Horse News

Checkerboard Wild Horse Roundup Day 11: The Carnage Continues

Eye-Witness Report by Carol Walker ~ Director of Field Documentation for Wild Horse Freedom Federation

“The rider throws a loop and catches the foal, who bucks when he feels the rope then as it grows taut he is thrown to the ground…”

We are about 20 miles in from I80 on County Road 19 and about 1/2 mile from the trap which is on public land for a change. We can see the trap from here the back of it anyway but not the approach to it, that is on the other side of the ridge from us. They caught 105 horses here yesterday so just expect to get stragglers today. This area is so remote there is no cell service.

It is a beautiful day, we can see the mountains clearly, and we spotted a small band of horses just across the ridge, peacefully grazing , with no idea what fate awaits them. One helicopter flew over starting the search for horses.

Soon I hear a helicopter in the distance, behind the ridge that hides the trap. He goes back and forth several times, leading me to believe that he is having trouble getting the group he is driving into the trap. Suddenly, a lone black stallion pops up over the hill. Apparently he escaped the group, and he runs over the hill ignoring the helicopter, in the direction of the small group we saw on the hill.

Then finally the helicopter pushes the group behind the hill into the trap – I see many horses running to the panels, and then being moved into the adjoining pen with lots of dust. I see some greys but mostly bay, black and chestnut, typical for horses from Great Divide Basin.

Meanwhile the other helicopter is following another group that cuts across the hill right in front of us. We see a beautiful grey stallion bringing up the rear, and one foal in the middle. They disappear over a ridge, going away from the trap. I am thinking we will most likely see them again, and we do a few minutes later and they have gained more horses behind them. They are in dramatic silhouette, lots of dust boiling up and two foals now. They head down the hill toward us but the helicopter stops them, heading them the long way around the ridge to the trap, out of sight.

About an hour later we see another group head up a ridge with a sorrel stallion in front and a white mare moving more slowly than the rest of the group. Then we suddenly see a sorrel foal all by itself, come over the hill pursued by the helicopter. At first he is running, but slows to a trot then a walk, and seems bewildered. He stops and I notice that a rider is heading down the hill toward him. When he sees the horse and rider he starts running toward them. Clearly he wants to be with another horse and not stay all alone! The rider throws a loop and catches the foal, who bucks when he feels the rope then as it grows taut he is thrown to the ground, he gets up and goes along with the horse and rider very quietly all the way to the trap.

We are told that the roundup is over for the day, and they are loading the captured horses onto 3 small trailers and one large one and as the trailers drive down the road I see their faces in the trailer – they have no idea what awaits them at the end of their journey.

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    FoA Protests BLM Wild Horse Roundups in Wyoming
    September 24, 2014

    On Monday, as two helicopters ripped 20 stallions, 11 mares and five colts from their families at the Bar X District Line Trap in the Great Divide Basin Herd Management Area of Wyoming, Friends of Animals and supporters protested these criminal actions against America’s wild horses at the Rock Springs Holding Facility.

    As the organization waited for supporters from Kansas, Wyoming and Utah to arrive, members could see and hear foals whinnying to their families who they were cruelly separated from in the holding pens. A man on horseback chased one group of horses from one enclosure to another, trying to break their spirit and make them more “adoptable.”

    Fueled by the scene in front of them, around 10:30 a.m., 13 protesters marched from the public viewing area of the facility to the main gate leading to the holding pens carrying banners and signs and chanting, “Stop the roundups, stop the pain, BLM is to blame,” “Let them be, wild and free,” and “BLM lies, horses die” as BLM staff and local sheriffs looked on.

    Protesters also put up crime scene tape across the gate and used a megaphone to shout facts about why the roundups in the Checkerboard Herd Management Area of Wyoming are blatantly violating federal laws.

    The group then descended upon the BLM’s Rock Springs Field Office—where staff members engineer the horrific roundups happening in Wyoming—and entered the main lobby of the building with banners and posters, chanting and again making speeches through the megaphone. Edita Birnkrant, campaigns director for FoA, laid crime scene tape across the floor and on the front desk, before reading off more than a 100 names of people from all over the world who wanted to attend the protest but were not able to.

    Birnkrant asked if there was a BLM representative who would be willing to come out and speak with protesters but didn’t get a response.

    After leaving the field office, protesters went back to the holding facility to document the horses who had been rounded up that day, but waited until 4 p.m. and none of the 36 horses arrived. FoA did learn that in addition to rounding up 36 horses that day, two horses died.
    Sadly, as FoA was returning to the East Coast Tuesday, two helicopters gathered 30 more stallions, 35 more mares and 12 more colts at the Bar X District Line Trap in the Great Divide Basin Herd Management Area.
    Last week in Wyoming 179 wild horses had been ripped from their families due to the Bureau of Land Management’s criminal reign of terror. Hundreds more are set to be brutally removed off the land and imprisoned in barren holding facilities where many are then “adopted” and end up in slaughterhouses.
    FoA will continue to spread the word that endangered species status is only hope for Wyoming’s wild horses.
    Sept. 15 marked the deadline for when U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had to respond to Friends of Animals’ petition to list North American wild horses on public lands as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the best hope for the survival of wild horses in Wyoming and other states since the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act (WHBA), which was passed in 1971, has failed to protect our wild horses.
    Listing wild horses, which the BLM claims are non-native despite scientific evidence, as either threatened or endangered under the ESA would provide needed regulation to halt further exploitation of this species, particularly roundups removing the animals from their range.


    • Thank you for voicing our Wild Horse Warriors concerns by being our Boots on The Ground! Sad day for many wild horses…We tweeted your photographs and video’s all day!


      • I was part of this protest….when we were walking with our signs and shouting and voicing the truth toward the blm we KNEW that we were only a few people but we marched around like we were many because we knew that we were representing MILLIONS of like minded American citizens. We knew as well that there were people watching on FB and there was a tweet storm happening and that many many prayers were being sent as well…we all felt the support that was being poured our way. The energy was STRONG and it was because we were all coming together…the protesters on site and all of you that were supporting from afar. Thank YOU, it was a joint effort.


  2. I heartily dislike the separating of families, the scare tactics, the unfair round-ups, the BLM, those heartless helicopters flying so close to the horses, the deaths, and the conditions surrounding all of it. STOP IT!!!! I respect and support the protestor’s who were there to spread our feelings. You should listen to them!! No public notification of this round-up!!! The elimination of horses!!! STOP IT NOW!!! STOP THE PAIN!!! BLM IS TO BLAME!!!


  3. what good does it do? they continue to remove all of the horses anyway. I am so sick of BLM.. they just dont care..and they really dont care that we all do.


  4. Carol, I know your heart is breaking as you witness this atrocity against the wild horses that belong to you and me. These wild ones are not just numbers as BLM wants us to think and as the Cattoors definitely think of them … $$$. As you know, they are living, caring, thinking, intelligent, family oriented beings – devoting their whole lives to their families. My heart is breaking too.


  5. You will only have to watch a bit of this video to understand the attitude of the Rock Springs Grazing Association (RSGA) and their “very nice lifestyle” that they demand to have at the expense of all of the American people. Although they barely mention the wild horses, the speaker makes it VERY clear that money is ALL they care about and they will do (and have done) anything to promote and facilitate their “very nice lifestyle” … regardless of who or what might try to get in the way.

    The public lands do not belong to you, Rock Springs Grazing Ass. (and John Hay) … they belong to ALL the people of the United States. The campaign to exterminate the protected wild horses from the public land is a shameful act… especially when the motive is your “very mice lifestyle”.


  6. Have made numerous calls to many agencies regarding “This” round up. ALL BLM round ups are under the direction, and can only be changed, via US National Resources Committee who control public land an environmental regulations. This can only be done through legislation, which needs to be presented to be voted on. Was told for that to happen, Republicans set the hearing schedules would need to bring this to the leadership in the house for vote. From there, senators can weigh in and vote that these round ups stop. I received this Information from Senator’s office. Also told by Wyoming Gov’s Office, BLM Directly, Wyoming Chamber of Commerce to direcly call the White House at 202-456-1414 (wait to speak to a live human) OR 202-456-1111 to just reach the “comment line” directly. This is the most recent info. I have been given/advised via phone conversations when I asked how to address this issue to get it to STOP. Thank you. JM


    • thank you, JM, for sharing this information with everyone. phone calla show people are interested in this issue. we need to do everything we can.


    • The problem with this avenue is that we all have been writing, calling, emailing etc and the blm continues on….it just doesn’t work. Because our government is not run by the people OR for the people anymore. It is big money that sets the rules. I’m not saying to stop calling etc but don’t expect big results…we need to get the big wild horse and burro organizations that have the $ to go to Washington and lobby. We as normal citizens don’t have much power through our reps anymore. They aren’t hearing us. If we ALL joined forces, ALL of the big organizations as one we would be a force to be reckoned with. No egos clashing, etc, just ONE for the wild horses and burros.


  7. WWll
    354th Pioneer Mustang Fighter Group
    Fighter Aircraft
    For those who flew it, the North American P-51 Mustang was a fighter pilot’s airplane. To others, the name brings to mind one of the best fighter planes of World War II. Unlike other well-known and widely used fighters of that time, the P-51 was the first conceived during the war and built on the basis of combat experience.



  8. Radio Show

    Christine Porter from CLEAR THE BENCH ARIZONA joins the show at 7:30 pm CST to talk about the formation of this group and its mission.
    Toward the end that the Arizona judiciary remains impartial, apolitical, and able to dispense justice, we are organized to hold all judges, courts, commissioners, court officers and personnel accountable to the People and Constitutions of Arizona and the United States.
    Clear the Bench Arizona is located in Phoenix and works with many people who have been victims of the court system, Arizona State Bar and attorneys and is seeking to clear up and clean up the system from politics and profiting off of the people it is supposed to protect.
    Educate Arizona voters on the importance of judges observing principles of the “rule of law” in deciding cases;
    Educate Arizona voters on their right to non-retain judges who do not follow these principles;
    Evaluate judicial performance on the basis of the Arizona Constitution, established statutory law, legal precedent, & “rule of law” principles (as a means of providing substantive information to educate voters).
    Address the failure to correct documented misconduct in the recent past as the Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct is not a sufficient means of addressing Arizona’s judicial corruption;


  9. Thank You to all of you who were there to protest. I was there is spirit if not in body. I am very grateful for your voices which I know will be heard by many as we repost this wonderful protest. God bless the horses and all of you people and our millions of supporters.


  10. As day 10 of the Wyoming roundup concluded yesterday, 349 wild horses have lost their freedom. There have been 6 deaths reported, 3 of which were under the age of 6 months old. Two of these babies crashed into the bars of the holding pens, broke their necks and died. A third colt collapsed on the trailer and died. A necropsy showed scarred lung tissue, indicative of past pneumonia, meaning that this poor baby was forced to run in terror for miles with compromised lungs before collapsing and dying. A stark example of the inhumanity of our government’s policy toward wild horses.

    Photo of a mare protecting her foal who was too tired to continue running was taken during a roundup in the Blue Wing Mountain HMA in NV last summer.


    • The BLM and federal government “Managing to Extinction” harassment of our wild horses has put over 50,000 mustangs and wild burros in harms way. Now, we, the tax paying citizens, MUST step up to continue to fight to stop the roundups and in the meantime, save our wild ones from disease, imprisonment, starvation, torture, death from the “3 Strike” policy that most certainly means slaughter, and from an all ready over burdened economic crisis that has private citizens dumping their domestic horses into kill pens because of the lack of funds to pay high hay prices, etc. Contact your federal, state and local representatives to raise a voice for our wild ones. Spreading the facts about the deplorable BLM Hell holding facilities and the cruel roundups to everyone you know, especially non-horse people, is vitally important to our goal of STOPPING this insanity. Non-horse people are shocked when I share these posts or casually ask them if they are aware of what’s going on in the wild horse and burro world. They are as outraged as we are and can help us. Thanks for posting the truth as we all know, sometimes the truth hurts. It is these truths that will win the unknowing voters over to our side. A unified front to be reckoned with takes work, but is worth it. Thanks for posting the truth!


  11. Wish we had webcams at Rock Springs holding facility… the past three days have been raining/snowing and very cold, tonight the forecast is to drop below zero. Still no shelters there as far as I know, and no public admitted to allow those just caught to be “processed” and allowed to “settle” in. God help them all.


    • How many people would join me in taking supplies to create windbreaks and shelter to Rock Springs? How many more fricken horses have to die, how many more years are we going to be outraged by this but not DO anything??? Those blm bastards will let those horses stand out in that weather and suffer and freeze to death…we need to stake those losers out in those pens in the icy wind and see how long they live…


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