The Horse Theft
On December 16, 2013 Jim Dolan arrived at the Bleu Horses for a photo shoot for the Montana State University Mountains and Minds magazine. He discovered that three of the horses had been taken from the herd sometime in the previous few days.
The Broadwater Sheriff’s department responded to the theft and the Three Forks and Townsend communities rallied together against the theft of their sculptures. The theft was covered by local newspapers and television stations. It was also picked up nationally in the AP as well as appearing in a New York Times blog. The Montana community across social media responded to the theft by sharing the post about the stolen sculptures (see image to the right) over 5,200 times in first 24 hours after the theft.
The stolen horses were quickly found abandoned in a field near Townsend and were returned to Jim’s art studio for repairs the following day. The local community was so protective over the sculptures after the theft, that while returning the horses to Jim’s shop the Broadwater Sheriff's department received three phone calls reporting the horses on the move and one individual followed Jim the twenty miles between Three Forks and his studio. The horses received only minor damage and have been returned to their herd.