April 15, 1999 a solid black colt was born in the wild Pryor Mountains of Montana. When Ginger Kathrens noticed the black colt on tax day, she named him IRS. IRS, in his freedom roamed the 36,000 acres of the Pryor Mountains. As a two year old, he became a bachelor stallion running wildly with all of the other bachelors; though, mostly IRS was a bit of a loner.
IRS, later named Murray by the BLM, loved the land adjacent to the Pryor Herd Management Area the most. The green lush grasses of Custer National Forest were especially tasty in the early summer. He would lie in the summer sun, basking in the air of freedom. One fall, Murray, with not a care in the world, wandered alone through his mountain wilderness. While on his walk-about, the young stallion came across a lonely black heifer who had lost her herd. The two herd mammals sought comfort in each other’s company, and would often be seen together during those autumn days.
As he grew in strength, Murray decided to seek out a mare of his very own. In the midst of his efforts, the Bureau of Land Management decided to bait trap some of the Pryor Horses. Setting out large round protein blocks, the BLM waited for the horses to take the bait. Murray along with a few others curiously approached the trap, but they were unable to avoid its fate. Murray, along with a handful of other horses, lost their freedom forever.
April 13, 2007 our eyes met for the first time. It was a blustery, snowy morning, and the snowflakes fell glistening on his radiant black coat. His eyes told me the story more than any words uttered from the mouths of those around me. When I first brought him to his new home, I cried each time I saw that sad faraway look in his eye. I desired so strongly to release him back into his mountain home, but knew that I needed to provide him with a life as close to freedom as possible. I wanted to keep his name IRS in honor of Ginger, the amazing fighter and promoter of wild horse freedom; but I also wanted to remember his Spanish heritage, dating back to the time the Spaniards first brought horses to this continent. So, I named him Isla de los Regalos Segrados (Island of the Sacred Gifts). He is mi Regalo…my gift!