After Year of Recovery in Knightsen, Mystery Released Back into the Wild


Mystery horse

Art Michel, our media production editor, was out in Knightsen over the Labor Day Holiday weekend to share the story of local animal advocates who saved an American Heritage Mustang, 15,  and are this week releasing him back into the wild where he will be able to roam on 900-acres of land.

In the video, Samantha Turner, an Animal Rescue Advocate, shared how she spotted the horse just over a year ago running down a frontage road along Highway 99. Upon calling it into Animal Services, they informed her the horse would be put down if not claimed–she would have none of that and ended up taking the horse and nursing him back to recovery.

Judy Pence, Judy’s Horse Blanket Repair, is currently taking the horse to Nevada for release and shared how Mystery is a special horse who will change you. Meanwhile, Alex Hamlon and Karli Bloch from 4H read about Mystery and worked to raise $100 towards the cause.

After a 14-hour drive to Nevada, Mystery will be released to Mustang Monument.


To view the video, click here


Mystery Updates:

FINAL UPDATE: Early Saturday Morning, August 30th Mystery loaded into the trailer like a pro. No muss, No fuss….he knew. After some emotional goodbyes we pulled out of what had been his home for the past 14 months. No more stall with only a 12×20 area to move in. His journey to freedom was on it’s final leg. We pulled out at 6:30 am and after an uneventful 14 hour drive we reached his sanctuary, Mustang Monument. The final 25 miles from Wells NV was filled with anticipation…you could feel the excitement building in the truck for the four of us who accompanied Mystery. We saw the gate! We were there! After a brief introduction with Maggie of Mustang Monument, we followed her truck out to the Hay Corral that the other 25 mustangs were in. Quite ingenious really, a huge corral of Dairy Hay Bales 4x4x8, stacked 2 high by 2 wide. The horses cannot hurt themselves on it, and free choice feed! WOOT! The first two bales were removed…Mystery snorted and stuck his face out the back window, eyes wide, nostrils flared, and ears forward. The last two bales were removed and Maggie and I stood in the opening waving our arms to keep the enclosed mustangs away. John backed the trailer into the opening, Maggie opened the trailer door and Mystery was ready! He came flying out of the trailer stating “I AM HERE!” He trotted, as if he was floating, into the herd. Necks bent in posturing, horses squealed and trotted around, but only one other horse dared challenge Mystery. They touched noses, the other horse squealed, turned around and kicked at Mystery and he was quick to bite the challenger on the hind end, and that was it. He had proven himself to be worthy….he was home. We watched Mystery with his new herd for about thirty minutes. It was fascinating to watch them interact. Then, it was time to leave. We reluctantly piled into the truck, and there was silence in the cab for the entire 25 mile drive back into Wells. Emotions flipped flopped from excitement, to joy, to sadness, to emptiness. Our time, our journey with Mystery was over, but for Mystery? His journey is really just beginning!

Meet Mystery and join us on his journey to freedom! I met Mystery one week ago, and something in him touched me. Here is his story: He is a titled mustang 16 years old. He was found running down the highway a year ago and taken to an animal shelter where he was going to be euthanized as no one could handle him. His brand was researched and it was found out his adoptive owners had left a halter on him which then needed to be surgically removed. (you can see the scar in the photo) What happened to him in-between those owners and when he was found no body knows. My friend Samantha, when she found out he would be euthanized would not have it and brought him home. The sad thing is, he cannot be handled he is so untrusting. He has been in a stall with a paddock since she brought him home, but has been unable to be groomed or have his feet trimmed. No vet will even come try to sedate him. This guys is beautiful! It became my mission to find him sanctuary. I researched rescues and sanctuaries and sent out a gazillion emails. These emails were then forwarded to others and so on. The response was incredible. As of yesterday 8/2 Mustang Monument in Wells Nevada has agreed to take him, but we have to get him there. John and I will transport him and he will run free again on 900 acres with other mustangs! BUT this is only the beginning! We need to find some way to get his feet trimmed and get his vaccinations, coggins and health certificate…all this on a horse who cannot be touched! Our job is cut out for us…I have been so touched by the outpouring of concern and offers of help from complete strangers. I even received and email for a gal who wants to help with fuel costs. I do believe my faith in humanity is some what restored! There will be alot more costs involved in getting freedom for Mystery, so if you are moved to help financially,, that would be awesome. If not, that’s ok too cause we’re gonna do it anyways! Thanks for looking at this beautiful icon of America and please, keep him in your thoughts and prayers as he journeys back to the wild where he belongs!

UPDATE: Vet and Shoer came out last Sunday, but Mystery would not give in to the sedatives he was given. We were warned by BLM that a Mustang can take what would be a lethal does to a domestic horse. Since we are unable to touch him, we made the decision for the vet to get a dart gun so we can properly administer the sedative. She will have this next week and hopefully we can get back on track with getting his feet trimmed and his coggins done. On a positive side, John was able to get enough of a photo of his brand when a gust of wind blew his mane aside, that BLM was able to identify him. Paper work is on the way so that we will be able to transport him to his sanctuary! Thank Jennifer Rubick for directing us to Jason at the BLM!!

UPDATE 8/20: We are one step closer! We have received the proof of title from the BLM which will suffice as the brand inspection and allow us to legally transport Mystery to his place of Freedom! We are now waiting for the dart gun to arrive at the Vets so she can properly sedate him in order to draw for his Coggins and the farrier can trim his feet, which is desperately needed. I want to take the time to thank a special young lady, Alexandria Hanlon (Juliee Hanlon) who heard of the quest to deliver Mystery to Freedom and has worked hard to help raise funds for his needed Vet care, farrier, and transport! You can find collection cans at the following locations: Horsetown Tack Brentwood, Red Coach in Knightsen, Dwelly Farm stand Oakley, Smith Farm Stand Brentwood and Laura Medina’s office! Our goal is to leave on 8/30 so time is short…pop in and drop in a few coins! Small change can make for a big miracle for Mystery!
Again…the costs keep going up…please consider helping this handsome make him home!

UPDATE 8/29 Well, tomorrow was supposed to be departure day, but we have run into a little glitch. We are still waiting on some paperwork in order to transport Mystery, which we should have by Monday. In addition, I was asked to call my contact at Mustang Monument early this week, but have not gotten a phone call back. We are reluctant to leave with Mystery until arrival time and date are confirmed! SO we are one week behind and now plan to leave Sat 9/7. What is one week in a lifetime for this beautiful guy? Nothing….nothing at all! I also want to send a gigantic THANK YOU out to some incredible people, who after hearing Mystery’s story have sent donations to help with the cots associated with getting Mystery where he belongs: Nancy Kohl, Ken and Ellie Kienow, Kathy and Gary Giovannetti, Kathy Fredrickson, and of course Alex Hanlon who with her 4H group put collection cans with Mystery’s photos and story out in local businesses. This would not be possible with out the generosity and compassion of these wonderful folks!

UPDATE 8/30: WOW things change in a blink of an eye! We are LEAVING tomorrow morning. Everything fell apart to fall into place so to speak. All paper work is in hand, the trailer is hooked up, deep with shavings, and all dividers removed. Clay from Mustang Monument called first thing this morning and said “Bring him!” So the day has been a whirlwind of getting things together. Alex and Karlie collected their cans and raised $101.10 to help with transport costs! AMAZING! Alex gets to come with us and see where Mystery will be running free! Paul Seger from PACE Oakley came and interviewed the girls. Art from East County came and filmed Mystery, interviewed the girls, Judy and Samantha. Tears were shed and hearts were touched! Will post more pictures tomorrow! Prayers for safe travels are appreciated!

“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something.
And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.” ~ Edward Everett Hale ”


If you are interested in having an event or story on video, please contact Art Michel at AMProductions. For local business, he is also available to film commercials to help promote your business.


  1. I would love to watch the video of this amazing horse’s release but the link is not available. Please repost the YouTube link.

  2. What an awesome story. Thank you for taking him and not letting him be put down. Thanks to Mustang Monument for taking him and giving him news digs to call his own!

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