9 thoughts on “Regarding Canadian Wild Horses – Blue Sky Radio interview with Wild Horses of Alberta Society: Bob Henderson – photo courtesy: Through The Lens Images”

  1. Henderson is NOT The only one trying to protect these horses. There are sooooo manu trying to do this! Sure don t appreciate this attitude! I thought there was never an I IN TEAM!!!!

    1. Hi Catherine,

      Thank you for your comment. We did this interview as to show the work of WHOAS. Other groups involved in advocacy or rescuing of wild horses, believe me, I support their work. To clear up any slander, the only prerogative of Blue Sky, or for WHOAS as it is, is to work to protect the wild horses. Please feel free to contact me again regarding work on behalf of wild horses you and others do. The progress so far is very difficult to ascertain. Hopefully the herds will be sustained forevermore. Love and peace my friend.

  2. It is interesting Darrel that you suggested Jennifer not believe everything she hears. Looks like we finally agree on something.
    I would ask you to tell us how long you have been “involved” and what exactly you have “done” for the horses other than activist type activity, like protesting etc. Also how exactly did you find out about the horses and get involved with their plight? I believe it was on a flight with Bob Henderson, in the spring of 2014, when he showed you the traps set up by one of the trappers? Bob on the other hand, together with a very few committed horsemen, formed the Wild Horses of Alberta Society in 2002, and they have devoted their time for the past 16 years to saving as many of these horses as they could. They have spent more time than you or anyone can imagine actively out there, physically saving the horses, rescuing them, re-homing them, moving them off private land back into the forestry, buying and installing electric fencing for private land owners whose property borders the forestry so that the horses cannot stray where they are not wanted. This small group of people did everything in their power, with NO help from anyone else.

    In 2014, thanks to the advances of social media, many FB pages started up in protest of the culls. Bob went out with you on a flyover and showed you the trap set up by an impending trapper – this before a cull had even been announced. You jumped on the bandwagon. You started a facebook page. It was great – you hired a professional protester to sit at the trap site. You got yourself and several others arrested. You made the news! You made the the papers! The limelight was on! And the social outcry was heard by the government. Meanwhile, the members of WHOAS kept working behind the scenes, just trying to keep as many horses away from the slaughterhouse as they could. They worked with the government, worked with the trappers who caught horses to try and rescue them. You took the limelight and the publicity, while WHOAS stayed quiet, and just kept doing what THEY do. They did what they could to help the horses not lucky enough to stay free. The people at WHOAS have never denied that the huge social media outcry raised public awareness to a level WHOAS struggled for years to reach. Or that the resulting public outcry benefited the horses and forced the government to take a more serious outlook. In fact – WHOAS has many times thanked those involved. And that’s great – you have 12000 followers on Facebook, but I guess when you have lots of time at the keyboard you can build a pretty good following. Public outcry was your job from day one in 2014 – and you were good at raising a lot of attention. Everyone has a role. Unfortunately though, all that protesting didn’t stop another cull in the spring of 2015.

    During the cull of 2015, WHOAS did take “some” horses. In fact – of 59 horses captured, WHOAS took 42. All of which, I would add, were successfully gentled and adopted out. We did this at a facility designed to house 17 horses. We worked tirelessly to expand that facility in order to save and gentle as many of those horses as we could. This comes across as a “small” accomplishment in your musing, but I assure you, it was not. You could not know how difficult it was or time consuming as you and your group did not take part in that. I believe you purchased…5 (?) horses from the auction for whom you had homes already chosen? And sorry – was it the adopters who then had to gentle those horses or did you gentle them before re-homing them?

    It is offensive that you broadcast that you were “thrown under the bus” over the Government issued MOU when in fact, because of your behavior during the 2014 cull, the government stipulated that you and HAW specifically, were NOT to be involved or there would BE no MOU, no Trial for the contraceptive vaccine, no “change” at all to what had been happening for years. Surely you are aware of this and can appreciate the choice that had to be made? Nor was Judith “thrown under the bus”. She chose not to be involved when she found out you would no longer be involved. Her decision to resign was of course hers to make, but it left the program without a vet, and the news of it was devastating to all who cared about the horses and the great opportunity we were being offered. Without a vet to bring in the vaccine from the states, the whole contraceptive portion of the MOU would have collapsed. The entire project and all hope for the horses ran a very real risk of dying right there, and I do not believe for one minute that either of you were unaware of that possibility.

    We were very fortunate to obtain another vet quite quickly after Judith’s resignation, and the bonus was this vet actually specialized in Equine Veterinary medicine as opposed to Small Animal veterinary medicine. He has proven to be a huge asset to our Society and I don’t think any of the current members would change a thing that brought him to us.

    Darrel – WHOAS worked with you in 2014 after Bob made you aware of what was happening with the horses and the impending cull for that spring, but it was YOUR choice to back out altogether when you could not be actively involved in the MOU. You have exhibited an obsession with destroying WHOAS and specifically Bob Henderson ever since. The unfortunate part of this is that this destructive obsession appears to have overtaken the original reason for HAW, which was I believe to “Help Alberta Wildies”. As for offering to work with WHOAS in the recent past, the offer, which was made very indirectly and informally through a third party was an offer to start vaccinating horses outside the MOU area, in a desperate attempt to vaccinate randomly as many horses as possible over the next two years. This plan is not only reckless in my opinion, it also falls outside the scope of our MOU, and is outside of the permitted application of the Zona Stat H vaccine we have brought into Canada. It is important for readers to note that Zona Stat H is not currently approved for use in Canada and as such, requires an extensive application with a detailed description of it’s planned use, and follow up reporting by the vet bringing the product into Canada. That vet’s professional designation is on the line if he abuses the guidelines and specific use for which the product is imported. As such, what you and your group is proposing is literally impossible for WHOAS to take part in. In addition, the purpose of the MOU was to trial the contraceptive vaccine to prove to the ALberta Government that it is effective in reducing the number of mares who will foal in any given season, and as such, could be successfully used as an alternative management program to replace the existing habit of culling for population management. The trial phase was not to physically reduce the population in this 5 year span.

    In closing, WHOAS is an advocate for the wild horses – we are not an activist group. WHOAS works within the law, and with Universities to provide the science required that governments listen to. Science that we believe will make permanent change to existing practices where the horses are concerned.

    So yes Jennifer – Sometimes you just can’t believe everything you hear. Hope this cuts through some of the “ridiculous spin” evident in the musings of Mr Darrel Glover in his writings above.

  3. Jennifer, not sure just how much you really know about this topic, but if not for the other groups that emerged in 2014, Bob Henderson, and WHOAS, would still be exactly where they were in 2013, i,e. still watching annual horse culls. It was indeed the pressure campaigns of groups like Help Alberta Wildies, mounting awareness programs and spreading the word through social media, that caused the tide of change with the Alberta Govt..
    Mr. Henderson, did not mention that the contraception program being proposed to the Provincial Government, was in fact started by one of those other groups. In fact, it was our group that introduced it. Mr. Henderson, failed to mention that we were actually formed in order to help WHOAS, achieve an opening with the Government. Prior to the formation of HAW, in 2014, Government officials paid no attention to WHOAS, at all. During the winter of 2013/2014, the Govt. announced a cull of 196 wild horses from several of the Equine zones. Mr. Henderson, failed to mention that HAW, Help Alberta Wildies, and scores of other Albertans, banded together and stopped that cull after only 15 horses were captured. WHOAS, did NOTHING to stop that cull. Five of us went to jail stopping that cull. In 2015, a smaller cull was carried out in secrecy and 49 horses were captured. That was the year of the infamous Innisfail Auction. WHOAS took some of those horses to gentle, the rest went to the sale. Since then, there has been NO culls. WHOAS, cannot take credit for that. It is the threat of a lawsuit from Toronto, based Zoocheck, and the fear of an Advocacy uprising that is holding the NDP Government, accountable.

    So, Jennifer, when you refer to a lot of mis-information out there, to whom was that comment referring to? WHOAS, has done lots of good things, but being honest and transparent to the public is not very high on the list. It was indeed the other groups, that put WHOAS, on a jump start since 2014. The other groups had no choice but to get stronger after WHOAS, threw us under the bus in the fall of 2014, while secretly taking our PZP program to the Govt., with a proposal for the trials. Henderson did not mention that this MOU, was already being established thanks to the efforts of Vetrinarian Dr. Judith Samson French, who also got thrown under the bus. So you see, to run a 32 minute interview with someone like Mr. Henderson, is totally useless unless you want you audience to be totally biased after listening. WHOAS, has done nothing for well over a year. It is other groups that remain at the forefront of the advocacy that keeps our Govt., alert. It is the other groups that have worked hard every day to spread awareness across this country, and indeed the world. It is likely our group that got the word into Ontario, back in 2014, during the cull, that spread to the point that you learned about the Wild Horses out here. Our Facebook page since we started in Feb/14, has grown to over 13,000 followers. We think that just might be helping to spread the word about the plight of our horses.

    Jennifer, sometimes you just can’t believe everything you hear. There is a lot of story out here. I suggest you watch the W5 documentary on Youtube, called Born Free. It was our group, not WHOAS, that contacted W5, and hosted them out here for the story. We are the ones that took them out to the horses and got all of the video. We are the ones that took the Wildlife Biologist, into the back country that led to an 82 page report citing the Govt officals with the “no evidence” campaign.

    As for working together, we tried that in 2014, and got sacrificed. Mr. Henderson, did not mention that we offered to chip in once again just last month due to some recent developments. We were pretty much told to stuff it.

    That is 4 years put into the short form. Hope it cuts through some of the ridiculous spin we just heard on your interview. Help Alberta Wildies (HAW) Olds, Alberta

    1. Hi Darrell, thank you for listening to the interview. Misinformation was mentioned with regards to in general, misconceptions about wild horses and effect on environment as an example. It is not the intention with my program to stir up the debate among wild horses advocates but more so to educate the public on the sheer existence of wild horses. And in this interview with Bob, to relay from WHOAS’ perspective the work they have been doing. Everyone will have to do what they believe is right. For the sake of those poor last 1000 or so wild horses left in Alberta, they would sure be better off if wild horse advocates could align. Here in Ontario most people are unaware wild horses even exist. That goes for wild horses in general: people are unaware wild horses exist or are misinformed regarding challenges. I hope eco-tourism take off, that would be sustainable and great awareness item for the wild horses. My own wild horse education I have gotten from many places, starting well before 2014. This radio show is an extension of advocacy I felt was needed to get information to general public – as I was feeling that preaching to the choir wasn’t enough. This struggle on behalf of horses, wild horses and all horses, is bigger than one person or one movement. Getting voices out on behalf of those without a voice, that is the main mission of this show. Thanks again for your comment.

  4. I listened to the interview wit Bob Henderson and I think you should look at this site http://www.wildhorsefcg.org/home.html# and try to do an interview with Bridget Ady who was on the WHOAS board of directors. She was instrumental in the development of the PZP program for WHOAS and is now trying to help other groups and new groups to put forth proposals to the AEP to expand contraception to areas outside of WHOAS area. I also left WHOAS because in 2017 only 1 mare was boosted.

    1. Hello Leo,

      I definitely will consider interviewing Bridget. Those horses face some uphill struggle as it is. The show purpose is the educating on the existence of wild horses in Canada, to the general public, as well as particular details. Thank you for your comment.

    2. Question for you Leo. What would be the purpose of vaccinating more horses? You know better than I that the total horses vaccinated in the first three years was 82. Is that not a sufficient amount to determine the efficacy of the vaccine? I am lost on the reasoning behind vaccinating “at will” at this point. No matter how many horses you vaccinate, you will not reduce the population in a two or five year time frame.

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