Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary
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When I first saw the Champagne filly she was a jug bellied little orphan whose old and weak mother had been killed by a mountain lion. My friend Susan saw her first and came running to tell me she had seen a strange yellow mustard baby with green eyes. We brought this little animal in to the corrals, where we happened to have a wild mare that had lost her foal. Champagne Lady lost no time in finding the mare’s source of milk, stubbornly ignoring the mare’s kicks, until the old mustang mare gave up and let her suck. Generally, I let wild horses be wild, but because her champagne color made the filly a genetic rarity, we kept her in the corrals with her foster mother until the little lady’s coat shone with health and she had caught up in size with the other foals. She is mature now and is as beautiful as any animal in the herd. Often I see Champagne Lady running wild across the prairie, able to leave her friends in the dust. In those moments it seems inconceivable that she would let me stroke her glistening neck and even scratch her ears. But when I come bumping and rattling across the prairie in my old pick-up truck and call her name, she leaves the rest of the herd behind to gallop to me, putting her head in the open window on the truck to search my pockets for shards of grain. One day soon she will have a baby of her own, and we hope and pray that she will give us another little champagne foal.
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