of Return to Freedom Wild Horse Sanctuary

©Darrell Dodds

Isadora-Cruce lives at Return to Freedom, a wild horse sanctuary, but her story really began during the 15th and 16th centuries, when early Spanish clergy and conquistadores brought their fine horses to the Americas. Isadora-Cruce's heritage came from an undiluted strain, preserved from the herd at the Mission Dolores, founded by Jesuit Father Eusebio Kino in Sonora, Mexico in 1687. From 1885 until 1990, Isadora-Cruce's Mission Dolores ancestors were isolated on an Arizona ranch owned by the Wilbur-Cruce family. When the Wilbur-Cruce herd was dispersed in 1990, their enormous genetic value was recognized, and the horses were placed in a preservation program. Today, Isadora's family members are the only known pure-in-strain, living remnants of antique Spanish Colonial Mission horses in the American southwest.

isa model
Isadora's Breyer model

Isadora-Cruce is unique in several ways. A rare "Medicine Hat" brown-and-white overo spotted mare, she was foaled at Return to Freedom Sanctuary in 2002. Visitors can learn directly from the natural world at Return to Freedom, American Wild Horse Sanctuary, which is home to more than 200 wild horses and burros. It offers a number of unique conservation and preservation programs on site, where founder Neda DeMayo shares her insights, and her profound understanding of wild horses with visitors. The tours, clinics, and educational programs offered at the sanctuary help visitors of all ages deepen their awareness of, and connection to the living earth. Return to Freedom Ranch is located in Lompoc, California, about 54 miles north of Santa Barbara.