💔 RIP Mystery. 💔
Mystery, foaled the spring of 2004 to Lightning and Single foot, always lived up to his name. As a two-year-old, he was run out of his natal band. Tom Tescher and I suspected he had died because he was not seen again.
Over a year later I observed a smaller black stallion with another bachelor in the Paddock Creek area, but from a distance he looked exactly like High Star. I even chided him for leaving his band to hang out with other bachelors, a behavior fairly common to band stallions.
One day, however, I saw High Star & the mystery black bachelor in the same day in different parts of the park. I realized that it must be the slim black colt that had been kicked out of the Single
foot band almost two years earlier.
What better name was there for him, than Mystery?
When he was 4, Mystery acquired his own mares, Gray Lady and Smokey. The next year he gained Lacey and her daughter, Shale. By 2012, Mystery had a band of 12 with two definite groups. The lighter mares all hung together and the darker mares, with the exception of Ginger, all hung with him. For some mysterious reason, that fall, he let all the lighter mares and their offspring go to another.
stud, but he hung onto Ginger, Raven, Cheyenne, Papoose, Latigo, Amidon, and Upham. The last three were sold in 2013. Over the next eight years he would acquire more mares, all of them darker colored. He especially liked bays, but again, Ginger was the one exception.
Spring of 2020 he and Copper were observed fighting below Buck Hill. On May 21, 2020 Mystery disappeared, never to be seen alive again. Several search parties looked for his remains, including park staff and others who loved him. Finally, almost a month later, we found him in a deep gully. By the evidence at the site, we were able to determine that he had died during a fight. By the scuff marks above and on the face of a vertical bank, he fell around 10-12 ft., landing in a small amount of water in the bottom of the gully.
Did he suffer? We don’t think so. By the absence of any hoof marks in the bottom of the gully, we think he died quickly either from the fall or by drowning in the water.
What a heartbreaking end to such a magnificent stallion! He will always be missed, but his legacy is carried on by all his offspring still in the park or living happily with families across the country. We love you, Mystery, gallop on until we meet again!