Picasso: A Wild Stallion’s Enduring Legacy

Credits: Gerald Fleck

Capturing the Essence of Picasso: A Glimpse into the Legacy of the Sand Wash Basin’s Grand Wild Stallion

Picasso, the legendary stallion of the Sand Wash Basin, continues to live on in the hearts of horse lovers across the country. A symbol of freedom, perseverance, and strength, Picasso’s legacy has been etched into the collective consciousness of those who admired him. Born around 1990, his last known photograph was taken in late 2019. In this article, we explore the captivating story of Picasso through the lens of wildlife photographer Gerald Fleck, who had the privilege of photographing this iconic horse on multiple occasions.

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Credit: Gerald Fleck

Gerald Fleck’s Connection with Picasso

Gerald Fleck, a wildlife photographer based in Colorado, shares his experiences of capturing Picasso’s essence in the vast expanse of the Sand Wash Basin. Through his lens, he not only documented the physical beauty of this horse but also portrayed the spirit of wild horses and wildlife in their natural habitats. Fleck’s work stands as a testament to his ability to capture these magnificent animals in their element, showcasing their wild and untamed nature.

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Credit: Gerald Fleck

Picasso’s Final Moments

In an exclusive interview with Gerald, he recounts the last time he saw this horse in September 2019. The stallion, usually found in the company of a small band of horses, was observed alone, showcasing signs of aging and the passage of time. Despite physical challenges such as a growth on his lower stomach and a swollen knee, Picasso appeared content and healthy during Gerald’s observation. The photographer reflects on the horse’s scars, scrapes, and sunburned nose, revealing the harsh realities of life in the wild.

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Gerald’s Last Encounter with Picasso

Gerald describes the tranquility he feels when visiting the Sand Wash Basin and the hope he carries to spot Picasso on each trip. During his last encounter, he witnessed Picasso grazing alone, a rare sight compared to previous sightings with a group. The photographer spent nearly an hour observing and photographing the stallion, noting both his resilience and the inevitable signs of aging.

The Impact of Picasso’s Legacy

Picasso’s legacy extends beyond his physical presence. Gerald’s poignant words in a Facebook group dedicated to the Grand Wild Stallion highlight the lasting impact of this majestic creature. Even after passing, the memories and images captured by photographers like Gerald keep the spirit of the wild stallion alive. The quote from Gerald, “There is rarely a day that goes by that I don’t think of this legend,” echoes the sentiments of many who admired T.


Gerald Fleck’s Perspective on Wild Horses

Beyond Picasso, Gerald sheds light on his favorite locations for photographing wild horses, such as the Onaqui wild horse herd near Dugway, Utah. He contrasts the challenging environment of Sand Wash Basin with the more favorable conditions in Onaqui, emphasizing the importance of water availability for wild horses. Gerald’s insights reveal the dedication of wild horse advocacy groups in ensuring the well-being of these magnificent creatures.

Challenges of Western Colorado’s Harsh Environment: Gerald emphasizes the harsh living conditions faced by wild horses in western Colorado, particularly in the Sand Wash Basin. With extreme temperatures ranging from 40 below in winter to above 100 degrees in summer, coupled with sparse grass and abundant sagebrush, the horses navigate a challenging environment. Despite these adversities, the resilient spirit of these creatures persists.


Picasso’s legacy lives on not only in the breathtaking photographs captured by Gerald Fleck but also in the hearts of those who admired the Sand Wash Basin’s Grand Wild Stallion. Through Gerald’s lens, we gain a deeper appreciation for the untamed beauty of wild horses and the challenges they face in their natural habitats. As we reflect on Picasso’s final moments, we are reminded of the delicate balance between freedom and the harsh realities of life in the wild.