Born in Nevada on open land, Sutter the Mustang was rounded up by the Bureau of Land Management when he was 2 years old and placed up for adoption. Adopted out quickly (most likely helped by his Palomino coat), Sutter's first adoptive home turned out to be anything but dreamy, reports Horse Channel.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) reported that Sutter was denied food and water by his adoptive family as part of a “training program.” Because of this, Sutter acted out when he felt his food or water would be taken away; he was dubbed “dangerous” and returned to the BLM, where he was slated to be marked as unadoptable.
The Heritage Discovery Center heard about Sutter's predicament, and offered the young horse patience, time and careful handling. Eventually, Sutter learned to trust humans. His faith in his humans was so great that he began making appearances in educational clinics. He was even ridden twice in the Rose Bowl Parade in California by novice riders.
In 2002, Sutter was lucky to go to the American Wild Horse Sanctuary in Lompoc, Calif., where he will live out the rest of his life. At the sanctuary, he continues to serve as an ambassador for wild horses by interacting with the public and teaching them about America's wild horses.
Because of Sutter's unique history and role as an equine ambassador, the ASPCA has bestowed on him the title of 2016 Horse of the Year. Sutter (and other animal heroes) will be honored at the ASPCA Humane Awards Luncheon in New York City on November 17, 2016. Read more at ASPCA.org.
New to the Paulick Report? Click here to sign up for our daily email newsletter to keep up on this and other stories happening in the Thoroughbred industry.
Copyright © 2020 Paulick Report.