Portrait marks wild horse heroine’s place in history

Fish Creek stallions are returned to their home range. Photo: Laura Leigh/Wild Horse Education
Wild stallions at Fish Creek range last year. © Laura Leigh/Wild Horse Education

US wild horse advocate Laura Leigh has been honored as part of an art exhibit at the Nevada Historical Society.

The last portrait of a wild horse advocate to hang at the Historical Society was one of Nevada’s “Wild Horse Annie,” Velma Johnston (1912-1977).

A portrait of Laura Leigh, right, is on show at the Nevada Historical Society.
A portrait of Laura Leigh, right, is on show at the Nevada Historical Society.

Leigh is the founder of Nevada based Wild Horse Education. Her work has been seen in multiple venues including multiple broadcasts and print media such as CNN, ABC, NBC, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and has been used in multiple documentary films.

Leigh successfully fought for First Amendment issues to access wild horses during and after capture by the federal government. Her litigation included multiple federal court wins against inhumane treatment of wild horses.

Leigh’s efforts to document and tell the story of America’s wild horses contain a legacy of a fight to preserve and protect wild horses and the wild landscape. Leigh is sometimes a collaborator with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) or an adversary, but she is always a chronicler.

The portrait of Leigh was created by artists at the Portrait Society of Reno, which said: “We owe all of our celebrated portrait subjects a great debt; this exhibit honors them and their achievements. Their place in history will be remembered, just as they have remembered and honored the people before them.”

Leigh said the portrait was a real honor. “Our wild horses are such a big part of the history of our American West. Horses helped build our country, fight our wars and enrich our lives. It was a great feeling to be able to honor our wild horses through the portrait that hangs alongside those making significant contributions to cultural heritage, law enforcement, journalism and more.”

In January a portrait of Leigh will be included at the State Legislature. The exhibit at the Nevada Historical Society can be viewed at 1650 North Virginia St., Reno, NV.



4 thoughts on “Portrait marks wild horse heroine’s place in history

  • August 10, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    Fantastic honour to Laura Leigh, a place in history, in a wonderful portrait. Working so hard to protect & save the mustangs & burros. ‘ Wild horse Annie ‘ looking down so proud. Laura deserves reconision for all she does.

  • August 10, 2016 at 7:52 pm

    Congratulations! A very well deserved honour – the more I read about your achievements the more astonished I am – Thank You for your dedication and perseverance – the wild horses are blessed indeed by having you on their side x

  • August 11, 2016 at 6:29 am

    Laura Leigh you are my hero.

  • August 13, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    Well deserved to honor Ms. Leigh. Thank you for keeping up the good fight. Honoring our American Wild Horses to live beside us forever. Thank you for helping get the word out there.


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