A Kiger mustang, descended from horses brought here by the Spaniards in the 1500s, will be auctioned during a special benefit organized by the Let 'em Run Foundation on Saturday.
Known for their friendly curiosity, beauty and proud spirit, these prized and intelligent animals have excellent feet, great stamina and an easy disposition. They've survived the harshest natural elements and relentless pursuit of man.
Ranging from 13.3 to 15.2 hands high, the majority are duns, but they can also be bay, red dun, roan, black, or grulla.
One of their number, a dun stallion named Donner, was purchased for $50,000 by production company Dream Works, to serve as a model for their upcoming movie, "Spirit: Stallion of the Cimmaron."
Produced by Stephen Spielberg, the movie features photo-realistic horses set against panoramic vistas and very little dialogue. The story is told from the viewpoint of the horse, his thoughts heard as narrative. The movie premieres this week and will be offered to the public in late May.
The Kiger colt, a bay donated by Rick Littleton, comes from the same herd as Donner. Littleton is owner and operator of Kiger Mustang Ranch in Oregon and offered the horse to help champion the causes supported by singer Lacy J. Dalton.
The President of the Let 'em Run Foundation, Dalton has joined forces with other local organizations to host the first-ever "Bolos and Blue Jeans."
The no-host bar opens at 4:30 p.m at the Hidden Valley Country Club. Dinner includes prime rib or chicken and Lacy will be joining with David John & the Comstock Cowboys for a special performance. John Tyson will serve as master of ceremonies and it's all for a good cause. The money will support both wild and estray horses and animal welfare programs throughout the state.
Organizers call this a celebration of our western spirit and Gov. Kenny Guinn underscored that comment.
"These worthwhile projects represent the best Nevada offers: diverse entities coming together to achieve widespread community benefits," he said. "Tourism, economic development, job training, rehabilitation, education and employment are just a few of the many facets that will benefit from their completion."
Both silent and live auctions will feature something for everyone, from vacation packages to artwork and crafts, some designed by Nevada Dept. of Corrections inmates.
The following is an outline of this year's projects:
-- An orphan foal barn for young horses.
Inmates at the Women's Conservation Camp in Silver Springs will be in charge of the care and feeding of these foals, who sometimes need around-the-clock care.
This facility will be designed to house about 40 of the many foals orphaned during the season and Dawn Lappin of Wild Horse Organized Assistance will help with those horses that are critically ill.
-- Development of a sanctuary for wild horses in Storey County's Virginia Range. Home to about 1,000 wild horses, Virginia Range animals graze primarily on private lands. The sanctuary would afford these animals protection and room to roam free.
-- Development of a National Wild Horse and Burro Visitor and Adoption Center in Northern Nevada. With coordination among over 20 community, state and federal entities, this project will provide tourism and community development opportunities for all of Northern Nevada.
-- Construction of the Oliver Ranch Environmental Field Science School.
Located near Las Vegas, the school will educate school children about the importance of managing and caring for resources in the desert.
Tickets cost $75 per person which includes dinner, the concert and a door prize ticket. Discounts are available for tables of 10. For more information or to make reservations, call Meg Getty at 782-7838 or Cathy Barcomb at 849-3625.
IF YOU GO:
What: Bolos and Blue Jeans
When: Saturday, 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: Hidden Valley Country Club, 3575 E. Hidden Valley Drive, Reno