Leo Kuntz, Guardian of the Nokota Horses, Passes On

He was a Vietnam vet with a couple of medals and a disenchantment with life.  Then he discovered wild horses.  He followed them in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, buying a few here and there after roundups.  He bought 54 horses after a large gather in 1986 and the herd grew to around 600 head.  At the time of his death there were around 200 wild horses on the Kuntz ranch.

He called them ‘Nokotas.’

Mr. Kuntz died August 12, at the age of 69, from injuries suffered a few days earlier in a crash of his ATV, according to a report by WDAZ, the ABC affiliate in Grand Forks, ND.

“He took care of them.  They were his life.  It’s all he had.”

Family and friends are now scrambling to care for the herd.

The horses are traceable in part to ponies confiscated from Sitting Bull and his followers when they surrendered at Fort Buford in 1881.

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