employee from Montecello, Utah, over the telephone, and he didn't think there were any full-blooded Spanish horses left.
Takita

I have found, during interviews and discussing Spanish type horses with various people, that much is based on both assumption and personal opinion. Some people think a group of horses are of Spanish descent while others think not. Everyone has their own opinion, which varies as much as there are different colors in Spanish horses. It is therefore understandable that besides a history, the appearance and blood-type of the horses in question are important. Also, "in my opinion," one needs to weigh the evidence and put logic to work.

Wood also said that the horses have been there all his life, and specifically mentioned them as being buckskin with a black line down the back and having a black mane. He knew of no ranchers turning horses in with the Mountain Home horses, and felt they were pure. He said, often, that they are smarter than other horses. Nole also said his father told him that they have always been the same color, and in Pine Valley there was a thousand head of horses at one time, but the Spanish type horses were up in the hills all by themselves.

What few people I was able to talk to in Milford, Utah, who knew anything about the horses, thought they came from the Dominguez- Escalante expedition. There is a park in Milford with a display telling about the expedition, so I'm sure that is how these people got the notion of where the horses came from.
Spaniards roping a bear.

Lad Davies is a rancher whose land is south of Garrison, Utah, in Hamblin Valley on the northwest side of the Mountain Home Range. He has been there for 63 years. He tells of draft horses being turned out with the wild horses before 1950, but none being turned out after 1950. This, he says, was an attempt by ranchers to increase the size of the wild horses. He believes that at most five percent of the wild horses bred with the domestic horses, but any cross breeding has never shown in the horses. He said, "I'd say these horses are ninety-five percent straight mustang, and I think you can go there and eyeball them, and someone that was knowledgeable could pick every one of them out, and that's my opinion." He went on to say, "These tame horses here all ran in the valley and all the wild horses ran in the mountains because the tame horses feet wouldn't stand up in the mountains, but they did mix a little, not a lot."

When I interviewed Gale Bennett, I asked for his opinion of the horses in the Sulphur unit as far as the Spanish ancestry goes? He answered, "I think these horses are the closest thing to the Spanish horses there are in the United States or in this continent, in my opinion." On the other hand, I interviewed Carl Mahon, a retired BLM employee from Monticello, Utah, over the telephone, and he didn't think there were any full-blooded Spanish horses left.

I have found, during interviews and discussing Spanish type horses with various people, that much is based on both assumption and personal opinion. Some people think a group of horses are of Spanish descent while others think not. Everyone has their own opinion, which varies as much as there are different colors in Spanish horses. It is therefore understandable that besides a history, the appearance and blood-type of the horses in question are important. Also,
"in my opinion," one needs to weigh the evidence and put logic to work."

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Kentucky Horse Park

I am looking for a well trained Spanish Sulphur horse of good type to represent the Spanish Sulphur horse at the Kentucky Horse Park. Please email me if you know of a horse or own a horse that would be suitable for promoting the breed at that famous horse park.

weyekin@hotmail.com

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Wild Horses of Utah's Mountain Home Range
part 2

by Ron Roubidoux March 1994

"LITERATURE
The earliest reference to horses being in the southwestern Utah area is from the journal made by Father Silvestre Velez de Escalante during the 1776 Dominguez-Escalante expedition. Horses were referred to were those taken on the expedition. Herbert E. Bolton has an article entitled "Pageant in the Wilderness", in Utah Historical Quarterly in which he mentions that: "How many mules and horses the wayfarers had is not stated, but there must have been numerous extra mounts."

Escalante also refers to "the horse herd" in his journal, which would also suggest many animals. On October 2, while in an area south of Delta, Utah, the horse herd wandered off due to thirst, but was recovered. On October 8, in an area north of Milford, Utah, Escalante writes: "We traveled only three leagues and a half with great difficulty, because it was so soft and miry everywhere that many pack animals and mounts, and even those that were loose, either fell down or became stuck altogether." These were the only remarks concerning their horses during this time, but they were in areas fairly close to the Mountain Home Range. At this time they also encountered a very bad snow storm with accompanying strong winds and cold temperatures. Some horses possibly escaped, but there is no record of it.
Sulphur's Anhur Maximus as a colt. Year 2000.


Gale Bennett, Wild Horse Specialist for the BLM's Richfield District, also has an interest in the Mountain Home Range's Spanish type horses. He has been looking for books about their history. Three months ago he introduced me to a book that I feel holds the key to where these horses came from. The book,"Old Spanish Trail", by Leroy R. Hafen and Ann W. Hafen was first published in 1954, and is again in print from Bison Book Company. The Hafens extensively researched the history of the Old Spanish Trail, which was the main trade route linking Santa Fe, New Mexico to Los Angeles, California from 1830 to 1848.According to the Hafens: "The Old Spanish Trail was the longest, crookedest, most arduous pack mule route in the history of America. Envisioned and launched in the late 1700s to serve as a connecting link between two of Spain's colonial outposts, the Trail reached its short- lived heyday in the 1830s and '40s, when annual caravans packed woolen blankets from New Mexico to trade for California horses and mules." Literally thousands of horses were driven over this trail from southern California to New Mexico. Part of the route led across the Escalante Desert, south of the Needle Range.
Photo by Bev Pettit Photography.


Many horses were obtained by men such as Antonio Armijo who was actually the first to start legal trade over the trail in 1830. Other accounts mentioned in the book were of John Rowland leaving Cajon Pass with 300 horses on April 7, 1842, followed by 194 New Mexicans, on April 16, with 4,150 animals legally acquired; James P. Beckwourth with 1,800 horses in 1844; and Joe Walker with four or five hundred horses and mules in the spring of 1846.

Much is discovered in "0ld Spanish Trail's" chapter on "Horse Thieves" where the Hafens write: "Although the value placed on wild horses was generally low, the tame stock in use at missions and ranchos and the mules, produced by careful breeding, were more highly prized. Loss of tame animals by theft was always a matter of concern. Soon the more irresponsible traders and certain adventurers found it easier to obtain livestock by raid than by trade. By 1832 raids on the herds of missions and ranches had become so frequent and devastating that Californians were alarmed." The Hafens give examples of many illegal raids, but the most spectacular one was that of Pegleg Smith and Ute Indian chief, Walkara, in 1840. Apparently, raids on California horse herds were many during this time, and Ute Indian raids did not cease until Walkara's death in 1855."
La Victoria. Los Angeles Equestrian Center 2004


In the 1954 book, "Walkara, Hawk of the Mountain", by Paul Bailey, more detail is written into before, during, and after the 1840 raid in southern California. The book mentions Walkara's part in the Indian slave trade and how he was feared by lesser tribes without horses.

Robert M. Denhardt tells of the 1840 horse raid in his book, "The Horse of the Americas". His rendition of the story is quite good. He states that though the thieves initially got away with 3,000 horses, the Californians recaptured 1,200. He also writes: "As a rule, stolen horses were sold in Utah or taken directly to Santa Fe." He writes of Miles Goodyear, in the spring of 1848, driving 230 legally acquired horses from southern California into Utah. Goodyear traveled across the Escalante Desert north to the Sevier River. Of significance in Denhardt's story is a statement that can probably be applied to all the herds of horses driven across the Old Spanish Trail: "When first leaving California, they (the horses) must have taken every opportunity to bolt for the thickets and any other likely-looking chance which might mean freedom."

Map of the Old Spanish Trail.

Map of the Sulphur HMA.

You can see here on this close up of the Utah map where the Sulphurs are. Compare all three of these images to get an idea how close the Old Spanish Trail is to the Sulphur HMA.


"These books document well how Spanish horses could have populated the southwestern Utah area. I have found no references of any other breeds of horses coming into or establishing a population in the area before settlement. "

Monday, March 30, 2009

Picture from the Past

Here is La Victoria in her Spanish show halter. Photo was taken sometime in 2003.

Iberian Warmblood Registry International

Just to give you all an update. The Iberian Sport Horse Registry that was accepting the Spanish Sulphur as a foundation parent has merged with the Iberian Warmblood Registry. To confirm that the IWRI will also accept this old Spanish breed as a founding parent (same as the Andalusian and Lusitano), I had emailed them. Here is what a received back:

Re: Question for Registration‏
From: Iberian Warmblood Registry International, LLC (Registry@IberianWarmblood.com)
Sent: Sat 3/28/09 12:48 PM
To: Kimberlee Jones (weyekin@hotmail.com)

Yes - horses from the sporthorse registry have been merged with the IWRI. The registry will broaden to include Sulphurs.

So, any of you with Sulphur crosses can register your horse(s) as an Iberian Warmblood!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Wild Horses of Utah's Mountain Home Range
part 1

Written by Ron Roubidoux in 1994.

"The Mountain Home Range lies at the north end of the Bureau of Land Management's Sulphur Herd Management Area, which is located in southwestern Utah. Craig Egerton, Supervisory Range Conservationist for the BI~'s Beaver River Resource Area, says that most maps show the entire north and south running range as the Needle Range, but local people break it up into the Mountain Home Range on the north and the Indian Peak Range on the south. The highest elevation in the Mountain Home Range is 9,480 feet whereas Indian Peak has an elevation of 9,790 feet. The forty mile long Needle Range is covered with heavy stands of pinion and juniper, and is located east of the Nevada-Utah border. Hamblin Valley is on the west, Pine Valley is on the east, and the Escalante Desert is on the south. Antelope Valley, the Burbank Hills, and Great Basin National Park are on the north.

Elevations of the surrounding valley floors are between 5,000 and 6,000 feet. From the dry, lifeless hardpan of the valley floors the land gently rises over native grass covered flats to sagebrush covered benches, and finally to the pinion-juniper covered mountains. Benches and mountains are broken up with many rugged canyons and draws. Low areas are generally sandy while the mountain slopes are very rocky. The Sulphur Herd Management Area is approximately 142,800 acres, and covers the entire Needle Range. Most of the area is unfenced.

Gus Warr, Range Conservationist for the BLM's Beaver River Resource Area, says there is an imaginary line between Vance Spring and Sulphur Spring which divides and separates the horses in the Sulphur Herd Management Area. The area between these springs also divides the Mountain Home Range from the Indian Peak Range. Both Craig and Gus have said that most of the Spanish type horses are found north of this line on the Mountain Home Range. The BLM is therefore managing this area specifically for the Spanish type horse. The herd management area gets its name from the Sulphur Springs. There are three springs in all, North Sulphur Spring, South Sulphur Spring, and Sulphur Spring. Many other springs are found throughout the Needle Range.
Santiago. Photo by Diane Black owned by Deb Baumann of California

According to D. Philip Sponenberg, DVM, PhD, of Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine and Technical Coordinator, American Livestock Breeds Conservancy: "The three main tools for evaluating horses (for Spanish descent) are the history behind the individual horse, the appearance of the horse, and the blood-type of the horse." During August 1993, Dr.Sponenberg came to Utah and inspected thirty-four Sulphur horses that the BLM had adopted out to various individuals. His subsequent evaluation states: "The Sulphur Herd Management area horses that are present as adopted horses in the Salt Lake City area appear to be of Spanish phenotype. The horses were reasonably uniform in phenotype, and most of the variation encountered could be explained by a Spanish origin of the population. That, coupled with the remoteness of the range and blood-typing studies, suggests that these horses are indeed Spanish. As such they are a unique genetic resource, and should be managed to perpetuate this uniqueness. A variety of colors occurs in the herds, which needs to be maintained. Initial culling in favor of Spanish phenotype should be accomplished, and a long term plan for population numbers and culling strategies should be formulated. This is one population that should be kept free of introductions from other herd management areas, as it is Spanish in type and therefore more unique than horses of most other BLM management areas." He later states: "The horses removed during the last few years from the Sulphur Herd Management Area are Spanish in type. The fact that the horses were so consistently Spanish type is evidence that these horses have a Spanish origin," This evaluation therefore establishes the Sulphur horses as Spanish in appearance.
Rose and filly Maria. Photo taken by Joseph Hayes and owned by Victoria of California.

Concerning blood-typing, Dr. Sponenberg's evaluation states: "Gus Cothran has blood-typed a small number of these horses, and is struck by the frequency of antigens known to be of Spanish origin. While further sampling would be useful, he is confident that this population will ultimately prove to be one of the more consistently Spanish of feral populations so far studied." E. Gus Cothran, PhD, Director, Equine Blood-Typing Research Laboratory, University of Kentucky, sent me a letter where he writes: "The Sulphur herd in general appears to have strong Spanish links. What I can tell you is that the Sulphur horses have the highest similarity to Spanish Type Horses of any wild horse population in the U.S. that I have tested. They definitely have Spanish ancestry and possibly are primarily derived from Spanish Horses. However, I have not done an intensive analysis of these horses yet. The southwestern Utah horses look to be a very interesting group and I hope I have an opportunity to do more work with these horses." He also told me, during a telephone conversation, that he needed more blood samples to do a proper evaluation of the Sulphur horses. Glenn Foreman, Public Affairs Officer for the BLM's Salt Lake District, planned on a voluntary gathering of adopted Sulphur horses in April 1994, where blood would be taken from horses and sent to Kentucky for more blood-typing. This would have fulfilled the number of samples required for Dr. Cothran to make a final evaluation of the horses. Unfortunately, due to a glitch in the BLM's budget, higher powers in the BLM canceled the funding for Glenn's project. Glenn told me that this set back was temporary, and he eventually wants to have the work done. Although the evaluation for blood-typing still needs to be completed, the work that has been done thus far looks good.This leaves the history of the horses to be established. Again, Dr. Sponenberg writes in his evaluation: .Detailed historical background of the Sulphur Herd Management Area horses is not available. The limited amount of history available points to population being an old one, with limited or no introduction of outside horses since establishment of the population. Foundation of the herd is logically assumed to be Spanish, since this the only resource available at the time of foundation.
Sulphur's Anhur Maximus. Grandson of Sulphur's Chance.

My purpose in writing this paper is to try to establish a background history for the wild horses of the Mountain Home Range, and logically reinforce their case for purity of Spanish descent."

A Little History

D. P. Sponenberg, DVM, PhD, Veterinary College, VPI, Blacksburg, VA 24061

Dated 1993

"The Sulphur herd management area in Southwest Utah is one area that still has Spanish type horses today. This region is along the Old Spanish Trail trade route, along which many horses traveled during Spanish and later times. Both traders and Ute Indians used routes through the area repeatedly, and the feral horses are thought to have originated from this source. Chief Walkara and others made many horse raids into California, and it is likely that the horses in this region have a California origin, making them distinct from other feral strains. Many of the horses from the northern end of this management area have very Spanish type. The usual colors in these herds are dun, grullo, red dun, bay, black and a few chestnuts. These horses show remarkable adaptation to their harsh environment. These horses are currently attracting attention, as well as dedicated breeders such as Ron Roubidoux. A group of these horses was accepted into the SMR in 1994, and a second group in 1995. The horses remaining in the wild are in a remote area, and these horses are frequently harassed by a variety of people. Hopefully the ones in the feral herds can be managed to complement the very able work being done by Ron and the other breeders. Bloodtyping by Gus Cothran has revealed a very high frequency of Iberian markers in the Sulphur horses."

Dr. Sponenberg

D. P. Sponenberg, DVM, PhD, Veterinary College, VPI, Blacksburg, VA 24061

"SUMMARY

The Sulphur Herd Management area horses that are present as adopted horses in the Salt Lake City area appear to be of Spanish phenotype. The horses were reasonably uniform in phenotype, and most of the variation encountered could be explained by a Spanish origin of the population. That, coupled with the remoteness of the range and blood typing studies, suggests that these horses are indeed Spanish. As such they are an unique genetic resource, and should be managed to perpetuate this uniqueness. A variety of colors occurs in the herds, which needs to be maintained. Initial culling in favor of Spanish phenotype should be accomplished, and a long term plan for population numbers and culling strategies should be formulated. This is one population that should be kept free of introductions from other herd management areas, as it is Spanish in type and therefore more unique than horses of most other BLM management areas."

Map of the Sulphur HMA:




"BACKGROUND

Detailed historical background of the Sulphur herd management area horses is not available. The limited amount of history available points to this population being an old one, with limited or no introduction of outside horses since establishment of the population. The foundation of the herd is logically assumed to be Spanish, since this the only resource available at the time of foundation.

Spanish type includes sloping croup low set tail, deep body, narrow chest, deep Roman nosed head from side view, broad forehead but narrow face and muzzle from front view, eyes place on side of head, small ears with inwardly hooked tips, small or absent rear chestnuts, small front chestnuts, potential of long hairs on stern area and chin. All colors are possible, although a high proportion of black and its derivatives are consistent with a Spanish origin. Line backed duns, roans, buckskin/palomino, sabino and overo paint, and the leopard complex are also usually Spanish in origin, and grey and tobiano can be. It is frequently the mix of colors and their relative frequency in the population that is more important than the presence of or absence of any one color."

Sulphur HMA Cortez owned by Deborah Elliot of Colorado.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Well, I am hoping that the BLM posts more pictures of horses because right now there isn't much (or really any) of a selection of nice Spanish horses. Here is my absolute most favorite horse of the adoption so far:




I was hoping that they would post a lot more like her, but I haven't seen any. She has that nice old style Spanish Sulphur look to her. I hope to see more horses being posted that have the looks of this gorgeous girl! I also hope that the owner of the filly will contact me.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Blue Stallion

This story was written by Ron Roubidoux about one of his favorite stallions. Sorry, but there are no pictures that I have found of this famous stallion.

"Every horse breed has its stories of legendary stallions, stories handed down from generation to generation by word of mouth, stories immortalized in print, and stories held sacred in the hearts of individuals who possess or have lost a favorite stallion.
 
Since I started investigating Spanish Mustangs, I have come across manysuch stories whether they be in a BLM herd like the Kigers that is mistakenly touted to be "the most pure herd of Spanish Mustangs existing in the wild today" or the authentic Spanish Mustangs found in the Spanish Mustang Registry. The books I have read, like The Mustangs by 2. Frank Dobie, carried fascinating, romantic stories of legendary stallions of the past. Probably the most touching stories, to me, are the ones I have read in the SMR's Annual or were told to me by SMR members I have met. Then there are the untold stories that I can only see in the gleam of a person's eye, when they are showing me their favorite stallion, a gleam that comes from pride found deep in the heart. I may not be told, but I know there is a story there. Every owner of such a horse has a story, and that is as it should be.

As for me, my heart lies with the Sulphur horses. During the past couple of years I have devoted much of my time to the horses, to a point that they have almost become an obsession, and in doing so I have collected my own personal stories of the Sulphur stallions. Though some of these stories have a good outcome and others don't, I would like to share them with you.

When I first found out about the Sulphur horses, and decided I wanted to adopt some from the BLM, I was told of a slate grullo stallion that was caught with a bay mare, dun yearling filly, and dun filly foal. At the time, the BLM in Utah made their comparisons of the Sulphur horses with the Kigers of Oregon, and they said this stallion was as good if not better than anything in the Kiger herd. They raved about him, some saying he was two horses in one. I have yet to meet a BLM man that has seen him, and who doesn't have something good to say about "the blue stallion". They branded him number 596, and later returned him to the Mountain Home Range. They felt he was much too good a horse to put up for adoption, and wanted to keep him with the wild herd. This was during the summer of 1992.

In mid-July, the bay mare and two duns were taken to a satellite adoption held at Logan, Utah, along with forty horses from other herds. I was there with my eye on the grullo's three. No one else knew the story of the mare and her two foals, nor was there much interest, specifically in Sulphur horses, at the time. I noticed that a number of people had the dun yearling written down as their first choice, probably because of her color. At the BLM adoptions, people wanting horses must be pre-approved, and when registering for the adoption, they write their name on a ticket that is then dropped into a bucket. The tickets are later drawn from the bucket, one at a time, lottery style, and the name is called out. The first name called gets first choice of one horse and so on until all the horses are gone. Each horse has a tag tied to its neck with a number on it. The person whose name is called, calls out the number of the horse he wants, unless it has already been taken, in which case a second, standby choice can be made. All I wanted were horses number 595, 597 and 594 and there were over sixty people registered to draw for horses. The BLM man drew the first name, which starting with Ron, and stammered on the last name starting with an R. I called out "Roubidoux, 595!" The dun yearling filly was mine. The bay mare, 594, and her foal, 597 were being adopted as one, since the foal was too young to be separated from her mother. Eight names later and she still hadn't been taken. Then my daughter's boy friend's name was called and we got the mare and foal.

I later found out that 596, his mare, and the dun fillies were all blood typed. I telephoned Dr. Gus Cothran in Kentucky, and he confirmed that the two fillies were the daughters of 596, the grullo stallion. All four horses also had good Spanish markers.

After the adoption, my family and I went on a vacation. As soon as we returned home I telephoned the BLM to find out if they still had 596, as I wanted to get some pictures of him, but they had taken him back to the range the day before. I was able to get copies of a few pictures that the BLM had taken, and that was all.

The following winter the BLM was capturing horses on the Mountain Home Range and almost caught 596 a second time, but he jumped one of the trap wings, taking a couple mares with him. That was the last time he was seen. I hope he is still alive and well on the mountain, and someday I may be privileged to see him there for myself. Every time I go to the Mountain Home Range I hope to see him, but it is like looking for a needle in a haystack, because of the heavy stands of pinion-juniper. Maybe that's why they call the Mountain Home and Indian Peak Ranges of the Sulphur Herd Management Area, the Needle Range."

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Internet Adoption

30 Spanish and mixed Spanish Sulphur horses have been posted on the internet adoption site. Go here to check it out!

Internet Adoption

Don't forget about the Sulphurs that will not be on the internet adoption!

Click here to check out the other Sulphur horses.

If anyone would like my help in selecting a Spanish type horse, then I would be more than happy to help! Just send me an email.

A Picture from the Past


Sulphur's Smokey with Sulphur's Quest. Quest is by Sulphur's Chance. Sulphur's Smokey now lives with Jeff Hammer in NM.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Spanish Fire



Chief and Sulphur mare taken in 2008. Photo is copyrighted and not available for reproduction of any kind. Bev Pettit Photography.

Spanish Head styles

Most people have a real difference of opinion on this topic. Some prefer to believe that a Spanish head style is long, narrow between the eyes, with a convex profile. The more convex the better. I have found this type of head style to be prolific on modern Iberian horses as well as warmbloods. Giving me the impression that this head style is of non-Spanish origin. You will find it hard to find such a head style on the more old Iberian horses such as the Paso Fino, Spanish Sulphur, Peruvian Paso, etc. Which actually would do more to confirm my suspicion that this head style is indeed of non-Iberian origin.





Both of these convex head examples are of warmblood type horses influenced by Spanish horses. Which type of Spanish horse (modern which is the Andalusian and Lusitano who also have warmblood and TB flowing through their veins vs. old Iberian which would include Paso Fino, Peruvian Paso, Chilean Criollo, Spanish Sulphur, etc.) influenced these warmbloods, I don't know. Being that the modern Andalusian and Lusitano are at best only 200 years old, I am going to assume that it was a proto type PRE/PSL or an actual old Iberian horse.

My thoughts on what old Iberian heads would be this: short in length, broad between the eyes, a straight (which usually gives the impression of roundness) or SLIGHTLY convex. The forehead most often being flat. The eyes should be large, almond shaped, and be broad between the eyes. The eyes will also have a bone arch above the eye. The width between the ears should also be broad. The ears should never be placed close together like what you would see on an Arab. The ear length should also not be long. Mares typically have longer ears than stallions or geldings. Mares would normally have medium to short ears and stallions and geldings should predominately display short ears. There also should not be a hook to the ear. The muzzle shouldn't be broad, but rather small. A 4 3/4" bit should be the perfect fit. The lips should be tight to the mouth. You often see big droopy lips on a draft horse. The nostrils should be crescent in shape and be able to expand greatly when the horse is being exerted. The chin on the horse should be small. The mandible should not convex out like what is typical to see on an Arab. The cheeks on both mares and stallions should not be protruding. The cheeks should look blend well on the face. The lips should come together to almost give the appearance that the horse's upper teeth going past the bottom teeth. This is commonly known as a "parrot mouth". In the old Spanish horse, there will be this "parrot mouth" appearance, BUT the horse's teeth will actually meet evenly.

La Victoria. This mare is displaying the width between the eyes as well as the ears. You can also plainly see the bone arches above her eyes.
This mare's head was damaged by a halter being left on while she was growing, so please excuse the slight dip on her head.


This is a stallion. I must note that this stallion is not displaying a nice large eye and he is also lacking the bone arch above his eye. When comparing to the other Sulphur horses on this post, you can better see it.

Young filly.
The famed Sulphur's Chance.
Sulphur's Chance