Wild Horse Education

Piceance Roundup Update

Phase 1 of the Piceance roundup was done via bait trap and captured 18 wild horses.

Phase 2 will be executed through helicopter drive trapping and began today, July 15. A WHE team member is on-site.

The Piceance East Douglas Herd Management Area spans about 190,000 acres. BLM asserts that 135-235 wild horses is the appropriate number to manage in the HMA. The agency estimates 1,385 wild horses currently occupy the HMA.

Governor Polis of Colorado has made several public statements reflecting concern over helicopter drive trapping during foaling season and made attempts to get BLM to work with certain advocates to expand the use of fertility control darting in lieu of capture. He has also requested that the State veterinarian be present to oversee welfare as an observer independent of the operation staff.

Wild horses will be shipped to Axtell in Utah. Canon City in Colorado remains closed after deaths of  more than 140 wild horses from illness in the facility, causing the facility to close for intake beginning in April of this year.

BLM began the operation today.

Totals as of 07_21_22:

Captured to date: 512 Wild Horses (192 Stallions, 225 Mares, and 95 Foals)

Shipped: 381 Wild Horses (135 Stallions, 167 Mares, and 79 Foals)

Deaths: 2.

We were told onsite one was “swollen knees.” On Facebook BLM Colorado stated the one was a 2-month old colt with a congenital deformity. At this time we do not know if this talk is about the same death. BLM CO is not listing causes on the formal update, nor fully informing observers onsite.

Newest report will appear at the top. Scroll down for earlier team reports.

There are a lot of of onsite observers at Piceance. Our team member returned to her “day job” and other projects. To follow daily totals you can go HERE to BLM interface.


25 Wild Horses (7 Stallions, 12 Mares, and 6 Foals).


41 Wild Horses (16 Stallions, 18 Mares, and 7 Foals)  were captured. No deaths reported.


76 Wild Horses (33 Stallions, 28 Mares, and 15 Foals)  were captured today. No deaths reported.

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75 Wild Horses (27 Stallions, 33 Mares, and 15 Foals)  wild horses were captured today.  Observers were moved further back, but could not return to the spot from the first day where they could see the run to trap. Observers could only see the trap pen clearly. As the day wore on trailers were moved and removed even the obscured view alleys and loading.

Temporary holding remains off limits to public viewing.

We were told the BLM Comprehensive Animal Welfare Team (CAWP) was onsite for two days. They would not meet with the public. They said a report will be posted online. They left the operation today.

This beautiful chestnut stud vaulted the trap and escaped. He took one last look back and fled.

Our team is still loading files and we will add more in the coming days.



4 Wild Horses (4 Stallions, 0 Mares, and 0 Foals). Observers were placed in the second observation location from yesterday and could only see a portion of the capture pen.

It was originally relayed to observers that wild horses had moved from the area and trap was being set. Late at night it was relayed to observers that they would be in this same location in the morning.


159 Wild Horses (63 Stallions, 71 Mares, and 25 Foals)  were captured on the first day of the operation. The day was often cloudy, but when the sun broke through things heated up quickly; into the mid  90’s. About 11 observers were present including children.

The original observation location was moved as the day wore on. Observers could not see the helicopter drive, only a part of the trap pen.

Our team member took a small tour of the area after operations ceased to see the range and waters. She is loading files into the night after a long day and will be back onsite tomorrow.

A popular band stallion in the area made a break. His youngest foal of 2022 is captured with the band.

In the video above, near the end, you can see the oil and gas infrastructure. The Piceance basin is very active in the oil and gas world. You can see production in the area HERE. (An interesting article in light of current news stories from 2009 states: Chevron cut production due to low market prices. Things have heated up since then. Nearly 1000 new permits were given in the basin in 2018.)

Help keep us in the field and in the fight.

Categories: Wild Horse Education