Meet Gabriela

Stella
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Gabriela is a stunning strawberry roan mare from the Hart Mountain herd. She was born on the sanctuary on January 8, 2007. Gabriela inherited her beautiful coloring from her mother, Belle and her father Mystic, a beautiful liver roan stallion who passed away in October of 2014. Both Belle and Mystic were captured off of their home range on the Hart Mountain Fish and Wildlife Refuge in Southeastern Oregon.

Gabriela stands out from the many roan herd mates in the Hart Mountain herd because of the unique splash of white on her left side. She lives at our 2,000 acre satellite sanctuary in San Luis Obispo, along with a large Hart Mountain herd, which includes her mother Belle and her colt Skye who she foaled in 2012. Gabriela has four socks, and a beautiful white blaze. She is bright-eyed, and very alert to everything that is happening around her environment. Because she was born on the sanctuary, she is accustomed to people but still very cautious. She is very close with her mother, Belle, and the two are often seen grazing side-by-side.

In 1998, the Fish and Wildlife Service removed all wild horses and burros from the Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge in southeastern Oregon due to pressure from hunters to manage the refuge for pronghorn antelope and bighorn sheep. The roundup was conducted on horseback and 279 horses were removed from the Refuge. Twenty-five horses were relocated to Return to Freedom’s American Wild Horse Sanctuary in their family and bachelor bands.

Hart Mountain is named for the heart-shaped brand used by the pioneer ranchers Henry C. Wilson and his son-in-law C.G. Alexander. Their ranch was located in the Warner Valley at the base of Hart Mountain.

*Although RTF administers a fertility control vaccine, because it is non-hormonal not all mares respond. Gabriela gave birth to one foal and because she is a ‘non-responder’, lives with vasectomized stallions to prevent uncontrolled reproduction.

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