Wild Horse Education

Calico Roundup Update

“Hope” died after his feet literally began to fall off at Broken Arrow. photo copyright Laura Leigh

For roundup updates, scroll down to red text.

The 2022 roundup at Calico has begun. Once again wild horses are being shipped into facilities that are not open to public viewing. The same facility where a record number of deaths (including hundreds of spontaneous abortions) occurred in 2009/10.

The target for capture (for the over 584,101 acre complex) is 1,556 wild horses. The BLM claims the estimated population as of May 2022, is approximately 1,593 wild horses within and directly outside of the Complex. BLM plans to release 40 mares treated with PZP-22 at the end of operations.

BLM gather schedule

The post capture goal for the BLM is to reach what they call “low-AML” (the lowest appropriate management level) of 572 wild horses in the entire complex. The complex contains 5 Herd Management Areas (HMAs): Black Rock Range, Calico Mountains, Granite Range, McGee Mountain and Warm Springs.

This is the same BLM district where WHE and CANA have filed in court against outdated planning and a lack of public access at Blue Wing.

Cumulative totals:

Captured: 863 (330 Stallions, 400 Mares, and 133 Foals) 

Shipped to Broken Arrow (aka Indian Lakes): 776 (298 Stallions, 353 Mares, and 125 Foals)

Died: 26

BLM published reasons: 4-year old Black Mare, missing right eye – blindness; 4-year old Bay Mare,  previous puncture injury, deeply infected right rear fetlock; 3-year old Sorrel Mare, missing right eye – blindness; 17-year old Bay Mare, sway back; 6-month old Bay Filly, sway back. 4-year old Sorrel Stud, missing an eye – blindness; 20+-year old Sorrel Stud, BLM said “Previous Injury: Herniated Diaphragm Congenital; Evidence of previously broken rib and soft tissue injury.” 20+-year old Sorrel Stud, Dental Abnormality – Severe Tooth; 17-year old Bay Mare,  Blindness; Missing left eye; 4-year old Bay Mare, Blindness; Blind; 13-year old Sorrel Stud, Fracture: Chronic/Pre-Existing; Fracture left rear cannon bone; 14-year old Buckskin Mare, Blindness; Missing left eye; 20+-year old Red Dun Stud, Chronic: Deformity; Both front knees; 12-year old Dun Stud, Chronic: Deformity; Left front knee; 8-year old Bay Stud, Chronic: Deformity; Right Front Knee; 20+-year old Black Stud, previous Leg Fracture; Fracture to left front fetlock; 20+-year old Buckskin Stud, Blindness; 6-year old Cremello Mare, Blindness; A 6-year old Palomino Stud was put down, BLM said he was missing an eye; 20+-year old Black Stud, Pre-Existing fracture; left front knee; 6-year old Bay Mare, Pre-Existing fracture; left front knee; 2-year old Bay Stud, Defect/Congenital; Right front knee; 20-year old Bay Mare, Chronic/Pre-Existing-Fracture: Left back leg

To learn more about the BLM’s updated euthanasia policy click HERE.

Most recent update at the top, scroll down for earlier reports.

Sept 30: 61 (31 Stallions, 23 Mares, and 7 Foals)  captured. We have ben informed that “BLM has made numbers” and the roundup has ended. BLM is about 600 shy of the number placed on the schedule. BLM now says the target was 1,076.

Sept 29: 0 captured.

Sept 28: BLM did do a capture operation. 31 (15 Stallions, 12 Mares, and 4 Foals)  captured and 1 death reported.

Sept 27 & 28: BLM stated that the trap is moving and helicopter serviced. No capture expected.

Sept 27: 36 (15 Stallions, 19 Mares, and 2 Foals)  wild horses captured. 2 deaths reported: 20+-year old Black Stud, Pre-Existing fracture; left front knee; 6-year old Bay Mare, Pre-Existing fracture; left front knee.

Sept. 26: 25 (6 Stallions, 15 Mares, and 4 Foals) wild horses were captured and 1 death reported.   A 6-year old Palomino Stud was put down, BLM said he was missing an eye.

Sept 25: No capture, trap moving. 

Sept 24

16 (8 Stallions, 6 Mares, and 2 Foals)  wild horses were captured  (8 Stallions, 6 Mares, and 2 Foals) . BLM COR (in charge) has kept the trap at this location since Sept 16. Wild horses appear to be coming from far away with few runs each day. We believe all of the wild horses have been removed from this public land grazing allotment (and nearby) and trap is moving.

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Sept. 23

55 (25 Stallions, 23 Mares, and 7 Foals)  wild horses captured and 70 (15 Stallions, 39 Mares, and 16 Foals)  shipped to the off-limits facility Broken Arrow. 1 new death reported: 8-year old Bay Stud, Chronic: Deformity; Right Front Knee.


Sept. 22

71 (16 Stallions, 39 Mares, and 16 Foals) wild horses captured and 73 (37 Stallions, 23 Mares, and 13 Foals)  shipped to Broken Arrow.

2 reported to have been killed: 20+-year old Red Dun Stud, Chronic: Deformity; Both front knees; 12-year old Dun Stud, Chronic: Deformity; Left front knee.

Sept 21

60 (17 Stallions, 30 Mares, and 13 Foals)  wild horses were captured at the new trap location. Wild horses continue to primarily demonstrate good body condition for this time of year.

This grey broke from the first group and made an escape.

Today was supposed to include a tour of temporary holding. The tour was cancelled at the last moment with no explanation. We hope to be able to assess temporary tomorrow.

Sept. 20: BLM returned to capture 5 wild horses on the 4th day at this remote trap location: 1 stallions and his 4 mares. No new deaths were reported by BLM.

When BLM publishes a death online, they do not publish if the death was in field, at trap or temporary corrals. When observers ask on-site for information they are told to check the website. Do the personnel onsite know the website does not contain much info? Yes, they do. We cannot give you more detail on the 15 deaths to date that occurred onsite (to answer the questions we are receiving in the inbox).

We cannot give you any info on injuries or deaths at the processing (short-term corral) in Fallon, NV, either. No information is being provided on the wild horses shipped to Broken Arrow (aka Indian Lakes) and that information is no longer published online (post 2016) in any form. We cannot give you any info on the palomino colt that was lame (several of you have asked to adopt that colt). You can take action against the lack of transparency in BLM holding corrals HERE. 

Trap will move tomorrow.

Sept 19: 44 (16 Stallions, 21 Mares, and 7 Foals) as BLM continues to run the same trap (a lot of fences and gates horses move through). BLM shipped 36 more to the off-limits facility in Fallon. Wild horses continue to be driven through the domestic cattle as they are captured at the trap on private lands the BLM will return to again tomorrow.

3 more deaths: 6-year old Blue Roan Mare, Leg Fracture BLM said Pre-existing Fracture to left hind fetlock; 4-year old Cremello Stud, BLM said Blind in both eyes and cryptorchid; 25+-year old Black Stud, BLM said Leg Fracture (Pre-existing Fracture to right hind hock).

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Sept 18: 42 (17 Stallions, 18 Mares, and 7 Foals) wild horses were captured. BLM continues to push wild horses through a maze and long distances to reach this same trap location. It appeared a wild horse was being put down. We do not know if this horse will be in the morning list or the list for the next day. BLM simply says “check the website.” Once again BLM does not seem to want to give onsite observers any info. The website does not say where a wild horse dies (trap, holding, on-range). The website does not say when the horse was captured.

One death reported on website: 14-year old Buckskin Mare, Blindness; Missing left eye.

Youngsters coming in from this trap are limping. They are showing signs of the long runs on compressed roads. We would not be surprised if (behind the closed doors of Broken Arrow, Indian Lakes) this operation creates the same consequences from road founder this same crew has created in the past, (fatal hoof slough in youngsters like “Hope.) These deaths won’t be considered roundup related and will stay hidden from the public. You can take an ACTION item to address the off-limits facility. Click HERE.

Observation at temporary holding will only be allowed 2 days a week.

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Sept 17: 66 (23 Stallions, 34 Mares, and 9 Foals)  . 3 deaths reported: 17-year old Bay Mare,  Blindness; Missing left eye; 4-year old Bay Mare, Blindness; Blind; 13-year old Sorrel Stud, Fracture: Chronic/Pre-Existing; Fracture left rear cannon bone.

Above: Although the trap itself was out of sight, you can see that wild horses are coming off the public lands allotment and the cows stay out. 

Sept. 16

93 (41 Stallions, 39 Mares, and 13 Foals) wild horses were captured in the heavily fenced between Black Rock and Warm Springs. The chopper was gone for a very long time pushing and grouping bands (probably through the gates). The horses looked tired by the time they got to trap.

There were only 2 runs with no access given to see trap or temporary holding corrals.

These wild horses will be shipped in the morning to the off-limits corrals on Indian Lakes Rd in Fallon NV (Broken Arrow).

An ACTION item is included in yesterdays piece about the off-limits facility. Click HERE.

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Above: Broken Arrow (aka Indian Lakes) is closed to public viewing. But you can find a few places where you can shoot through and see some of the captives from Triple B, newly arrived from Calico and those from various other HMAs kept behind the closed doors. It did appear that one of the horses kept at Broken Arrow (where there was an AQI index of “hazardous smoke” was either experiencing colic or miscarriage.

Sept 14 and 15. 

BLM shipped the rest of the wild horses captured on the northeast side to Broken Arrow (Indian Lakes) and moved trap and holding to the southwest side now that most of the people and debris from Burning Man has been cleared out. A large Covid-19 spike left the few businesses in Gerlach, NV, closed after Burning Man.

Long report and action item, click HERE.

Sept 13: We were told a no fly day; shipping and moving holding and trap West. At the last moment, BLM decided to fly without notifying observers.

23 (9 Stallions, 12 Mares, and 2 Foals)  were captured and 2 died. 4 year-old stud and a 20-year-old.

Air quality is being impacted by California wildfire smoke blowing into NV.

Sept 12: 54 (24 Stallions, 21 Mares, and 9 Foals)   wild horses captured. Trap approx. 2 miles away. Temporary holding and trap located in the same place. No tour of trap or holding allowed as BLM placed them on the small segment of private property of the permittee and not on the public lands allotment. 90 (36 Stallions, 39 Mares, and 15 Foals) were shipped to Broken Arrow.

Sept 11: 96 (38 Stallions, 42 Mares, and 16 Foals)  were captured, 0 shipped. 3 deaths reported: 3-year-old Sorrel Mare, 17-year-old Bay Mare, 6-month old Bay Filly.

Sept. 10: 85 (28 Stallions, 42 Mares, and 15 Foals)  wild horses were captured, 43 (0 Stallions, 28 Mares, and 15 Foals) shipped to Broken Arrow. 2 deaths reported 2: 4-year old Black Mares.

Help keep us in the fight.


The (Tri-State) Calico Complex is one of the few large and remote areas that became very well-known to the public over a decade ago. A roundup at Calico, on the heels of the 2009 operation at the Pryor Mountains (the home of the now deceased Cloud the Stallion of PBS fame), brought stark contrasts to light.

At Calico a select list observers were only allowed in once a week. Most observers only allowed in once for the entire operation. The wild horses were trucked to a holding facility that was still under construction and off-limits to the public, Broken Arrow (aka Indian Lakes). The treatment of Clouds herd stunned a nation. The treatment at Calico, stunned even the most seasoned advocates.

While doing a story for the now defunct Horseback Magazine, our founder saw a small colt run with a helicopter 5 feet off his back. During a tour of the facility for a story for the magazine, she saw the same colt dying from hoof slough (his feet were falling off). The experience impacted her deeply. She began to expand her volunteer work against horse slaughter to focus entirely wild horses and edited a short film (on a broken laptop) after Calico. Later that year she founded this organization.

After Calico (and all the bad press) BLM began referring to the Fallon, NV, facility as Indian Lakes, abandoning the name Broken Arrow. It is common for BLM to change the way they reference something so a Google search does not bring back the past. Another example is the 2011 “Tuscarora” roundup that they now simply reference as the Owyhee (no matter which area they are in) after chasing advocates around in the desert and threatening them with arrest (even though the advocates held a court order that said BLM needed to let them see operations).

In the following years policy began to change after relentless litigation; the first humane handling standards were created and a daily public access policy was created. Closed door facilities began to do tours for the public. On range survey work began to shut down roundups. In 2013, we entered the years of the lowest removal numbers in history that lasted through 2016.

All that changed as backdoor deals began and a group (later known as the Path Forward) used political influence and expensive lobby teams to have their plan for our wild horses incorporated into the Bureau of Land Management 2020 plan. Over the last few years we have hit the highest numbers of wild horses and burros removed since the 1971 Act passed, big money partnerships and an expansion of fertility control that includes fast-tracked sterilization. Our wild ones were truly sold-out by the biggest players of political games.

2009/10 Calico foal born in holding, separated from mom, starved before being euthanized by BLM.

This operation is being run by the Winnemucca district of the Nevada BLM.

The “Tri-State Calico Complex” butts up against Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge to the northwest, the Surprise Complex and Twin Peaks to the West and Buffalo Hills to the southwest. When you see one of these areas on the roundup schedule you can expect the others to hit shortly after; BLM squeezes the area like a tube of toothpaste. This is what we saw in 2022: Surprise kicked off the 2022 fiscal year, Buffalo Hills kicked off the summer and Calico ends the fiscal year. (note: the HMAs that comprise Blue Wing are to the southeast.)

Categories: Wild Horse Education