Horse News

Breaking News: Wild Horses Sold to Kill Buyer by BLM Contractor

by Debbie Coffey PPJ Investigative Reporter ~ Copyright 2013 All Rights Reserved
Director of Wild Horse Affairs ~ Wild Horse Freedom Federation

“I’m told not to talk about this kind of stuff.”

While the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has been trying to convince the public that the BLM does not sell wild horses to slaughter, Wild Horse Freedom Federation has obtained proof that a BLM Long Term Holding contractor sold wild horses directly to kill buyer Joe Simon, who is well known for sending horses to slaughter, and who owns JS Ranch (“Farms”) in Perkins, Oklahoma.

To give you a little background, the BLM uses lame excuses to remove wild horses from their federally protected Herd Management Areas while letting other “uses” take over.  For instance, BLM claims wild horses cause “degradation” to the range, but then allow oil and gas drilling (and fracking) on the same land.  The BLM uses helicopters to round up the wild horses, then puts the horses in short term holding facilities, maintenance facilities, and ultimately, ships horses to same-sex long term holding pastures, where the public is led to believe the horses spend the rest of their lives.

Jim Reeves and Lyle Anderson own Spur Livestock, and have a contract with the Bureau of Land Management for a long term holding pasture for wild horses on private lands within the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, as well as on Indian Trust Lands administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.  This facility is the Whitehorse Wild Horse Long Term Holding Facility.

Wild Horse Freedom Federation received records from the South Dakota Brand Board that reveal on 11/8/2008, while under contract with the BLM, “owner” Spur Livestock sold 34 horses with “BLM tattoos” to JS Farms, owned by kill buyer Joe Simon.

Animals Angels has written about kill buyer Joe Simon (scroll down to the 2nd article “What is the Price Tag for Suffering”)

It is important to note that state brand boards do not “recognize” BLM freezemarks  (which BLM puts on the left side of wild horses’ necks after they are captured) as official “BRANDS,” so the state brand board inspectors may completely ignore the BLM freezemarks and instead, note that wild horses have “NO BRAND.”

It is also important to note that if someone BUYS a wild horse from the BLM, they can then put their own brand on the horse, and state brand board inspectors may then note only the new brand in their records (since it is “recognized”) and NOT the BLM freezemark (which they don’t “recognize”) which would identify a horse was a wild horse on public records.  State brand inspectors can omit any traces of wild horses on their official records.

On the Spur Livestock 11/8/2008 sale (besides the fact that 34 horses with “BLM tattoos” were sold), the words “Freeze brand” are written under the brand symbol for the other 36 horses in this sale (a total of 70 horses).  The words “Freeze Brand” aren’t written under this brand symbol on any other Local Ownership Inspection Certificates, or under any other brand symbols.

Another important detail stands out.  In looking at over 3 years of Local Ownership Inspection Certificates of horses by Spur Livestock, Jim Reeves and Spur Livestock, this sale of 70 horses seems to be the largest sale of horses.

Looking at the fact that Spur Livestock claimed itself to be the “Owner” of the wild horses on this South Dakota State Brand Board Local Ownership Inspection Certificate, did Spur Livestock claim to own the wild horses that the BLM warehouses on this property?  Or were these horses the wild horses that Jim Reeves BOUGHT from the BLM?

BLM Sales records obtained through a Freedom in Information Act (FOIA) request indicate Jim Reeves bought 72 wild horses (2 truckloads) from the BLM about one and two months before he sold the 34 BLM wild horses with BLM freezebrands and 36 branded horses directly to Joe Simon.

On 9/9/2008, Jim Reeves bought 36 geldings, ages 11-13, from the Canon City Maintenance Facility (prison) in Colorado.

On 9/23/2008, Jim Reeves bought 36 mares, ages 11-12, from the BLM’s Palomino Valley BLM holding facility in Nevada.

Jim Reeves already had wild horses on his property, including younger horses, and he could easily have arranged to buy 72 of those wild horses.  So why would he buy 72 wild horses from Nevada and Colorado and pay shipping costs (or make the BLM pay shipping costs with your tax dollars) to have them shipped out to South Dakota?

On the Sales Questions Document (application) form for Spur Livestock, a handwritten note at the bottom of page 1 claims: “Horses will be used as pack animals.”

Pack Animals? 

How easy do you think it would be to train 11-13 year old wild geldings (castrated stallions) to be pack animals?  If he was so knowledgeable about wild horse behavior, why wouldn’t he have bought younger horses that would’ve been easier to train?

In a telephone conversation with Jim Reeves, when asked about the 72 horses he bought as pack animals, he said “I’m told not to talk about this kind of stuff.”  He said “I can’t talk about this” and “That’s BLM business.”

There’s more

While the information below may not involve any wild horses, it seems to show that Jim Reeves, Lyle Anderson and Spur Livestock have sold horses directly to slaughter buyers more than once.   (However, keep in mind that BLM freezemarks can be noted as “NO BRAND” and a new brand may be added and recognized as the ONLY brand, so the public has no absolute proof that these horses were NOT wild horses, either.)

In reviewing other South Dakota Brand Board records of Spur Livestock, Jim Reeves and Lyle Anderson, horses sold included:

12/4/08 – 48 “No brand” horses were sold by Jim Reeves, and 2 “No Brand” horses by other Reeves family members, to Rusty Williams in George West, Texas. (not a known kill buyer)

2/25/09 – 31 branded horses belonging to Jim Reeves and other Reeves family members were sold directly to slaughterhouse Canadian Premium Meats, Lacombe, AB, Canada.

11/18/09 – 9 “no brand” horses and 3 horses Jim got only 6 days before (on 11/12/09) from Jess Starr of Dupree, SD, were sold to kill buyer (Randy) Musick of Mitchell, SD.

11/18/09 – Jim Reeves sent 19 horses, including horses owned by Reeves family members, 3 branded horses Spur Livestock got from Vernon Starr of Dupree, SD only about 10 days before, 3 branded horses Jim Reeves got from Larry Long only 17 days before, and 6 horses from Jeff Hunt (Jim Reeves got 3 of these horses on 10/3/09) to kill buyer (Randy) Musick of Mitchell, SD.

7/17/12 – Lyle Anderson sent 2 horses, (1″No Brand” horse and a palomino mare noted “Brand no registered.  Horse comes from No Brand Area.” to an unknown buyer (the buyer line was left blank) in Pueblo, CO.

Canon City Prison – a BLM “Maintenance Facility”

Oddly, in reviewing FOIA documents of “Animals Shipped” out of the Canon City (Prison) Maintenance facility, and comparing these to FOIA documents on BLM sales, in September, 2008, when Jim Reeves bought the 36 wild horses, records from Canon City Correctional Facility indicate that no horses were shipped out in September, 2008, and only 1 horse the following month (October, 2008), and only 33 horses the month after that (November, 2008).  So did the 36 horses that Jim Reeves bought from the BLM at this facility just walk past a SWAT team and out a back door?

This was not the only discrepancy in Canon City Maintenance Facility records.  Tom Davis bought 120 horses in January, 2009, and Harry Vold bought 36 horses that same month (120+36 = 156), but Canon City records indicate only 4 horses were shipped out in January, 2009.

Tom Davis (only one of many this month) bought 111 horses in March, 2009, but Canon City records indicate only 77 horses were shipped out in March, 2009.

This goes on and on and on…the numbers don’t add up.  I hope the person who’s counting the wild horses isn’t the same person who’s counting the prisoners.

My call to Mr. Fran Ackley (Program Lead for the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program in Colorado) for clarification on this issue was not returned.

So what, exactly, is “BLM business?”

Question #17 on Jim Reeves’ BLM sales question document was “Do you intend to resell these animals?  An X was typed in the YES box.

Right off the bat, the person in the BLM sales office should’ve wondered who the horses would be sold to, and for what purpose, really.

It was odd that although all of the answers were typed, there were handwritten notes at the bottom of the page indicating the horses were to be used as pack animals.  It seemed like an afterthought.  Did Jim Reeves write this?  Or did a BLM employee write this?  The document wasn’t signed, either.  The BLM seems to keep very sloppy legal documents.

On the Bills of Sales for the horses Jim Reeves bought, above the line that indicates Authorized Officer, the words “Virtual Migration Person” was typed in.  Who was this?

It is also unusual that the BLM’s contract with Spur Livestock (NAC070071) was dated 4/9/2007 and signed by BLM’s contracting officer, but this was almost 2 months BEFORE the Environmental Assessment (EA) was issued (July, 2007).  Usually, EAs have to be completed to determine whether or not a federal undertaking would significantly affect the environment, before a project can go forward.  Did the BLM jump the gun and skirt NEPA requirements?

Spur Livestock 

The base year (2007) of the Spur Livestock 5 year contract with the BLM was for $506,250.  Looking at, it seems Spur Livestock has made $2,952,210 since 2007.

(Links to Spur Livestock contracts are included at the end of article.)

  • Jim Reeves also received $198,604 in USDA subsidies 1995-2011.
  • Reeves is a member of the West Central Cattlemen’s Association in South Dakota.
  • Reeves’ wife, Janna, is the office manager for the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association, and
  • Janna’s sister, Jodi Hickman, is the Executive Director of the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association.
  • In 2010, horse slaughterhouse pusher Sue Wallis’ now defunct United Organizations of the Horse claimed that the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association made a “financial contribution” to the pro-horse slaughter cause.
  • Jim and Janna Reeves, along with Jodi Hickman, are principals in the 3J Cattle Company.
  • Jim Reeves’ brother is Tom Reeves, Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame Saddle “Bronc” rider.
  • Jim Reeve’s partner in Spur Livestock, Lyle Anderson, has had a string of business ventures which the South Dakota Secretary of State now lists as “inactive.”
  • Anderson also owns Anderson Construction, LLC, which is listed in the Secretary of State records as “Delinquent.”
  • Lyle Anderson is also listed as the owner of Anderson Ranches Partnership.
  • Lyle Anderson received $260,110 in USDA subsidies 1995-2011.

In August, 2012, Reeves and Anderson appealed a decline of their application for the U.S. Small Business Administration Business Development Program.

While the BLM cons the public into believing that the captured wild horses live out their lives on long term holding pastures, it seems that the BLM knowingly allows middlemen to cover their tracks in a pipeline of wild horses going to slaughter.

What the BLM consistently seems to “maintain” is fraud against the American taxpayer in its Environmental Assessments, a long history of inhumane handling of wild horses, lack of oversight and accountability, a waste of tax dollars, and lies to both the public and Congress, so every aspect of the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse & Burro Program needs to be investigated in a long overdue Congressional Investigation.

Joe Simon Invoice

(Debbie Coffey and Wild Horse Freedom Federation thank Animals Angels for their assistance with this investigation.)

SOURCES: (Scroll down to 2nd article: “What is the Price Tag for Suffering?”)

SPUR Livestock contracts: “”&HYPERLINK “”sortp=rHYPERLINK “”&HYPERLINK “”detail=3HYPERLINK “”&HYPERLINK “”datype=THYPERLINK “”&HYPERLINK “”reptype=rHYPERLINK “”&HYPERLINK “”database=fpdsHYPERLINK “”&HYPERLINK “”fiscal_year=HYPERLINK “”&HYPERLINK “”submit=GO


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90 replies »

  1. And perhaps Francis Ackley (Colorado WH&B program leader) didn’t call you back because his assistant Lona A Kossnar is the person who signed the sales agreements for the sales to Tom Davis from Cannon City from 2008 to 2012 and most likely either he or she signed the sales agreements for Reeves’ purchases too.

    To take it a step further, Reeves and Anderson were APPROVED by BLM as guardians for our Wild Ones.

    Shall we start our list of “Who’s Who” in this big mess? So far, it appears that the BLM Washington D.C. office and the Colorado state office and some of the BLM short term offices/managers and some of the long term holding facility operators knew for years what was going on and had an active part in the conspiracy.

    And our (yours and mine) wild horses and burros are GONE. As they say in the movies … “heads need to roll”.


    • I have had recent dealings with Fran Ackley due to the 19 dead horses in Canon City. I can explain whey he didn’t call you back with one word… “ARROGANT”


    • It was Sally who signs off on large sales..they have to be approved by the DC office…I was approved by Lona on the purchase of Grey Beard, but when I decided to take a semiload it was kicked up to her…and I had to fight to gt that approval for 4 months..Davis was already approved within days of the arrival of the adobe town mustngs at the take ALL the 235 SA wild horses from the roundup…they allowed me to take a semi-load despite the fact Davis had spoken for them


  2. It is a Wild Horse Conspiracy as we have all known. But Deb has brought us closer to a full scale Expose’ and possible a real Congressional Investigation. If they do not follow through on this lead then this conspiracy is deeper and wider than what we suspect.

    Deb, I love how you used the records on Davis’s buy to get the goods on these sleaze bags. Again, this needs AP connections and national exposure! You are tops, girl!


  3. So, now, REALLY: Ask yourself – is the BLM truly holding 49,258 (as of November, 2012) wild horses and burros in ‘facilities’ – or if that number is just the digits they’ve collected since Year 2000.

    Real, live wild horses in Long Term Pastures – places the Public has been assured these animals will live out their unnaturally long lives, unmolested and unavailable to the general public for adoption or observation – disappearing by the truckload for a lousy $10.00 a head.

    LTP’s White Horse in South Dakota has (as published by BLM Facility Reports) posted losses of 784 horses – MY HORSES – since June, 2008. From February to April, 2010, 585 animals fell off the radar – in just 2 months.

    Apparently, it’s not just lousy bookkeeping…it’s the lousy human beings behind it.


    • Of course the BLM do not have the number of Mustangs they claim to have in LTH and STH, There is no transparency as to where they are and as we have always known why they do not dislcose that information, they are slowly but surely sneaking them out to kill buyers, sickos


      • I don’t want to hear how livestock people have to make a living. NO NO! I know a cattle owner, he saved 6 horses from going to slaughter. That’s BS excuses livestock owners. also, I own 3 horses. I will and always have a protection NO slaughter Contract on them if something ever happens to me. People need to spread this also. A killer buyer searches anywhere for a $ kill.I call them animal killers! I hate them. I’ve seen to many round ups and I get so angry. a baby foal… I don’t get it? why do you have to keep chasing a mother away from its baby foal beyond me. But! God, has something instore for people like this. They end up dieing or suffering from something down the road. God is going to wanna know WHY MY HORSES! There absolutely beautiful! I would take them all if I had more land. Or maybe people need to come up with a plan and Lets STOP wildhorses from being killed for meat. Now there even wanting, horses like mine to kill off. There not for Human Consumption! LOL government don’t care wo dies from what diseases n other Countries. The other Country needs to be SMART! Spread it out there, they wouldn’t want it if they really knew the truth. branded horses are medicated and take pain meds. ect There will be a lot f sick people with a new disease for the future to come


    • . I don’t believe ANY of BLM’s figures. They have been consistent in their lies, and inaccurate figures for years. Why would they give an accurate account now??
      . They also have consistently used the most unnecessarily violent and brutal methods any evil mind could contrive to inflict the most trauma, suffering and injury in the process of their capturing the wild horses and burros. Their track record has been brutal, sadistic and bloody all along, and when confronted, they not only continue, but find more ways to inflict terror and death on the innocent (adding selling them to slaughter, and now the experimental “field” population control) all of which is completely UN-NEEDED!
      . We Want Accountability and Punishment of ALL those who have harmed the wild horses and burros, directly or passively! We Want BLM and anyone else intent on harming the wild horses and burros PREVENTED from going near them, or having any control, management or supervision of them.. EVER AGAIN!! We Want the wild horses and burros who survived the brutalities of capture and are still held captive to be sent back to the wild of their original area. We Want the cattlemen, mining companies, and others to STOP infringing on the millions of acres of public lands designated to the wild horses and burros. We Want the wild horses and burros to have free range of those lands designated to them (as provided by the law) and to have free and complete access to the water resources within those lands, whether natural or man-made.


  4. This is definitely one of the most despicable and outrageous animal abuse stories I have heard. Cannot be tolerated, MUST NOT be tolerated. Shame on the government. Shame on BLM!!!!!!


  5. All who have/had their hands in this pot need to burn! This “great” nation has become such a cesspool of greed, our “wonderful” president has let it go down the crapper…I just don’t understand how this can go on. Are people getting so greedy that the lives of innocent horses have to be taken, and then to cover it up. Crooked, evil, assholes! BLM…what a freakin’ joke.
    It’s time for the BLMs leave the mustangs and burros alone. Hell, there are more in holding than in the wild. Nature has a way of taking care of the numbers. Stop selling them to the kill buyers.
    The only thing the BLM is managing is the time it will take to completely wipe out the wild horse and burro population. And they won’t be happy until they have. Come on Obama, get your head out of your backside and do something.


  6. As I read the twisting and turning of facts in this painstaking report, I became deeply saddened by the empathic understanding pf what our beautiful wild horses went through. Enough that it is a domestic equine born into servitude and willingly gives its cooperation – enough those are betrayed. But this – despicable bbehavior by close mouths hand linked “buddies” is beyond comprehension. How can they live with themselves?

    Thank you for your great work Deb and AA and of course, you too R.T.


  7. Hi Deb
    Thank you for this amazing article. You know how to read for comprehension, (vs reading for enjoyment)you can unwrap really twisted articles. And you can bring all of that to the table in plain english for the rest of us to read.

    It is disgusting wht our government is allowing to happen. We don’t hear any words of apology. We don’t hear that there is a history of this occurring and that there is now a plug to stop this. Rather our worst fears are being revealed–that horses are and have been slipping out the corral gate.

    Bleep bleep bleep…that’s me swearing and cussing. Not at you. At BLM for the cow manure they keep spreading.

    Deb may I print this out and send it to the Pres and Senators and state reps?


    • Margaret, you can absolutely print this up and send it to the President and Congressional reps!
      Maybe if they get enough letters, they’ll initiate a Congressional investigation. Thanks for the kind words.


      • I want to thank you for your professional journalistic standards and commitment to this issue (unlike 99% of US journalists).

        Thank you, thank you, thank you.

        I only hope there are some wild equines left and we can turn the tide of death.

        p.s. Congressional investigation (much like the mortgage fraud and Wall Street) will be overcome by the fact that all our/US wild equines are dead or mutilated. Hang in there Debbie…America and humanity needs you.

        Hang in the wild equines….

        Department of Justice and White House? I hope you believe in an afterlife that includes H*LL.


  8. I am disgusted beyond belief at the spineless acts of these selfish cowards. There’s no amount of money or power worth selling your soul to the devil! May God grant them the same mercy they showed these innocent animals.


  9. More and more proof of the lies, the abuses, killings, what ever else we can add to the list. On the evils of blm, they still continue with their crap. Spending the tax payers dollars to send the horses to slaughter. Now with Salazar stepping down, I prey to God, this new guy does some serious changes. I have a harder time each time to read of how and what those ( you know whats) I trying to be clean and a lady. do and get away with. i give these Angels so much credit, they will always be in my prayers, for their safety. They are always in harms way while doing what they do.
    Thank You!!!! I pray the blm will get theirs. right where it hurts.


  10. BLM needs to be stopped cold !!! No more horse round up it killings just fur special untreated groups … Like cattle ranchers. Really Stop!!


  11. I would like to take all of these people that think they can do whatever they want with the Nation’s horses and teach them what it means to be responsible for the lives of innocent animals. How can one do that? Maybe put them in jail where they belong for a long, long time until the understand that they are breaking the law that they set up and they law of the people that say this is cruel and inhumane treatment of the wild horses. Nobody has a right to do what they have done….when are we going to make the pay the ultimate penalty? Jail, at least lose their government job….post the picture of Simone the horse killer on every single public site…he is a killer and shouldn’t even be allowed out free.


  12. Report to FBI and INTERPOL this is enough……… They are above BLM. ……. This will make and Ass our of BLM……. Hard copy all your files if you have not already……….


  13. The wild horses and wild burros are not giving up and neither can we.

    Along with sending this article to government representatives and media and NAS and GAO [] below are some links to the BLM persons in charge of decision making. Although I realize that it is like asking the fox why he stole the hen from the hen house … I will be sending these BLM employees the article and asking the BLM to explain to me why they have allowed (encouraged and/or assisted) these illegal activities.

    (I am not naive … just stubborn)

    And if I can be so bold as to suggest:
    Ed Roberson
    Sally Spencer
    Lili Thomas
    Bea Wade
    Dean Bolstad
    Mike Pool


    • Courtesy copies grandma gregg, I hope….talking to DOI/BLM or USDA or the states that massacre our wild equines during migratory will DO NOTHING.

      Send your letters to your Rep, Senators, Department of Justice and the White House.

      Remind the Prez he promised to ACT!!!!! in his Inaugural speech (frankly, I think the gate keepers are preventing his knowledge of the rape of US resources).

      I’m getting ready to send letters to Sasha (Natasha) and Malea (sp?) and the First Lady because I am sick and tired of the male weenie snake dance….the wild equines and our public lands are running out of time and life.

      BTW..any letter to the children and First Lady will not involve threats, only an appeal to human compassion, justice and empathy.

      It does appear we cannot get through to the man of the house or the system of Congress or Judiciary.


      • Agreed Denise. “Cannot get through to the man of the house.”No response! But OBAMA HAS TO KNOW, DOES KNOW, what is going on with the DOI/BLM/wild horses…his friend Salazar. Very “telling,” & I trust my gut feeling. I watched the INAUGURAL PARADE. Obama watched the whole thing, smiling, acknowledging ALL who passed. But! When the beautiful, marching, majestic horses passed, all in sync with the marching band, Obama stopped smiling. Turned his head away. No interest in horses and/or HIS gut reaction. I found this shocking. *Anyone who saw the horses would admire them, not just animal lovers, advocates.


    • GrandmaG, your list of potential recipients is basically a list of about half the BLM miscreants who were the backbone of the hyperactive BLM Alternative Management Team back in 2008/2009 when BLM set out to systematically plan how to kill our wild horses in the most expedient and covert ways possible. It’s all been chronicled in their own team meetings minutes obtained via FOIA a few years ago by the late advocate, Pat Haight. These BLM official documents are required reading for any advocate – see them here: >> first 2 links to the right of the article. The only name on the list I do not recognize as a participant on that BLM team created specifically to attend weekly meetings to brainstorm the very best ways to get rid of mustangs is Ed Roberson. But I could be wrong, Ed may have also been on the “team”, I didn’t double check those Alt Mgt Team docs which are also archived over at The Cloud Foundation along with some enlightening mark ups to reveal every dirty detail.

      BLM has been planning this AND doing this for years but they’ve just been able to keep it more or less undercover until now. Unconfirmed, as they lie through their teeth about how blissful life is for the LTH horses in their huge luxuriant grass pastures to assuage the concerns of advocates. Sallie, on the “team”, was documented in those official docs as being involved with email and phone negotiations to sell 10,000 wild horses to a Scandinavian country if I recall correctly. The official docs stop short of actually admitting they sold them but all the indications are there that this was really nothing new nor unacceptable to the lot of them.

      Rest assured – or should I say “Pray you can rest at all once you realize” – that these sales to slaughter being reported is very likely NOT the only way they are exterminating our wild horses held captive in LTH. Rumor has it that the LTH contractors only get paid for 5 years of holding. What do you suppose happens to those thousands of horses when their 5 years are up? The LTH ranchers get title? Or maybe the LTH ranchers are going to take them in and just let them “live off the land” without being paid? Dream on. Or I should say, Nightmare on. Yes, think of the most horrific nightmare about what could be happening to the wild ones no longer subsidized by BLM right on those LTH ranches and be assured your worst nightmares are very likely not too far from the truth. Sleepless nights, visions of what is almost certainly happening keep me awake at night. How about the rest of you?

      The worst of it is: how in the hell do we stop this entrenched travesty, corruption, these evil people? 64 million dollar question….


      • Great comment, Kat. Your fears are mine and I believe all of them are likely happening as I have heard all the same things for a long while. All the rumors and suspicions are coming home to roost.


    • Those people are laughing at us. They have painted the picture of us as a bunch of tree hugging crazies. We have been and are being ignored by Congress and will be until they are all gone and there is nothing left to fight for. WE Will be labeled terrorists which we won’t know unless we go to board a plane..ask John Holland about that. W at nothing to them because they are the government running rampant over us and the president. The BLM should never have been given power over the land, no entity should “own” public land.


      • And thanks RT and Deb Coffey for this insight into the BLM s plan and what is really happening to those horses and burros. And i always felt that they were being sent to Canada and this tells me how it was happening…under cover with freeze brands being ignored or replaced by other brands. Thanks for the confirmation..


  14. Thank you Deb Coffee for such great investigative work, Thanks R T Fitch for the best and most cogent expose i’ve read in a good long time!


  15. What has been found out here is the reason the so called ranches where the horses are sent which are off limits to visitors actually don’t exist. What is there is ranches where the caretakers can funnel as many horses as they want out the back door to slaughter. And if all of the ranches could be identified they would all be run just like this business. I doubt now more than ever that the fifty thousand horses that the BLM claims to be feeding with our tax dollars don’t exist any more. Every time there is a roundup the new horses are transferred to these ranches which is nothing more than way stations to slaughter.


    • Barb – BLM’s statistics show since 2001, 113,064 have been removed from the ranges; 58,895 have been adopted, leaving 54,169 in Short Term and Long Term Holding (mathematically speaking).

      It would appear that, on paper, wild horses never die in Holding, given these numbers. If so, only about 4,911 in the last 10 years.

      But since 2009, published figures show only 2,596 have been dispersed under “Sale Authority”. There aren’t any sales figures published that go back to, say, the advent of the Burns Amendment. But we know a few thousand disappeared before national attention was brought to agents in the BLM doing dirty and sending wild horses to US slaughterhouses.

      So…54,169 sent to holding minus 2,596 to sale authority leaves 51,573, leaving the possibility of only 2,315 dying in captivity over the last 10 years. Or about 24 animals a month. Really.


      How many died during and after the first Calico in 2009-2010?? How many during the first Owyhee in 2010? How many die at Broken Arrow, Litchfield or Palomino Valley in a month?

      At any given time over the past 10 years, between 2,200 and 2,500 animals are unaccounted for over the course of a year; our wild horses and burros are nothing more important than digits in a column. The people who do the books – compile stats or write reports – can only report what they’re told. So any fool can and will exploit this system, without much fear because getting caught has yet to produce consequences.

      Meanwhile, some asshat in the Midwest is getting federal money for animals that may no longer exist. What do they get for selling a truckload out the back gate?

      I think that’s called fraud.


      • Can’t beat math, can you Lisa? Thanks for the stats.

        Thank you for reminding us.

        How about asking the likes of the wildlife kill mavens, “Pioneer Woman” featured on Food channel….Cornbred Cutie….Where are your wild equines tonight?” Loading up on the trailer to hell? Selling toxic meat to humans? Talk about irony!

        I’d pay money to see, in person her response. She would probably have DOJ jerks standing next to her to “no comment”.


  16. Debbie Coffey is an amazing investigative reporter with a knack for research and fact checking that is rare these days. Looking forward to reading more and watching the BLM house of cards tumble in honor of all the indigenous wild horses the government agency has heinously sold into the slaughter pipeline . . . It’s time for a deep investigation–done by an entity outside the BLM–to bust these crimes against the American mustang and champion the public who were fed lies by officials in charge of protecting our icons of freedom.


    • I couldn’t agree with you more, Anne Novak that it is time for an investigation outside the BLM of of the BLM or are we gonna be in this same place 10 yrs from now with questions surrounding the BLM and oil/gas/coal companies?


  17. Reading the above report, all flashed in my mind’s eye: The torture of our wild horses for (((GREED))) & we taxpayers are paying for it!!! The brutal, deathly helicopter round-ups, break-up of family herds, agony of gelding (with deaths), sterilization of mares & BLM proposing surgery> ovariectomy in-the-field! Trucked to long term holding (BLM/private), abuse at prisons (yes!). Marked for slaughter wherein horses are thought as “already dead” & more subsequent cruelty! The *torture & agony of the horse slaughter pipeline. The HEINOUS HELL of slaughter. More than WELFARE RANCHERS, they are milking the system, taking-the-cream-right-off-the-top in the $,$$$,$$$’s…millions…$,$$$,$$$’s!! More than unbelievable & SALAZAR is at the top of the chain. No wonder he wanted to punch-out the reporter, Dave Phillips, from ProPublica: “All The Missing Horses!!” THANK YOU for this well researched, detailed report! Now, well-armed for Congress & the media!! ! Justice for our wild ones ❤


    • This explains why they care less about how these horses are treated. They are all destined for slaughter. Remember how many violations were documented and remember how the Ag or USDA inspectors that were called out to the report sites just let the drivers go on with the injured horses to the US slaughter houses when they were being murdered right here in Texas and Illinois? Helicopter roundups with no controls set for the horse hating pilots. Remember the mare who was run off the cliff leaving her foal and the transcripts of that pilots conversation? It was clear then as it is now what the outcome would be. And they all have between milking the taxpayers for a lot of money for all of this. The budget needs to be trimmed in the Ag area, not social security or medicare. Money is paid into those funds every day that we go to work and should be paid out when we can no longer work or retire. This country is shit in my book. My dad would roll over in his grave if he knew what was happening today. He fought for this country in WWII, now it is a country run by the whores of the big white house.


  18. Exceptional reporting Debbie! Clear, concise and to the point. It’s time we demand an independent inventory of the horses in holding. Count, not visually from the air, count one by one. Round up the horses in OK and KS in LTH and bring them in to be counted by non-partisan auditors. Have them touch and mark each horse as it it counted. Make their lives miserable figuring out how to pay for the operation because they say they have no money. BS.

    Once we know the exact number then we can do the math and figure out how many years of prison time everyone involved is entitled to, including Bob Abbey, Ken Salazar etc. Even members of the advisory board as they must be complicit.

    I am sick of these people, their arrogance, the lying, their stealing. Justice must prevail.


    • I think we want possession of our horses. All of them, captives and the lands that have wild horses and burros on them. This should end here. If they try to transport any of our horses anywhere from this moment on they are doing so against our combined will and our voices.
      This is the line drawn in the sand now, BLM/DOI. Ya hear us? Don’t touch them anymore.

      And only because Canon City continues to be in the limelight; STOP REMOVING OUR WILD HORSES BY THE TRUCK LOADS. You didn’t stop even after Davis was exposed. You hear me, Lona and Fran? And be sure no more groups of horses die sudden deaths. And I do imagine the worst things because they always seem to come true!


  19. I always knew in my heart that this underhanded BLM were taking advantage of the Wild Horses. The U.S. Government just turns a blind eye towards the dirty underhanded dealings of the BLM and their kill buyers. We must not give up the fight to free the Wild Horses and keep them safe from the horse haters and kill buyers. R.T. Fitch and all the organization trying to save the wild horses, thank you for the real truth and all of your efforts. Not the twisted truth we get from the BLM and their cronies. We won’t just turn a blind eye on horrific treatment of the Wild Horses or any horses stuck in the slaughter pipeline.


    • The government doesn’t turn a blind eye, they ARE the perps. Mustangs are still treated as commodity, harvested, and exploited.


  20. The ACT has done nothing to protect OUR wild horses/burros. It only transferred exploitation to bureaucratic level. Holding facilities are feedlots for killbuyers and every animal that is removed from its legal domain is at risk. MORATORIUM, MORATORIUM, MORATORIUM – BLOCK THE TRAP PENS AND OPEN THE GATES
    Is anyone else losing sleep over this? When are we going to do something?


  21. 2 years ago, I went thru every quarterly report for all holding facilities in the US..BLM claims a death rate of 3% per year..using the oct and jan reports of additions and subtractions..I noted mare facilities death fractions, and gelding facilities death fractions(as they do not list sales in the subtractions from facilities…mare facilities reflected what would be a “normal” death rate..whereas geldings facilities were missing semi loads of animals in a 3 month period…I would like to point out -the preferance of kill buyers are large geldings, recent stallions which tend to be bigger and larger boned which enhances their profits..I would also like to point out, the horses that are held at Canon City come from the HMAs-which are home to some of the larger bodied, heavier boned and taller than average mustangs as a whole…such as the Adobe Towns..There is an accounting of horses held at LTH, and STH…but there is no documentation of open accounting as to the sales of horses from the facilities, which explains why this buyer who had LTH facilities would rather buy from holding..he gets paid by the documentation of how many horses are at his facility and there is a record..if you go outside of LTH it requires a FOIA to get the information because the BLM will claim “protection of privacy”
    Prior to these most recent cases of kill buyers at Canon City…there existed other cases of the same thing at this facility..Canon City should be closed down and all connected employees fired immediately..they had a responsability to be whistle blowers

    A reminder that BLM policy states there wil be no individual sales from LTH only semi loads and not by “choice”


  22. Thank you for this informtion. I truely will be making an appointment to see my Legislators. The information is so disappointing and until we DEMAND an accouting of all these horses and burros these low life devils will continue their backhand deals with the Bureau of Land Management. I have a new Rep in the House and plan on getting to his office with all this information. What is the purpose for branding these animals if they are just ignored. Why are those who truly are interested in their welfare giving the third degree when trying to adopt them while the Killers are given cart blanche to take what ever they want This must STOP! The problem with our groups is that we are spread all over this country and are not organized enough. We all need to work off one central organization to demand that our horses and burros be safe. Its pathetic when you have children express their positions thru letters and email to our Legislators and they are just put on hold. I don’t think 5-10 thousand letters should be ignored. It is a new day and a new Congress and we all have tons of work to do. I still say we need a GIGANTIC protest in Washington, D.C in the Spring. However, for now I can only do what I can as an individual for I know we can change things one person at a time if we do not give up. My only hope is that all those individuals involved in this tragic situation with our horses and burros end up in hell.


    • Well said, Gail. Agree with all. The children! And I am in the minority, but also acknowledge, a protest is needed in D.C.


    • Getting under an umbrella group is a must. Advocates need to speak for themselves, together. And we do need to have a gathering for strategy ASAP. No later than Spring. We need to centralize and organize and grow.


  23. I just sent this link to my Congressional Rep’s aide, who is a friend. His exact quote was. “This is INSANE.” He said he would do some additional research and let me know how to best proceed in getting Congressional attention to this. I am lucky that my rep in the house is an anti slaughter, pro animal rep. One idea is to immediately call your reps in Washington, DC and get the name of their primary aide, because you need to email them a link. Then send THIS!!!


    • Christy:

      Thanks for contacting your rep.

      But seriously….he/she doesn’t know?…needs some “additional” research?

      Wholee POOP!.

      You make an important point.

      Get the staffer that works the food and public lands legislation.

      For those in proslaughter district and states, demand recognition, investigation and resolution. Remind them that THEY represent you too.

      Don’t take NO for an answer….keep going back. Don’t quit.


    • I have to get offline right now, but got this response. I had asked for direction on first contact. This is what I have so far…Just another approach..”Hi Christy, I looked into this a little bit and I think the committee of natural resources would be a good place to start. The reason is that the BLM and the Indian Affairs group are both under the Department of the Interior. I’m pretty sure that the committee of natural resources has oversight over things like that. So what I would probably do is contact the chairman or if one of them is your congressperson (I see one from florida) then I would contact their DC offices about this. I wouldn’t call their district offices because they most likely strictly deal with constituent services and not legislation or oversight. But I would contact them to make them aware of this and to see if they would support doing something to stop it or bring attention to it. Here is a link to the committee….Let me know if you need more info…”


  24. The Whistles need to start blowing. A Congressional Investigation is long overdue:

    I.G.H.A. / HorseAid’s Bureau of Land Management News

    The First Public Signs of Internal Dissent…
    DENVER (CSM feed) — More than 40,000 wild mustangs roam on public lands in the West, federally protected as living symbols of American heritage. Since 1971, the Bureau of Land Management (under the “Wild Horse Annie Act”) has been responsible for maintaining mustang herds and administering a popular adopt-a-horse program. But allegations of criminal activities within the BLM – including slaughter-for-profit schemes – are casting a shadow over the agency.
    Former and current employees say shady dealings are customary in the BLM horse program. “The American public is being cheated out of millions of dollars a year,” says Steven Sederwall, a BLM law-enforcement agent who retired last year. “In 23 years as a cop, I’ve never seen anything like the depth of corruption I’ve seen in the BLM.” Last year, Mr. Sederwall and five former colleagues sent a nine-page letter to US Attorney General Janet Reno, detailing “an ever-growing list of felony criminal violations committed by the Bureau of Land Management.” Charges include BLM employees selling wild horses to slaughterhouses and rodeo circuits; falsified financial and horse inventory records; misappropriation of funds; and obstruction of justice during investigations.
    Bureau officials say the accusations are unfounded. “The vast majority of these allegations are up to 15 years old. These are not things that are happening now,” says Bob Johns, Washington spokesman for the BLM, a division of the Department of the Interior. Walter Johnson, chief of law enforcement for the BLM, says he has seen no evidence to support the charges. “I am not aware of either myself or any member of my staff doing anything inappropriately, or involving any criminal action. I will not comment on anything unless it is firsthand knowledge to me.” But in a June 1993 memorandum to the Interior Department inspector general, Mr. Johnson wrote regarding a federal investigation in New Mexico: “Through the initial phase of the investigation, it is apparent that administrative actions by some BLM wranglers and program administrators have not been in compliance with the direction and guidance provided…. In many of the adoptions and group adoptions reviewed, personnel from BLM apparently promoted the adoption of horses for commercial gain.” Federal law prohibits the government from selling wild horses to slaughterhouses and other commercial operations.
    To keep herd size in check, the BLM is charged with rounding up 6,000 to 9,000 wild horses per year and offering them for adoption. Adopters are required to pay a $125 fee and wait one year before taking legal title to a horse. The provisions are intended to reduce the incidence of profit-motivated adoptions. But sources inside the BLM say thousands of horses are taken illegally from rangelands each year. If money changes hands, it’s strictly off the books. As for documented adoptions, sources say backdated paperwork is a common tactic to give adopters quicker title to a horse. After one year, an adopted wild horse may be sold at will. A 1,000-pound horse will typically bring $700 to $900 on the slaughter market. An untrained riding horse, on the other hand, may sell for only $300 to $400.
    BUT those accusing the BLM of wrong-doing suffered a setback last month. The Justice Department has aborted a long-running investigation in Del Rio, Texas, which involved group adoptions of hundreds of horses arranged by two BLM wranglers. A federal grand jury was convened in 1994 to investigate allegations by unnamed neighbors that James Galloway, a BLM-contracted wrangler, had taken 36 mustangs to his father-in-law’s ranch, reportedly to fatten them for slaughter. Mr. Galloway also allegedly kept untitled horses in other locations. But no charges were filed against Galloway.
    John Murphy, assistant US attorney in San Antonio, says the case was dropped because it “lacked prosecutive merit.” Sederwall, who led the initial Del Rio investigation for the BLM, claims the agency is hiding something. “We’ve got all the evidence, but they successfully covered it up.” He contends that Galloway was ready to implicate BLM officials. “They couldn’t prosecute Galloway because he was going to turn evidence against the BLM. Galloway only did what they taught him,” Sederwall says. Sederwall says he was taken off the Del Rio case after he uncovered incriminating evidence against BLM management. He and 14 other investigators were ordered not to speak to the grand jury, he says. Eventually, these agents were all reportedly transferred, fired, or pressured into early retirement. Reed Smith, deputy state BLM director for New Mexico until he retired in 1994, maintains “BLM management fought the Del Rio investigation with everything they had.”
    Karen Sussman, president of the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros, says the problem is an inherent BLM conflict of interest. “The BLM manages for land and cattle. Traditionally, they’re committed to ranching. Not wild horses.” Ranchers, who pay the government to graze their cattle on rangelands, consider mustangs a competitor for forage, making wild-horse rustling a longstanding and accepted tradition in the West. Another federal grand jury is reviewing allegations of internal fraud in the Jackson, Miss., BLM office. The US attorney there would not comment on the investigation. But a BLM employee in the Jackson office says, “What this program has done in reality is make a few people very rich…. You can talk to rangers, special agents, BLM people all over the US, who have independently come to the same conclusion,” he says. “If a dozen people are hollering smoke, smoke, smoke, there has got to be fire.”


  25. Sounds like to me someone needs to go to those states that do not recognize the BLM freeze brands as brands and change those laws to make it mandatory that they are Marked and recognize them as true brands. We can hoot and holler all we want about wrong doing but in this case at least, it seems to me that the states who’s brand inspectors are not identifying wild horses as wild horses protected under the WH&B Act are just as complicit as anyone in the misrepresentation of the origin of the horses and the fraud of saying they wont be sold to slaughter yet they are. Those brand inspectors who refulse to document BLM horses and burros in my opinion, should be charged under federal law or fines as being part of the problem. That is a first step process in slowing this thing down and keeping wild horses out of the pipeline.


    • I couldn’t agree more Linda!!! I believe there is enough evidence to show they are breaking their own law on keeping these horses from going to slaughter.


    • I contacted brand inspectors in Northern NM and Southern Colo, directly to inform them of my adobe town wild horses, their numbers and that anyone caught transporting them or runnng them thru auctions(there is a brand inspector at auctions) were not authorised to do so and were in possession of stolen horses..about all that gets you is the ability to prosecute them as well as the thieves ..Many horse trainers I know carry a brand certificate tablet to fill in themselves for border crossings if they are checked..having hauled horses across the country…many crossings donot in fact check papers..they just ask where you are headed..however when I hauled horses to BC Canada to shows…I had to unload, pull blankets and leg wraps so they could match papers to the horses..I had to do nothing to bring them back into the US…The only time I was checked by state police was in Salt Lake Utah at truck stop where I was resting and watering the horses..I cannot understand the reasoning behind not putting a BLM freeze brand # on a brand certificate..the purpose is to be able to identify whether horses are being LEGALLY transported..check with the brand inspection dept in your states and lets see how they vary and what logic is being used to justify so we can argue with states that are breaking federal law if not state..however a bill of sale from the BLM, is title


  26. Debbie,
    This is fantastic work!! I was always looking at one of the other LT facility ranchers, but was certain J Simon was involved. Thank you for this confirmation on that!! Great job!


  27. YES and what about the 1700+ horses sold by Salazar himself to his friend in CO in Fall 2012!!! That is more recent and more startling in the numbers! They didnt even count babies by mothers sides so its even more… Where is the documentation on that, we know it happened???

    Its up to the American people to stop the genocide on wild horses. God is looking to us not the horses. We know better, we know how to. Greed is a very bad thing when it causes torture, pain, death and suffering. Fracking will bite you in the ass by the end of the day…it is not a safe solution. So we can stop killing the PROTECTED wild horses and burros for Fracking rights… enough already. Time to wake up. ME to WE (the me me me ideas are not going to work anymore!) OUR lands, OUR money, OUR horses… its not up to the energy companies…its up to us. STOP THE MADNESS. Let us all live in safety!


  28. I interviewed a LTH operator a few years ago in Oklahoma, for about 8 hours over two days. He gave a 7% annual mortality rate for his facility. This is extremely high. It is a number that paves the way out the back door. There is even more going on under the tip of this iceberg.
    Great reporting!!!


    • There is one in OK, a mare facility, that has shown a small but steady loss since June 2008 – 209 animals in a little over four years. This facility is the only Long Term Pasture listed that has not received any additional mares over that 4 year period. So that works out to about 1.43% per year for this facility only.

      The honesty in this facility’s reports might also be contingent on how old his mares are. A facility report issued by BLM in September, 2012 stated 18,103 of the horses held in LTP are 11 or more years old, while 14,409 are 5-10 years old – prime ages for adoption and sale without limitation. And I’d be wlling to bet the majority of those horses never even saw an adoption event.

      It’s too brutal to think that every Midwest LTP facility would be involved in something evil, that all these folks got on board to run a half-way station for kill buyers.


  29. The Committee on Natural Resources is the one that has always held up the wild horse bills. They certainly would have influence on this!! They would be a key but I have heard they are bought by the beef and mining lobbies.


    • Mar,

      In 2009 the Restore Our American Mustangs Act passed the House and was sent to the Senate.
      In 2012 the Corolla Wild Horse Protection Act passed the House and was sent to the Senate. Our horses are running into trouble in the Senate. Representative Nick Rahall (D) WV sponsored ROAM in the House.

      I think we need to look at the bills that are at least getting to and through committee, and who is sponsoring them successfully and unsuccessfully. Part of the art of politics is being able to convince your colleagues that the bill you are sponsoring is important to the country or to the people in your district. It is one thing to sign on to sponsor a bill or co-sponsor a bill and another to actually get behind it and push it through.


  30. first he needs to be charged then put in the state pen for at the most 8 year and then charge the blm in there to and fire every one of them with how they are handling the care all of that with the wild horses.

    Liked by 1 person

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