Tom Tescher, the rancher who recorded the horses for 50 years, developed a system for keeping track of the different bands and individual horses. Tom is not able to keep his detailed, hand written records any more, but I have continued his system because it works.
In Tom's system each band is given a letter, so first I will tell you about the A band. For the past 10 years Curious George, pictured below, has had the A band, which could be seen along the east side of the Little Missouri River, the high ground between Jones and Paddock creeks and the Paddock Creek valley. Though he carefully guarded his band from other band stallions and bachelors that would have stolen his mares, he allowed park visitors to observe and photograph the band regularly, sometimes blocking traffic as they tried to escape from the pesky flies. He has been one of the most photographed and remembered horses in the park during those years because of his unique overo spots, bald face, and amicable nature.
He created a small band of young fillies in his forth year, but lost most of them to the 2000 roundup. Since then he has acquired and stayed with the same three mares for several years. Flicka, his lead mare, joined him as a two year old and bore him a foal every year for the past eight years. Stormy spent a winter across the river after her sire and another one of his fillies were struck by lightning a few days before the 2000 roundup. She found her way back across the river that spring and delivered a stout, flashy filly who became one of Curious George's favorites. Chubby could always be found hanging around him, while Stormy made his life difficult with her cantankerous disposition.
The offspring of those three mares populated the river valley and produced additional traditional and bachelor bands. One of Curious George's most popular offspring is his loud black and white overo, Circus, who had his own band for a short while, but now remains a bachelor.
Sadly, Curious George lost his band to two other stallions this spring. He can still be seen in the Paddock Creek area and occasionally on the river bottoms hanging out with other bachelor stallions. He has regained his rich brown, shiny coat, but he has lost the proud look in his eyes.
Most of his band now runs with one of his grandsons we have named Silver. Stormy, who gave Curious George so much trouble, seems to be quite content running with a younger stallion who was also frightened across the river by the storm in the fall of 2000.
Stormy and Chubby produced healthy stud colts this year while Flicka appears to be open for the first time. Her filly from 2001, Big Red, the only daughter Curious George kept, has also not foaled. Look for photos of this band soon, at the bottom of the posts.