Horse News

Video Shows BLM Contractor Targeting Pregnant Wild Horses

Media and Commentary by R.T. Fitch ~ Author/Director of HfH Advisory Council

Full Term Mares Easy Catch for BLM Contractor

Run for miles, sweating in below freezing temps a pregnant wild horses singled out by BLM stampede contractor ~ photo by Terry Fitch

During the much contested roundup of 1,400 wild horses in Northern Nevada’s Antelope complex many disturbing videos and photos came to the public’s attention, to no avail.  There was the filmed case of a mare that was run to exhaustion and finally collapsed on the ground, where the helicopter continued to harass her, and the multiple photos of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) flying stampede contractor, Sun-J, using their aircraft as a weapon and physically assaulting lone and defenseless horses.  Likewise, Terry and I witnessed other atrocities while we spent time with Laura Leigh until the early conclusion of this tragic debacle.

But overall, what stands out the most in our mind’s eye was the reckless shattering of families as the cruel chopper pilot concentrated on the slower pregnant mares and foals while the stallions got a way.  Almost full term mares, many run down by themselves, so that the contractor could collect that $350.00 a horse that you, the American taxpayer, so willing and graciously allows the BLM to give to these inhumane handlers that are stripping the American west of all living and breathing wild horses and burros.

That is what Terry and I can bring to you and that’s what we tender for your outraged disapproval, here.  Pregnant mares chased for miles in below freezing temperatures to be carted off to BLM concentration camps where the deaths will continue in the way of spontaneous miscarriages.

A travesty that has become the way the BLM does business as the Wild Horse Harvesting Machine continues to roar, unfettered, across our public lands.

Special thanks to Maria Daines for the use of her heartfelt and timely song, “I just wanna be free”

24 replies »

    • Visit YouTube, you’ll find plenty of raw video from the stampedes the past year that show exactly what is happening to the horses. Raw or not, anyone with a modicum of horse sense knows you don’t run pregnant mares at breakneck speed, or put them under the stress of being separated from their families without fatal results. The saddest part is that none of the spontaneous abortions, deaths of mares or deaths of new born foals will be attributed to the roundup. After all, they are just “collateral damage” to the government.


  1. Thanks for bringing back the music, Terry. Your “artwork” is just fine… and I “see what is happening to” those horses. I am glad you and RT joined Laura and you all got through the last days of this madness. What we cherish these creeps have been given
    the go ahead to destroy before our eyes. This government has outraged us to the point
    of throwing down the gauntlet. But there is no place these cowards will stand and fight. We bring the fight to them regardless. Until the day we win and we take back what is ours. mar


  2. If foals were born a day or so after capture in cattle feedlots, it only stands to reason some foals were born just a day or so before this pilot started chasing their dams in the wild. I can guarantee that this pilot left a wake of newborn and brand new foals out there in the wild orphaned when they obviously would not be able to keep up. I think it is time to demand a humane observer be along on all flights, paid for with some of that extra $12 million Salaczar is asking for. Time for some serious oversight. And I also think this outfit, SunJ, needs to be sacked. Anyone think they deserve your tax dollars? Not me.


  3. Alright. Alright. I have regained my composure and one thought comes to mind. How many were out there takiing photographs, videos? How many of these cherished animals came in while you were there? My God, there were over 1000 horses rounded up! Okay – I personally feel and I communicated in as eloquent a fashion as possible that the heli pilot should be given guidelines of breaking off the chase if the mares slowed or the band slowed to allow her to keep up. I sent this plea to more than a few peoole and I know others did as well. And in my comments to the strategy, I proposed specific handling in cases of full term mares in bands targeted for roundups. What did you do may I ask? And yes, something must be done – but yelling and screaming at the threshhold of an unlocked door does NOTHING to the door. You have GOT to reach out and turn the handle. Can we help each other through to a solution?


    • The observers are kept a good distance from the site and are not allowed contact with BLM people or the contractors. There’s a video appeal that was shown to Congressmen on Capitol Hill on YouTube. Within it you see, among other disturbing things, a contract staff person beating a donkey to get him to stand up in a pen so they can put him in a trailer. It is demonstrative of the lack of respect or care these people have for the horses and burros. How do you try to reason with people like that? The reality is that they don’t care and the BLM is letting them get away with it–and they SHOULD be providing specific guidelines since their job is to manage the horses, but it has become painfully obvious these past two years that the BLM doesn’t care either and our tax dollars are paying for them to brutalize, maim and kill wild horses through these barbaric stampedes. People have appeared at public hearings, thousands upon thousands of letters and emails have been sent, and no one at the BLM appears to be listening. While there have been small victories getting stampedes ended early, the only way to stop this is first for the BLM to stop using helicopters period and for Congress to take away the money for the roundups until a thorough scientific study can be conducted. Lastly, the BLM needs to quit filling in with cattle leases as soon as it clears horses off the land that Congress gave to them by law.


  4. Thanks to Debbie Coffey’s investigative research
    this was the helicopter pilot:

    Josh Hellyer listed as a Sky Aviation pilot

    Josh Hellyer hauled equipment for the BLM in June, 2010 at Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range


  5. Jan,

    I don’t get your comment. Obviously, these contractors and BLM field employees are way past help. If their directive from the people who hired them had been to leave full term mares and newly born foals on the range, that is what they would have done. If the leadership above you tells you that you insist that the health and well-being of the horses is your top priority, then that is what you do.

    Clearly, this is not the case. Time and time again we see this. Last year it was Calico, and this year it is Antelope. My heavenly father above, the Bureau employs people who are supposed to be Wild Horse and Burro Specialists. To what avail?

    It is quite clear, not from viewing just this video, but from the accumulated store of photos, videos, eye-witness testimony, some of the BLM’s own otherwise useless statistics, that the health and welfare of the horses is the last thing they are concerned with. What kind of organization either allows traumatized animals access to too much water or too little or no water after a stampede—either of which induces all kinds of metabolic issues.

    It could not be more clear based on the actions and the results of these actions taken by the Bureau, that the intent is to kill as many wild horses as possible without actually holding a gun to their head. What other explanation could their be for separating new born foals from their dams, running these pregnant mares for miles and miles, so that they could collapse and die or abort their foals. And if the mare dies in child birth, well that is a double prize.

    If you think your last minute attempts to tell anyone how to handle these horses more humanely had any influence in all, you do not know what you are dealing with. Just read Laura Leigh’s blog about what happened when she requested that a new born foal and its mother be moved to a dryer place, so the baby could get its footing, stand-up and nurse. See how Laura’s good intentions ended up for her and that foal.

    These people are some of the coldest-hearted, mean-spirited, soul-less human beings who ever put a foot on this planet. What is worse is that they do what they do with impunity. You could have put Sun J’s entire crew together, squeezed, and not see even a drop of compassion.

    However, let it be said that these people are in the positions they are in because of the leadership of the organization. These policies are carried out either because they are the unwritten policies of the organization or because their is no interpersonal pressure within the organization to stop them meaning that the organization is morally and ethically bankrupt. And nothing will change until leadership changes. New leadership with integrity which isn’t afraid to see a horse being harrassed by a helicopter and say that a horses is being harrassed by a helicopter and that is illegal.

    When we have a president and national security advisor who won’t use the word terrorism when the rest of America knows it when it sees it, we should not be so surprised and outraged, the BLM and DOI can’t say harrassment, kill, or animal cruelty. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. That doesn’t mean that Americans who see these films and videos can’t see what is going on and call them torture, harrassment, murder. Not labeling it what it is won’t may it go away.

    The problem with not calling things what they are and acting like things that are serious problems do not exist, is that is creates cynicism and distrust in the people who know otherwise. Wild horse and burro advocates are well-informed, educated, adults. Among us are highly skilled journalists, photographers, videographers, investigators, story-tellers, musicians, directors, and regular folks determined to stop this. Don’t tell us that is is necessary. Don’t tell us that this is the best way that horses can be culled. Don’t tell us that the BLM has the best interest of the horses, the land, or anything else in mind. They are killing our horses and raping our land all at our expense.


    • The BLM has NO rule for how close a helicopter can get to a horse during a stampede. NOTHING. One of the most important protocols to have clearly set and established –distance and speed—are not even in their contractor rules.

      This says to me these people are beyond reason. They do not care. They have never cared. They will never care. The only solution is to demand them to stop by the power of the people. And sharing the information on the internet is one way. It worked in Egypt. I agree with you. They do not care what happens to the horses. They just want them gone before the nation realizes what they are doing via the internet and YouTube.


  6. I’ve seen the videos, I’ve read the reports, I’ve downloaded and read most of the briefs and declarations. I have gone back into archives and read and watched most of the old stuff – and spent ungodly amounts of time conversing. Texting and blogging getting up to speed on what has occurred and what has been done as a result.


  7. It has been Important that we comment on the Resource Management Plans (RMPs) that are issued in the BLM public announcements, as that is where the evil begins. That is where the Horses and Burros are “zeroed out” of their HMAs.


  8. Contacts: Christopher Worthington , 775-635-4144 ,
    News Release No. 2011-05

    BLM Seeks Public Comment on the Battle Mountain District Resource Management Plan Revision and Environmental Impact Statement

    Battle Mountain, Nev.–The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Battle Mountain District, Mount Lewis and Tonopah field offices are seeking public comments to identify issues and concerns that should be analyzed the Battle Mountain District Resource Management Plan (RMP) and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). A Notice of Intent to prepare the RMP and conduct an EIS was published in the Federal Register on Dec. 13, 2010, formally opening a 60-day public scoping period which will end Feb. 11, 2011.


    • Dear Louie , I think the American people have had just about enough of the BLM and their murdering Helicopter Pilots, you are right they the BLM will never have any mercy for them, so its time to Impeach and do whatever we need to do to stop this Insanity………………………………..I have sent 15 impeachment papers to numerous Officials, and have sent out 100 to friends all ready to be signed and notarized by them……………………….. This is an all out effort being made by all……………One more thing !!!! Shouldnt we be filing suits against all the Vets, and helicopter pilots and their companies also????


      • HEAR! HEAR! Maybe if they and everyone else involved were held accountable, rabid, heartless and corrupt assholes wouldn’t want those jobs!


  9. I felt so badly for this mare. She runs like she’s having Braxton-Hicks….she is so pregnant.

    I’m getting past the point of wanting to remain civil.

    Maybe we should call Abbey and Salazar, Vlad the Impalers?


  10. I wonder what our future grandkids will say (say in 100 years or so) when there are no more wild horses. I wonder if some far off planet will send a spaceship trying to communicate with the horses only to find out that no one on this planet can communicate.

    Think Star Trek IV–The Voyage Home. We won’t be here to see it happen but our grandkids will know whose to blame.

    I guess in the long run I just don’t understand how the BLM can remove some 1600 horses off the Antelope Complex stating that the land can’t handle all the grazing. As quick as a cat cattle are being moved in even before the observers can get out of the way.

    Multi use to me means everyone has a right to using the land. Not just primarily cattle or horses but both. As well as other wildlife. Even icky snakes (not Bobby boo boo or Salazoo)real live snakes as in rattlers.

    The latest letter I got from BLM says that Madeleine has gone back to rework her numbers etc. It’s due this fall. Good grief they just couldn’t give the horses a break. Something tells me it isn’t about Madeleine’s numbers–Bobby boo boo suddenly realized that no roundup meant no money being spent. Then they can’t come back next year with another bogus claim about needing money cause the horses bred like flies. I bet if they counted (USING BLM NUMBERS) they’d find that mares had two or three foals in the same year.


  11. Daphne from BLM assures me that the horses are not stampeded–that they are trotted along and only pushed into a lope as they near the trap–so that they hurry into the trap and do not escape. And that they are moved slowly–rested, given time to graze. Yup…… see the sweat and lather ? see the steam rising from the trailers? see the 20 or more aborted foals? There are no words in any language that can express my anger…….and horror. I’ve signed and sent and called….


      • There for a while they ALL thought they were “WINNING”! Now let’s just keep the heat on the politicians who might try to “slip one past US” – especially that coward Harry Reid! Slam the GOP – they get most of the money from the corporations that benefit from these lands. Conrad Burns started the increase in this madness in 2004 when he and his cronies gutted the Wild Horse and Burro Act.



    SUNDAY, MARCH 6, 2011
    For High Crimes & Misdemeanors
    Last week, Vivian Grant, founder and president of International Fund for Horses in conjunction with Michael Blake, screenwriter of “Dances With Wolves” and two-decade long wild horse and burro champion, released a powerful call to citizens and advocates across the country to exercise their Constitutional rights for the sake of our wild horses and burros.



  13. Just when a thoughtful human thinks things can’t get any worse….the BLM is allowed to show mankind just how stupid, greedy and cruel humans can be and how LOW a human can stoop to. Sick…just plain sick.

    These people are psychotic and should be institutionalized!

    Oh, that’s right! They are! Government sanctioned. Taxpayer funded and they are called the Department of the Interior.

    Mr. President…why hasn’t that creep Salazar been fired?????


  14. Arlene, it is those like you, who are absolutely relentless, that are the Power that is driving this battle. Whatever you are doing–KEEP ON doing it!


    • I have been doing all I can for 6 years ever since I discovered in one of my visits to the Wild Mustangs in Las Vegas Nev.. They were all missing !!!!!!!!!!! I inquired everywhere in the Las Vegas Desert to find out where and why they were taken, finally found out at a Little Indian Store , there ever since it has been my Quest to Free them, the BLM has been terrorizing them , which seems forever, I vowed to myself that I would dedicate all to Returning them to Freedom………………I have many stories about horses that have been in my life, all of them are Magical , even to the point that one saved my life ……. Someday when they are free I will tell them all……..Until I found Vivian Grant and Rt Fitch sites I thought I was all alone in my Quest to free them………..I am only returning the favors they have given to me so freely over the years……..and the trust and love and pride and Beauty they made me see………..


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