In The News

Dr Castle McLaughlin ~ Western Heritage Award

9780981885865-lgCastle McLaughlin’s A Lakota War Book from the Little Bighorn: The Pictographic “Autobiography of Half Moon” has been chosen as this year’s winner of The Western Heritage Award for Outstanding Nonfiction Book.  Read full write-up by Katherine Turpin here


2011 Colt Starting Clinic

2011coltstartingclinicjunewIt doesn't matter what you believe in and what you think you know, this clinic and seeing the Nokotas® in their natural setting is no less than downright spiritual.                                                                                                                         ~ Jennifer McLaughlin-Perez                                                                                                            


               View more clinic pics here


"Teddy" The Equine Marketer ~ August

theequinemarketerw                                                                      teddyequinemarketer
          LOOK WHO'S ON
                 "Teddy Bear" 
         1999 Nokota® Gelding
            Owner - Sue Pizzini
         Teddy was captured in 
  Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Teddy went from a high risk situation at the auction in ND to a 6th place winning with rider Holly Osborne (age 13 at the time of this photo) in his first horse trial at  Fair Hill, MD.  Michele Melina painted Teddy who is featured on the August cover of The Equine Marketer.  Teddy lives with two other Nokotas® Leo and Orion in Chester Springs, PA.

                 Congratulations Teddy & Sue Pizzini!!

2013 TRNP NPS SCR4011 Roundup Correspondence

2013 Theodore Roosevelt National Park ~ National Park Service ~ Senate Concurrent Resolution 4011 Wild Horse Roundup Correspondence

The above link (18 pages) is correspondence between the above named subjects that the Nokota® Horse Conservancy has on record.  It is a remarkable read and the NHC hopes it helps answer questions, clarifies concerns and educates everyone who supports the work of this non-profit organization, which is working diligently to uphold the truth.  

They Save Horses Don't They?

castle“'Horse' wasn’t my first word,” said Castle McLaughlin, the associate curator of North American ethnography at Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. “But it should have been.” McLaughin co-curated the Peabody exhibit "Wiyohpiyata: Lakota Images of the Contested West,” which prominently features Nokota horses, a breed she is helping to preserve. By Colleen Walsh, Harvard Staff Writer

Castle McLaughlin came face to face with her future in the summer of 1986, staring into the eyes of a wild, blue roan stallion.  She had parents who were equestrians, a grandfather who was a well-known polo player, and a pony from age 5, and she grew up with a profound love for the animals. 

Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer

Grandpa Smoke 1994 ~ 2014


papasmokecm02webGrandpa Smoke, the magnificent Nokota® stallion known as "Papa," died early on January 17th, 2014 just a few months shy of his twentieth birthday. While he never left Linton, North Dakota, Nokota® fans around the world knew him through images on the Conservancy website, in publications, and on merchandise. He was stunning: a perfectly balanced fifteen hand dun overo with a dorsal stripe down his back, dark "tiger stripes" above his knees and silky white feathering on the back of his legs. But it was his proud carriage that made him so photogenic - he always held his head high, drawing attention to his delicate black-rimmed ears, his heavy, copper-streaked mane and his kind but vigilant eye, which was often half hidden by his long forelock.  At a trot or canter he floated over the ground, arching his neck and tucking in his head.  Sadly, only a few years after becoming a herd stallion he suffered a sudden loss of sight and with it, much of his freedom. But he maintained his dignity to the end. Even then, and even in photographs, it was clear that Papa was a special horse.

The passing of Papa Smoke also marks the end of an era. He was one of the first foundation stallions bred by Leo Kuntz, and his parents were both born wild in the badlands. His sire was War Chief, a dominant but quiet blue roan stallion, and his dam was a grey mare descended from Midnight, a small, Spanish looking black stallion who eluded all efforts to capture him. Midnight and his band were the only park horses who had the "dun factor," and Papa's ability to pass this on to his offspring made him especially valuable.

This is a moment to pause and reflect on our shared mission to ensure a future for the Nokota® horses.  Thanks to the Kuntz brothers and to the generosity of people touched by Nokotas® and their story, Papa Smoke lived comfortably and contributed to future generations of these special horses. But time is passing, and we still have much to do. I hope you will join me today in making a special donation to the Nokota® Horse Conservancy in honor of the unique and beloved Papa Smoke.


Castle McLaughlin

Senior Vice President

Nokota® Horse Conservancy

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