Sykes Powderface raises paint horses on the Stoney Nakoda First Nation, on the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Along with their beautiful markings and colouring, paints are agile, and built with strong, sturdy frames, which makes them ideal for mountain trail riding.
Both Sykes and his daughter, Corleigh, have a deep relationship with the horses — based on respect, kindness and trust. It’s a connection that goes far beyond the typical human to animal relationship. In Spring 2020, Sykes woke one morning to find three of his horses missing. His horses had wandered off before, but this time felt different. After they didn’t turn up, Corleigh began to investigate, posting photos of the missing horses on social media, and calling around to local horse dealers, a brand inspector, and even a meat packing plant.
But finding the horses within the more regulated side of the industry wasn't going to be easy because the animals weren't branded. With hopes of finding the horses beginning to fade, Corleigh gets a lead through one on a social media post. But to recover the horses, she would need to rely on the unmistakable markings on the paints.
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