The Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center was incorporated in 1998 by Reverend Floyd Schwieger and John T. Nickle with initial donations of $300 each. John Nickle served as President and appointed Rev. Schwieger, Richard Doerr, Jim Edwards, Daphne Hartman, and Phillip Schaeling as the original board. Not long afterwards Hope Ryden, Bill Roberts, Wes Meeker, and Dr. Phillip Sponenberg were added. These were later joined by Cal S. Taggart, Todd Wacaser, Jim Minchow, Kathy Johnsey, LaMoine Sorenson, and Nancy Cerroni. Rev. Schwieger, Richard Doerr, and Cal Taggart are now deceased and Wes Meeker and Phillip Schaeling no longer serve on the board.
Today's Center evolved from the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Association, a loosely knit group who were supportive of the Pryor horses. Some members of the Association dated back to the local area committee that worked to save the wild horses in the mid 1960's. Some of the members of the committee who remained active through the years were Bob Doerr, Wes Meeker, Rev. Schwieger, Emil Doerr, and Phyllis Hill, along with the Lovell Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Lovell. John Nickle supported the committee as Town Manager of Lovell. They all worked to help Lloyd and Royce Tillett and their families in their battle with the BLM to save the herd of wild horses in the Pryor Mountains. Hope Ryden, then a roving reporter with ABC TV, aided the cause by airing a report on national TV that brought nationwide attention to the plight of the Pryor horses. Finally in 1968, Secretary Stewart Udall established the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range in Montana and Wyoming. This became the first public Wild Horse Range in America. Clyde Reynolds, then Mayor of Lovell, was named to the first Wild Horse National Advisory Board, which convened their first meeting in Lovell. Rev. Schwieger liked to say, "come to Lovell to see the first horses on the first wild horse range".
In the early 1990's Dale and Daphne Hartman became interested in the Pryor horses. They began adopting and breeding Pryor horses and along with Rev. Schwieger, they founded The Pryor Mountain Mustang Breeders Association. Today the Breeder Association has a large group of registered Pryor horses. One of the purposes of the Association is to have horses with the Pryor bloodline that could be reintroduced to the range if there were a huge loss of Pryor wild horses in the future.
The Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center now serves as a permanent advocate group for the Pryor horses. This was the dream of Rev. Schwieger and remains the dream of John Nickle and the Board of Directors. Please join us in supporting the Pryor horses.