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Antelope Roundup Updates (week 2 and 3)

The Antelope Complex Roundup targets 2200 wild horses.Week one: 404 wild horses captured (155 Studs, 175 Mares, and 74 Foals), Deaths: 2 You can see background and daily fast updates from week one HERE. 

Multiple collisions with barbed wire, high speed chases, a chopper appearing to knock over a wild horse, a baby trampled and more, this roundup is a grueling illustration of the tragic neglect BLM has afforded the humane handling policy.

The roundup schedule has truly accelerated to levels we have not seen in a decade. Multiple roundups in multiple states will be taking place at the same time. Many of these operations wont have much notice and the schedule will continue to change rapidly.Help keep us in the field and in the courts.Thank you. 

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FOLLOW Week two and three updates below, most recent will appear at the top of page. 

Cumulative totals for the operation to date, Aug 21 official BLM count release (number captured since Aug 2):

Wild horses captured to date: 1492 (520 Studs, 699 Mares, and 273 Foals)

BLM website notes 6 deaths: 2 week old colt, 8 year old mare (colic), 20 year old stallion (heart failure), 6 year old mare BLM claimed was blind, 11 year old Buckskin Stallion BLM put down because they said he was blind, 4 year old Bay Stallion was put down, BLM stated he had an unspecified deformity.

Shipped: 1473 (516 Studs, 689 Mares, and 268 Foals)

The “dailies” will update frequently as video and images are edited. 


This stallion, and 4 of his band, escaped and remain free. This years colts appear to have been captured, but last years still run the range with him.

My daddy taught me to fly, but it was not enough in the chaos of the chase. This beautiful baby was captured as his father led 4 of his band of 10 to freedom.

Day 20:

We estimate only about 10-13 wild horses actually went into the trap (we could not see the actual trap and, if we can not see it, BLM does not tell us what happened). Official count states 13:  (1 Studs, 7 Mares, and 5 Foals).

During the fist run a foal was run over, rose and ran with family into the trap. The foal appeared to be “off” on the rear. (we are just getting in and need to offload all images and video. we will post a full update, including the foal mentioned above, when the count is confirmed.)

Earlier, today on our Facebook page we began to broadcast live the third attempt at the trap of a black stallion that escaped with 4 of his band members (4 appeared to be captured). As we began the live broadcast the run was called off and we have been getting emails asking about him… are they still free? YES.

The operation was called off due to wind and few horses left in the area. These horses were all of amazing body score and vigor. It has been said, by locals throughout the years, that the permittee in this area has always had a lot of control.  It appears that there may have been some small areas in each HMA in this complex where drought created a desperate situation and BLM used it to fund a large scale removal throughout the complex. We estimate the cost of this operation at well over $2 million dollars. (We will FOIA all costs. However, the agency has not answered a FOIA from us in years, just delay. More on that soon. )

We will add video and images as we update after the daily count is confirmed.

Our team will be back in field tomorrow.

Day 19: WHE team members were at both trap and holding, the only public onsite today. 

76 (16 Studs, 47 Mares, and 13 Foals) captured.

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In other news:

Our team met with BLM National over our complaint regarding ongoing issues with the CAWP policy and multiple deficits in practice. We will update you as time allows. 

Day 18: same trap as yesterday, some of the haze had lifted. 71 (25 Studs, 33 Mares, and 13 Foals) wee captured and an 11 yea old stud was put down.

Wild horses are captured and at trap loaded onto a stock trailer, then loaded onto a semi to be taken to a temporary corral for sorting. Then they are loaded back onto a semi and shipped across the state to Palomino Valley Center.

Day 17: 87 (23 Studs, 46 Mares, and 18 Foals) wild horses were captured in the smokey haze.

WHE has a new volunteer helping document roundups. One of the runs was a back and forth with multiple attempts to get the horses into the trap. Our volunteers are not professional cameramen hired to go take pictures; our volunteers often learn the equipment as their dedication takes them on their personal journey. One of the hardest things to convey to the public at home are these long runs, because they are so long. We edited down over 35 minutes of video into 5 minutes so we could load it (in field internet is a challenge). We left her voice on the edit as she speaks primarily to her camera her reaction to the long drive.

A few pictures from one of the very few visits to the temporary holding at the roundup. 

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Day 16:

29 (17 Studs, 9 Mares, and 3 Foals) were captured.

The death toll now sits at 5 wild horses. BLM put down an 11 year old Buckskin Stallion stating he was blind.

Day 15:

114 (35 Studs, 55 Mares, and 24 Foals) wild horses captured. Temps at ground level of over 100 degrees, ambient between 90-96. (We will have more on temperatures, and what it all means, soon)

We are receiving questions about the livestock permittees and “exactly what does it mean when the agency claims over ten years” of voluntary non-use for livestock, and appears to blame wild horses, when we know cows and sheep have been out in the complex the last ten years” ? We also know mining has been approved and expanded.

We have asked BLM for copies of all livestock permits (and any changes), monitoring and rangeland health assessments. We will update you soon.

Day 14:

Week 2 ended with an additional 52 (20 Studs, 21 Mares, and 11 Foals) captured.

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Observation continues to be very far from trap. The last two days have seen significant haze from smoke blowing in from California fires. As of last night, ai quality in the area was considered unhealthy.

Our team has been onsite since the beginning of this roundup. We were given a mere 3 days notice. A big “thank you” to our team members that changed plans on a dime.

Mare attempts to escape trap with her foal

Day 13:

The distance between observers and wild horses is increasing. Observation was over 2 miles from trap.

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This mare made a valiant attempt to escape with  her foal. Two ropers and the helicopter were used in pursuit to rope her and her foal. She eventually collapses. She rises again. She is then dragged into a trailer and taken away. (We will be editing a “roundup in review” video. Loading/uploading/etc large files has logistical challenges in field.)

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NOTE: In an extremely absurd statement in response to our documentation a BLM public affairs officer conveyed to the state office and public, that because we are cropping pictures (enlarging them) we are “doctoring” photos. The photos are simply enlarged. We did not add Heath Ledger as the Joker into the pilot seat of the helicopter; nor did we move the position of the horse or chopper. The chopper was flying fast and dangerously close to the horses in violation of CAWP and a 2011 court order for an area included in the EA. 

If the agency feels the process of enlarging a photo, in order to determine what happened, makes the image unreliable… then the agency is providing inadequate access to capture (also litigated in the courts successfully by WHE). So either take the incidents in the documentation seriously or provide better access.

Stop gasping at straws and making excuses.

Some of the contention can be found here: https://wildhorseeducation.org/2021/08/13/antelope-the-foal-video-and-more-barbed-wire/

Day 12:

88 wild horses were captured (27 Studs, 46 Mares, and 15 Foals). We are at a new trap location. Our representative is still about a mile (or more) from trap.

She can not see the actual capture pens (again). We did ask to see the trap configuration (we keep notes on trap type) and when the day ended and everyone was leaving, were allowed to approach into the draw.

A few horses came from the draw by observation

We believe we will be at this same trap tomorrow.

121 (93 Studs, 28 Mares, and 0Foals) shipped to Palomino Valley Center north of Reno. We believe that tomorrow will be the last day horses ship to PVC and BLM will begin to ship the rest to Axtel in Utah.

Day 11:

52 wild horses (20 Studs, 24 Mares, and 08 Foals) were captured today in another day of “barbed wire.” Our observer sat in the cowpie sea as wild horses were stampeded along the barbed wire fence (at points obscured by jute). Once again there were collisions like the one in the video below.

Instead of addressing issues of real safety concerns, like barbed wire, the agency feels that if injuries are minor (according to their assessment) they do not have to do anything to prevent repeat injuries that have the potential to be a major injury.

These are the exact people the current version of the CAWP policy leaves in charge of humane handling.

It is rather absurd that an observer with a camera presents a severe safety risk and is usually held so they can not even see the actual trap… but barbed wire is “no real safety issue.”

You can take action against abuse by clicking HERE. 

Day 10:

222 wild horses captured (89 Studs, 99 Mares, and 34 Foals)

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Observation was literally in a sea of cowpies. 

Tangled in barbed wire

This is the second trap that BLM has set (that we know of) at the Antelope Complex that uses barbed wire. At the trap days 3 and 4 the jute was literally simply laid over barbed wire. Here, we can see wild horses run down the barbed wire fence as a (kind of) arm of a wing. You can see the jute on the other side forming a type of “alley.” There is a juncture where the jute on the near arm beings (either simply draped over or posted).

BLM claimed the wire was clearly flagged “everywhere.” As you can see in the pictures there is no obvious flagging and/or jute simply drapes the barbed wire. Our observer asked multiple times to be allowed to inspect where the horse went through and, at this writing, has been denied.

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Even with a horse caught in wire, the pilot continued down the alley, low, over the flailing horse. The horse did rise and slowly disappeared. We do not know if the horse was captured later in the day. We are not close enough to trap and are not visiting holding each day (BLM says temporary is too far too see each day).

NOTE: We are still transferring files from the field to the desk to be marked, sorted, archived and posted on the site so you can see some of what is going on at the roundup. We will be uploading more video and mages from the last few days (and days to come). We are also in the process of answering legal briefs on some of our active cases and logging new complaints. 

We are not a federal agency funded by tax-dollars. Nor are we a million dollar org with a staff. Please bear with us as we work as fast as we can. 


Day 9:

136 (50 Studs, 65 Mares, and 21 Foals) wild horses captured as BLM continues to move south through the complex.

EXTREMELY aggressive flying by one of the pilots appears to have knocked over a wild horse after her baby was trampled. More HERE: https://wildhorseeducation.org/2021/08/11/it-appears-chopper-knocks-over-wild-horse-at-ongoing-roundup/

We are editing video and images as fast as we can.

EDITED TO ADD: Video of the foal trampled in this un was aded here: https://wildhorseeducation.org/2021/08/13/antelope-the-foal-video-and-more-barbed-wire/


Video added to demonstrate the speed of events illustrated in still images below.

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Day 8:

52 wild horses captured (13 Studs, 28 Mares, and 11 Foals)

2 more have died. BLM stated a 6 year old Bay Mare was blind so she was euthanized and (it appears) a 20 year old stallion suffered fatal heart failure.. 

Intense pressure from the chopper. Chopper came extremely close at very high speeds on multiple occasions. More than one wild horse fell during high speed changes in direction. One fall included a foal that was trampled. Ou representative is the only member of the public present.

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The mare that took a hard and fast fall rose and followed her family into the trap.

We are reviewing all of our images and video from the day (and this operation) and have passed it on to our CAWP legal team.

The documentation has been passed off to our legal team for review.
Why wont the agency review, revise and enforce the humane handling policy? It took litigation to get them to even create a policy. Will it take legal action to get them to take this seriously?
We will add more images and video as edits complete.

The roundup schedule has truly accelerated to levels we have not seen in a decade. Multiple roundups in multiple states will be taking place at the same time. Many of these operations wont have much notice and the schedule will continue to change rapidly.Help keep us in the field and in the courts.Thank you. 

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Learn more:

Antelope Complex roundup updates

Roundups Accelerate As BLM Gives More Gifts To Livestock

More Removals Plans Approved (WHE active legal actions)

Take Action

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