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Darrell Dodds speaks with NickerNews

Published: 9/4/2013
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By Maddy Butcher Gray

Editor’s Note: As one of the most popular horse publications in the world, Western Horseman lands at the top of the list for those seeking a surefire way to reach horse enthusiasts.
Unbranded’s Ben Masters got publisher Darrell Dodds’ attention months ago, as Masters began working on the plan for the trek and film documentary. They agreed to develop a Western Horseman-supported blog with comments from the trail. It has quickly become one of the most heavily trafficked blogs under the Western Horseman domain.

NickerNews spoke with Dodds about the trek, the mission, Masters, and more:

NickerNews: Tell us how Western Horseman developed a relationship with and sponsorship of Unbranded.

Dodds: Kate Bradley (associate editor) walked into my office one day and said there’s a really interesting thing going on with these guys…
She said, “if there’s nothing negative about the trip, would that be something we’d be interested in doing?”
As typical, I said, “Write it up. Detail the details.”

Shortly thereafter, Ben came to the office. I was very impressed by his maturity and his focus. He was extremely articulate about what he wanted to do and how he wanted to do it...What the outcome would be. He had some pretty grand plans as far as making a documentary and I thought he might actually be able to pull it off.

NickerNews: Western Horseman has written a few articles on the team and has featured the Unbranded blog. How has that worked out?

Dodds: It’s just basically been a really positive, traffic-generating enterprise for us. And I think it’s been positive for them as well.
Not every post resonates as much as another. But overall, it has been followed very well. Every time it’s posted on facebook, it lights up for several hours.

NickerNews: It seems like the team has struck a cord that resonates across many horse communities.

Dodds: Anyone who spends anytime horseback has got to respect what they’ve managed to do with these horses. The trip that they’re taking is very, very difficult. There’re all kinds of things that can go wrong. And they’ve encountered some of them.
People have a lot of respect for the guts it’s shown to take on something of this magnitude.
…I don’t think this trip has resonated just with people who are supportive of all things mustang. I think it’s resonated with anyone who has a sense of adventure, a love of the west and of horses in general.
I think it’s resonated with anyone who has a sense of adventure, a love of the west and of horses.

NickerNews: It doesn’t hurt that they are four young, handsome Texans.

Dodds: That certainly has helped.

NickerNews: What do you think of the Unbranded mission of mustangs, conservation, and open space advocacy?

Dodds: I agree completely. I don’t think there’s a single thing that he’s advocating that we wouldn’t advocate as well.
We’re conservationists. We like open land. We seek access to public lands closed off. We’ve all done our share of packing in the mountains and we hope it’s something that will continue forever. We agree with what they’re doing, that’s the reason we signed on.
We’re conservationists. We like open land. We seek access to public lands closed off.
We’ve all done our share of packing in the mountains and we hope it’s something that will continue forever. We agree with what they’re doing, that’s the reason we signed on.

View Reader Comments:

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9/8/2013 Sallie Wickens
As a devoted subscriber to WH, I heartily applaud their support of this great trip for all the reasons Mr. Dodd has illuminated. This journey takes the spotlight off of the showing and breeding of high power horses and puts it directly back on the relationship of horses and riders in tune and in nature. Thank you for allowing us to travel along with these extraordinary men and their equally outstanding mustangs - and donkey!
9/8/2013 Ann Garrett
Awesome....Can't wait to see this film......great job everyone......

   
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