The Ranch Project



DATE:                    June 16, 2017

Shannon Windle
President, Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund

Long Awaited Sanctuary to Benefit the Virginia Range Wild Horses

Reno, Nevada, June 16, 2017 – Equine Legacy Ranch (ELR) announces the purchase of over 650 acres of land located north of Reno, Nevada.  The property is to be developed as a center for rescued Virginia Range wild horses, training, and wellness.  The acquisition of this land creates an unprecedented, long awaited, and desperately needed opportunity to provide a safe haven and sanctuary for the wild horses removed from the range by the Nevada Department of Agriculture.

A partnership between Equine Legacy Ranch and Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund (HVWHPF) was established to create a unique central location that tends to join the needs of rescued wild horses with people seeking restorative and peaceful engagement.  The property will be accessible by invitation only and will be used as a sanctuary to house rescued wild horses of the Virginia Range.  It will create the largest private wild horse rescue operation and sanctuary in northwest Nevada.

“We have a tremendous amount of work to do in order to prepare the property for the horses.  Hundreds of hours of work is needed to install fencing and corrals and get water pumping”, said Susan Mahoney, Equine Legacy Ranch Co-Founder.  “We will be looking for plenty of volunteers to help us create this sanctuary and place of healing”.

HVWHPF currently has 145 rescued Virginia Range wild horses under its care.  Those horses were rescued from slaughter after being removed from the range by the Nevada Department of Agriculture in 2012.  All horses are available for adoption and will be gentled.  HVWHPF has an active and successful adoption program.  Contact to get more information about adoption opportunities.  ELR sponsors the training program for the HVWHPF rescued horses and promotes their adoptions.

“We are very excited about this amazing opportunity to benefit the Virginia Range wild horses.  This purchase opens unlimited opportunities not only for the wild horses on the range and the HVWHPF rescued herd of 145 horses, but also the advocates who have fought long and hard to protect them,” said Shannon Windle, President of Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund. 

“This is a concrete and substantial move toward the effective management of wild horses in the United States,” said Dick Mahoney, Equine Legacy Ranch Co-Founder and President.  “Countless numbers of people have worked for many decades to create positive opportunities like this one for these graceful and iconic creatures.”

The historic horses of the Virginia Range are the same herd population that sent Velma Bronn Johnston, also known as “Wild Horse Annie”, on her life long quest to save the American wild horse.  Her respect for and dedication to these horses led to the passage of the federal 1971 Wild and Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act.  Because the Virginia Range is primarily privately owned property, these same horses fall under the jurisdiction of the State of Nevada Department of Agriculture and have been excluded from any protections afforded wild horse and burro populations inhabiting federal public lands. 

Wild horse advocacy groups anticipate that many volunteer opportunities will be created through the establishment of this extraordinary sanctuary.  To get involved and make a difference in your community, join Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund at its next membership meeting and sign up for a project.  The next Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund meeting is scheduled for Thursday, June 22, 2017 at 6:15pm at the South Valleys Library located at 15650 Wedge Pkwy, Reno.


Equine Legacy Ranch (ELR) was founded in 2013 by Dick and Susan Mahoney with the distinct goal of enabling the training and rehabilitation for wild horses to be adopted to good, quality forever homes.  ELR promotes the positive aspects of horse training through methods of gentling and least resistance practices.



Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund (HVWHPF) is an all-volunteer registered 501(c)3 non-profit Nevada corporation, officially founded in 2008.  Our federal tax ID# is 80-0208865.  For over 30 years, volunteers from the Reno community have led a grass roots effort to ensure public safety as well as the preservation, protection, promotion and rescue of the historic wild horses that graze the Virginia Range east of Reno, Nevada.  Volunteers monitor herd health, grazing availability, actively provide technical large animal rescue to at risk and injured wild horses and foals, and install and mend fencing and cattle guards.  Other volunteers are involved in ensuring federal and state departments are working within the statues that provide protection and care for the wild horses.  Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund has rescued 168 Virginia Range wild horses and currently has 145 horses in its care.  For more information about Hidden Valley Wild Horse Protection Fund, please visit






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