MOFFAT COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) — The death of a famous wild horse in Sand Wash Basin in southwest Colorado has advocates renewing their push to put up fencing. The horse known as Van Gogh was hit and killed by a car on Highway 318 last weekend, the Craig Daily Press reported.
“Van Gogh was one of the most famous wild horses in the Sand Wash Basin area, one that was easily recognizable and heavily photographed by wild horse advocates and enthusiasts,” the Daily Press reported.
Wild horse advocates are now urging the Colorado Department of Transportation put up fencing along eight miles of the highway to protect the horses — and drivers.
“Very sad news from the basin today. I found Van Gogh dead along Hwy 318 this afternoon. We have lost an icon of the basin – again due to CDOT not putting in the fence like we need to protect the horses,” organizers of the Facebook group Wild Horses of Sand Wash Basin wrote. “Do we need a human fatality before they finally see the light???”
Organizers said a Zoom meeting with CDOT is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 9.
“I honestly believe that things happen at certain times for a reason,” organizers of the Wild Horse Warriors of Sand Wash Basin (WHW) Facebook page stated. “It is our job to take those things and make positive changes. It is with that philosophy I have decided to take Van Gough’s death.”
“In 2018, WHW raised more than $30,000 to put towards the fence with hopes of paying a third for the $90,000 bid along with BLM and CDOT. For now, WHW and other horse advocates continue to fight for fencing to protect the horses and travelers along Highway 318,” organizers wrote.
Organizers urged supporters to “help put pressure on CDOT” by emailing letters to Gov. Jared Polis, Rep. Scott Tipton (R-CO 3rd District), and both candidates running for Congress, Lauren Boebert and Diane Mitsch Bush.
The group also encouraged community members to contact CDOT directly about adding fencing.