Spirit's little Miracle is a month old--By Adam L. Neal, staff writer, TCPalm--April 1, 2005--
"INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — As Bretton Bode-Spilios recently sat in a grassy patch in the middle of a field, a wild mustang and her then 2-week-old baby stood still several yards away...
While the mare, Spirit, stood her ground, the curious tan-and-white foal left her side and slowly wandered toward Bode-Spilios. Spirit, a 5-year-old buckskin, still is apprehensive around humans...
Since Walking on Water Farm recently adopted the then-pregnant Spirit just days before she was scheduled for slaughter, owner Bode-Spilios said naming the foal Spirit's Wild Miracle, or Miracle for short, was easy because of the hardship they went through...
Officials from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management rounded up Spirit with about 500 other wild mustangs Oct. 5 in the mountains of Oregon. The federally governed organization was established to protect wild mustang herds from overpopulation in western states.
If captured mustangs are more than 10 years old or unsuccessfully adopted at least three times, they are sent to a slaughterhouse.
Spirit was considered "high risk" of dying after she was driven to Jacksonville for an adoption show because she was pregnant and developed a severe infection that caused massive hemorrhaging.
She was days away from being destroyed when officials from the Jacksonville transfer station called the Vero Beach horse rescue in early February.
"We drove the truck up there and picked her up," Bode-Spilios said. "When we brought Spirit back, she laid on the ground and slept for like 12 hours. That is very unnatural for a horse."
Slowly gaining back energy and strength, Spirit gave birth Feb. 27 to Miracle.
"She is our first baby on the farm. We bought pink balloons and tied them on the fence," Bode-Spilios said, adding they are the first two mustangs she has had. "Everyone thought I had a baby... " (Read entire article-registration required)