March 19, 2010 – Sam

Earlier this week, I was disappointed to find out that Sam had died.

Sam

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.

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Published in: on March 19, 2010 at 3:19 pm  Comments (16)  

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16 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Aw Matt… I am so sorry to hear about Sam. He really was a great stud. As you said, he was one of the first that I learned about. He really had a great set of genetics in his family, and I am glad to see that they will continue on in his sons and daughters. Admiral has some “big feets” to follow, if you’ll pardon the pun.
    T.

  2. […] March 19, 2010 – Sam: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. (click here to read more…) […]

  3. Sam was the first Pryor horse that I saw, as we drove up the road in great anticipation. What a beautiful stallion we spotted not far from the road! So he holds a special place in my memory, as I’m sure he does for many others.

  4. Matt, How sad to hear this news. and especially sad for you. he had a great life though, and died wild and free. Good to know that his legacy lives on.

  5. Another beautiful wild stallion joins the ranks of the likes of Raven and Shaman as guardians of the great herds of the Spirit World.

    I’ll treasure the memories of the hours I spent observing he and his faithful companion as they roamed their favorite part of the range; grazing, standing head to tail swatting flies, resting in the shade of the trees along Crooked Creek and running away from 4th of July noise. My pictures now have special significance. So long, Sam….

    Matt, thanks for sharing all those great pictures, and the info, on this sad occasion. Can you let us know how Hightail does with this? And do you know anything about the cause of his demise? He seemed to look pretty good when you saw him and posted pictures recently, didn’t he?

    Thanks again for a very nice tribute to Sam.

    Linda D

  6. Matt,

    I am so sorry to hear about Sam. Sam was the first wild horse I saw in the wild.I have pictures of him and Hightail.. I will always be greatful for that. What happened to him? Was it natural causes?

    RIP Sam

    Rebecca in Ky

  7. Great tribute, Matt. Thank you for the photos and the story.
    I will look forward to hear more about Admiral, Bristol and Corona.

  8. Matt,
    Super sorry to hear about Sam! What a wonderful history and tribute you’ve given for him! Sounds like he led a great life; hopefully, Admiral can fill his shoes and be just as great!

  9. It is hard to think of Crooked Creek Bay in the summer without the beautiful Sam standing guard. He was so remarkable as he gallantly cared for the Little Gray Girl, Ember. Even though in the summer he was so often seen in that area, the winter was a different story. He would move into the lower Sykes area and was sometimes very hard to find.

    I’ll miss Sam. But I agree that he definitely lived the life of a Pryor Mountain Wild Horse.

  10. Matt,
    Thanks so much for sharing the sad news, as well as the photos and history.
    How can I forget the excitement of seeing my first Pryor horse? It was Sam, winding his way through the brush by the bay. I came back to the Centre, and was eager to find out who the dark horse was, by name.
    While I saw many more horses in the days to follow, I will never forget being greeted by Sam.
    May his hoofprints be preserved forever in the muds by the bay, a memory of one of the great ones.
    Thanks again, Matt
    Wendy D

  11. Sorry to hear about the passing of Sam. He was beautiful. Hopefully another ambassador will take his place and touch peoples hearts as they live the Mustang life.

  12. Matt,

    So terribly sorry about Sam. I am so happy to got to go out and get a first sighting of him this year even if the picture is a little dark. He appeared to still be of decent health. He lived such a long legacy and still had a forever friend & mate Hightail. I hope she doesn’t grieve to much for such a memorable stallion. Please keep us updated on her.

  13. Matt,
    Sam was indeed an embassador. He and his harem were the first Pryor horses that many of us newcomers saw. We were immediately taken with the beauty of the wild horses that we were yet to see.He was indeed an enticement for me to venture farther up the mountain to encounter other wild horses. As you know, I fell deeply in love with the very thought and lifestyle of your horses. Hopefully they will all live a very long and fulfilled life on the mountain.Send me an update on Fools Crow please.
    Teresa

  14. Matt,
    I would like to reitterate what Wendy said. Wish I could express myself like she does, especially the comment about the hoofprints that I was lucky enough to see.

  15. I have been interested inthe stories of the Pryor Stallions who tried to raise orphan foals, One Ginger called plenty coups and Sam and I think I read about Prince or another stallion who reared an orphaned foal. I haven’t read of many other stallions doing that and my father always told me tales of stallions killing folas. Are there stories of other herds where stallions have attempted to raise the orphaned ones? Is this as unusual as it seems?

    • Bigfoot was also known to do this here. As far as this happening elsewhere, this is honestly a subject I don’t know a whole lot about. However, I would guess that it happens with other wild herds just as it happens in the Pryors.


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