Video: The final destruction of our Wild Horses

by Terry and R.T. Fitch

Over the Labor Day Weekend of 2009 the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) bumbled an ill-conceived and mismanage round up of the world famous “Cloud’s Herd” of the Pryor Mountains in Montana.  Ignoring their studies and the advice of experts they stampeded horses down 5,000 feet of rocky mountainside in 95+ degree heat only to break apart family bands, pump the mares full of PZP and injure the horses.  Despite public outcry, orders from a Congressman and questions from Senators the local BLM office in Billings destroyed this beautiful herd.

This presentation was written in honor of Cloud’s herd and the pictures are exclusively from that “gather”.  Get outraged, get mad and then get on the phone and call your elected federal officials and tell them that enough is enough.

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22 comments on “Video: The final destruction of our Wild Horses

  1. For any of you that would like to contact the Cattoor family and let them know how you feel about their methodology for round ups, here is their email address. clr@wildhorseroundups.com.

    I think that you should send the Cattoor’s a nice loud message and tell them how you feel about their quote unquote humane gathers! The Cattoor’s have an open door policy and claim to be hospitable. They are open to Q&A on their website. I suggest that you ask them some heart felt questions.

    Just follow the link http://www.wildhorseroundups.com/.

    These people really believe that what they do is for the betterment of the horses and the rangelands.They really believe that they (the Cattoor’s) are protecting wild horses from certain demise from themselves.

    Imagine that!? The Cattoor’s claim that they are so concerned about the wild horses that they charge $7,000.00 per day to round up horses and drive them into exhaustion and lameness. According to the Cattoor’s, they care for the horses well being.

    If you read through their website, if you can tolerate it’s content, you will find that the Cattoor’s boast a long history of torment. They even post photos that show how they traumatize the horses with two helicopters instead of one.

    From me to you..If you haven’t seen the Cattoor’s website, please go to and take a look at how they plan for the next round up. Send them an email and ask them some questions. After all they encourage it..After you have done that, lets compare notes and see what they have to say about the Cloud gather and many others that they plan to do. Take a look and see how the Cattoor’s and company play a deadly game of cat and mouse with the horses as the wild ones try to escape the steely birds of prey. Let the Cattoor family know that we are watching the horses!

    The Cattoor’s have been doing wild horses roundups for nearly 35 years and I have personally watched them traumatize horses to the point of death. Yet they claim that they are humane and a family that truly cares for the wild horses viability.

    I hope to hear back from you to see what you had to say to them and what they have to say in reply.

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    • On September 9th, Ginger Kathrens, Makendra Silverman, Ben Sussman, Elyse Gardener, Carol Walker, Pam and Tom Nicholes and Terry and myself stood and listened to the final BLM operations report, at Britton Springs, only to be confronted by Sue Catoor who told us that we had hurt her feelings with all of the “evil” things that we say on our blogs about her family’s work.

      She went on to say how much their labors benefit the horses as horses are not intended to be wild and that they are starving “out there”. All wild horses should be captured and new, real homes should be found for them and those that are not should be “humanely” euthanized.

      From within our small knot of the country’s most outspoken Wild Horse advocates came not a word. Why? Because it would have fallen upon deaf ears, there is something just not right with someone who has such a distorted perception of reality and whatever would have been said would have lead into a full blown argument. Even scarier was the fact that all of the big wig BLM people allowed her to speak thusly without being interrupted, if one of us would ask a direct and honest question we would be walked all over, in a heartbeat. Somehow, the rules were not only skewed against the horses, they were lopsided against us, too.

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      • The “evil” things said about her? – again – Wikepedia – M. Scott Peck!

        And, I didn’t really read your report here, aplogies, R.T., but she has just admitted that her goal is that ALL WILD HORSES SHOULD BE CAPTURED? ALL OHTERS SHOULD BE EUTHANIZED? I need to know is that a “quote” from her? The second sentence in the second paragraph?

        And she was standing there looking right at the FAT Pryor horses when she said that they are starving?

        If so – there is the proof of it all.

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    • Ithink the round up are a dispicable case of greed that rears it’s ugly head everytime government money comes in to play. I think these round ups should be stopped just the whaling efforts are done.

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      • Agree with first sentence. Second sentence – This group is however, peaceful and lawful – this website’s creators have made that perfectly clear. And, further, giving benefit of doubt,since there are several different “whaling ” efforts, I’ll accept that you are promoting peaceful lawful advocay.

        Now if we could get the horses 2 miles off shore – hum?

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  2. Sue Catoor and her whole family have a very \obscured overview of what the differences are between conservation,preservation!

    Those who are concerned with protecting the environment often use the words conservation and preservation. These two terms are often confused and are used to mean the same thing, although differences exist.

    Conservation is the sustainable use and management of natural resources including wildlife, water, air, and earth deposits. Natural resources may be renewable or non-renewable. The conservation of renewable resources like trees involves ensuring that they are not consumed faster than they can be replaced. The conservation of non-renewable resources like fossil fuels involves ensuring that sufficient quantities are maintained for future generations to utilise. Conservation of natural resources usually focuses on the needs and interests of human beings, for example the biological, economic, cultural and recreational values such resources have. The rain forest for example, contains a wide range of biodiversity, providing food stocks for local populations and a source of timber and medicines for other countries. Conservationists accept that development is necessary for a better future, but only when the changes take place in ways that are not wasteful. What the conservationist opposes is not the harnessing of nature for mankind’s progression, but the fact that all too often the environment comes off the worse for wear.

    Preservation, in contrast to conservation, attempts to maintain in their present condition areas of the Earth that are so far untouched by humans. This is due to the concern that mankind is encroaching onto the environment at such a rate that many untamed landscapes are being given over to farming, industry, housing, tourism and other human developments, and that we our losing too much of what is ‘natural’. Like conservationists, some preservationists support the protection of nature for purely human-centred reasons. Stronger advocates of preservation however, adopt a less human-centred approach to environmental protection, placing a value on nature that does not relate to the needs and interests of human beings. Deep green ecology argues that ecosystems and individual species should be preserved whatever the cost, regardless of their usefulness to humans, and even if their continued existence would prove harmful to us. This follows from the belief that every living thing has a right to exist and should be preserved.

    Wild horse should fall under the category of preservation and not conservation. They are not a resource for that taking.Wild horses are in fact a heritable commodity

    The Catoors obviously cannot see the forest through the trees even if they are right in the middle of it..They work side by side with an agency that has no real regard for conservation or preservation.

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  3. I sit here now and sob over the video. I can only think of one thing in my pain right now and that is how I wish so badly that everyone could feel what I am feeling now.

    When I first read of Clouds capture, I too cried and most off all I wondered how human beings that stood and mourned with Cloud and for Cloud that day were any different than the ones that took his freedom. Being an American and knowing what freedom means to us all, I wonder how we could not all relate to this horse and his family. How we could not fight with him for the freedom that he so desired.

    And how can we not all understand how Cloud feels? Don’t we all want to protect our families and keep them together? I know there are many Clouds and many families like his that are now gone forever. Well I am MAD and I will fight and I will not STOP until I am heard and more people know what I am feeling and understand. We MUST not let the silence come!

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  4. Mary, Please continue to fight. I can’t be in Washington today either – but I am fighting nonetheless. I was at Pryor too and saw… will never forget the experience. The biggest challenge is to educate and get others involved… the majority of public doesn’t know, they just rely on the agency “doing it’s job”… Educate, share, spread their lies… get others interested – most who find out get very mad. Write an article in your local paper, keep trying… one voice makes a difference… I tell the tale every day to new people who are shocked what they learn. Contact other media, the segment we got on CNN was short, much more could have been said. But it’s a start. Never give up. These horses and burros depend on us.

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  5. This is such an terrible tragedy and I am so grateful to all of you who were there fighting to stop this nightmare. Bless all of you and Monika Courtney and Chantal Westerman, Ginger, all of you who tried in vain to stop this.

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  6. Evil only wins when good is silent. We will not be silent. R.T. I feel such pain for your pain, please believe that we all do and pray for you, and you must believe that time will heal.

    My hope is that this video statement ends up in the annuls of what “might have been”, that we will be saying instead “where were you the wild horses were saved”. And we will all feel the jubilation of the horses running free, that will replace our current suffering.

    I only read Cattor statement to where he said the horses just “walked” in front of the helicopters. I assure you I will read it, and will, as he asks, respond.

    I feel compelled to share this now, have been going over it and over it in my dreams for days now. These are excerpts from some books I read long ago, and used parts in team development more than once, that seem so appropriate when I read Cattoor or watch teh advisory board (only June 2009), listen to BLM, read the pro BLM blogs, etc. And would appreciate your thoughts:

    M. Scott Peck from Wikepedia:

    According to Peck an evil person[3][2]:
    • Is consistently self deceiving, with the intent of avoiding guilt and maintaining a self image of perfection
    • Deceives others as a consequence of their own self deception
    • Projects his or her evils and sins onto very specific targets (scapegoats) while being apparently normal with everyone else (“their insensitivity toward him was selective” (Peck, 1983/1988[3], p105))
    • Commonly hates with the pretense of love, for the purposes of self deception as much as deception of others
    • Abuses political (emotional) power (“the imposition of one’s will upon others by overt or covert coercion” (Peck, 1978/1992[2], p298))
    • Maintains a high level of respectability and lies incessantly in order to do so
    • Is consistent in his or her sins. Evil persons are characterized not so much by the magnitude of their sins, but by their consistency (of destructiveness)
    • Is unable to think from the viewpoint of their victim (scapegoat)
    • Has a covert intolerance to criticism and other forms of narcissistic injury

    Peck has another analysis of four stages – in my opinion BLM is in Stage 1. According to Peck “The majority of good, law-abiding citizens never move out of Stage II.” – which is why we are where we are today, in so many ways:

    • Stage I is chaotic, disordered, and reckless. Very young children are in Stage I. They tend to defy and disobey, and are unwilling to accept a will greater than their own. They are extremely egoistic and lack empathy for others. Many criminals are people who have never grown out of Stage I.
    • Stage II is the stage at which a person has blind faith in authority figures and sees the world as divided simply into good and evil, right and wrong, us and them. Once children learn to obey their parents and other authority figures, often out of fear or shame, they reach Stage II. … The majority of good, law-abiding citizens never move out of Stage II.
    • Stage III is the stage of scientific skepticism and questioning. A Stage III person does not accept things on faith but only accepts them if convinced logically. Many people working in scientific and technological research are in Stage III. …
    • Stage IV is the stage where an individual starts enjoying the mystery and beauty of nature and existence. While retaining skepticism, he starts perceiving grand patterns in nature and develops a deeper understanding of good and evil, forgiveness and mercy, compassion and love. His religiousness and spirituality differ significantly from that of a Stage II person, in the sense that he does not accept things through blind faith or out of fear, but does so because of genuine belief, and he does not judge people harshly or seek to inflict punishment on them for their transgressions. This is the stage of loving others as yourself, losing your attachment to your ego, and forgiving your enemies. Stage IV people are labeled as Mystics.

    Ok, I must admit, by my sheer desire to share this, I am wobbling around in stage I. Somehow I seem to have missed stage II all together – hum? But have lived my work life in Stage III, can only aspire to stage IV.

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  7. I have several web site where I have always accepted donations that I now an asking for them to be sent to Habitat for Horses or The Cloud Foundation. I have hundreds a day who view my web site (nothing to do with horses, my site is about banking) and I email 30-50 people a day now that will also be told of this at the bottom of my every email. I am also blogging and making additonal web site about this subject area alone.

    What scares me is knowing the roundup will happen again in just a few years. We must work to stop this from happening again. My heart is broken for those that will lose their freedom forever.

    A friend of mine had called an investigator who handles the mismanagement of the BLM. He wanted her to send him information that she in turned has asked me to. So you have any ideas for what this letter should say? I have some of my own ideas but any help would be appreciated.

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    • Try Animal Law Coaliton. And write directly to Mustang Jack, he and others have already started an investigation.

      Roundups are occuring right now in other areas, seems to be a year round business.

      Best wishes!

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  8. HOWDY FOLKS…
    WE REALLY NEED THE PUBLIC’S HELP. PROBLEM IS THEY DON’T KNOW ALL THE FACTS. MAINSTREAM MEDIA IS NOT DOING THEIR JOB. WE SHOULD START A CAMPAIGN NATION WIDE THAT WOULD FLOOD NEWS PRODUCERS DESKS, WITH REQUESTS FOR COVERAGE OF THESE ISSUES.ALL THE MORNING NEWS SHOWS, SUNDAY MORNING,AND EVENING NEWS SHOWS. CALL THESE SHOWS ASK FOR PRODUCERS TELEPHONE NUMBERS AND E-MAIL ADDRESS AND LIGHT A FIRE UNDER THEM SO HOT , THEY MUST TAKE ACTION.
    LOCAL MEDIA HAVE NOT KICKED IN TO HELP THEIR OWN COMMUNITIES, SO IT IS THE NATIONAL LEVEL THAT NEEDS A NUDGE.
    ASSOCIATED PRESS HAS BEEN ONE OF THE FEW NATIONAL NEWS SOURCES THAT HAVE RESPONDED. REMEMBER BE PROFESSIONAL AND POLITE,THEY APRECIATE KIND WORDS, JUST LIKE WE DO…PARD

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  9. Was in suich a hurry to get out with my horses, almost forgot.I found an Organization that has quite a few very informative links to other sites, bet they could use donations as well.In fact they have been Live Straming the Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Meetings.I called about this last one and they said it was the sub contracters that could not deliver and the meeting will be on their website soon.
    They are Horse Power and you can check them out at
    nvhorsepower.org
    Pard

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  10. I went to the Cattoors website, it’s taken me 3 times as I keep having to leave before my head explodes and then go back in. If you suffer from high blood pressure don’t read the testimonials esp the first one they proudly declare is from Wild Mustang Annie written 1975. I just sputter as words fail me. I wrote to a friend that I almost exploded when it was written how well they mustangs took to being freeze branded my comment to her was: “Does shut down from extreme trauma not register with this b…..? Course if you are making millions of dollars its easy to look the other way and not seen pain and suffering.” When I can calm down long enough to write a letter yes I will have comments and questions for the Cattoors.

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  11. My first reaction was blast the Cattors.

    But, all, keep your heads about you – why have they selected her to make these proclimations?

    They will use whatever we say to their advantage if they can –

    Like “why are the hores advocates so mean to this poor little lady?” They will get a lot of support if they can pull that off.

    Why do you think they have not aired McNabbs confrontation of Ms. Kathrens?

    Stick to the facts from BLM first, then only other science based or eye witness stuff, News casts, etc., and refer to the links AND VIDEOS every time. Stay with the major talking points, try not to get drawn into point, counter point without staying on point with the bigger picture.

    Just my take on this …

    CAREFUL, CAREFUL, CAREFUL.

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  12. Just watched the Corolla wild horse video.

    How do we get the Pyror horses registered?

    How do we get ALL spanish leaneage wild horses registered?

    Would the Corolla group help the Cloud Foundation and others with this?

    What are all your opinions about this?

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    • Roxy,the Corolla horses of the Outer Banks are a horse of a different color so to speak with no pun intended.

      What I mean by that is,even though they are the same species(Equus Caballus)they,(the Corolla horses) are direct descendants of the Colonial Spanish horse. Whereas the rest of the wild horses of the Americas such as the Great Basin Herds,Pryor Mountain Herd and many others are considered hybrids or a more watered down version. According to wildlife biologists the hybrid “mustangs”are crossed with several other breeds.

      The Corolla horses roam a very long narrow strip of real estate on the outer banks of North Carolina.They impede nothing other a few dirt roads around the strip land. The horses have even adapted to drink salt water or brackish rain water. Studies have shown that the horses have helped the ecosystem there and the residence have vouched for their inexpendability.Their numbers are only in the mere dozens and the horses and wildlife coexist in harmony. The Corolla horses have no real menaces as the horses of the rangelands do.

      No one other than vacationers and residence have an interest in causing conflict with the horses there. And the BLM leaves those horses alone because there is no vested interest in the dune filled island.

      We would be very hard pressed to try and get the rest of the species registered and classified as an endangered one.The wild horses that roams the rangelands are villainized by ranchers for degrading prime grazing.

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      • well, actually….someone on atv’s has been “menacing” the corolla ponies….they have had at least 2 fairly recent hit & run incidents involving atv’s chasing ponies on the beach at night, leaving the ponies injured, suffering, & barely alive. the b@$&@^%s
        & one of the atlantic coast pony groups (corolla? cumberland? can’t remember which one) is now starting to have to deal with nps management issues….there was recent talk about those “invasive” ponies destroying native grasses & now they are wanting to move ponies to just one part of the island. don’t know if the locals are going to allow it or not…..
        mj, the equus survival trust(i found them a few months ago when doing research on the cheval canadien) has already classified the breed of spanish mustangs as “critical.” can this count for *anything* in the world of registration & classification??? & how do any of the rare/critical/endangered wild horses in other countries fare? i wonder how well are they protected……

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  13. Sorry to hear that Jo bunny.. What I really meant by, to paraphrase my own words.The Corolla horses dont have anyone menacing them was from a collective point of view.

    Where there are humans there will always be some sort of harassment towards wildlife in some form or another.

    The Corolla horses dont have the BLM,ranchers,Forest Service,Fish and Wildlife and Mineral Miners chasing them off the land every chance they get as the rangeland horses have.

    Am I saying that the Corolla horses dont have their own separate set of issues to deal with?

    Not at all.

    The registration is a double standard for the BLM because the wild horse as we know them are categorized as an exotic invasive species. Having said that..The Corolla horses got a kind of reprieve from the Outer Banks residence and were lucky the kind people fought for that registration. If the horses were on the mainland, the registration would have been scoffed at by the BLM. Hence they are protected from round ups for now.

    So the answer to your question, if the critical state of the wild horse numbers will account for qualifying them for a registration as endangered species is..No! Why? because of their feral,exotic, invasive species categorization.

    Until someone can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the wild horse is a truly a native species to this continent..
    There will always be a battle to try and save this species from annihilation.

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  14. In a world where conservation is ALL – this is the ultimate disgrace.
    America continues to boast how BIG and POWERFUL it is and at the same time allow these beautiful native horses to be ‘removed’ from their homeland in order to fulfill the whims of companies who should know better.
    Countries are re-introducing wild horses in order to conserve the ecological balance, has this been thought about ?
    Why do animals always have to suffer ?

    Like

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