AWHPC & American Mustang on Capitol Hill

Key AWHPC supporter Ellie Phipps Price and AWHPC director Suzanne Roy traveled to Washington last week for meetings with Senators and staff on Capitol Hill and a screening of Ellie’s film, AMERICAN MUSTANG. We were honored that two U.S. Senators attended the film screening – Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who brought her family with her to see the movie. Both Senators are committed to helping improve the plight of America’s wild horses and reforming the broken federal wild horse program.

Following the film, Senator Landrieu was inspired to speak to the audience, reaffirming her commitment to protecting wild horses, which she said began when she was a young girl. Senator Landrieu is the leader on Capitol Hill in the fight to protect America's horses and is the sponsor of the Safeguard American Food Exports Act, which would ban horse slaughter in the U.S. as well as the transport of horses across its borders to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico. As the chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, she is also the highest ranking member of Congress with direct oversight over the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) addressing the audience after viewing American Mustang. To her right are Ellie Phipps Price and AMERICAN MUSTANG co-producer Henry Ansbacher

Also attending the screening were officials from a number of prominent humane and environmental organizations; executives from Chesapeake Petroleum, the company of humanitarian and horse protection champion Victoria McCullough; AWHPC supporter Joan D'Avanzo, AWHPC attorney Katherine Meyer and her team from Meyer, Glitzenstein & Crystal, and AWHPC political consultant Joe Trippi. Former Congressman Dennis Kucinich and his wife Elizabeth stopped by the reception before attending the screening.

During the Washington visit, Ellie and Suzanne also took the opportunity to personally deliver to the Interior Department thousands of postcards from moviegoers across the nation who saw AMERICAN MUSTANG and were moved to take a stand for wild horses. In a cover letter to Sally Jewell that accompanied the postcards, Ellie wrote:

Wild Horse Annie stood up for wild horses. We, the team behind AMERICAN MUSTANG The Movie, the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, and our growing community around the world, are standing up for wild horses now.

The current situation of BLM mismanagement and inhumane roundups of wild horses simply must change. The change must begin right now, right here at your desk, with the voices of thousands of American people at your fingertips. If you don’t hear these voices now, don’t worry. They are becoming louder every day and can no longer be ignored.

Please visit AMERICAN MUSTANG’s new website to read and view more photos of the postcard delivery.

Overall it was a productive trip and although there is much follow up to do, it is encouraging to know that the wild horses and burros have powerful Senators and amazing women like Mary Landrieu and Kirsten Gillibrand on their side.

From left Suzanne Roy, Brian McQuigan of Joe Trippi & Associates, Ellie Phipps Price and Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR

All photos: Tara Arrowood Photography