Trying to tame Placitas horse controversy
From: The Albuquerque Journal
By: Leslie Linthicum
At the risk of stepping in a juicy pile of fresh horse apples, I’d like to take this opportunity to revisit the “wild” horse quarrel that continues to rumble along in the village of Placitas. And, maybe, to find a little common ground amid the squabbles.
When we last visited the affluent bedroom community north of Albuquerque, the drought was in full fury and so was the fight over what to do with roving bands of horses – origins and ownership unknown – that were eating the landscape down to nubbins.
Some residents loved looking out their picture windows and seeing horses and wanted them to stay. Other residents, motivated by concern for their property, concern for the skinny horses or a combination of the two, took to calling the New Mexico Livestock Board to cart them away.
Meanwhile, the Placitas Animal Rescue in the person of Gary Miles mounted a rescue operation, picking up horses from roadsides, penning them on the north side of the village and feeding them.
And WHOA – the Wild Horse Observers Association – sued the Livestock Board, arguing that the agency violated state law by treating the horses as stray livestock rather than wild, a legal designation that affords special protections.