our mission

We offer education and awareness about mustangs and burros, collaborate to support wild horses on the range and provide training, adoptions and sanctuary to those in need.

our vision

We promote and preserve the mustang as a revered icon and encourage the value of the equine-human relationship.

our model

We are an innovative model working with the Bureau of Land Management and other key organizations for both on range and off range collaboration for healthy herds, lands, and homes for mustangs.


support what we do

We are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and rely purely on public contributions, your donation is fully tax deductible. 



experience what we do

Join us for a unique experience that will last a lifetime. Come spend a few hours or the entire day! 



stay in touch with us

Our monthly newsletters will keep you up to date with happenings on the ranch and on the range in Sand Wash Basin.   


Adoption Storefront

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Cypress – 2yo gelding

Cypress came to GEMS after the 2020 Colorado TIP Challenge in need of a home. He is a large 2...
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Payson – 2yo gelding

Payson came to us after the 2020 Colorado TIP Challenge in need of a home. He had some physical hinderances...
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Zeus – 7 month old colt

Zeus was born to an Onaqui Mountain HMA mama at GEMS 7 months ago. He has recently been gelded, now...
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who we are

The Great Escape Mustang Sanctuary found its legs to stand and run with the vision and passion of Gerhard K. Sander. Carrying on his dream and vision is his proud daughter Michelle Sander, along with the expertise and helping hands of the Great Escape team. Our work never ends, our days are long, some days it’s hard to make ends meet. But through your support, we know that we’ll make it…we really have no choice. We do it all for the horses.

what we do

We are an innovative model of local area herd management on the range working to support the Bureau of Land Management and the Sand Wash Herd Management Area in Northwest Colorado. We provide assistance with herd documentation, fertility control, special range projects and promotion of the land and wild horses. Off the range, and at the sanctuary, we provide training, adoption and education about Mustangs and Burros, while offering a sanctuary for those in need. We foster a connection with children and adults through community outreach, tours, field trips, overnight retreat programs, therapeutic programs and clinics in order to increase awareness and education. As a 501c3 non-profit organization, we exist on your donations. We appreciate donations of any size for continued care, maintenance and training programs and value deeply the volunteer spirit!

why we do it

With over 48,000 wild horses in holding facilities nationwide and 82,000 in the wild, when Appropriate Management Levels (AML) are called to be closer to 27,000, something different has to be done, a new model needs to be explored. We believe that organizations partnering directly with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and specific Herd Management Areas (HMA) will not only help alleviate the pressures on holding facilities and tax payers wallets, but also keep manageable numbers of wild ones running free on their native lands for generations to come. This is exactly what we’re doing. By offering support on and off the range, we are able to be an effective solution to a growing need.

over 50,000
wild horses in holding facilities
approx 88,000
estimated wild horses & burros on the range
approx 27,000
appropriate management level (AML) on the range
$49 million
off-range holding costs per year

A new model has to be explored, we are that new model. Join us in making a difference.

Collaborate for Solutions. Save our Mustangs. Protect our resources.


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