Antelope South (Roundup Update)

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The Antelope Complex roundup is being conducted as two distinct operations in 2023, a deviation from historic practice. The operation in the South Complex targets 1,107 wild horses. The last operation occurred in this complex in 2021 (team coverage). 

The BLM paperwork (Environmental Assessment or “EA”) for this roundup also includes the Triple B Complex (many of you remember last years roundup. The numerous ways BLM segments this vast area for removals illustrates the scope and intensity of the largest EA in the nation; at the completion of the operation nearly 10,000 wild horses will have been captured since approval 7 years ago. For more details on the 2023 Antelope Complex roundup you can read our “before the roundup” piece here.

Just as every horse rescued matters, how every wild horse or burro is treated during capture matters.  As we fight to keep them on the range, receive a fair share of resources and equity in the planning process, we continue our work to stop abuse. 

WHE is running three team members in the field (on range, off-site and at operation).  As each team reports in, edits are completed on video/images and loaded, we will update you. 

See Antelope North coverage HERE.

We think BLM spilt these into two different roundups (never did that before) because some of the highest death numbers occur in this area, specifically under the paperwork for these roundups.

We filed litigation  and our team is updating each day on our main page (scroll down to articles). 

Cumulative Totals (will update daily)

We are updating this page. See main website for continued updates after week 1,

Captured: 963
(312 Stallions, 440 Mares, 211 Foals)    

Shipped: 856
(257 Stallions, 403 Mares, 196 Foals)

Animals Treated with Fertility Control: 0

Wild horses are being shipped to Palomino Valley.

Released: 2

1 Stallion (BLM is counting a stallion that escaped from holding as a release… even though the chopper returned to the same trap the next day and he is likely to be recaptured) 1 Mare (that also escaped and is likely to be recaptured and create a fictional post-operation statistic).

Deaths: 9

Sorrel foal died in holding: colic, 4 year old Brown mare died unexpectedly: fractured neck at trap, a second Sorrel foal died in holding from dehydration, 6 year old Sorrel mare died unexpectedly: fractured neck. Sorrel foal died due to preexisting condition: umbilical hernia, Mare broke her neck at trap, stallion broke his neck during loading. 20 year old Sorrel mare; Death (Acute/Unexpected); lameness, left rear leg. Sorrel foal (male); Death (Chronic/Pre-existing); club footed, both front feet

Please note: BLM does NOT consider the colic roundup related and the death will not be added to roundup related statistics. EDIT 071123: BLM changed the category of the foal death (colic) from chronic to acute (roundup related)

Action item active: A heatwave is heading this way. Join us in asking for a suspension of operations due to heat. Click HERE.

Updates will appear newest at the top and edits will occur frequently as information is available. 

Our update today is a little late. We lost an old friend (Palomino Stallion) at the North operation after he snapped his leg and was pursued. You can see it HERE. We are heartbroken. 


Where are the babies? Our focal article today on notations where foals are probably missing,

69 (25 Stallions, 33 Mares, and 11 Foals) captured at south trap and 2 more die: 20 year old Sorrel mare; Death (Acute/Unexpected); lameness, left rear leg; Sorrel foal (male); Death (Chronic/Pre-existing); club footed, both front feet

Long form report


Headlines of broken legs and broken necks hit national news today from the roundup.

68 (28 Stallions, 30 Mares, and 10 Foals) were captured at south trap.

Long form here.


Heat waves this time of year can also result in monsoonal rains.

South trap captured: 28 (8 Stallions, 14 Mares, and 6 Foals).

So far 7 have died at south trap.

Long form report and video HERE. 


A mare escapes at least 3 times. During one escape, she waits for her stallion to join her, he tries and cannot jump pen… and she leaves.

Captured: 119 (39 Stallions, 54 Mares, and 26 Foals)

Total at the South trap now stands at 798 (251 Stallions, 363 Mares, 184 Foals)  captured of the 1,107 targeted. 

There have been 7 deaths and 4 orphan foals from the south trap in 10 days. 

Long form report with video HERE. 


BLM captured 12 (2 Stallions, 7 Mares, and 3 Foals) at the south trap, the trap that has been pushing hard and hit nearly 3/4 of their target number in the first week (after being approved to operate for 8). We hope they continue to slow down. 



There were 2 broken necks from South trap today. Long form update HERE.


Babies, babies, babies as BLM pushes at the south trap as dangerous heat index hits. 

91 (28 Stallions, 43 Mares, and 20 Foals) wild horses were captured.

A Sorrel foal died due to preexisting condition: BLM says due to an umbilical hernia. An umbilical hernia in and of itself doesn’t kill you. BLM did not say if the baby was euthanized or had trouble breathing and dropped dead.

Activities at the trap began when the heat index was entering the “caution zone.” By noon the index began to edge toward the extreme caution zone.

At temporary holding our observer saw both a mare and a foal suffering severe road founder (a condition that causes lameness after being run). We will update the report later and let you know if they made it through the night.

More coming in an extended article later today about what we are doing at Antelope and why.


Babies, babies, babies, is the theme for this roundup.

BLM pushed really hard at trap and operations continued until around 3 p.m. staring at dawn. 149 (38 Stallions, 72 Mares, and 39 Foals) wild horses were captured.

BLM onsite was continuing to tell our observer that temperatures were under 95 degrees (in the shade). BLM does not seem to understand that the heat/health warnings are not measured by temperature, but by heat index. The heat index crossed into the “extreme caution zone” at trap around noon.

In one more absurdity, it appears BLM is counting this mare as a release after she escaped trap (when multiple horses have escaped trap). Unless in their daily report they mean another wild horse escaped from temporary holding. In addition, this mare is likely to be recaptured tomorrow and not remain on the range leading to misleading statistics.

They need to get much better at communication and reporting. (You can scroll down to see the escape from temporary).

Another death has occurred. BLM reports that “6 year old Sorrel mare died unexpectedly: fractured neck.” BLM does not say if it was at trap or at holding. Could it be because BLM pushed to capture as many as they could?

We are working on our weekend update and will include video published and not yet published in the wrap of the first week.

Later today we will be publishing a heat index monitoring page so you can follow along with us and will link it HERE.


66 (19 Stallions, 31 Mares, and 16 Foals) wild horses were captured.

Last run of the day, a stallion jumped panels and escaped.

BLM keeps talking about how nice the weather is while the news media keeps telling us a record breaking heat wave has begun and it is dang hot out there. Maybe it is because they only take temperatures in the shade?

Another foal has died. A sorrel died of dehydration. Maybe BLM should not be rounding up during a heat wave during foaling season?

Our team is back in the field.

We ask that the public learn more about the Heat Index and join us in trying to get these roundups suspended. Click HERE.


Observation at the new trap is both far away and obstructed, We cab boil the say down into 9 runs in one minute… and a second video of those that evaded trap near the end of day and were recaptured.

55 (19 Stallions, 22 Mares, and 14 Foals) wild horses captured at new trap location.

45 (0 Stallions, 28 Mares, and 17 Foals) shipped.


Extremely young foals continue to be driven by helicopter into trap with their families as BLM squeezes out a third day at this trap site in the allotment of an influential permittee.

It is actually foaling season in this area through August (BLM does not collect data on site-specific foaling seasons. Instead, BLM uses an anecdotal observation from the 1970s to determine foaling season, a time they are forbidden to use the helicopter drive trap method.

67 (22 Stallions, 28 Mares, and 17 Foals) were captured. 

Due to the number of videos and images, we have loaded a long form report with multiple videos and an important action item ahead of the heat wave. We need your help to suspend this operation. Click HERE. 



Above: When he can’t deal with the pressure of the holding corral, stallion launches himself over the rail and heads back home…. where the chopper will continue to capture wild horses in the morning. We added text in case some of what is going on is hard to see due to the distance we are documenting from and the low vantage point we have, 

BLM captured 75 wild horses (25 Stallions, 31 Mares, and 19 Foals) as the wind began to kick up during the second day of operations in a grazing allotment for cattle and sheep. Operations in the North had been called off due to wind.

BLM is counting the escape as a release… even though choppers are back in the air and he is likely to be recaptured. Adding him to that column will make an assumption that he remains on the range post-roundup in statistical information.

A sorrel foal died of colic. That is all the info BLM Ely provides. No age, no time of day and they are ruling colic a pre-existing condition. Unlike the recent Reveille roundup where BLM gave some information from the vet report, Ely provides none. There are over 70 different types of intestinal problems that cause colic symptoms, and most are acute conditions caused by a stressor. But BLM does not include the death of this foal as roundup related in statistical databases. EDIT 071123: BLM changed the category of the foal death (colic) from chronic to acute (roundup related)

BLM Ely notes 3 “leppy” foals went to foster care. Leppy is a term that is derived from orphaned cattle. Does that mean 3 orphans came in? No. BLM uses the term to describe a foal that does not pair up with a mare in holding (many due to stress on mares) and any really small foal captured that is in need of additional care. It can also refer to an actual foal that was orphaned on the range after family was pushed off by helicopter and it was found alone later. But BLM never describes circumstances.

To see more of the holding facility used at this massive and unusual operation, click HERE

126 (45 Stallions, 58 Mares, and 23 Foals) shipped to an off-limits to the public facility.

There is so much more we can say and show you i n this daily report. We will include the information in the “week one” wrap ups coming soon.


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On the way to the morning meet zone, our observer received a call about someone taken to the hospital and overshot the location by a long shot. As she turned around she saw the convoy and jumped in behind them to head to trap. On the way, a band of wild horses was by the side of the road.

This band was just over the rise from where the trap would be. She was struck hard by how fast their lives were going to change and she lingered and the convoy sped away. Many people only know these remote herds when a chopper flies. Our team members have visited these areas often. This part of the complex has both cattle and sheep grazing allotments and the permittee is an old former mustanger.

After surviving a harsh winter where the BLM in this area approved the feeding of hay for domestic livestock (not horses), the horses finally get to enjoy the bounty a hard winter can bring. For this band the peace will be shattered in a few short moments.

Because she had lagged behind, our observer could not just drive to the trap. Our observer parked in a location at holding she has stayed at many times before (after checking in with the ranger and informed to stay at holding) where she knew she would have cell signal to receive any messages  and still be able to document some handling for review.

But that ability was rapidly restricted. Full report from holding HERE.

128 were captured on the first day. BLM reports that temperatures hit 93 at trap. They exceeded 98 at temporary holding. 

A 4 year old mare died from impact with panel at the trap. 

Temperatures hit over 98 degrees at temporary holding one valley over from trap location. 

Addressing some misinformation:

BLM did not do a flyover count prior to this roundup. 

Yes, (technically) they did. They say a “helicopter survey” was done in March of 2023 and then created an “estimated” population based on the observation.

What BLM has not done is release the data from that flyover and disclose any modeling method used to achieve their estimate. 

Please join us in sending a letter to BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning. 

BLM must be required to provide post-winter data to the public, posted openly on their website, for each herd they place on the removal schedule. BLM must demonstrate that removal numbers are based on data that has been made public and not that removal numbers are simply being carried forward to appease profiteers and politics. 

Click HERE to send your letter.

Thank you for keeping us in the fight!

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Categories: Lead, Wild Horse Education