Institute of Range and the American Mustang

Board of Directors

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Dayton O. Hyde
Founder/Author/Conservationist
1925 ~ 2018

In an effort to save un adoptable horses.  He founded the Institute of Range and the American Mustang (IRAM).  The Sanctuary is located on 11,000 acres south of Hot Springs, South Dakota.  This project was a joint effort of the State of South Dakota, South Dakota Community Foundation, Bureau of Land Management and IRAM.

The first wild horses arrived in September of 1988. These first herds were originally from Bureau of Land Management's wild, unadoptable ponies.

Dayton's Philosophy
His way of thinking was that man does not have dominion over the earth as most religions believe.  Rather we are caretakers of our fellow travelers on this planet.  Encompassing all living things, the air, the water, and the earth.

Dayton's Legacy
His legacy continues to this day.  The legacy that all these ponies would run free for the rest of their lives.  The land would be forever protected, not just for the ponies but for the wildlife as well in perpetuity.
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Susan Watt

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Susan Watt
President
Executive Director

Conservationist/Educator/Facilitator
Horsewoman/Program Developer


After learning about Dayton Hyde in 1990.  My life developed changes that afforded me the ability to visit the Wild Horse Sanctuary in 1995.  I asked him to teach me about wild horses and he said, "Hmm, he had to learn.  So would I."  My first task on the sanctuary was to push three round bales off of a flatbed trailer in order to feed 50 mustang colts.  After that he cut a tree down and I had to help him split the wood.  Then we had lunch.  It was all his way of testing me to see if I had what it took to help on the sanctuary.

26 years later...
The original program has grown to include; the expansion of the sanctuary acreage, development of the 501 (c) (3) non-profit, sustainable water sources for our horses, ongoing development of our donor/sponsorship programs, and continuing rescue efforts (special circumstances) of unadoptable or at-risk horses.

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Wendy Watt-Gowan

Wendy Watt-Gowan
Vice President

Conservationist/Businesswoman/Financial Analyst

Wendy brings the experience of 44 years working with horses and 26 years at the sanctuary.  Her detailed accomplishments; showing reining horses and other equine events, ranch management, independent businesswoman and financial advisor.Her ongoing passion and resolve to help with Dayton's Legacy are a huge benefit and asset to the wild horses.  Wendy currently resides in Aurora, Colorado.

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Randy Wright and Dayton O. Hyde

Randy Wright
Treasurer
Conservationist/Ranch Manager
Real Estate Developer

Randy Wright his involvement with the sanctuary goes back before the sanctuary was founded.  As he was asked by the late Governor George S. Mickelson to secure the land from a private entity in order to help create the vision of a Wild Horse Sanctuary.  His 33-year friendship with Dayton lead to many conversations around good memories, thoughtful and constructive ideas regarding the sanctuary.  Randy currently resides in Pierre, South Dakota.
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Alice Reynolds
Alice Reynolds
Secretary
Animal Therapist/Horsewoman
Educator
Program Developer

Alice resides in Marquette, Michigan.  Her family had a long-time friendship with Dayton Hyde for over 60 years.  Alice is the sitting member of many charitable boards.  She is the program developer for children, including educational summer camps, group home for children with developmental disabilities as well as physical disabilities.