Remembering a cowboy and animal hero for his work to save wild horses

A kind cowboy was moved by the plight of wild captured horses so he opened a sanctuary that is a safe place for 500 wild horses to roam free for over 30 years now.

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Facebook/ Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary

Seeing the wild horses captured in Nevada in 1987 made Dayton O. Hyde sad, so he just knew he had to do something for those animals. He opened  the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary in South Dakota covering 11,000 acres of land with “no fences, endless skies and windswept prairies,’’ in the following year.

This true Cowboy from America, nature conservationist and author became the subject of a documentary covering his amazing work with wild horses.

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Facebook/ Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary

“If you’re telling me it couldn’t be done, then that’s the wrong thing to say to a cowboy,” Dayton told the makers of the documentary Running Wild: Running Wild: The Life of Dayton O. Hyde.

The man traveled towards Washington D.C. and petitioned Congress to give permission to him to take some of the captured horses and create a sanctuary for them, reports a Black Hills Facebook post.

The hero of the animals that passed away in 2018 at the age of 93 stated that his dream always was to be a cowboy and told the makers of his documentary: “I wanted to ride tough.”

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Facebook/ Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary

He visited Nevada in 1987 to buy cattle and saw the captive wild horses and felt a desire to do something about them. According to a Washington Post article from 2019 there are more horses than land can handle on the state, around 50,000 are in holding after periodic round ups.

“It was just too cruel to take a wild horse away from their freedom and home and be contained in a corral,”  shared Black Hills staff on the sanctuary’s Facebook page.

George Mickelson, the South Dakota Governor offered to show him Chilson Canyon in the Southern Black Hills, he had opposition from neighbors and the local government, but still he didn’t give up his dream.

Dayton worked 7 days a week every day without a vacation and salary, he did it all for the love of the animals.

Thanks to this kind man Black Hills still continues his legacy offering sanctuary to 500 wild horses on what Dayton describes as “potentially the best horse range in the country.”

We need more people like him, rest in peace hero.