His grandmother born in the wild and was captured in July 2009 during a helicopter roundup in the Challis Herd Management Area (HMA) in Idaho. She gave birth to Sundancer’s mother in captivity, and eventually, the two of them, along with 28 other Challis horses came to RTF’s sanctuary.
Three women who knew this herd on the range, (photographer Elissa Kline, Doro Lohmann, and Jodi Herlich), were intent on doing all they could to keep as many horses as possible together. They temporarily leased 6 acres for a group of the horses they adopted and continued to hope for a long-term solution. Some of the mares foaled after capture, and by 2012 twenty-eight horses came to Return to Freedom’s sanctuary—together!
A few years later, all 28 members of the Challis Herd who arrived at Return to Freedom were adopted to a private sanctuary on thousands of acres in California!
Sundancer’s mother Josie and grandmother remained at RTF until Sundancer was able to venture out and join other playful young colts, then they too left RTF and rejoined their larger herd.
At first, we were concerned that Sundancer’s deformity would limit his activity, but he really has adapted perfectly and has become a feisty mischievous colt (now gelded) with his wise mentor “Sun” and a band of playful friends!