Meet Samarkind

In 2000, Return to Freedom collaborated with the US Fish & Wildlife Service to relocate more than 50 wild horses in their intact family herds from the refuge. RTF partnered with a contractor who gathered the horses on horseback. Family groups were relocated to the sanctuary together. In 2014, the Fish and Wildlife Service removed all wild horses and burros from the Sheldon Refuge in Nevada.
Seven stallions arrived at RTF’s American Wild Horse Sanctuary in Lompoc, Calif., in 2000. Some arrived with mares in harem bands and some as part of a small group of males called “bachelor bands.”

The Sheldon horses are descendants of a combination of draft horses who worked hard to develop ranchos in Nevada’s Great Basin along with Standardbred, Morgan and Thoroughbred breeds raised in that region during the 1920s and 1930s and made available for the cavalry. Many of these horses were turned loose and left to survive alone in the rough terrain and varied weather of the refuge area. They have returned to a natural state and survive some of the most inhospitable regions of our federal lands.

The Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge is made up of 575,000 acres in the northeast corner of Nye County, Nevada.