Dayton Hyde
Dayton Hyde

For those who appreciate the strength and grace of wild horses and want to see one man’s efforts to save them, the documentary “Running Wild should prove inspirational. The video will be shown on the Arizona Senior Academy’s big screen next Thursday (April 17), beginning at 2:30 p.m.

The documentary, whose full title is “Running Wild: The Life of Dayton O. Hyde,” premiered last September in New York City and has won awards for best documentary at several film festivals. It portrays the life of Hyde, an old-style cowboy and steadfast conservationist who has dedicated his life to protecting the wild horses, land and water of the American West.

It features wild mustangs running free on Hyde’s 13,000-acre Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary in South Dakota, and scenes at his beautiful Yamsi Ranch in Oregon and boyhood lake house in Michigan.

Wild stallions jostle for dominance in Dayton Hyde's Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary.
Wild stallions jostle for dominance in Dayton Hyde’s Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary.

At age 13, Hyde hopped a freight train headed West and began a life journey to defend a fragile and changing natural world, a path that ultimately led him to South Dakota. There, he successfully created one of the largest wild horse sanctuaries, giving freedom to thousands of mustangs rescued from the controversial BLM wild horse roundups. Footage of these captured wild horses presents a stark contrast to the horses running free on the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary.

Hyde’s storied past experiences include cowboy, WWII veteran, rodeo clown, champion to sandhill cranes, wolves and coyotes, Life Magazine photographer, award-winning author, and environmental educator and activist.


“Running Wild” includes rare footage of a Lakota Naming Ceremony, honoring Hyde as protector of sacred land. Hyde continues his efforts to preserve the environment in his fight against a proposed uranium mining project located near famed Mount Rushmore that has the potential to contaminate the ecosystem and deplete the aquifer that supports all life in the Black Hills, a gamble Hyde and his fellow opponents are not willing to take. At 88, Hyde says, “It’s going to be my last great battle, but I’m going to win this one.”

Submitted by Mike Maharry, Academy Village Volunteer

[box type=”info”] Interested in attending? Click here.[/box]


Documentary Features Man Who Saves Wild Horses: April 2014
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