Reader View: Placitas, you are being robbed
It is terrible to think of people luring wild horses onto private property to deliver them into some horrible fate – most probably a kill-buyer’s hands. With so many thousands of horses going off to slaughter houses in Mexico and Canada, it is not a far stretch to think that many of these horses are obtained through less than legal means. There is no excuse for such horrid behavior. And as the author says, very soon it could be too late for the wild horses of Placitas. ~ HfH
From: The Santa Fe New Mexican
By: Bob Landers
In 1999, my wife and I moved to New Mexico from New Hampshire.
It was Placitas that called our names. Everything about Placitas was perfect in our eyes, especially the rural nature of the area: developments on acre-plus lots, open landscapes, beautiful views and horse property for our horses from New Hampshire. We knew nothing about the wild horses of Placitas, which existed even back then.
We encountered our first Placitas free-roaming horse the first winter here. Outside, we saw a magnificent gray stallion followed by his mares and foals. It was exciting to stand within yards of these wild horses. No skinny horses here. Getting too close meant that they moved away not running nor terrified by people, just not interested in close contact. We saw this herd more frequently and nearly year-round in Cedar Creek. Years later, during the severe drought, that herd was purchased by a neighbor from the New Mexico Livestock Board to save them from death. They somehow later escaped, roaming the area for another year or more. As the drought worsened, this herd was recaptured and reluctantly sent to a rescue site in Chama.
There exists a vigilante group in Placitas whose members lure horses onto private property by baiting them with hay, then have them removed by contacting the New Mexico Livestock Board and applying the “estray” rules. These people have taken the law into their own hands, and public officials are ignoring the fact that they are illegally trapping horses within the same fences constructed to keep them out. New Mexico is a legal fence-out atate.
How is it that horse baiters are allowed to capture horses and have them removed?
It will soon be too late to save the Placitas horses. On April 11, another herd was captured by these vigilantes, who lured them onto private property on Camino de La Rosa using hay as their weapon of choice. Was it just coincidence that this happened on the same day that Karen McCalpin, CEO of the Corolla Wilderness Horses located on the North Carolina Outer Banks area, was here to address Placitans at a meeting sponsored by Placitas Citizens for Open Discussion of Wild Horse Management?