Earlier this week, I was disappointed to find out that Sam had died.
Sam was born in 1991 on the Dryhead to a blue roan mare and a dun stallion. By 1995, he formed his first harem after stealing mares from a sorrel stallion known as Hercules or Herpes. Sam and his small harem lived in the Crooked Creek Bay area where they became a very popular group of horses to view. From the mid-90’s until recently, Sam and his harem were often the first Pryor Mountain Wild Horses that visitors would see and learn about.
Though I have seen the Pryor horses for most of my life, I didn’t really know who I was looking at until the early 2000’s. Like many before and after me, Sam was the first horse that I learned about. My first significant memories of Sam are from 2004. That year, Sam only had a pretty grulla mare named Echo; and they had a foal together that was named Ember.
Echo died that summer, leaving her foal behind. Sam continued to care for Ember. I remember him being pretty protective of her, and he seemed to be trying to teach her how to eat grass.
Ember really needed her mother’s milk, though; and despite Sam’s best efforts, she died in the fall.
In recent years, Sam was often seen with the mare Hightail.
Hightail and Sam actually have a long history together. She was one of the mares Sam first won in 1995. She remained with him almost continuously since then; she was really only away from him in 2004.
Sam was a very successful stallion who leaves behind a great legacy. The Dryhead harem stallions Bristol (out of Echo), Corona (out of Sorita), and Admiral (out of Hightail) are likely his sons. Admiral seems to have replaced Sam as the main stallion of Crooked Creek Bay.
It will be interesting to see how closely he follows in his father’s footsteps in the future.