Horse News

100 Captive Wild Horses Moved From Squalid BLM Facility

(The News As We See It) by R.T. Fitch ~ Author/Director of HfH Advisory Council

BLM clings to “No Wrong Doing” on its part!

Multiple news reports indicate that more than 100 wild horses have been moved to a short-term holding concentration camp at the Utah State Prison in Gunnison. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) allegedly moved the captive mustangs to a BLM corral at the prison after the agency’s Butterfield Canyon facility near Salt Lake City incited national outrage.

True to form, the move of 108 horses does not mean that the BLM is accepting any accountability. Mouthpieces for the agency insist the horses are well-treated and the national attention — triggered by a professional video of muddy, filthy corrals and a documented written report — are without merit.

“We’ve always had mud issues, but not like this year’s,” said Jared Redington, who manages the corrals for the BLM. “The reason we shipped those horses out was to make a little more room here at the facility.”

Last week Redington sang a different tune when he reported that everything was “Okay” for an initial Salt Lake Tribune article on the incident.

“With all the rain that’s projected we’re going to have,” Redington said, “we thought it was best to move those horses out of the facility to give us a little more room so we can rotate the horses into drier pens.”

The controversy began on March 15 when a potential horse adopter,  Lisa Friday, had the misfortune to visited the facility. Obviously concerned by what she saw at the filthy facility, she recorded video and wrote a detailed report that she submitted to the Cloud Foundation, a world-wide recognized mainstream  wild horse advocacy organization. The video was professionally edited and narrated by Emmy award-winning cinematographer Ginger Kathrens.  Ms. Kathrens carefully and accurately states, in the tape, that, “Lisa was unprepared for what she saw, animals that had no dry place to lay down, or those that had trouble walking in a urine-soaked quagmire of mud and manure.” Then, as a scene unfolds showing a motionless mare lying on the ground, Friday herself is heard on the video, saying, “That horse has been laying down since we got here. Hasn’t moved.”  The video on its own merits is extremely compelling.

The exposure of the wanton conditions at the facility generated heated criticism of the BLM, but Redington continues to cling to the concept of misrepresentation.

“Yes, there was some things in there where they didn’t tell the whole story,” Redington said. “But that’s their given right to come out and look at the facility. But what the video doesn’t show is the straw that we have out for the horses. And where the mare was actually laying down was on dry ground.”

In addition to raising criticism about muddy corrals, the video suggested inadequate medical attention. In one scene, the video shows a mare with a gaping shoulder wound, surrounded by flesh or hair that has a ghastly purple color. The tape’s dialogue indicates that the wound may be infected while equine owners from across the country could clearly see that it needed to be sutured at the very least.

Redington said the discoloration actually came from a purple antibiotic medicine sprayed on the wound. “What they were interpreting as an infection was actually a treatment,” Redington said. “The veterinarian that was on site said the horse is fine.”  A statement that is rebuffed by credentialed veterinarians.

Redington continued to crawfish by saying that the movement of horses did not directly result from the controversy. He said a potential movement of horses had been under discussion anyway, but he acknowledges the controversy may have sped up the decision.

As usual, the ultimate fate of the captive wild horses is unclear. The BLM’s broken policy of removing federally protected and healthy wild horses from their rightful natural habitat has resulted in a log-jam of more horses being held prisoner in short and long-term holding than are free on the public lands of the west.  Said mismanagement all but assures that the moved horses will enter into the BLM’s system of obscurity where they will either be shipped off to long-term holding centers in the Midwest, at taxpayers expense or mysteriously disappear at auction for destinations unknown but assuredly not in the best interest of America’s national icon; the wild horse.

39 replies »

  1. The Human Race will not be satisfied until they have wiped out all other living creatures.
    Then us Perfect Humans will have exclusive use to our planet which we are entitled ask G-D.


  2. Did anyone read the BS article that the local paper printed, siting conditions “ok”? BIASED!Keep up the good work. No horses would be moved without your reporting.


  3. Report Card : F for failure.
    Fails to monitor the situation.
    Fails to see that their captives are in distress.
    Fails to see that the captives can not move without risk to their legs.
    Fails to upgrade the conditions until caught.
    And now they are going to “reposition” (their new cute word) the captives to a secret location?
    This video went international–BLM–the world is watching as you continue to inflict abuse and destruction on these horses. It’s too late to make it right–we know what you are— you have failed the horses, and the citizens who pay you to do it right.


      • So, true, a spin on the BS of the BLM. These people have no conscious over the repeated offenses and disgusting atrocities inflicted on the horses. It’s about time they retire their useless tactics and let these horses free so they can live in peace!


  4. BLM is back to deciet again, i am surprised they didnt say it was moot????????Their BS is as bad as the conditions at their holding pens, How in the World do they continue to get away with this abuse???????????????????????


  5. At least at the prison, there won’t be much danger of anyone reporting bad conditions..out of sight-out of mind. Clever move on BLM’s part.


    • Clever is not the word for the BLM, there is nothing clever about them , better words would be master of DECIET……………………………


  6. I just don’t understand why they will not give them up the horses to Pickens. She already said that she would take them and they would be non-producing, so in a few years they will be gone and there will be no more “grazing rats” left. What is the BLM holding out for????? It sounds like a great deal to me. The BLM would no longer be responsible for them and would not have to feed them until they die in their horrible facilities. There must be something that they are not telling us. Maybe they still think they can send them to slaughter and make some money on them. Something doesn’t smell right to me. And you better believe its the BLM.


    • the reason they don’t wants Pickens deal is ranchers in the west do not want to open the idea of horse national parks.People this has never been about horses , its about money. its always about money.


  7. “Redington continued to crawfish by saying that the movement of horses did not directly result from the controversy. He said a potential movement of horses had been under discussion anyway, but he acknowledges the controversy may have sped up the decision.”

    I pretty much bet that the decision to move the horses DID come SPECIFICALLY from the controversy. I am real sure that if Lisa Friday didn’t bring this up, the BLM would have never bothered to move these horses…
    And that poor horse w/ the wound on his shoulder — it’s true that if he were really being treated by a veterinarian, he would have had that wound not only disinfected, but also STITCHED UP already, not left open like this. That must a real bad veterinarian to think that a horse with such gaping wound is “fine” just left like that, in that FILTHY holding facility. Any good book about horse care always suggests proper treatment of even the SMALLEST WOUND… and I mean, this is ridiculous…


  8. Butterfield Canyon … maybe a canyon isn’t the best place to keep ANY of these wild horses?!?

    “The reason we shipped those horses out was to make a little more room here at the facility.” Permanently reduce the population, or just make room for the next batch to find themselves in the same conditions?

    “With all the rain that’s projected we’re going to have, we thought it was best to move those horses out of the facility to give us a little more room so we can rotate the horses into drier pens.”

    “Rotation” isn’t the answer. This place obviously needs a major overhaul. Unfortunately, any “agricultural expert” the BLM chooses will likely give it the typical government rubber stamp. It will probably be someone who’s already on the payroll, when it should be an independent, equine welfare professional.

    And WHERE ARE THE FOALS? I haven’t read ANYTHING about them, and there should be quite a few on the ground by now.


    • These horses were from the last days of the Antelope roundup and a few others that were done months before. The pregnant mares were just starting to show up… those due early this year. There may not be many in this group. I hope there are not.


  9. Moving these Horses to Gunnison prison does NOT sound like a good move for the Horses. It’s a Good move for BLM…they hope we will just forget about them and drop the issue.


  10. As soon as I saw the shot of the mare with the cut, I could tell that the purple stain around that cut was from Cetrigen, the deep purple wound spray that leaves a stain that takes a very long time to fade away.

    The Cetrigen stain was, however, very pale, compared to what freshly sprayed medication looks like. There was no purple spray visible inside the wound at all. This clearly indicates that although the wound was treated with medication at some point in the past, it had been done too long ago, and that no medication was being applied to the gaping wound on a regular basis. In those kinds of wet, filty conditions, that wound remains a perfect vessel for deadly infections to take hold.


    • One more observation- The wound on the palomino was not one that was likely to have been inflicted by another horse. It wasn’t a bite nor was it a cut caused by a kick. It was very deep, straight, and long. Under NO circumstance should a horse in holding be made susceptible to anything that would cause a wound of this nature. To open up horseflesh that deep, the impact had to be quite sharp and hard. Is there a post with a jagged edge that this horse shied into while escaping the teeth of another horse? If so, has that post been removed or repaired? Was it the edge/corner of a feeder? If so, has it been identified and repaired? Was the wound caused by inhumane manhandling in the squeeze chute? If so, was the unsavvy, unskilled wrangler who caused that much stress to this horse fired, disciplined, or retrained? Besides just moving some of the horses out of this facility, BLM- as a proper guardian of these wild animals, should have clear documentation to show that the cause of this wound has been satisfactorily removed from further endangering of these horses. Right? Yeah, right.

      And, I can’t resist this P.S. observation- Since BLM hires highly UNskilled laborers for the critically important jobs of being the hands-on guardians of these treasured wild animals, are we not safe in concluding that their hiring practices are inexcusably loose across the board, and all the way to the top? Feel free to respond, Misters Abbey and Salazar. Who among you is going to treat the long, deep cut into the flesh of our country caused by your own reckless and careless disregard for our national treasures?


  11. Just really makes you cringe to think of what the conditions are in the holding facilities that we don’t have “the god given right” to see. Clean, pristine pastures, a piece of Heaven for a horse? I doubt it highly.


  12. BLM has control of approximately 245 million acres of public land. Over 20 million of those acres have been TAKEN from the Wild Horses and Burros. There is PLENTY of room for them BACK on the range WHERE THEY BELONG.


    • And how many of those 245 million acres – our Public Lands and OUR CHILDREN’S INHERITANCE – are at being put at risk because of corporate greed and our government’s shady dealings?

      These are excerpts from a recent article in the Billings Gazette:

      “In March, the Interior Department released a report saying HALF OF THE ONSHORE ENERGY LEASES ON FEDERAL LANDS ARE SITTING IDLE. In its report, the Interior Department accused oil and natural gas companies of sitting on the leases and not using them to produce energy. Some have suggested that if the companies aren’t going to use their leases, they should surrender them to a company that will.”

      How about taking them back entirely, and SAVING our Public Lands from these speculators, instead of continually putting MORE acres on the auction block?

      ” … the government receives money from the companies whether they produce on the leases or not. If they don’t … the government can resell the leases when they expire. The agency’s oil and gas leases are issued for a term of 10 years. Figures weren’t immediately available on how many leases in the Big Horn Basin have expired because of nonuse.”

      Is anyone surprised that it’s “all about the MONEY”, or by this shoddy recordkeeping? The Big Horn Basin times how many others? There needs to be an IMMEDIATE investigation of the DOI/BLM – top-to-bottom and side-to-side! IMO, the only way to accomplish this is for ALL parties who want to save our public lands, water, and wild animals to band together, pool resources, and camp on the Congressional doorstep until they can’t stand stepping over us any more!

      Whatever differences these various organizations and citizens have can be sorted out later, in an equitable and rational manner. Right now, we “ordinary” Americans are in the fight of our lives to save at least some part of the wild for future generations. We have been browbeaten into thinking we have no power, but, by our concerted efforts, we can prove ourselves “extraordinary”.

      “Hell hath no fury like an AMERICAN scorned!”


  13. What about the BLM’s own finding that 200of those horses needed to be moved because of conditions. This guy is in CYA mode. Ain’t gonna work buddy. We saw the video and read the report. You have been having these issues for years and just haven’t dealt with the truth. How incredibly short sided of you. There is a special place in hell for people like you.


  14. Margaret, you are so right , there is a special place in hell for people like them, be it the blm, the people who oversee the horses both in long and short term holding, the people on both ends of the slaughter of animals, people who are abusers of animals in any way, shape or form. Even the people who are supposed to be running our country for the American people. One thing they seem to have forgotten is in the end, we all stand before God alone ~ to be judged.


  15. Arlene, it seems to me that we need to keep on doing what we have been doing…let Congress know and let the Press know that public wants these Horses back on the range…NOT in a concentration camp, hidden from public view.

    This if from the Cloud Foundation comments on the BLM strategy plan:

    Return wild horses and burros in good health to the 24 million acres of public land
    designated primarily for their use in 1971 that has since been taken away from them.
    As per the ROAM Act (§1579): “ensure that, to the extent practicable, the acreage available for
    wild and free-roaming horses and burros shall never be less than the acreage where wild and freeroaming
    horses and burros were found in 1971.”


  16. Dear Louie, I know that you are right, I have not changed anything , but step it up a notch or two, my phone calls to the Pres.. are constant, emails also, action alertsare always done and email everywhere i have lots of help with that………………….I have always realized repetition is the way………………I am so hoping that the Federal judge Morrison Edmond Jr. is all i believe him to be, just the fact that he would not let the BLM dismiss the legal case is very incouraging, if he uses the evidence properly the BLM is in Plenty of BIG trouble……….that will stick……This Judge has plenty of guts, just what the mustangs need…………….. if he judges in all fairness he will return the mustangs to the land that is theirs…… Which is the only way he can rule …………………..American law cannot be violated by the very body that is suppose to enforce it……………. Our Mustangs are to be FREE ROAMING and that is all that is to it, it is the Law that the American people have fought for , for OUR Wild Mustangs…………..If the BLM has any false hopes that we will falter on this issue they are most definetly saddly mistaken. From the beginning the BLM is a Sham………………………..


  17. As stated in Lisa’s report, some of these captive Horses were from the Moriah Herd:

    BLM to Zero Out Moriah Herd
    August 26, 2010
    BLM Plans to ZERO out (remove ALL) the Moriah Herd Wild Horses starting tomorrow. Already wild horses have lost 24 million acres of their “promised lands”- call on President Obama 202-406-1111 and others to stop the government-sponsored elimination of our wild horse herds. Read more in this New Press Release from AWHPC.


    • The BLM says Moriah isn’t “suitable” for ANY wild horses (on how many acres?), yet it’s suitable for 300+ cows, and likely more once the horses have been removed? I bet it’s suitable for an overabundance of deer and elk as well!

      Part One of a 2008 six-part series on the Ely District from American Herds:

      Off-topic, but part of the reason hunters want wolves killed is that deer and elk choose higher elevations rather than lowland pastures when wolves are present. Guess it’s too much work for these “sportsmen” to drag their butts up a hill to bag their trophies!


  18. Is it possible for judge Morrison Edmond Jr, to stop all round upsu intil the entire matter illigal round ups are addressed in Court???????


  19. The BLM has got to be stopped once and for al!!! The more exposure the better to see the light. On a lighter note, did anyone see on Nova The Story of Cloud? It was broacasted this past Sunday night at 8PM EST. I may have the title incorrect. It was Ginger’s observations of Cloud’s family. It did gloss over the BLM very quickly, and how the Mustangs are facing extinction from the BLM, but, it did portray Cloud and his family in a warm fuzzy light. Check it out!


  20. Thank you Arlene…you are a Good Soldier! I’ve called that phone number so much that I have it memorized


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