BLM captures 13 more East Valley horses

Bodie chases the trailers carrying the captured horses on Wednesday. Pinenut Wild Horse Advocates photo

Bodie chases the trailers carrying the captured horses on Wednesday. Pinenut Wild Horse Advocates photo

Federal officials captured another 13 horses from East Valley Road, according to a nonprofit dedicated to preserving their freedom.

“It’s very frustrating,” Pinenut Wild Horse Advocates President Mary Cioffi said on Thursday. “They caught all of Blondie’s band. They go generations leaving none other than one daughter they were still trying to catch.”

Cioffi said there were 11 BLM personnel at the scene.

“They want to make sure we didn’t interfere,” she said. “The group that was out there felt like somebody drop-kicked us in the gut. The phone never stopped ringing last night and people were sobbing.”

The Record-Courier has reached out to the Bureau’s Carson Ranger District.

Officials put hay out to draw the horses down to a trap near Stockyard and Grandview Estates and then sprinkled hay into the trap.

Cioffi said all the mares captured had been darted with a contraceptive.

“We reduced the reproduction rate by 90 percent in 2022,” Ciofi said.

The number of horses in the Fish Springs herd varies seasonally with sometimes up to 90 horses when bands arrive from other locations.

“(The BLM) has a goal to bring us down to 11-26 horses,” she said.

She said there were 30-year-old horses that will have to be cared for and a young horse that was recovering from an injury.

“We are concerned about a colt named Sunset who was trapped with his mom,” she said. “He was walking with a limp on his hind leg and we’re afraid they’ll put him down.

“The problem is that the BLM has all the power,” she said.

Meeting with the agency has been complicated by changes in administration for both it and the advocates.

Cioffi said each horse in captivity costs taxpayers $50,000 over its life.

Five horses were captured along East Valley Road in late January after someone dumped 10 bales of hay along the road.

Cioffi said they’ve found sanctuaries willing to take those horses, but that there is a decreasing amount of room.

BLM Public Affairs Specialist Lisa Ross said the Carson City District Office has been receiving requests to remove the horses since Dec. 16, including both phone calls and written requests.

In late 2021, two horses were killed when they were struck by a vehicle on East Valley Road.


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