The Life of Velma Johnston

By David Cruise and Alison Griffiths

This book captures the essence of the extraordinary life of Velma Johnston and what she was able to accomplish for the American Mustang. All of us who love and admire mustangs and horses in general owe this courageous woman a great debt of gratitude for exposing the plight and possible extinction of this breed. She was the difference in helping make the world a better place for these animals that are part of our western heritage.”—Monty Roberts, New York Times best-selling author of The Man Who Listens to Horses

This important addition to the history of mustangs and animal protection laws is highly recommended for animal lovers and Western history buffs.
—Library Journal, starred review

In one of the year’s most stirring biographies, David Cruise and Alison Griffiths paint a vivid portrait of Velma Johnston, an intrepid Nevada secretary whose dedication to wild mustangs captured the heart of the country and led to legislation that would preserve the animals who embody the wild spirit of the American West. WILD HORSE ANNIE AND THE LAST OF THE MUSTANGS: THE LIFE OF VELMA JOHNSTON (Scribner; March 16, 2010; $26.00) is the first to tell the full story of Velma’s life.

In WILD HORSE ANNIE, veteran writers Cruise and Griffiths depict the ups and downs of an extraordinary woman’s life and mission and reveal her lasting legacy.

David Cruise and Alison Griffiths are the authors of seven bestselling books, including Fleecing the Lamb, Lords of the Line, Net Worth, On South Mountain, and The Great Adventure. They spend summers on their small farm in southwestern Ontario and winters in Brooksville, Florida ... with their horses of course.

Contact them at wildhorseanniestory@gmail.com. Read the blog: www.wildhorseanniestory.com


It doesn't get more American than the mustang, and without Wild Horse Annie, we would not have any. Now, as wild horses are making their last stand, it's important to honor her legacy and continue the battle. Thanks to this well-researched and timely book, we can.”
—Deanne Stillman, author of Mustang: The Saga of the Wild Horse in the American West

The story of how Velma organized support for the survival of the mustangs, and how she and her supporters pushed legislation through Congress to protect the free-ranging wild horses, is an example of how entrenched special interests can exploit publicly held resources and a testament to how much change a determined individual can foster.”

Velma Johnston (Wild Horse Annie) is one of the most important people in our American history. She single-handedly saved our mustangs and with that our western heritage. This is an important book and Cruise and Griffiths have done a spectacular job of bringing home her story.”
—Madeleine Pickens, National Wild Horse Foundation

Velma Johnson was a strong willed individual who made a difference. As a child she suffered from polio and in her era, careers for women were limited. She overcame these obstacles and stopped the atrocious abuse of wild horses.”
—Temple Grandin, author, Animals in Translation and Animals Make us Human

Anyone who cares about the plight of America's mustangs has heard the name Velma Johnston, but too few know the extraordinary and heroic lengths to which she went to save these horses. In Wild Horse Annie and the Last of the Mustangs, authors David Cruise and Alison Griffiths have given us a remarkable gift; a provocative, in-depth look into this amazing woman's life in a story brimming with adventure and inspiration. Not only is this a fascinating and powerful book, it is also a tremendously important one. I couldn't put it down, and when I finished reading it my faith in the power one person has to make a difference was renewed.”
—Melanie Sue Bowles, author of The Horses of Proud Spirit and Hoof Prints: Stories from Proud Spirit

One of the virtues of the authors’ account is its look at how libertarian conservatives such as Manchester Guardian publisher William Loeb and Dixiecrat politico Walter Baring helped advance [Velma’s] cause—and how Johnston eventually secured Dwight Eisenhower’s signature on a protective law known as the “Wild Horse Annie bill” that she then fought, for many years, to put teeth in.”

On her way to work in 1950, Velma Johnston saw a truck of almost-dead horses en route to the pet-food factory, thereby launching a one-woman campaign to save wild horses that earned her the moniker Wild Horse Annie. A biography full of adventure.”
---The Globe and Mail -- Canada’s national newspaper

This book is a thoroughly researched and riveting tribute to the life and achievements of Velma Johnston and her struggles -- against massive odds -- to protect her beloved mustangs.”
--- Martin Harbury, author of The Last of the Wild Horses

---Cincinnati Public Library,

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