UPDATING this story about the virtual disappearance of 1700 wild horses, which I published in my previous blog about the wild horses called Humane Observer:  Elyse Gardner…
These stunning horses from Nevada’s Calico Complex roundup deeply touched me.  It was so cold the day I shot this photo, about 18F degrees, as high on the slope with our silhouettes hidden in the rocks we waited for the sound of the helicopter, which would signify wild horses running their last run in freedom, headed for the trap 120 yards or so below me.  When they finally appeared, it was obvious they were tired as they followed the vigorous Judas horse sprinting his 75 yards into the trap pen.  They were a small band, just the four of them,  swooshing back and forth together as one body, clearly frightened and knowing they were trapped.  Have my worst fears for them come to pass?   Have their worst fears come to pass? 

Here we are in the third month of 2014, and still the Government Accountability Office, who promised a report by 2013 year end, has issued no report, nor has it identified the BLM personnel responsible for the egregious and blatant betrayal of public trust the BLM committed when it repeatedly sold truckloads of adult wild horses, totaling 1700 animals within three years, to one man known to favor horse slaughter, a man who makes most of his living transporting truckloads of large animals.  So where did he bring the horses?

Tom Davis, the man I am describing,  has yet to be held accountable.  Even more disturbing to me, the Bureau of Land Management personnel responsible for repeatedly selling Mr. Davis our wild horses — which may very well include our frightened friends above — has yet to answer for her crimes against these animals.  I know the woman who signed the papers and I asked her point blank:  “How could you do it?”   She said she didn’t suspect anything.  I cannot believe her.  She isn’t stupid.  She isn’t blind.
The Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) had promised to have a report done by year’s end in 2013.  The silence is deafening.
For good background information watch the NBC News story on the missing horses, which includes my Humane Observer footage of the young two-year-old wild horse being pushed by the helicopter skids  My colleagues and I made our knowledge and our footage, gleaned over the last few years of dedication to helping the horses, available to NBC, and they did an excellent job on this story.   And then please read more…
For two decades many have known that somethings smells funny about the Bureau of Land Management ‘s “long-term holding” aspect of the wild horse program, and the foul odor isn’t coming from the horses.
The spiriting away of up to 11,000 captured wild horses yearly, who are rounded up and sent east into leased long-term holding pastures on private ranches behind locked gates where no private citizen is permitted to visit or verify unless a “public tour” has been arranged, has long aroused deep concern about the longterm holding program. Questions became suspicions about whether all the wild horses who arrived there were safely grazing away, living happily-ever-after idyllic lives on rolling hills of green among their same-sex wild horse friends as BLM officials staunchly claim.Read more of the original story here


  1. I am impressed that you are involved in a noble cause like protecting wild horses. Scary to think these guys at the GAO might be sweeping abuse under the rug. I think this is a good use for your blog. How long have you been interested in horses and wild animal protection?

    • Thank you for this very relevant question. I am starting out as information but I will be putting up links and giving information for actions people can take. I am a great networker. If you go to http://www.wildhorseeducation.org, my colleague and friend Laura Leigh’s website, she gives actions and keeps people updated. Laura has four active legal cases in court against the Bureau of Land Management and is also working actively to try to effect change and make suggestions to them, tries to work with them if they will work with her. I cannot speak highly enough of her intelligence and her work, and I suggest you take cues from her. This work is her full-time commitment.

      • Thanks for your encouraging feedback, Skaskull85! After viewing Ginger Kathrens documentaries on PBS about “Cloud: Wild Stallion of the Rockies” (there are three, and they can still be seen on PBS.org if you search for Cloud: Stallion), I called her to learn more. We had an amazing conversation, and she invited me to attend a Wild Horse and Burrow Advisory Board meeting which would be in California. When I went, I was then invited to the Pryor Mountains, and I knew my life would be changed. l

  2. The lack of accountability is pretty amazing. I always think that they believe our minds will just “forget” as we jump from one crisis to the next. I think it is an actual “strategy” sometimes. Really nice to see you writing again!

    • Thank you, Laura, for your truly on-point work helping Dave Philips get this story and get it out. We long suspected long-term holding was not the panacea BLM claims it is especially since no one from the public is ever permitted to go see the horses in these private ranch settings even though they are America’s wild horses and retain their wild status because BLM retains “ownership” of them and pays ranchers to board them. I can’t thank you enough for staying on track for the horses even as you deal with some painful health issues. Your work continues to amaze me.

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