In the winter of 2009 and early 2010, close to 2,000 wild horses were captured from the Calico Mountain Complex in Northwestern Nevada’s Great Basin. Approximately 140 horses perished either during or as a direct result of the roundup. In 2010, Return to Freedom gave sanctuary to 20 stallions and 74 mares who endured this devastating roundup which shattered their family bands forever.
These horses are a testimony to the enduring spirit and hardiness of the diverse strains of horses that adapted to the remote Great Basin habitats. Draft horses used to develop the vast ranchos bred with breeds such as Morgans, Standardbreds and Thoroughbreds used for cavalry adapted to the rugged and remote terrain and returned to a natural state over the last few hundred years.