True Symbol of the American West Finds His Forever Home after Amazing Journey – A Good Story!

BLM American Mustang from Nevada Smuggled from Mexico finds Love with Phoenix Family

(Phoenix, AZ) An American mustang with an amazing story has survived his ordeal to find happiness in Arizona. Mi Muchacho Valiente (My Brave Boy and AKA Valiente) has found his forever home with a wonderful Phoenix family, Kathy Hamel, her husband Gordon and their children Emily and Andy Nelson and Ashley Hamel.  Valiente (Brave One) a five-year old bay is a true wild horse who carries the BLM brand on his neck and who is a former BLM managed American mustang from the state of Nevada with an incredible story of courage and survival.

Valiente (Brave One) bears the BLM freeze brand of the true American mustang and his brand tells much of his early story.  Born in 2004 and gathered with his mother from his ancestral home in Nevada while still a baby at his mother’s side, Valiente subsequently was adopted out by the BLM and a year later titled to that person.  However, as fate would have it, Valiente ended up in Mexico.  In an incredible story of heart and survival we know that Valiente was picked up with his mother as a baby during a BLM gather in 2004.  He was adopted out by the BLM and titled to someone in the US in 2006.   Valiente then ended up in Mexico.  A very good looking horse, Valiente looks very Spanish and very much like an Azteca, the National horse of Mexico, with low set tail, short back, and the heavy mane and tail of the Spanish horses bought to this country by the Conquistadors in the 16th century and characteristic of many American mustangs.

The person who had Valiente in Mexico took good care of him and appears to have given Valiente some training to do tricks and to dance in the manner of the Azteca. However, perhaps because of his specialized training and Spanish appearance, Valiente was then stolen from his custodian in Mexico to be sold yet again to a person in the United States.  Smugglers were bringing Valiente across the border from Mexico to the US when the US border patrol caught them and seized Valiente.  The smugglers literally were walking the young bay mustang through the desert on a lead across the border to be sold as contraband in the United States.

After being seized by the border patrol, Valiente was turned over to the Arizona Department of Agriculture and went to auction where Cloud Foundation board member, Julianne French, successfully bid on the young horse for the Conquistador program.  After a short time being fostered by compassionate Marana horse people, Valiente was taken in by the Conquistador Program and ultimately to his Phoenix home where he was adopted by Hamel and her family after they fell in love with the friendly,loving, bright and talented horse.  Among his many talents, Valiente bows, give kisses, puts his head on Hamel’s shoulder, does the lovely Spanish walk and generally is a wonderful and loving ambassador for the true American mustang.

At this time, hundreds of Valiente’s fellow horses are being gathered from their ancestral homes in Nevada by the Bureau of Land Management and their herd areas closed with the imminent danger that these extraordinary true symbols of the West may never again roam their Nevada homes. The Conquistador Program continues to work with its attorneys to advocate for wild horses currently on US Forest Service land in the
Apache Sitgreaves National Forests of Eastern Arizona and for BLM wild horses across the USincluding the tragically dwindling numbers of Arizona BLM wild horses in the only
two remaining Arizona herd areas, the Cibola and Cerbat herd areas. Those herd area numbers are estimated to have dropped to only two hundred or less BLM wild horses including only about 60 to 90 Cerbat horses whose history places them as the original mounts of Conquistadors riding the Spanish Trail in the 16th Century.

To meet Mi Muchacho Valiente contact the Conquistador Program.

The Conquistador Equine Rescue & Advocacy Program
A nonprofit 501c3 equine welfare organization
Federal tax identification #20-8776240
(480) 430-2294,


4 Responses to “True Symbol of the American West Finds His Forever Home after Amazing Journey – A Good Story!”

  1. Cathy Kindsfather Says:

    This is an awesome story with a great ending! I feel sorry for the person in Mexico who lost him, as it is obvious he was cared for and about. Very pleased to see the beautiful boy and to know he is loved and has his own family.

    I was also thrilled today to hear of the thousands of letters of protests received at the Whitehouse. I was informed orders were sent to BLM to postpone the Confusion Roundup in Idaho. I am working online in many ways to spread the awareness and the links to use for having our voices heard! A lady in Brazil recently got PETA to put a post for our wild horses! I hope to see The Calico Complex Roundup, the last stronghold of our wild horses, to be halted. Please everyone, keep working on it!!

    Thanks for sharing this heart warming story and beautiful shot! Gorgeous animal!

  2. Marilyn Wargo Says:

    Makendra, One handsome horse and a sad story for those who lost him. I hope they know he is well and loved.
    Cathy, IDA did a great job stopping BLM from the Confusion roundup. Keep an eye on their site… mar

  3. Suzanne Moore Says:

    He certainly is a handsome boy! And yes, I agree that IDA is doing a great job.

  4. T.A. Paxton Says:

    I’m surprised he didn’t go back to the owner he was stolen from. I hope they find out he is safe and loved so they don’t worry about him ending up overseas as someone’s dinner. I imagine it must be awfully complicated getting a stolen horse back when he crosses international boarders.
    This story really needs to be spread, along with any others about mustangs trained to do wonderful things. Looking at this beautiful horse one can only be amazed how many just believe the lie that mustangs are untrainable, ill bred junk!

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