Some of you may have already been watching this story… Goliath is a 25 year-old wild mustang – who was recently caught by the BLM (rounded up aggressively), gelded and put up for adoption.
Now, you might ask… why round up a 25 year old, perfectly healthy wild horse and try to adopt him out? I agree. There was no good reason for this. And, as most of you know, gelding an older stallion is a dangerous proposition.
Luckily, Goliath survived.
I have no idea where Goliath’s herdmates landed…
…but I can tell you that the loving humans who had kept tabs on Goliath and his herds for the last 15 years (while he was wild), were up in arms that this happened. Social Media blew up and many good people appeared to do anything they could to help this regal horse.
There was a long back and forth with the BLM, and after days of heartfelt please, the BLM would not agree to release Goliath to Skydog Sanctuary.
So, he went through the BLM auction today.
Below are a few segments from the SKYDOG SANCTUARY FB site. These missives document some of the efforts from this last week. Amazing story.
If you don’t have time to read this gut wrenching story with a happy ending… just know that we found out today that Skydog did win Goliath’s auction! So he will live out his life in freedom! AND, one of his band mares has been located and donated to Skydog so that he can have one of his mares with him! She is pregnant, with probably his last foal – so incredible!!
A wonderful, brilliant ending.
SKYDOG SANCTUARY ENTRY: FEBRUARY 11, 8:09 am
Good Morning to you all. Well it was a long day and night. I spent most of it trying to see if Goliath could be pulled from the internet adoption and directly sent to us so that we didn’t have to get into a bidding war with others for this iconic horse who deserves to just live out his life in a sanctuary but sadly so far we have had no’s to that request. It is not too late for a miracle and I am still trying but we have been told we have to bid like everybody else so we shall.
Many of you have offered to help bring him here so I am posting a fundraiser on this page that I set up and also you can go directly to our website at www.skydogranch.org which would be great for us as we will be able to use those funds immediately instead of waiting for them to be processed.
Goliath is a special horse and the outpouring of love and support we have felt from all of you reflects this. We will need enough money to bid on him and we have no idea how much that might go up to. We will also need a good amount for a haul from Utah to Oregon which will be a couple of thousand dollars at least. I will keep you updated and when we start bidding next week we will know better although it may come down to the final day on February 22nd as often people wait until the end day to really start bidding.
Sadly right now none of his mares remain in holding. Two were adopted out which is wonderful and we are trying to find out if there were any others who might be available. None are on this internet adoption. When he comes to us of course he will not be on his own and we shall choose 2 or 3 mares to keep him company and he will be king of the hill once more.
If you would like to donate for us to get him safe this is the official fundraiser for Goliath to come to Skydog Sanctuary. I know a couple of people have put up fundraisers already with our blessing and those funds will come to help him also and many thanks to those wonderful people. If you would like to donate please go to www.skydogranch.org or see the fundraiser above…..
Most importantly we are going to keep him safe and give him peace for life so if anyone is also interested in donating to sponsor him on a monthly basis that would be incredible also. Go to our website and hit sponsor and say Goliath when asked who you would like to sponsor.
I hope we can unite for Goliath and pull this off and if we don’t raise enough funds we will of course refund anyone who would like their donation returned. I am hoping that the amount of love and concern this one beautiful old man is inspiring will also promote the other horses that stand alongside him on the internet adoption and it is our hope that they all find good homes. The reason we are rooting for Goliath is due to his age we feel as though he would be less of a candidate for domestic life and captivity than some of the others.
So here is Goliath in all his glory when he was still wild last year…..Goliath stand tall, we are coming to get you xxx
FROM SKYDOG SANCTUARY, FEBRUARY 11, 5:38PM
Sometimes in life something happens that is magical. The adopting of Goliath and offering him sanctuary truly has been a magical event where so many people from so many different arenas of horse rescue, transport, sanctuary, advocacy have all come together for one end. To give Goliath the best final years of his life that he could possibly ask for now his freedom has gone.
We have been so overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and emotion and kindness for this horse. He is a healer and a conduit for good it seems. Photographers from all across the states have sent photographs and memories of him from over the years. Portrait painters have asked to paint him. Individuals have started fundraisers of their own. People have shared stories about him and his children and mares that have come and gone. So much has been documented about this horse there should be a book. And we want it to be a story with the happiest of endings and now feel as though we have the funds to make that happen.
We want to let you know we reached our goal, exceeded our goal, and that if we find that we don’t have to bid as much as we feared that we are happy to return funds to those who need them for other rescues. We are not here to profit from this beautiful creature in any way shape or form. He just deserves to live out his life on space with horses he knows and loves. That is what we want to give him.
More than anything I hope that the awareness raised for Goliath will spread to the other horses who need adopting as well and a safe landing and a good life. That is our hope and prayer. Hopefully any private buyers who were interested in him will adopt one of the other many incredible and worthy horses needing homes or sanctuary.
Come Tuesday we shall start the bidding process and hope that we can get him and bring him to Skydog. We shall keep you posted every step of the way. In the meantime THANK YOU. To every single person who stepped up and donated and cared and loved him enough to support us in this.
I also want to say that all we did is say yes we would take him and you all did the rest. I want to give a special and huge personal thank you to George Brauneis, Maureen Daane, Pat Doak for these incredible photographs of Goliath in the wild that she gave permission to us to use, to Raven Leighton and her tenacity and love for this horse which drove her to never stop fighting for him to come here, to Ottilia H. Markusz-Job for her photographs and her love of Goliath, to Elaine Nash of Fleet of Angels and Barbara Rasmussen – the list goes on and on and we will never forget that you stepped up to help him. God Bless you x
FROM SKYDOG SANCTUARY, FEBRUARY 19
Good Morning, We are so excited to have the loveliest news for you that we have been unable to share until now. Our whole mission to give Goliath Sanctuary here at Skydog seems to have been heaven sent and blessed by angels so far. We still have a ways to go as the bidding doesn’t end until tomorrow morning but we are hoping and praying that we will be able to win the bid and bring him home to Skydog.
BECAUSE right now at Skydog Oregon, eating her breakfast blissfully unaware, is a beautiful red curly mare. She is Goliath’s lead mare in the wild, the mare he fought to keep, the mare he fought helicopters not to take and she may well be pregnant with his last foal.
Goliath had a few mares in his band but he would let them wander to other stallions sometimes and they had an interesting dynamic in the wild of occasionally sharing mares. But Red Lady is the one mare that he kept by his side and as you can see by the photographs also had some amazing babies with already.
All we have done for days is ignore the noise and stay focused on the goal which is to see Goliath back on the land and wide open spaces with his beautiful lady by his side and hopefully foal to come. It is what we have worked so hard to give them. I cannot tell you how much work has gone into this from so many incredible people. People who truly care about these horses and their welfare, happiness and future. Those are the people I focus on and work with. We are sincerely grateful to Elaine Nash at Fleet of Angels who has been instrumental in helping us, and for finding us the most amazing hauler Carla for his mare in the best trailer, and she is all ready to go pick up Goliath too.
Goliath and his mare were rounded up together but have been separated ever since and his mare was adopted out a couple of months ago to a wonderful lady who has been taking incredibly good care of her. She has been a little wild as you can imagine, an older mare – a lead mare – recently gathered and pregnant is not for the faint of heart. But she has loved her, and loved her so much, that she wanted her to be back with Goliath and to see them reunited as much as we want that. Selflessly she put the horses first and reassigned his mare to Skydog and we thank the BLM for also helping to make that a reality and for doing the paperwork so speedily.
Since starting Skydog Sanctuary it has been the biggest dream of ours to do more work reuniting bands, herds and friends but especially a family. And for some reason just when we decided and voted to go more in that direction along came Goliath to help us make it become a reality. His story is important and we are filming a lot of it so that we can tell that story and continue to raise awareness and advocate for change.
But all that aside we hope and pray that tomorrow we will be able to win the bid on Goliath and then reunite our Romeo and Juliet of the wild horse world so that they truly can live happily every after together as a family. We are so grateful for everyone who has donated and so many of your messages are asking us to reunite him with his family so we have done what we can to make that happen and are so proud, happy and thrilled to be able to share the news with our Skydog herd who have truly been the ones who have allowed us to make this dream a reality. We still cannot give you all the ultimate ending yet but as of right now Bidding will end in 0 days, 22 hours, 31 minutes and 31 seconds and we are counting every one of them for Goliath.
Hang in there boy Skydog is coming for you xxx
FROM SKYDOG SANCTUARY, FEBRUARY 20
Since the day we started saving and rescuing mustangs I have had a dream. To one day be able to reunite a family of wild horses who were torn apart in a roundup and separated. To live that moment where we give them the gift of a reunion and a happy ever after. To see them back together peaceful and happy as they should have remained. That has been my dream.
I think advocates, mustang lovers and horse people in general get so much bad news. Another roundup, more threats from Congress, cases of abuse and neglect, horses being euthanized, and a never ending dumping of mustangs in auctions and kill pens across America. More than anything I wanted to give people a happy ending. A happy ever after. A love story like no other. To think that we can bring him back to Skydog and watch him see her again, something he maybe thought would never happen is everything. It is worth having gone through all this work, stress and near nervous breakdowns – for today’s result.
We didn’t want to have to bid. We tried asking him to have him re-released when he was rounded up. We tried to pull him from the adoption before it began. We tried to get the word out that he had an offer of sanctuary and a safe place to live out his life so nobody else would bid. But when it came down to it we had to fight for him because that was what was right for him and his family.
To all the people who donated and made this happen.
We always knew it would go high. We are relieved and happy it didn’t go higher to tell you the truth. To see donations come in – some were for one dollar, three dollars, even one for a few thousand dollars. Every one of them counted. Because for the people who sit at their computers and see bad news, who want to help, who want to DO SOMETHING but just don’t know what. This one horse gave everyone a chance to be a part of this. Every one of you can say “I helped get him there and back with his mare.” And that is the best part about all this.
I am glad so many people were involved. This isn’t a victory for one sanctuary or for me. This is a wonderful result for all people who care about these horses and love them as much as we do. And for our mission statement which is all about raising awareness for mustangs this one horse has managed to do so much in that regard and touch so many many hearts.
Before the auction started we were in touch with an organization on the East Coast who wrote to us and asked that we not bid on Maestro and the older palomino as they wanted to take them and keep them together. They had been following them as long as we had been following our boy. And they promised not to bid on Goliath. Although Maestro and Goliath buddied up in the pens it might not be the story if put a pregnant mare and two recently gelded stallions out together.
Every step of the way we made the decision that was best for Goliath, with the best scenario and outcome for him. That is why we have a board of directors and very knowledgeable people around us who help us make those choices based on first hand knowledge and experience. To Raven N Leighton who has saved so many mustangs from slaughter and fell in love with Goliath aged 15 and fought for him to come here, Elaine Nash from Fleet Of Angels who helped beyond words, to Maureen Daane and @the.adventures.of.pistol who fundraised for him, to Pat Doak who took the greatest photos of him through his life, To Carla who transported Red Lady and will go get Goliath, to Iran – a beautiful soul who helped us behind the scenes, to George Brauneis who lent me some of his light, all the angels I have around me who were on the phone and messaging and offering prayers and support, Kim our volunteer who sat here all morning and refreshed our feed, to our team here at Skydog who take care of every horse here come rain or shine, snow or heat. We are so lucky. So blessed to have you rooting for him and all your thoughts prayers and love was felt every step of the way.
God bless you
We shall pick up Goliath as soon as we are allowed which is March 2nd on the adoption details. We will film every step of the way and be making a beautiful short documentary about this process and Goliath and his reunion with his mare. We will share ever bit of this with you because you are the true heroes. You guys are incredible and beautiful and I am so proud to call you all friends.
Goliath is coming home…….
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SPONSOR GOLIATH OR HIS RED MARE or their NEW BABY COMING SOON…
Skydog would love sponsors for these horses… if you would like to sponsor them or make a donation, please go to their website.