ROTHENBURGER – Shooting of wild horses latest sad chapter in their story

(Image: Mel Rothenburger)

WILD HORSES, to many people, represent freedom. To others, they mean trouble.

The mysterious shooting of 17 feral horses north of Walhachin was a terrible act that re-ignites the debate between wild horse lovers and haters.

Both the Skeetchestn Indian Band and the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council have condemned the slaughter. While a news release from Skeetchestn noted that the shootings didn’t happen on Band land, a herd of mustangs has lived in the general area for decades. Estimates of their numbers range from a hundred or more.

I first learned about them years ago when I went for a ride with then-Skeetchestn Chief Ron Ignace in the hills above the reserve. We stopped to give our horses a rest and, as we sat looking down on the Deadman Valley, he told me about the wild horses.

I later got to know more about them when a Kamloops Daily News story on a roundup of some of the horses went viral.


Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops, alternate TNRD director and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the opinion website, and is a recipient of the Jack Webster Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (9634 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: