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Three horses running on range

2014 Checkerboard Wild Horse Gather

Checkerboard areas of the Adobe Town, Salt Wells Creek and Great Divide Basin Herd Management Areas

Gather Complete
9/15/14 - 10/9/14

Purpose of Gather:Wild Horse and Burro Logo

This checkerboard wild horse removal is not a population management action related to appropriate management levels. Instead, the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act, Section 4 requires that the BLM remove wild horses from private land if requested by the land owner. This removal also complies with the court-ordered 2013 Consent Decree between the BLM and the Rock Springs Grazing Association which directed that all wild horses be removed from checkerboard lands within the HMAs. Not removing all wild horses from the checkerboard would result in non-compliance with the Act and Consent Decree.

Details of Gather:

Removal of all wild horses from checkerboard lands began on September 15. Appeals and motions delayed removal operations, allowing more wild horses to move across the fluid boundary between solid block public lands and the checkerboard in preparation for winter and in search of water; thus, the population estimate for the checkerboard was surpassed by the number of wild horses actually removed.

The estimated wild horse population in the Great Divide Basin, Adobe Town and Salt Wells Creek herd management areas (HMAs) and within the checkerboard portion of each HMA is based on statistically corrected population numbers gathered during simultaneous double-count census flights with the US Geological Survey in April 2014. However, these population estimates are not intended to be the minimum or maximum number of wild horses removed from the checkerboard portion of each HMA.

Public Observation: 

To participate in public observation, please send an email to ssgregory@blm.gov by 4 p.m. the day prior. An email will be sent to observers by 7:30 p.m. with a time and place to meet the next morning, if conditions allow. Please call or text 307-315-0612 if you have any questions.  

Public observation is dependent upon access, location, operational activity and weather. Media, please review the Media Access Guidelines.

Gather Reports

Monday, September 15

Summary: Two helicopters gathered six mares, six studs and four colts at the Bitter Creek #1 Trap in the Salt Wells Herd Management Area.

Animals gathered: 16
Animals shipped:  0
Total Deaths Today:  0
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

Tuesday, September 16

Summary: Two helicopters gathered 24 mares, 20 studs and 19 colts at the Bitter Creek #2 Trap in the Divide Basin Herd Management Area.

Animals gathered: 63
Animals shipped:  0
Total Deaths Today:  0
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

Wednesday, September 17

Summary: For the first part of the day, two helicopters gathered 15 mares, 13 studs and 8 colts at the Bitter Creek #2 Trap in the Divide Basin Herd Management Area.

Animals gathered: 36
Animals shipped:  0
Total Deaths Today:  1
Acute: 1*
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

* A yearling bay colt was found dead in a short-term holding pen. The necropsy revealed an acute neck injury likely the result of running into a panel during the night.

Thursday, September 18

Summary:One helicopter gathered 23 mares, 29 studs and 12 colts at the Black Rock Trap in the Divide Basin Herd Management Area.

Animals gathered: 64
Animals shipped:  0
Total Deaths Today:  2
Acute: 1*
Chronic/Pre-existing: 1*

* A three-and-a-half month old black filly was found dead in a short-term holding pen. A necropsy was performed but the cause of death is undetermined. A six-month-old brown colt collapsed in a horse trailer. The necropsy revealed that the colt had scar tissue and nodules on its lungs, indicating that it likely had pneumonia previously. Tissue has been sent for testing with results expected in several weeks.

Friday, September 19

Summary: No wild horses were gathered or removed today because of difficulty moving them out of the Jim Bridger Coal Mine boundary. Stormy weather in the morning combined with high winds later in the day delayed the start and hastened the end of removal operations.

Animals gathered: 0
Animals shipped:  0
Total Deaths Today:  1
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 1*

* A 12-year-old grey stud had lameness associated with severe arthritis in both knees. Euthanized.

Saturday, September 20

Summary: Two helicopters gathered 26 studs, 21 mares and 10 foals at the Black Rock Trap in the Great Divide Basin Herd Management Area.

Animals gathered: 57
Animals shipped:  0
Total Deaths Today:  0
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

Sunday, September 21

Summary: No wild horses were gathered or removed today. Instead, the Bar X District Line Trap was set up in the Great Divide Basin Herd Management Area in preparation for Monday. Gusty winds, low light from overcast clouds and a chance for intermittent rain prevented removal operations later in the day.

Animals gathered: 0
Animals shipped:  0
Total Deaths Today:  1
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 1*

* A 25-year-old red roan stud had an enlarged left front ankle and chronic severe arthritis in both ankle and knee joints with poor prognosis for improvement. Euthanized.

Monday, September 22

Summary: Two helicopters gathered 20 studs, 11 mares and 5 colts at the Bar X District Line Trap in the Great Divide Basin Herd Management Area.

Animals gathered: 36
Animals shipped:  0
Total Deaths Today:  2
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 2*

* A 28-year-old chestnut bay stud had an old injury and swelling to the left front knee and right hock. It also had severe muscle atrophy over the entire rump area due to nerve injury from a severely arthritic spine. Its Henneke score was 1.5. Euthanized. A 25-year-old black stud had swelling of both front knees from an old, degenerative injury. Both front feet were clubbed due to complications from the knee injuries, causing the leg tendons to shorten. Its Henneke score was 1.5. Euthanized.

Tuesday, September 23

Summary: Two helicopters gathered 30 studs, 35 mares and 12 colts at the Bar X District Line Trap in the Great Divide Basin Herd Management Area.

Animals gathered: 77
Animals shipped:  0
Total Deaths Today:  0
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

Wednesday, September 24

Summary: Two helicopters gathered 31 studs, 45 mares and 29 colts at the CR 19/CR 82 Trap in the Great Divide Basin Herd Management Area. 

Animals gathered: 105
Animals shipped:  0
Total Deaths Today:  0
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

Thursday, September 25

Summary: Two helicopters gathered 30 studs, 26 mares and 11 colts at the CR 19/CR 82 Trap in the Great Divide Basin Herd Management Area. 

Animals gathered: 67
Animals shipped:  0
Total Deaths Today:  3
Acute: 3*
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

A foal bay stud gathered on September 24 was down in the morning but improved and was able to eat and drink. The foal was given penicillin but declined at the end of day and became recumbent. Euthanized. A nine-year-old bay wet mare became recumbent and had a grand mal seizure lasting 15+ minutes. The mare did not respond to touch. Euthanized. A four-year-old bay wet mare had a perianal fistula with bleeding and urine leakage from under the tail. The fistula was packed with feces and infected. The mare was septic with a Henneke score of 1.5. Euthanized.

Friday, September 26

Summary: One helicopter gathered nine studs, seven mares and six colts at the Bridger Coal Trap in the Great Divide Basin Herd Management Area.

Animals gathered: 22
Animals shipped:  0
Total Deaths Today:  0
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

Saturday, September 27

Summary: The Brooks Road Trap was prepared within the Salt Wells Herd Management Area.

Animals gathered: 0
Animals shipped:  0
Total Deaths Today:  0
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

Sunday, September 28

Summary: Removal operations at the Brooks Road Trap in the Salt Wells Herd Management Area were delayed due to inclement weather.

Animals gathered: 0
Animals shipped:  0
Total Deaths Today:  0
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

Monday, September 29

Summary: Removal operations at the Brooks Road Trap in the Salt Wells Herd Management Area were delayed due to inclement weather.

Animals gathered: 0
Animals shipped:  0
Total Deaths Today:  0
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

Tuesday, September 30

Summary: Removal operations at the Brooks Road Trap in the Salt Wells Herd Management Area were delayed due to inclement weather.

Animals gathered: 0
Animals shipped:  0
Total Deaths Today:  0
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

Wednesday, October 1

Summary: Two helicopters gathered 27 studs, 40 mares and 20 colts at the Brooks Road Trap in the Salt Wells Herd Management Area.

Animals gathered: 87
Animals shipped:  0
Total Deaths Today:  1
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 1*

* An 18-year-old bay stud had a pre-existing injury. Its right front leg had broken and healed in a 45 degree rotation. There was massive swelling/fibrosis and the horse was walking on the inside of its right front hoof. Euthanized.

Thursday, October 2

Summary: Two helicopters gathered 39 studs, 48 mares and 28 colts at the Brooks Road Trap in the Salt Wells Herd Management Area.

Animals gathered: 115
Animals shipped:  0
Total Deaths Today:  0
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

Friday, October 3

Summary: Two helicopters gathered 38 studs, 37 mares and 15 colts at the Brady Plant Trap in the Salt Wells Herd Management Area.

Animals gathered: 90
Animals shipped:  0
Total Deaths Today:  2
Acute: 1*
Chronic/Pre-existing: 1*

* A seven-year-old black mare ran into a panel and broke her neck, dying instantly. A six-year-old bay mare had severe scoliosis with extreme stunting. The mare’s spine was twisted 90 degrees counter-clockwise behind the withers, shortening the horse from nose to tail. Movement and foraging were difficult, resulting in poor body condition for her and her foal. Henneke score of 2.5. Euthanized. 
Note: The mare’s chestnut foal was sent to the local veterinarian for surrogate pediatric care.

Saturday, October 4

Summary: Two helicopters gathered 13 studs, 13 mares and 4 colts at the Holding Corral Trap in the Salt Wells Herd Management Area.

Animals gathered: 30
Animals shipped:  0
Total Deaths Today:  0
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

Sunday, October 5

Summary: Two helicopters gathered 37 studs, 46 mares and 19 colts at the Haystacks Trap in the Salt Wells Herd Management Area.

Animals gathered: 102
Animals shipped:  0
Total Deaths Today:  0
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

Monday, October 6

Summary: Two helicopters gathered 22 studs, 16 mares and 6 colts at the Haystacks Trap in the Salt Wells Herd Management Area.

Animals gathered: 44
Animals shipped:  0
Total Deaths Today:  0
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

Tuesday, October 7

Summary: Two helicopters gathered 31 studs, 28 mares and 17 colts at the Eversole Trap in the Salt Wells Herd Management Area.

Animals gathered: 76
Animals shipped:  0
Total Deaths Today:  0
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

Wednesday, October 8

Summary: Two helicopters gathered 38 studs, 1 branded gelding, 59 mares and 31 colts at the Eversole Trap in the Salt Wells Herd Management Area.

Animals gathered: 129
Animals shipped:  0
Total Deaths Today:  1
Acute: 1*
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

* A six-month-old sorrel stud colt ran into a panel at the temporary holding corral and broke its neck, dying instantly.

Thursday, October 9

Summary: Two helicopters gathered 21 studs, 17 mares and 9 colts from the Adobe Town Herd Management Area at the Eversole Trap.

Animals gathered: 47
Animals shipped:  0
Total Deaths Today:  0
Acute: 0
Chronic/Pre-existing: 0

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A death labeled as "acute" is when an animal dies or is euthanized due to acute injuries or medical conditions brought about by the gather and removal process including those that occur during capture, sorting and holding at the gather site. This term will include animals that die for known or unknown reasons thought to be related to gather activities. 

A death labeled as "chronic/pre-existing" is when an animal dies or is euthanized for reasons related to chronic or pre-existing conditions such as body condition, lameness, serious physical defects, etc. This term will include animals that are euthanized for conditions not brought about by the gather activity.

Veterinary Reports

There are no veterinarian reports to display at this time. 

Adoption Information

Removed wild horses will be sent to BLM holding facilities in Canon City, Colorado and Rock Springs, Wyoming, and prepared for adoption. The wild horses will be available for adoption at the Rock Springs Wild Horse Holding Facility, the Mantle Adoption and Training Facility in Wheatland, the Wyoming Honor Farm in Riverton, the Wild Horse Inmate Program in Canon City and through the BLM's online adoptions.

Cumulative Totals

Animals Gathered
1,263

Animals Returned to Home Range
0

Animal Deaths
14

*Includes non-gather related deaths. See details in "Gather Reports"