Mustang Stories - Readers share their stories

"Mustangs have taught me more about horses and myself than anything else I have ever done.......patience, prayer, body language, understanding, not taking things personal, creative thinking, different perspectives.......if more people understood the true reward and could grasp the real meaning, no mustang would ever want for a home........."
By Fred Woehl 

Bandit & Sugar, by Debbie Sheuring

My Wild Blue Roan, by Lona Patton

Stories from the Nevada Wild Horse Commission

A Wild Horse Adventure

Liz Masters: I now own 8!

Dawn Rystrom: Why I Adopt Mustangs

Carmen Deyo: Cuervo

Carmen Deyo: Corazon

Karen Blackwood & Ranger, plus other Stories from Oregon BLM

Edona Miller & Frosty the Burro

One Last Touch, by Becky Delaney

Bandit & Sugar

Bruce and Debbie Sheuring write:

"We have 2 mustang boys (geldings)  who were adopted in Oct. 2000, through a BLM auction. We live in Blackshear, GA. The auction was in Waycross, 10 miles away, at the edge of the Okefenokee Swamp. 

Your experience with Ruby was so similar to ours; we too had no corral, but we bought some panels and were setting them up as they arrived in my friend's trailer....Both were weanlings, and not the flashy ones everyone wanted (thank goodness, that made them affordable!). 

We went the evening before, and met a very nice ranger, who, upon finding out that our youngest daughter is special needs (inoperable brain tumor, seizures), walked us around the corrals and had us write down numbers of some of the horses that he said the rangers "worked with in their spare time." 

The next day, armed with our list, we bid on our top 2 "suggestions" and got our boys.  A friend of mine who had adopted several horses and burros though the years offered lots of help too, including trailering them out to us.  

I guess we're lucky, but we've had no real problems with them.  Our older daughter is teaching them to ride (a good mixture, they're teaching her too, she's active in 4H, and is trying Western & English)  They haven't had any serious health problems either. 

Both were born at the Palomino Valley, NV holding facility in March of 2000.  They're 5 days apart in age.  Our older daughter has written the BLM to find out more about their lineage, and both mothers were captured in the Battle Mountain area.  Sugar is a sorrel bay, and probably a curly coat, as well as having a particularly smooth gait.  We hope some day to have him DNA tested. 

The BLM told us a large number of curly coats are in that area, and the lady who made the follow-up inspection felt that he was one of those.  His coat is certainly different from other horses, and friends who are normally allergic to horses are able to even groom him with no problems.  Bandit is very unusual looking as well, with lots of striping, and his coat changes periodically so that he looks totally different.  He is grulla sometimes, and even will have little lemony color spots on his coat.  He never photographs quite like he looks.  Physically, he looks alot like the Sorrias sp? with the big head, and that type of conformation. 

Both are so gentle and sweet, and very intelligent.  Bandit particularly is a clown, and teases every chance he gets.  Sugar is very curious and people-oriented, as well as being the alpha.  Both would come into the house and live if they could wipe their feet...LOL



Bandit & Sugar

Daughter April riding Sugar



Lona Patton:

My American Indian Horse, an American Living Legend - the Mustang

Following is a poem "My Wild Blue Roan" I wrote in tribute to my mustang and all of the wild ones still roaming free. It contains part 1 and part 2, and part 3.

I have tried to keep it as true as possible in respects to his gentling and training, also, my feelings and thoughts at the time these experiences actually happened. This is my and Metawa's diary, re-written in poem form. The thought's within the mind of Metawa, are of course, only what I think they might have been, or what mine might have been if I had been a newly captured and adopted wild horse. There is a section in each part where it is as if there were a third person, a spirit, watching and telling the story. Then last, my own accounts; as best as I remember them, and as I am living the story now.

I wrote this with all of my love for all of the wild horses living today, and of course, for my mustang - Metawa Wacipi Wi.

The BLM of WY has a news release/success story from an interview they did with me about him, it is titled "Lover of horses catches spirit of Wyoming mustangs" at

Metawa can seen at:

His Registries include:

AMBA #MCR 1638 AIHR #AA-3505 (Hall of Fame #123) and NAMAR #NAM 02514

I am hoping that by my sharing this, Metawa's diary and poem, that others will see the wonderful magic, bonding and friendship that can be formed between a human and a wild born animal as beautiful and free spirited as the mustang. That others might then open their minds, hearts, and homes to adopting a wild one of their own.

Sincerely, Lona Patton, email:

and list owner of:

member of: (AIHR), (AMBA), (DCHC) & (PRR)

and ThePathfinderBackCountryHorsemen of Wyoming at:, -

Part 1.

Near a place they call Adobe Town,

an HMA located in Wyoming.

Nineteen hundred ninety six, was the year at hand

On the 27th day of March

Our herd was happy grazing, out there upon the land.

One cold morning, behind Willow Peak,

Was the day in which they took me,

They found us grazing, by a spring.

Two-legged's came and caught us

at our home by Willow Creek!

They chased us like a mountain lion

and forced us in a cage.

this cage, they called a corral.

That put us all into a rage!

I saw a bird, flying without wings,

and it made an awful loud roaring sound!

It flew above our heads, there was chaos all around.

I saw two-legs sitting up upon the backs

of my relatives and distant brothers,

they came running up behind us,

with things held in their hands,

yelling things at all of us

that we couldn’t understand!

They chased us with some scary things,

tied onto some long sticks...

They waved and shook them at us, these sticks held in their hands!

They scared us so bad, our hearts did pound!

Our hooves echoed, like the sound of a thousand drums,

beating loudly on the surface

of a cold hard ground!

They closed us in- just as I turned,

to look for a place I could flee,

When suddenly I realized

that my freedom would no longer be, "

“Oh Lord, my creator...”

“What will become of me!?"



He stood within the holding pens,

waiting for a strange new home.

A home he really didn't want.

He wanted to be free!

I could see the longing in his eyes.

but if he was going to survive, he somehow knew it had to be.

How he longed to be free again

to run wild with his majestic band!

Back with the only family that he has ever known,

to play and run, back in the desert sand.

His heart, how it ache’d, to run wild and free again,

in the back country of Wyoming,

Back to Adobe Town and the Willow Creek

The home that he now misses, and the

Meadowlarks that sing!

He stood there staring back at me...

with big warm, dark eyes that sparkled as the sunlight kissed them gently.

Did I just witness a spark, a glimmer of hope, of growing curiosity?

I watch him now, watching me, I pray for his comfort,

and then I add,

"Dear Lord Above, Please listen to my prayer,

will you help him learn to trust me,

help me show him that I care,

somehow help me to let him know, if you would kindly guide me.

That he could find an honest friend,

if only he’d except me?"

"In return this is my promise, I'll give him a good home,

I know that he can never be

again wild or free to roam,

I'll do my best to give him all that I can afford.

The best feed that I can find, a shelter, and good water,

this I promise Lord.

But most of all dear Lord above

I will give to him a home

that’s filled with compassion,

care and lots of love.



With gentle hands I‘ll try to teach,

the wondrous things you've taught me.

Please bless us both with patient, understanding minds.

I know that you will guide me.

“I thank you Lord,

for everything that you have given me.

I ask you now my Dearest Lord

If you’ll help this little mustang

to find a place down deep inside

to give to this two-legged,

a chance to win his heart and trust,

that with me he can confide.


Then softly I begin speak, "Beautiful wild blue roan,

with a crescent moon and a tiny star, kissed by your desert home.

Touched by the sun and Red Desert moon,

So lovely and so beautiful, like a dreamy moonlit dance,

You move about so gracefully, hold up your head and prance.

Would you possibly consider

living at my home?

Although you're body

may not be free, I'll let you're spirit soar...

like an eagle flying high, if you wish for it to be.

I’ll let your spirit be free and wild as it was meant to be.

Wild and beautiful blue roan... Moon Dancer Mine,

would you possibly consider, living at my home with me?

Come join us and become a part of my family.

With a nod and a nicker, his frightened and unsure answer

echoed in the month of May crisp Wyoming air.

Yes he would come home with me!

He needs and wants a family to share.



Welcome home my wild one!

Welcome home my friend...

Adopted May 18, 1996


Part 2.

I’m standing here at my new home

where I will reside,

inside of a corral, with a two-leg also inside.

Should I run or should I stand?

Oh Lord! She touched me with her hand!

I run...

quietly she follows,

I run some more...

yet still she is there,

not really chasing, but following me, slow.

I look for an escape,

Oh my creator, where can I go?

There is nowhere!

Still, I run..

I’m tired of running, she will not go away!

“Blue roan, you can trust me”

I then hear her say.

So I stop, turn and face her

and quietly I stare,

She stops too,

waiting, looking back and standing there.

What does she want?! What should I do?

Then softly she speaks to me...

“Blue roan, I promise not to hurt you”

Within me something stirs,

my mind spins in a whirl!

As I find myself approaching

this two legged girl.

I want to run! But instead, I stand.

She touches me, as she reaches out her hand.

My heart, it jumps and quivers

but still I do not flee.

Her hand is soft and gentle,

somehow it comforts me.

My body, how it quivers..




She reaches out again,

as she pets down my neck,

I can’t take it, it’s too much!

she is scaring me

with her every touch!

I have to run! I cannot stay!

My fear,

it will not go away.

Once again, she follows me,

quietly and slow,

I run and as I try to flee.

I feel there’s something’s different,

in my mind - I know,

There is now a new feeling

deep inside of me.

Away from her I find myself

feeling more afraid and lonely.

Again I stop and face her,

again, she stops to...

quietly, she waits there.

What am I supposed to do?

Slowly I walk back to her.

She speaks to me

with a kind, soft whisper...

“Everything is going to be O.K.

just wait and you will see.”

She touches my muzzle ever so softly,

then turns...and quietly,

she just walks away.

Then looking back

she says to me...

as she brings to me some hay,

“We’ll finish this, my new friend...

on another day.”



He’s at a new home now,

no longer free.

Yet he knew somehow,

this was meant to be.

It was a long and lonely ride home,

Nothing would ever again be the same.

Never again, to be free to roam.

He soon fell asleep...the Great Spirit came,

as a vision in his dream,

saying “chunkwakan, horse...

do not weep. Your new home

will not bring you any shame.”

“Go now, meta’ kola, go now my friend,

My prayers with you I will send.”

“And when you are afraid,

just look up to the sky,

you’ll find me here waiting...

for your spirit to fly.”

“So walk the good trail,

and be not afraid.”

“Your two-leg is gentle, I know she’ll be kind,

If you give her your heart, I think you will find...

she will also give hers, and a true friendship

will start.”

“Akita Ma’niyo... observe all as you go,

If you’ll just trust in her,

somehow this I know...

Keep yourself willing to learn and forgive.

When you open your heart, you begin to live,

Then open your mind...

and soon you will see,

Your spirit is still wild and free.”



Good morning my wild blue roan,

I hope you had a good night.

It’s a wonderful day... you won’t be alone,

you’re such a beautiful sight!

Well hello to you too! Your nicker’s so sweet.

I’ve a feeling today...that our two hearts will meet.

I know you are scared,

heck, I am too.

But I think we’ll be friends

before this day is through.

I’m brushing you now,

I hope it feels nice.

I’m sorry you lost your freedom,

I know it was a sacrifice.

But I’m happy you’re here,

now sharing my home...

allowing me to stand so near.

It’s time, I see

to give you a name.

I’ve thought long and hard

on what it should be.

I look at your face and there I do see...

gentle eyes looking right back at me.

For the crescent moon with a tiny star,

as if they were put there

from the heaven afar.

I know now, what your name should be.

Moon Dancer = Wacipi Wi

A friend, you are mine, - Metawa.

Yes, that’s what it should be...

Moon Dancer Mine,

Metawa Wacipi Wi.



Part 3

A few years have gone by

and it wasn’t so bad,

it has proven to be

even a better home then I had.

Though I am no longer wild and free

My spirit is, I still run and play,

But what is even better for me

is she brings me my water, my grain, my hay.

No more do I search for water each day,

across miles of earth...

only to end in dismay,

my water tank is full...

and fresh every day.

For me she has

much love and pride,

my heritage

she does not try to hide.

Although she was told

how crazy I’d be,

she tells the whole world

how much she loves me.

She says I’m a mustang

with pride in her voice,

she could have had any horse,

but picked me, she says,

by her own choice.

She loves me a lot

this much I know,

when it’s cold outside

with three feet of snow,

I no longer shiver

and shake in the cold,

my two-leg she gave me

a warm place I could go.




She brushes the mud

and the dirt off his back,

then she scratches him

with just the right knack.

She pets him soft and gentle you see,

as she whispers “Metawa...

you’re still somewhat free,

and I’m so glad you’re here

living with me.”

His spirit’s not broken as some said it would be

his heart is not heavy, it’s as light as can be.

Even though he now lives

in captivity.

Sometimes he misses roaming the land,

running and playing in the Red Desert sand,

drinking cold water from the Willow Creek spring

as he listened to the meadowlarks sing.

Then he remembers the long cold winter months

pawing through the snow, searching for a blade of grass,

as he shivered with cold, and waited for the winter to pass.

He’s now thankful to be living at his new home,

as green grasses he finds in the pasture he roams,

he still listens to the beautiful sound

of the meadowlarks

and the birds that abound.

Then he thanks his creator

our Lord up above,

for his home that is filled

with compassion and love.

He looks up to the sky,

and there he does see...

like the clouds that float by,

his spirit is still wild and free.



They said I could never ever break you,

They said I should send you off to be glue.

They never believed

you could be gentle or true,

They could not see what I saw in you.

I am ever so happy now,

with you here with me,

my mustang, my friend, forever to be.

When I walk out my door,

you’re there by the gate

anxiously waiting for me...

without any hate.

You love me too, this much I know,

with all of the gentleness to me that you show.

When I bring out your saddle,

your always there waiting

and ready to go...

to ride by the river in the tall grass,

up in the hills, or in a meadow,

Whenever we travel to a horse show,

You’re willing and able

to give me all that you know,

and when we are done, and ready to leave,

I wear ribbons with pride, pinned to my sleeve.

You’ve won ribbons, and plaques

and awards just for me,

I want to the whole world can see,

though you were born wild and free...

You’re as gentle and kind

as any horse can be,

if they’d open their heart...

then open their mind,

I know that they would see

what a wonderful horse a mustang can be!




You’re my beautiful mustang

and my wonderful friend.

I vowed to the Lord

to Him, the credits I'd send.

Thank you Lord for guiding me,

give the best home I could

to Metawa Wacipi Wi



Dedicated and Written for me by my owner...Lona Patton

For all the wild horses roaming free today

and not knowing what tomorrow will bring.

Photo Record of Metawa from Adoption to Show Ring Success:



I love my mustangs so much I now own 8 of them (I just adopted 2 from Carter Reservoir)

Once they trust you they will do anything in the world for you. I compete in endurance and will be doing alot of Limited Distance Rides this year with a 13.3 hand mustang that weighs in at over 900 lbs. He is the love of my life and I wouldn't part with him for any amount of money.

Liz Masters, proud adopter of:



I adopted because I happened to fall in love with a plain jane chestnut at the very first Wild Horse Workshop. I had adopted two burros previously and attended the workshop as a type of "learning" vacation. I was expressly forbidden by family (who raise racing and cutting QH's) to bring home a "worthless damn mustang."

Needless to say, the phone call I made to them after the adoption was hilarious. First of all, I began by talking about this sweet little yearling who kept sticking her head through the fence and touch my arm
and shirt every time I got near her. Before I got through it, my father (who has known me well for 30+ years <gg>) asks me, "so what does our new horse look like?"

When I responded that she's chestnut, he asked about stockings and a blaze. When I said, "no, she's just chestnut, he asked if she had a flaxen mane and tail at least. When he got that answer, (no) he then had the gall to say, "are you telling me you drove over 2000 miles to this workshop to adopt a plain red horse? What? Wasn't there one a little closer?"

Needless to say, when I admitted that she was the third smallest at the adoption (never expected her to be 16 hands as a 4 year old), he was even less impressed. Still, from the moment that mare stepped off the trailer in Arkansas, everyone fell in love with her. She is so gentle and so sane, that it's scary. She's never once spooked and as a now four year-old, does great as a therapeutic riding mount. She
lets the electric wheelchairs zoom right up to her and just adores the kids she works with.

Quite frankly, there's not enough money in the world to buy her (turned down $10,000 for her this past fall). She's simply a part of the family. She may not have the lineage that some of the cutters we've raised have had, but she can outwork the majority of them. As my dad has said, of all of the horses he's worked with in his 60+ years, she's the greatest he's had the privilege of knowing (even though he's owned 2 QH race-horse of the year).

Because of Corrie, my dad, my sister, my niece, my brother-in-law, and my neighbors all own mustangs of their own now. Even my vet (who also raises and races TB and QH's) adopted one (and it's now his favorite mount).

I originally adopted because of the romance of the mustang and because a little plain jane chestnut chose to adopt me. I have continued to adopt because I have found their temperaments to be better
than 95% of the domestics I have worked with, their conformation and health is better, and quite frankly, because they are just wonderfully intelligent and sane animals who simply take my breath
away. They truly are bred by God and as we all know, he doesn't make mistakes.


My husband and I adopted our first mustang in June 2002 while we were in the process of moving from Austin, Texas to northeastern New Mexico. My husband was a non-rider and my Missouri Foxtrotter had soundness problems, so I needed a horse to ride in the mountains. I was browsing through the BLM website when I noticed the Special Adoptors Wanted list on the homepage.

As soon as I opened the page, I was drawn to this big beefy grey gelding from the Colorado Sandwash HMA who was on the list due to a deep puncture wound he had sustained while running wild. It was well healed, but the first person who had adopted him had difficulties with the western saddle making the scar sore and brought him back. I called up the Canon City, CO facility and was told he had one of the best temperaments they had ever seen and looking at his photos, I could tell our Aussie saddles would not be a problem for him.
When my husband Mike came home that day, I told him I wanted to do something completely insane...he asked to see the photos and agreed we should get him. We named him Cuervo Humoso, meaning 'Smokey Raven' and he spent several more months in Colorado waiting for us to get moved. Once we got Cuervo home, *my* horse decided he only had eyes for my husband! And Mike fell in love with his first horse. Before I knew it, Cuervo became 'Smootchie Boy' and Mike would go out every morning to sit and drink coffee with him.
Cuervo has been a dream to train, mostly because he is so bonded with Mike and trusts him completely. I never would have thought a green rider's first horse should be a mustang, but those two are a perfect pair and are learning together. I have no doubt that Cuervo will be one of those wonderful trail horses who will absolutely take care of his rider due to their special relationship.
Carmon Deyo
Mike Dibble
the Greyhounds Mikey & Birdy
the Horses Cuervo, Corazon & Copper
and our fallen Star
the Black Horse of
Black Horse Design
Generous donations made to animal rescues of all kinds.



The first time I saw my mustang was July 2003 at the Western States Wild Horse & Burro Expo in Reno, Nevada. We were there as vendors and to watch and learn from the many good clinics that had been scheduled for the event.

Since our first mustang had adopted my husband, I knew we would eventually get another mustang for me, but not until we had finished building our house and had more time and our finances in better shape. I couldn't resist going out to look at the auction horses though, and was drawn right away to a plain dark bay gelding. I couldn't say why, I just really liked him.
When the auction started, I ran out to see who would get my special horse, but to my surprise, no one bid on him. I could only think that instead of seeing a nicely built, good moving horse with an alert attitude, they just saw a plain brown horse. It was an agony for me because we *really* couldn't take a horse home right then, so, I settled for writing down his number and fantasizing about him all the way back to New Mexico. I even picked out a name for him - Corazon de la Tierra meaning 'Heart of the Earth' and then put my thoughts aside since it wasn't a possibility just then.
In October of 2003, while we were coming back from a trip to Delaware, my horse Star became ill and we lost him just a week after we got home. Star had been with me since he was a baby and I had expected to have another 20 or more years with him. It truly broke my heart and I felt completely lost.
With an empty space suddenly created in our pasture, and with the help of Nancy Kerson and Cathy Barcomb, we were able to locate *my* mustang #2022, still not adopted, and staying at the long-term boarding facility in Carson City. Cathy helped me set up an adoption and we left for Carson City the end of November 2003 with a borrowed stock trailer and a borrowed pen and shelter to receive our unhandled mustang.
I had carefully studied weather maps before we left, but going over Monarch Pass in Colorado around ten at night, we ran into a localized snowstorm. With the truck in four wheel drive, we made it over the pass with just white knuckles and thought we were home free. Unfortunately, as we came down the other side we hit black ice on a bridge and were helpless as our large, borrowed steel trailer swung around, slammed into the rear of the truck and slide us towards the guard rail over a 30 foot drop. I couldn't believe the guard rail could possible stop so much weight and thought for sure we would go over...but we didn't. Amazingly, we were able to go on with the trip after replacing a blown tire and rearranging things in the trailer to make it safe for my Corazon.
Cathy met us in Carson City and helped with all the arrangements to take my boy home. The trip back was a *lot* less eventful because we went the southern route through Las Vegas! When we unloaded Corazon in his temporary home, I couldn't believe the mustang I had fantasized about the summer before was really mine. My horse Star was my brother in hooves, part of my soul; but Corazon is truly the horse of my heart.
Gentling him has not been easy, but it is probably the most rewarding experience I have ever had with a horse. It took three months to touch him for the first time, and clipping off his BLM neck strap was truly a celebration! He now nickers to me whenever he sees me, loves to have me to brush every inch of his body, and will soon be coming home to join his mustang brother, Cuervo, and our adopted QH, Copper, to run in the woods on our mountainside home.
Carmon Deyo
Mike Dibble
the Greyhounds Mikey & Birdy
the Horses Cuervo, Corazon & Copper
and our fallen Star
the Black Horse of
Black Horse Design
Generous donations made to animal rescues of all kinds.


Frosty Budweiser Spring

Frosty was born March 28, 2001 at the holding facility in Susanville, Ca. His mom was gathered from the HMA, Budweiser Springs in southern CA. We adopted him and his Mother on June 16, 2001 at the Redding, CA
adoption. We told our oldest that she could pick out a burro. We forgot to tell her ONE. He was only 3 months old so his mom, Rose, had to come along. We had lost our old burro the winter before. We had been attending adoptions, and were going to adopt a ?reject? burro that no one else wanted, that didn?t happen. For four months, the burros were going all in the first hour. So when we headed to Redding, we went with the plan of adopting in the first hour. He has been EXTREMELY easy to work with and enjoys people. He loves to eat
cherry tomatoes and just about any thing else a human will give him. We let him loose on our property when we are home and he helps with weed control. He will also try and help you when you are working in the pasture. Not sure picking up a hammer and taking off with it is help, but he thinks so. We plan on using him for ridding, driving and packing. He has been shown in In-Hand classes in both Nevada and California. In September 2002, he and Reonna won the Reserve In-Hand buckle at the Mustang/Burro show in Bishop. Since then, the pair have won a buckle at every Wild Horse and Burro show they have attended. They have either made reserve or champion burro. He also attends Mustang/Burros adoptions in Northern and Central California. He loves to meet you at the gate and hopes that you will have something for him to eat. He comes better than most of our dogs too. In 2004, he was started under saddle, to pack and drive. He is 4yrs old this year and just a total hoot. Our horse shoer would take him home if we would let him.

By Edona

One Last Touch!

In the end what would you like to touch one last time? Well I asked my Mom that question and she said “a horse of course!” So I called around to family in her area. And my niece Sasha said she would bring her horse in.

My mother is pretty much immobile for the must part. I didn’t see her move her arm much at all while I was there. Someone has to feed her, bath her and change her. So on this cool day in fall we wrapped her all up and took her to the parking lot at the nursing home.

When we first took her outside she had no idea there would be a horse there. At first it was just Sasha my niece, Shane her husband, Heidi my daughter and I. Because she can’t move much Sasha put the grain bucket on Moms lap. This way the horses head would be right in her sight. Mom was so happy, and she reached right out to touch the horse’s nose.

Mom said “it feels like velvet, Oh how I have missed the touch of a horse.” The horse smelled Moms hand and Mom felt the hot breath on her hand. She said “Oh! that feels so good, and it smells so good.” She didn’t even notice that more people had shown up Nicky my nephew, his wife and baby, Sara my niece, her 2 kids, Debbie my sister and Dan her husband, plus Bobbie my oldest sister.

The horse is a BLM mustang, named ‘Beauty’ just a plain bay horse nothing fancy. She was around 10 I do believe. It is Sasha’s main trail horse. I didn’t even know Sasha had a mustang, and she didn’t know I was so involved with mustangs. What are the odds of that. So Mom’s last horse she will ever touch was a BLM mustang in Ohio.

Before we took Mom back in, Beauty smelled Mom’s face and Mom just laughed so loud. She said “wow this horse smells so good!” It was great seeing Mom with a horse again! But the next day I asked Mom about seeing the horse and she didn’t even remember seeing Beauty.

- Becky Delaney


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