Epic’s life began as a wild mustang roaming free and wild in Warm Springs, Oregon until she was forced into a life of suffering when rounded up by The Department of the Interior’s BLM in 2001. Epic was then confronted to the fate that thousands of America’s so called ‘National Treasures’ face every year and was confined to a holding pen with little shade, water or food. In 2002, she was transferred to long term holding and by 2006 she was branded as an ‘unadoptable’ outkast and slipped into hands of a brutal rodeo in Florida and forced into a life as a bucking bronco. After being beaten down and abused on a daily basis, Epic was deemed no longer useful to the rodeo and ended up being sold to an illegal slaughter farm in Tampa, Florida where she was intended to be butchered alive for her meat for the purpose of human consumption on the thriving black market horse meat trade that is prevalent in Florida.
Epic’s diminished fate was intervened in 2011 when Richard ‘Kudo’ Couto was undercover investigating the very same illegal slaughter farm when he noticed her BLM markings. “When I arrived, there were over 15 horses and other animals on fire, pigs eating butchered horse carcasses and abused animals everywhere” said Couto.
Set to be slaughtered in the coming days, Kudo convinced the butcherers to sell her as a riding horse for his ‘girlfriend’. They agreed at a price and Kudo returned on the 23rd June, 2011, horse trailer in hand and rescued Epic. After the rescue ARM’s veterinarian announced that Epic was in fact pregnant. ARM’s intervention had saved two lives that day. Epic was sent to The Wild Horse Rescue in Mims where a patient Diane tended to Epic’s needs, giving birth to Little Kudo, a curious and leggy colt.
In September 2012, Epic, Little Kudo and another rescued mustang have been transported to their final destination in a disclosed wild horse sanctuary where they will live their days as nature and national history intended.