The Story Behind The Wild Horses of Shannon County Missouri

January 30, 2020  •  4 Comments

Wild Horses of Missouri by Tim Layton

For the last 100 years, a herd of wild horses has been roaming the ancient and rugged landscape in Shannon County, Missouri, near a small town nestled in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways near Eminence.   

Wild Horses represent America's history, and they made it possible to explore this great land.  Never believe they are safe from being taken from us because history confirms otherwise. 

The wild horses of Shannon County, Missouri, are living symbols of our country’s history and pioneering spirit. Anyone who has had the privilege of watching them graze freely and calmly understands what majestic animals these wild horses genuinely are.

It is hard to fathom that thousands of our wild horses across America have died at the hands of the federal agency entrusted to protect them.  Even though these horses are currently "protected" by federal law under the Ozark Wild Horse Protection Act, it doesn't mean it will stay this way forever. 

Tim Layton with Nikon F6 Film SLR - www.timlaytonfineart.comTim Layton with Nikon F6 Film SLR - www.timlaytonfineart.com If you love horses, join my Free Wild Horse Journal, where I bring you behind the scenes in my darkroom and studio and provide my latest updates and special offers. 

Current members are automatically entered for a chance to win one of my wild horse fine art gallery prints every month.  

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I share behind-the-scenes photos and videos in the group that you won't see anywhere else.

Letting the death toll of America’s wild horses continue to rise is not an option. I am on a mission to do everything to protect the wild horses, but I can't do it alone. Awareness is key to getting the right people involved, and this is a role that I can perform with great pleasure.  Much like Ansel Adams and other photographers who came before us, they helped legislators and key people see the beauty needed to be protected.  I hope my photographs will help influence the long-term protection and conservation of America's wild horses.   

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You can contact me and share a couple of dates, times, and your best phone number, and then I will confirm a date and time for our meeting. I can do FaceTime video or Zoom meetings if you would like to share your space with me as we work through designing your new artwork together.


Free Wild Horse Journal by Tim LaytonFree Wild Horse Journal by Tim Layton

Wild Horses of Missouri Fine Art Prints by Tim Layton www.timlaytonwildhorses.comWild Horses of Missouri Fine Art Prints by Tim Layton www.timlaytonwildhorses.com Wild Horses of Missouri Fine Art Prints by Tim Layton www.timlaytonwildhorses.comWild Horses of Missouri Fine Art Prints by Tim Layton www.timlaytonwildhorses.com Wild Horses of Missouri Fine Art Prints by Tim Layton www.timlaytonwildhorses.comWild Horses of Missouri Fine Art Prints by Tim Layton www.timlaytonwildhorses.com Wild Horses of Missouri Fine Art Prints by Tim Layton www.timlaytonwildhorses.comWild Horses of Missouri Fine Art Prints by Tim Layton www.timlaytonwildhorses.com Troublemaker - Wild Horse Fine Art by Tim LaytonTroublemaker - Wild Horse Fine Art by Tim Layton Princess Warrior - Wild Horse Fine Art by Tim LaytonPrincess Warrior - Wild Horse Fine Art by Tim Layton

HISTORY OF THE WILD HORSES OF SHANNON COUNTY MISSOURI

8/1/20 - Shawnee Creek Mare - Wild Horses of Missouri by Tim Layton8/1/20 - Shawnee Creek Mare - Wild Horses of Missouri by Tim Layton Shannon County is home to a beautiful herd of wild horses that very few people know about. Hidden away in Southeast Missouri in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways on public land about 130 miles from Springfield and 150 miles from St. Louis, four herds of wild horses roam the beautiful and rugged landscape. 

Ozark National Scenic Riverways is the first national park area to protect a river system and the only state where wild horses still roam free.

It hasn't been an easy path for the wild horses over the last 100 years, and it would be foolish to think current conditions couldn't change and put the horses back in danger again.  The wild horses at Mesa Verde National Park are an unfortunate example of how quickly policy can change and their protection evaporates seemingly overnight. 

During the 1980s, the National Park Service announced a plan to remove the wild horses of Shannon County, and people were outraged. 

In 1993 the U.S. Supreme Court denied a final appeal to protect the horses and gave the National Park Service the right to remove the horses from federal land at their discretion.  

The national park service started removing the wild horses in a profoundly upsetting way to residents and horse lovers around the country.  The people of Shannon County and horse lovers around the country rallied together, and the Wild Horse League of Missouri was formed.

Wild Horses of Shannon County Missouri by Tim LaytonWild Horses of Shannon County Missouri by Tim Layton Luckily, by 1996 the Wild Horse League of Missouri, which formed in 1992 to save the wild horses, received help from the people of Shannon County, Congressman Bill Emerson, Senators Kit Bond, and John Ashcroft.

Their tireless efforts paid off, and President Clinton signed a bill into law on October 3, 1996, to make the wild horses of Shannon County a permanent part of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways.  

Now, people worldwide visit Shannon County, Missouri, in hopes of seeing these majestic wild horses.

The Missouri Wild Horse League works with the National Park Service to capture some of the horses when the herd exceeds the agreed-upon limit of 50 horses. 

The captured horses are taken into care and evaluated before being adopted by loving families for permanent homes.

It is important to remember that these horses are wild. When looking for them, be sure not to approach them or feed them. It is essential to keep these animals wild and free and for you to be safe. The horses are big, strong, and unpredictable and for your safety and theirs, keep a safe distance of 100 yards or more between you and the horses. 

 

Free Wild Horse Journal by Tim LaytonFree Wild Horse Journal by Tim Layton

 


Comments

Shelly Kaufman(non-registered)
I have been coming to river for 20+ and had not seen the wild horses. Yesterday before I left, I made it a point to look for them. I went to Shawnee Creek and there they were beautiful and amazing. While I was watching the herd graze in the field 4 younger horses came charging through (right past me) and pushed the grazing horses in the woods. Much to my surprise they came charging me. I immediately gave them their space. It was an exciting experience that I will never forget. I have a short video I'd be happy to share with you. It is definitely not professional quality.

I am curious as to why the younger horses pushed the others in the woods?
JACKIE M CREEK(non-registered)
I think that it's amazing that we in Missouri have the privilege of having the beauty of wild horses. I had no idea. And again I was given a chance to be proud of living in my state.
Tim Layton Fine Art
Hi Susan, thanks for visiting and commenting. Stay in touch and I will have a lot more updates about the wild horses.
Susan DiCriscio(non-registered)
Wonderfully detailed guide! I hope to get there some day!
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