2021 Centennial Herd Area Emergency Wild Horse Gather

Wild Horse and Burro Logo

Purpose of Gather:   

The Centennial Herd Management Area (HMA) Emergency Wild Horse Gather is necessary due to the lack of forage and water resulting from drought and two August 2020 fires that burned approximately 45,000 acres within the Naval Air Weapons Station – China Lake (NAWSCL).  Prolonged drought has impacted spring recharge to the horses’ local water sources; this combination of factors puts the wild horses in distress to the point of being inhumane. The California Desert Protection Act, Public Law 103-433-October 31, 1994, Section 805(g)(4) designated the Secretary of the Navy responsible for managing the wild horses and burros located on NAWSCL lands; such management is in accordance with laws applicable to management on public lands.  The NAWSCL coordinates management of the Centennial HMA and Slate Range Herd Areas with the BLM under a Memorandum of Agreement between the base commander, Navy Region Southwest, and the BLM, Ridgecrest Field Office.   

Details of the Gather: 

The Centennial HMA wild horse gather is scheduled to take place Saturday, October 9 through Sunday, October 17, using a helicopter and wranglers to move up to 250 horses into capture sites. If the animals are not removed, some will likely not survive until the next gather tentatively scheduled for next year. Gather dates are flexible and may conclude earlier if the 250 animals are collected prior to October 17.  The capture sites will all be located on the NAWSCL and strategically located to minimize the distances the horses will travel, based on condition of the animals, topography, and weather.  The animals will be moved by helicopter at a slow pace to reduce the stress on the horses. The length of daily gather operations will vary each day.  

Public Observation:  

Due to the gathering operations taking place entirely on base, there will be no public viewing opportunities.  However, the BLM Ridgecrest Field Office invites members of the public to view the gathered horses at the Ridgecrest Regional Wild Horse and Burro Corrals daily from 3 – 4 p.m. beginning on Sunday, October 10 through Sunday, October 17. 

Adoption Information:  

Wild horses removed from the Centennial HMA will be made available for adoption or purchase at the Ridgecrest Wild Horse and Burro Regional Corrals through the Wild Horse and Burro Adoption and Sales Program. For information on how to adopt a wild horse or burro click HERE 

Daily Gather Reports:
Will be posted once gather begins.

Daily Gather Reports

Oct 15

Gathered: 42 (18 Stallions, 19 Mares, 5 Foals)

Shipped: 42 (18 Stallions, 19 Mares, 5 Foals)

Deaths: 1 Acute

Oct 14

Gathered: 25 (8 Stallions, 12 Mares, 5 Foals)

Shipped: 25 (8 Stallions, 12 Mares, 5 Foals)


Oct 13

Gathered: 16 (6 Stallions, 9 Mares, 1 Foals)

Shipped: 16 (6 Stallions, 9 Mares, 1 Foals)


Oct 12 

Gathered: 13 (3 Stallions, 10  Mares, 0 Foals)

Shipped: 13 (3 Stallions, 10  Mares, 0 Foals)


  • The BLM Project Inspector observed an adult horse with a Henneke Body Condition Score of 1 in a stump hole where a Joshua Tree used to be and to weak to get itself back up.  Following the Permanent Instruction Memorandum No. 2021 -007 policy and procedures, the horse was humanely put down.  Further observation, the horse was a bay mare, over 20 years of age.

Oct 11 

Gathered: 16 (5 Stallions, 9 Mares, 2 Foals)

Shipped: 16 (5 Stallions, 9 Mares, 2 Foals)


Oct 10

Gathered: 58 (22 Stallions, 28 Mares, 8 Foals)

Shipped: 58 (22 Stallions, 28 Mares, 8 Foals)


Oct 9

Gathered: 44 (18 Stallions, 19 Mares, 7 Foals)

Shipped: 44 (18 Stallions, 19 Mares, 7 Foals)