A Tribute to Wild Horse Annie, Velma Bronn Johnston, on International Women’s Day

Wild Horse Annie is remembered and credited for starting the movement to save America’s wild mustangs.

All of us who love mustangs and horses in general owe this courageous woman a great debt of gratitude for exposing the plight and possible extinction of this breed.”— Monty Roberts ‘The Man Who Listens to Horses’

ATLANTA, GEORGIA, UNITED STATES, March 8, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — “In 1977, when the women who would establish the National Women’s History Alliance began planning a women’s history week, March 8th, International Women’s Day, was chosen as the focal date. Women’s History Week, always the week that included March 8th, became National Women’s History Week in 1981 and in 1987 National Women’s History Week became National Women’s History Month. The expansion from local to national and from week to month was the result of a lobbying effort that included hundreds of individuals and dozens of women’s, educational, and historical organizations. It was an effort mobilized and spearheaded by the National Women’s History Alliance.”
The Library of Congress shares the following comment. “Since 1995, presidents have issued a series of annual proclamations designating the month of March as “Women’s History Month.” These proclamations celebrate the contributions women have made to the United States and recognize the specific achievements women have made over the course of American history in a variety of fields.” https://womenshistorymonth.gov/about/
For members of our country’s equine protection community the work of Wild Horse Annie is remembered for her dedication to protecting wild horses. Velma Bronn Johnston was born on March 5, 1912, and later became known as Wild Horse Annie due to her efforts to protect America’s wild horses from mustangers who hunted the horses for commercial purposes.
She is also recognized for her grassroots work to stop the decimation of free roaming mustangs and burros from public lands. She was able to generate public support for the horses and burros through public appearances and the help of school children through letter writing campaigns. Newspapers published articles about the exploitation of wild horses and burros and the school children wrote letters to the Congress and Senate. As noted by the Associated Press on July 15, 1959: “Seldom has an issue touched such a responsive chord.”
In a book titled ‘Wild Horse Annie and the Last of the Mustangs: The Life of Velma Johnston’, written by David Cruise and Alison Griffiths, her journey to save mustangs is documented. After following a stock truck hauling animals, her discovery of brutally rounded up and injured horses being hauled in the trailer led her to do something about what she saw.
An excerpt from this book reads as follows: “FOUR-The Road to Reno”. Readers may access the full text to this portion of writing by opening this hyperlink then tapping on the book’s cover photo. This chapter contains a descriptive and gut wrenching account of what she viewed inside the trailer that fateful day.
“Where did these horses come from and why are they in such a terrible condition?” Velma gasped.
“Oh, they were run in by plane out there,” the driver replied, indicating the hills of the Comstock Lode.
Velma was sensitive when it came to animals, but she wasn’t squeamish. She’d stood by Charlie when he’d been forced to put a calf out of its misery after a birth gone wrong, and then there were all those puppy litters. She’d hardly shed tears since her days in the polio cast. But what she saw on that truck was beyond anything she’d ever experienced.
Five days after encountering the stock truck, Velma stood nervously in front of the Bureau of Land Management’s regional district offices in downtown Reno. She concluded that all trails led to the BLM; Most of the remaining wild horse herds were living on land managed by the Bureau. But she had no idea whom to ask for or what to say about her concern for the captured horses.”
From this life changing moment on, Wild Horse Annie, Velma Johnston, worked to fight for protection of the free-roaming horses throughout Nevada and across all the federal lands in the west. She is remembered to this day by members of today’s wild horse protection community who continue her work on a daily basis on both state and federal levels to protect America’s free-roaming wild horses and burros. These supporters of wild horses can still be found calling on the Bureau of Land Management, Congress and the President of the United States to protect the Country’s wild horses and burros.

Donna Brorein
American Equine Awareness
+1 770-870-7589
email us here


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