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Descended from the greatest horses of the American West, the wild horses living on the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico—one of the most dangerous places on Earth--were a national treasure and a living legend. Big, strong, beautiful, and fierce, they were descended from the mounts of lawmen, cowboys, and notorious outlaws who had once ruled the land.  Over the years, these far-flung herds of the Land of Enchantment had inspired many myths, and were said to be guarded by an implacable band of enormous, ghostly stallions that kept them from harm.

      But after decades of suffering through droughts, food shortages, and all the dangers that go with living on a military weapons testing site, scores of horses suddenly died.  And the survival of the almost two thousand that were left was threatened. In a race to prevent more tragic deaths, large animal veterinarian Don Hoglund was called in to organize and lead a team of dedicated professionals, cowboys, and soldiers in removing the surviving horses and their babies to safety.  Then would come the challenge of rehabilitating them, and eventually placing them in loving homes with people who could meet the needs of the highly spirited wild animals.

Don Hoglund, DVM, is a doctor of veterinary medicine who has provided consultation and equine training services for the Pentagon, the Walt Disney Company, the Department of the Interior, USDA, and many others. He lives in Willow Spring, North Carolina and Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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