Roundup Report: Clan Alpine HMA, Nov 2023

On November 8, 2023, the Bureau of Land Management began a wild horse helicopter roundup on and around the Clan Alpine Herd Management Area located approximately 60 miles east of Fallon in Churchill County NV. The contractor for this operation is CD Warner Livestock who was awarded $595,060 in taxpayer funds to stampede these animals into captivity. The BLM aims to remove 1,594 wild horses from the range, in which 81 mares are to be treated with the controversial fertility control agent, Gonacon. The agency plans to release 121 stallions back onto the range after the operation. All removed horses will be transported to the Palomino Valley Holding facility near Reno, NV, for preparation for adoption or sale.

Roundup Report

Roundup: 2023 Clan Alpine

Date: November 26, 2023

Location: Bench Rd., NV (Stallion release)

Weather Conditions:

  • 9° F


Observers were given a choice between watching the release of stallions or watching helicopter operations in the afternoon. Including AWHC, there were two members of the public observing the stallion release. 21 stallions were released off of Bench Rd. The remainder of the stallions (est. 121 in total) will be released at the end of the roundup.

Released stallions run from trailers back onto the Clan Alpine Herd Management Area.

Date: November 25, 2023

Location: Dixie Valley, NV (same trap location as the 24th)

Weather Conditions:

  • 32° F – 40° F


The observation site is located ~1/3 mile from the trap. Over 50 horses come into the trap in the first run. While the trap initially appears to be constructed to CAWP standards, trap panels appeared unstable when there were a large number of horses. Tarps on external panels make sorting operations difficult to observe. During the first trailer load, a grey horse falls in the trailer. Despite the crowded trap, sorting and loading appear to go smoothly aside from this incident. No deaths or injuries were observed, nor reported, for today’s operations.

Total Captured Today (according to BLM Reports):

123 (61 stallions, 48 mares, 14 foals)

Observations and Events:

  • 6:15 AM: Met BLM at the Dixie Valley Turnoff
  • Observation was a few miles up the road
  • 2 members of the public in attendance (including AWHC)
  • Cannot see the wings or the alley of the trap
  • Parts of the catch pen are visible, but tarps restrict views
  • Horses can be seen during loading once they are on the trailer
  • 10:30 AM: Over 50 horses came into the trap.
  • Panicking horses caused the panels on the pen to move.
  • Panels were placed in the middle of the trapped horses, dividing the group.
  • The location of observation and the tarp material on panel exteriors makes it difficult to see into the trap. Foals, for example, are hard to see. The AWHC observer could therefore not verify how (or if) foals brought in were sorted from adults prior to loading on the trailers.
  • A horse appeared to fall during loading of the first trailer.
  • Four more trailer loads were loaded for temporary holding.
  • Two more runs were brought in.
  • Horses were sweaty as they entered the trap. This has been a consistent observation since the roundup’s beginning.
  • Body scores of horses brought in were between 3 and 4.
  • Operations ended at 3:30 PM

Temporary Holding

AWHC’s observer was able to visit just as it got dark. There was a veterinarian on-site. The horses appeared cramped, but were calm.

Video Link
A large group (>50) of horses enters the trap. Panels sway as the horses push against them. Trap personnel move panels between the horses, subdividing them into smaller groups.

Video Link
A grey horse in a trailer headed to temporary holding falls. Personnel attempt to get the horse to stand using flags.

Horses in the first run being brought in by helicopter. There were over 50 horses in this group.

A group of horses entering the trap. The tarp material seen on the panels in the right side of the image obstruct views. Traditionally, snow fencing has been used which allows for better observation.

Sweating horses on livestock trailers headed to temporary holding. This has been a consistent observation since the roundup’s beginning.

Horses at temporary holding.

Date: November 24, 2023

Location: Dixie Valley, NV (new trap location)

Weather Conditions:

  • 29° F – 34° F
  • Overcast


The new trap site in Dixie Valley, NV, was setup while observers waited. Including AWHC, there
were 4 members of the public in attendance. Only two runs were made, with over 20 horses in
each run. Operations ended earlier than on previous days, allowing for a visit to temporary

Total Captured Today (according to BLM Reports):

62 (25 stallions, 30 mares, 7 foals)

Observations and Events:

  • 7:30 AM: Met at the turnoff to Dixie Valley
  • Waited ~1 hour for the trap to be constructed
  • Trap appeared to be constructed in accordance with CAWP
  • The observation site was a few miles down Dixie Valley Rd.
  • There were 4 members of the public in attendance
  • Two runs came in, with 20+ horses in each run
  • 3:30 PM: Operations ended

Temporary Holding

Body scores of horses in temporary holding are 3 to 4. The solid tarp material around the pens
impedes assessment of injuries on adults and the foals are not visible. The horses in temporary
holding appear calm.

A helicopter uses pressure-release methods to navigate horses from the first run towards the
trap. The end of the video shows horses entering the trap.

Horses from run two.

A horse in temporary holding looks out towards AWHC’s on-site observer.

Cumulative BLM-Reported Roundup Stats (as of the 23rd):

1240 rounded up (500 stallions, 576 mares, 164 foals)

1059 shipped (439 stallions, 466 mares, 154 foals)
81 mares treated with fertility control
2 wild horses escaped (marked as released in BLM report)
18 deaths (1 acute, 17 pre-existing/chronic)

Date: November 23, 2023

Location: Dixie Valley, NV (same trap as the 21st and 22nd)

Weather Conditions:

  • 27° F – 35° F
  • Raining


The weather today was cold and rainy. Despite the adverse conditions, runs went smoothly. There was a total of 11 runs and no reported injuries. One horse jumped the jute and escaped. According to BLM reports, two of the horses captured were domestic horses. The trap site will move for tomorrow’s operations.

Total Captured Today (according to BLM Reports):

Two domestic horses were brought in and turned over to the state.
42 wild horses (19 stallions, 21 mares, 2 foals)

Observations and Events:

  • 6:30 AM: Met at the Dixie Valley Turnoff
  • AWHC’s observer was the only member of the public in attendance
  • The weather was cold and rainy.
  • The helicopter pilot made 11 runs, bringing in between 40-50 horses in total.
  • No injuries to report
  • One of the horses jumped the jute. Riders went out to rope it, but did not return with a horse.
  • Body scores of horses brought in were between 3 and 4.

A helicopter driving horses into the trap. Today’s weather was wet and cold.

An example of one of the groups of horses that came in.

A run of horses coming into the trap following a Judas horse.

A horse escaping after jumping the jute fabric used to construct the trap.

Date: November 22, 2023

Location: Dixie Valley, NV (same trap as the 21st)

Weather Conditions:

  • 19° F – 48° F
  • Clear Skies


Trap operations continued today in Dixie Valley, NV. The helicopter was already in the air by the
time observers arrived. The first horses brought in were tired and two were limping. Several of
the groups brought in were agitated. One horse, determined by the BLM to be blind, ran into a
panel before moving to the next region of the trap with other horses in his group. At the end of
the day, it was too dark to go to temporary holding.

Total Captured Today (according to BLM Reports):

68 (22 stallions, 32 mares, 14 foals)

5 horses were euthanized by the BLM:

  • White stud foal, blind in both eyes
  • 2 year-old white stud, blind in both eyes
  • 4 year-old black stud, blind in left eye
  • 7 year-old sorrel stud, club foot deformity
  • 12 year-old bay stud, fractured left knee

Observations and Events:

  • 6:30 AM: Met with BLM personnel at the turn off to Dixie Rd. and caravanned to the
    observation site.
  • 8:00 AM: ~10 horses brought in.
  • Two of the horses brought in were limping.
  • There was one foal in the group.
  • Horses in the group were obviously tired.
  • 8:20 AM: Run two came in.
  • The helicopter pilot navigated 4 horses to the left of the observers through the opening of a
    barbed wire fence. These horses were then brought into the trap.
  • A mare and foal in the group both appear cremello.
  • 9:00 AM: Helicopter refueled
  • 9:45 AM: Run three came in, composed of a group of approximately 9 horses and another
    group of around 4 horses.
  • A loaded trailer heads to temporary holding.
  • 12:41 PM: The pilot has not been visible for over an hour.
  • The pilot brings horses in from behind the knoll towards the wings of the trap. The horses
    are not visible due to the knoll, but the pilot’s flight pattern is erratic. He eventually succeeds
    in driving the horses into trap.
  • 12:50 PM: Helicopter refueled.
  • Another run came in. Horses came in from behind the knoll and appear to be agitated.
  • One horse, determined to be blind by the BLM, ran into a panel. Trap personnel adjusted their
    gate use so that the horse could hear the gates.
  • 2:14 PM: Another trailer left for short term holding.
  • Helicopter refueled.
  • The pilot made two more runs and then operations ended for the day.
  • Body scores of horses were between 3 and 4
  • None of the wild horses brought into this trap site show signs of pigeon fever.



A wild horse, determined to be blind, rammed into panels in the trap. The video also shows multiple limping horses coming into the trap area.

The helicopter pilot navigates a group of horses through an opening in barbed wire fencing.
Two of the horses in the group appear to be cremello.

Date: November 21, 2023

Location: Dixie Valley, NV

Weather Conditions:

  • 16° F – 45° F


Today’s trap site was between ¼ to ½ mile from the observation point. Visibility was much improved compared to yesterday’s site with the trap area, upper wings, and loading all in sight. The trap setup appeared to conform to CAWP standards. There were a total of four runs and one foal was roped. Operations went well with no obvious incidents. At the end of operations, it was too dark to visit temporary holding.

Total Captured Today (according to BLM Reports):

67 (29 stallions, 33 mares, 6 foals)

Observations and Events:

  • 6:30 AM: Met at Dixie Valley turnoff just East of Fallon, NV
  • One other member of the public in attendance
  • Caravanned 40 miles to observation spot, passing by the trap area on the way in.
  • The trap setup looked like it fulfilled CAWP policy
  • 9:48 AM: The first run of 8 horses came in
  • 9:50 AM: Helicopter refueled
  • 12:06 PM: The second run of approximately 20 horses were brought in.
  • Two saddle horses went out and roped a foal and brought it in
  • Helicopter refueled
  • 12:20 PM: Two loaded trailers head to temporary holding.
  • 1:54 PM: The third run. There are approximately 12 horses in this group.
  • 1:55 PM: Helicopter refueled
  • 2:45 PM: The fourth run with approximately 18 horses
  • 3:11 PM: Operations end for the day.

Video showing the first run driven into the trap by helicopter and when a roped foal from run two is brought in to the trap.

Horses and helicopter from run two.

Date: November 20, 2023

Location: Back part of Dixie Valley, NV

Weather Conditions:

19° F in the AM


The observation site for the new trap area is approximately 2 miles away from the trap site.
Visibility is extremely poor with only a small part of the wing in view. Much of the morning was
spent waiting for the trap to be setup. There were three total runs and only one trailer of
horses loaded for temporary holding. The trap site will be moved tomorrow.

Total Captured Today (according to BLM Reports):

12 (2 Stallions, 9 Mares, and 1 Foals)

Observations and Events:

  • 7:00 AM: Met at the turn off to Dixie Valley
  • Caravanned ~43 miles to observation
  • There were bighorn sheep hunters in the area
  • 8:00 AM: Arrived at observation site
  • Waited ~1.5 hours for the trap to be set up
  • Observers (AWHC + 1 other member of the public) were given the option to either view
    the trap or watch the helicopter bring in horses. Neither location provided good
  • 11:35 AM: Run 3 came in, but heat waves and distance prevented estimation of the
    number of horses
  • One loaded trailer passed by on its way to temporary holding
  • 12:49 PM: Operations end. Observers were informed that the trap site was not working
    for the pilot and that the trap will be moved.

Temporary Holding Facility

Horses were calm. The pen of released mares has limited room. One section of tarp around the
stallion pen was not secured and was flapping with the wind. Tarps prevented assessment of
injuries or quantity of water. The foals were not visible.

Observer's view of the trap, zooming to show the view the naked eye and when using the
camera to zoom.

The single load of horses taken to temporary holding.

Unsecured tarp blowing in the background of a pen at temporary holding.

Date: November 19, 2023

Location: Shoshone Pass, East of Fallon NV (same trap site as the 17th & 18th)

Weather Conditions:

  • 37° F–43° F
  • Early AM snow
  • Snow flurries
  • 10 mph wind gusts


Operations continued at the same location as on the 17th and 18th. There were snow flurries throughout the day and heavy winds in the afternoon. Only 40 horses were brought in. One horse jumped a panel in the trap and escaped. Tomorrow’s operations will be at a new location.

Total Captured Today (according to BLM Reports):
40 (17 stallions, 11 mares, and 12 foals)

Observations and Events:

  • 5:45 AM: Met at Middlegate Station, NV
  • Heavy snow during the caravan to the observation area
  • 8:00 AM: Helicopter launches
  • 9:00 AM: First run comes in
  • 10:40 AM: Passed by first trailer going to temporary holding
  • As has been an ongoing theme this roundup, the horses on the trailers are very sweaty
  • 11:00 AM: Second run comes in
  • During sorting, 4 horses are left in the alleyway while wranglers go back to their vehicles
  • The horses in the alleyway appear agitated
  • A wild horse jumps the panel and runs behind a hill
  • Wranglers prepare to rope the horse, but the horse is gone by the time they are ready
  • Wind speeds pick up significantly
  • One more run is made and then operations are ended

Temporary Holding Facility

Horses appear calm. A veterinarian was on site. Body scores of horses are between 3 and 4. As in previous visits, material around the panels prevents detailed assessments.

A horse in the trap alleyway jumps over a panel.

Bent panel bar following the escape of one of the four horses in the alleyway.

Loading operations. Horses must step up in order to load onto the trailer.

Whole-body sweating on a horse in the back of a livestock trailer.

Clan Alpine HMA horses at temporary holding.

Date: November 18, 2023

Location: Shoshone Pass, East of Fallon NV (same trap site as the 17th)

Weather Conditions:

  • 37° F–47° F


In addition to AWHC, two other members of the public were at roundup today. The observation site was approximately 1,000 feet behind the trap. However, the wings and the entrance to the trap were not visible and only the horses’ heads could be viewed in the trap. In total, there were 7 runs by the helicopter. It was too dark to go to temporary holding at the end of today’s operations.

Total Captured Today (according to BLM Reports):

97 (33 Stallions, 51 Mares, 13 Foals)

A 12 year-old bay mare with a prolapsed uterus was euthanized by the BLM.

Observations and Events:

  • 8:15 AM: Helicopter runs begin
  • 2:15 PM: A loaded trailer pauses behind a parked trailer before proceeding again. The BLM representative said the pause was because a horse had gone down in the trailer and then was able to stand again.
  • No update was given on the horse after it stood or later that day.
  • 3:45 PM: Helicopter runs end
  • 4:00 PM The final trailers departed
  • Body conditions of horses were between 3 and 4

View of the trap site with a group of horses moving away from the pressure of the helicopter visible in the distance.

Horses pushed into the trap by the helicopter.

A view of loading at the back of the trap.

A loaded trailer pulls in behind a parked trailer after a horse falls down. Due to the location, observers were unable to see the horse go down, get back up, or independently assess injuries. BLM staff informed on-site observers that the horse was able to get back to its feet. No other updates on the horse were given after that point.

Date: November 17, 2023

Location: Shoshone Pass, East of Fallon, NV

Weather Conditions:

  • 33° F–56° F


Operations were moved to a new trap site today. The trap looked adequate with tarps covering the external panels. Observers are ~1,000 feet away and have a good view of the back of the trap. The front of the trap (including the wings) is not visible. Five groups of horses were trapped during helicopter operations. Horses appeared anxious and stressed in the trap and were fighting, kicking, jumping, and rearing.

Total Captured Today (according to BLM Reports):

81 (31 Stallions, 41 Mares, and 9 Foals)

Observations and Events:

  • 6:00 AM: Met BLM at Middlegate Station
  • 9:00 AM: The first run begins at ~2 miles away
  • 9:15 AM: The first horses are brought into the trap
  • Horses in this group appear agitated. They are bucking prior to loading into the trailer.
  • 10:16 AM: The second run of horses enters the trap
  • 10:18 AM: The first trailer load of horses leaves
  • 10:30 AM: The second trailer load of horses leaves
  • 12:30 PM: A third group of horses is trapped
  • Whinnying can be heard from the observation site. The last horse is difficult to load.
  • 12:44 PM: Part of the horses are loaded from the third run
  • 12:48 PM: Trailer carrying the first half of horses in the third run leaves
  • Pawing can be heard in the trailer
  • 12:55 PM: The second half of the third run is loaded. It appears to be entirely younger horses.
  • 1:54 PM: The helicopter pushes the fourth run of horses into the trap
  • 2:15 PM: The 5th loaded trailer leaves
  • 3:15 PM: Another group of horses (#5) comes in from approximately a mile away.
  • 3:47 PM: The second trailer from run 5 leaves, followed closely by a third trailer.
  • 4:00 PM: Operations end for the day.

A view of the backside of the trap with a trailer ready for loading. In the distance, a group of horses is being brought in.

Horses coming into the trap.

Loaded trailer leaving the trap site.

Date: November 16, 2023

Location: Alpine Rd. on the edge of Clan Alpine Wilderness Study Area (same as the 15th)

Weather Conditions:

  • 35° F–58° F


Operations continued at the same trap site as on the 15th. The first few passes by the helicopter brought in only a few horses. One horse escaped the burlap leading up to the trap and was roped and another group evaded the trap. The evading group was left by the helicopter to rest and later brought in. 76 horses were captured today. Throughout the course of the day, AWHC observed 6 trailers moving horses. Horses in temporary holding are sorted by sex (male/female), age (foals), and release status and have hay and water. Overall, horses did not look distressed and appeared stable.

Total Captured Today (according to BLM Reports):

76 (26 stallions, 46 mares, and 6 foals)

4 horses were euthanized by the BLM:

  • 6 year-old buckskin stallion, broken neck (sudden)
  • 20 year-old sorrel mare, cancer in left eye
  • 12 year-old brown mare, blind right eye
  • 16 year-old brown mare, blind right eye

Observations and Events:

  • 6:00 AM: Met with BLM personnel at Middlegate Station.
  • Hundreds of cows were visible on the way to the trap site
  • The helicopter made numerous passes during early operations, but was only able to secure a few horses in the trap.
  • One horse, which had escaped the burlap wings, was roped and brought in
  • ~10:30 AM: The first loaded trailer leaves the trap site
  • Multiple passes were made for a single band of horses over the course of around 1 hour, but the helicopter pilot was unable to bring them into the trap.
  • The helicopter pilot let this group rest for ~1.5 hours. They were eventually brought in.
  • 11:45 AM–12:10 PM: Another band is rounded up
  • 12:10 PM: Helicopter leaves
  • 1:55 PM: Helicopter returns
  • Foals brought in during the runs do not look distressed
  • 2:15 PM: Final helicopter pass for the remaining horses
  • 2:50 PM: The last loaded trailer leaves the trap site. We observed 6 in total.
  • Trailers looked stable and secure
  • AWHC observers waited ~1.5 hours to be escorted to holding

Temporary Holding Facility

Observations of temporary holding began at ~4:30 PM. The holding facility seemed adequate. All fencing had canvas tarps. Hay and water were on-site. Horses were sorted by their release status with two pens each for mares, stallions, and foals. Horses showed no visible signs of distress and looked stable. There were two BLM employees present, and a veterinarian was on-site in the morning.

Observer’s view of the wings leading to the trap.

A group of horses moving away from the pressure of the helicopter.

Horses showing full-body sweat on livestock trailers.

Mares at temporary holding with blue marks signifying they have been treated with GonaCon and will be released in ~30 days.

A foal pen at temporary holding.

Total BLM-Reported Roundup Stats (as of the 15th):

756 horses (323 stallions, 332 mares, 101 foals) rounded up

8 Deaths (3 stallions, 5 mares, 0 foals)    
467 horses (234 stallions, 154 mares, 79 foals) shipped to Palomino Valley Wild Horse and Burro Center

Date: November 15, 2023

Location: ~29 miles Northeast of Middlegate, NV

Weather Conditions:

  • 45°–58° F
  • Overcast
  • Light rain in the afternoon


Operations began at a new trap site. The new observation site was located ~3/4 mile from the trap and the trap wings are in clear view. The new location offers visuals of the top rails of the trap and some of the loading. There appear to be issues with the trap as the wings of the trap needed to be adjusted after each run. Some of the horses coming into the trap are drenched with sweat. At temporary holding, the pens have been extended to be larger. Mares received their primer dose of GonaCon and will remain at the temporary holding facility until they are ready to be released back to the wild in 30 days.

Total Captured Today (according to BLM Reports):    
155 (70 stallions, 77 mares, and 8 foals)

Observations and Events:

  • 6:00 AM: Met BLM personnel at Middlegate Station, NV.
  • Caravanned East on HWY 50 for ~29 miles
  • 8:00 AM: Helicopter in the air.
  • During the first run, a group of horses jumped the jute. Visibility was obstructed by dust in the wings.
  • The second run closely followed the first.
  • AWHC’s observer notes quick loading of the trailers.
  • 1.5 hours transpired between run 3 and 4.
  • ~4:00 PM: Operations concluded
  • Body scores of horses were between 3 and 4.

Temporary Holding Facility

Temporary holding pens have been extended to make the pens larger. Some of the overhead bars have padding. It is difficult to see horses located in the far pens, but the horses have access to hay and water. There was a veterinarian on-site. Mares set to be released received their primer dose of GonaCon. They should be ready for release in ~30 days.

A helicopter pushes a group of horses into the wings of the trap.

An example of heavy sweating on some of the horses.

Loaded trailers passing by the observation site at speed.

A helicopter pushes a group of horses in today’s operations (Nov 15th). 

A view of trailer loading at the trap site.    

Horses showing sweating over the whole body.    

Padding on overhead bars at temporary holding.    

Date: November 14, 2023


There were no roundup operations today due to helicopter maintenance.

Date: November 13, 2023

Location: Bench Creek Turnoff, right off Highway 50 (same as the 11th and 12th)

Weather Conditions:

  • 36°–59° F


BLM confirmed that a few of the horses brought in yesterday (the 12th) have pigeon fever. Bleach solution is being sprayed in trailers to mitigate its spread. According to BLM personnel, horses gathered today (the 13th) did not show signs of pigeon fever. Today’s helicopter operations appear to be removing wild horses as quickly as possible with little concern for the safety and welfare of the horses. Temporary holding appears crowded. Visibility is obscured at the trap site, during trailer loading, and at temporary holding. AWHC’s observer has not been able to see the trap site since the roundup began.

Total Captured (according to BLM Reports):

83 (44 Stallions, 30 Mares, and 9 Foals)       
The BLM euthanized an 11-year old bay mare who had a fractured pelvis.

Observations and Events:

  • 6:00 AM: Met BLM personnel at Middlegate Station, NV. Temperature was 36° F.
  • Helicopter launched prior to the caravan’s arrival at the observation site and is out scouting.
  • 8:30 AM: Helicopter refuels.
  • 2 bands of horses are visible in the distance.
  • 8:48 AM: The first run. Approximately 14 horses. A grey stallion in the group continuously turns back and wards away horses getting close to his band, keeping his body between his band and approaching groups of horses.
  • The dust is too thick to be able to see horses enter the trap.
  • There is no view of loading operations.
  • 9:36 AM: ~6 horses are brought in.
  • 10:45 AM: 57° F with wind speeds at 12 mph.
  • 10:49 AM: ~8 horses are brought in.
  • 10:53 AM: One of the bands resting in the sun are brought in. It is a group of 3.
  • 11:47 AM: Horses are pushed by the helicopter down a hill and then back up a distant hillside via a ravine. They appear to be tired. The last two horses seem to struggle to climb back up the ravine. The helicopter then moves them down to the lower side of the mountain.
  • 12:57 PM: Helicopter refuels.
  • 12:29 PM: ~ 13 horses are brought in. One horse breaks off from the group. The helicopter pursues the horse for a few minutes and then leaves.
  • 12:45 PM: The group from 11:47 AM is brought into the trap. There are approximately 12 horses.
  • 1:20 PM: ~3 horses pushed into the trap.
  • 2:38 PM: End of the day’s operations.


A band of 3 horses visible from the observation site.

The group of 3 is brought into the trap. They pass by one of the cattle present near the observation site.

A group of horses pushed over the top of the hill.

The horses that were brought from over the hill are moved by helicopter up a ravine.

A view of crowding at the temporary holding facility.

A few examples of the tarp-like material which inhibits observation at temporary holding.

Date: November 12, 2023

Location: Bench Creek Turnoff, right off Highway 50 (Same as the 11th)

Weather Conditions:

  • 24°65° F
  • Overcast
  • Afternoon was windy


Roundup operations began early in the morning. Most horses came in as small groups from many different directions. There were a few cattle near the observation site, but significantly fewer than the day previous. As observed on the 11th, horses transported to temporary holding appeared damp from sweating. High wind speeds forced operations to end early afternoon.  

Total Captured (according to BLM Reports):

79 (37 Stallions, 29 Mares, and 13 Foals)

Observations and Events:

  • 6:00 AM: Met at Middlegate Station, East of Fallon, NV, and caravanned with the BLM to the same observation site as the day previous (the 11th)
  • 8:00 AM: Helicopter launches
  • The pilot pushes 4 horses into a canyon. The on-site observer indicates that the maneuver did not look safe.
  • Helicopter leaves the 4 horses into the canyon, and brings another group in from a different location.
  • At 8:15 AM the temperature is 24° F. The pilot navigates the 4 horses which were pushed into the canyon towards the trap.
  • Pilot refuels
  • Horses appear to be driven from scattered pockets with sources in many different directions
  • 9:24 AM: A large group is brought in
  • Only a few cattle present at the observation site
  • 10:06 AM:  Pilot refuels
  • 11:15 AM: A group of horses run towards the observation site, using the road. The pilot was able to turn them and navigate them into the trap.
  • 11:20 AM: Two horses broke off from the main group. The pilot pursued them for a few minutes, during which time he successfully re-oriented them towards and drove them into the trap.
  • Wind speeds pick up to 17 mph. Temperature is now 61° F.
  • The trap and alleyway are watered down
  • 12:15 PM: Another group is driven into the trap by helicopter
  • 1:20 PM: Operations are concluded for the day due to high wind speeds.
  • Body conditions of horses are between 3 and 4.

Temporary Holding Facility

Stallions marked for release will be held at a temporary holding location being used for the Clan Alpine roundup. This is not the same as the Palomino Valley Off-Range Corrals. Mares being treated with the fertility suppressant GonaCon will also stay at this temporary holding which is located on public land. It is not known who will be responsible for providing necessary daily feed, water, and security for the horses during the 30-day period between the administration of primer and booster.

The temporary holding site is smaller and more crowded than the on-site observer has seen at prior roundups. The tarps around panels continue to hinder the observation and assessment of horses' bodies. While the on-site observer was able to see the tips of the foals' ears today, it could not be determined if they were being kept separately or with the mares. Trailers and other equipment used by the contractors at temporary holding appear to be in good working order.

Two horses look out from between the bars of a livestock trailer. A third horse appears damp with sweat around the eyes, neck, chest, and body.

Views at the temporary holding pens showing mostly ears. The pens are smaller and more crowded than the on-site observer has seen at prior roundups.

A glimpse at the body condition of a horse in temporary holding. Body condition is often obstructed by the presence of tarps around the temporary pen panels making it difficult to assess injuries. Body conditions of horses brought in on the 12th were between 3 and 4.

Date: November 11, 2023

Location: Bench Creek Turnoff, right off Highway 50

Weather Conditions:

  • 21°–56° F
  • Overcast


The new trap site was located over 1 mile from the observation point. The trap wings were intermittently visible as they were obscured with dust when the horses enter it. More horses were brought in today than in any one of the previous three days. Cattle were present at the observation location and would run as horses were brought into the trap. As multiple loads of horses were being transported to holding, AWHC’s observations were focused primarily on the livestock trailers. Some of the transported horses were sweaty and conditions at the temporary holding facility appear crowded.

Total Captured (according to BLM Reports):

144 (47 Stallions, 72 Mares, and 25 Foals)

4 horses were euthanized by BLM:

  • 3 year-old sorrel stud, cancer
  • 3 year-old bay mare, cancer
  • 20+ year-old bay stud, abscess infection
  • 3 year-old sorrel mare, severe abscess on neck

Observations and Events:

  • ~7:15 AM: Met BLM personnel at Middlegate Station just East of Fallon, NV and caravanned to the new trap site which is located just off highway 50.
  • Observation location was only a few minutes from the meeting location
  • The trap site is at least 1 mile away
  • The wings are observable on the trap site only if the helicopter is not above the trap site. Once the horses are driven into the wings, they disappear into a cloud of dust.
  • Aside from a few stops to refuel, the helicopter consistently brought in horses
  • Cattle were present around the observation area and would run as horses were brought in
  • Conditions were dusty
  • Horse body scores were between 3 and 4
  • Sweaty necks and bodies were observed on several horses in transit to the temporary holding facility

Temporary Holding Facility

The holding pens appear crowded. Unfortunately, body conditions and injuries of horses cannot be assessed by observers due to the presence of tarps on the holding pens. Foals are entirely obscured by the tarps. 

A group of horses from the Clan Alpine HMA being brought in by helicopter at the Bench Creek Turnoff trap site, which is just off of Highway 50.

Grey horses in a livestock trailer. Both are visibly sweating.

A group of horses in a livestock trailer.

Horses in a livestock trailer. Fur texture suggests dried or drying sweat along the neck and chest.

Horses in possibly crowded conditions in a temporary holding pen. Body conditions and/or injuries could not be assessed by AWHC’s on-site observer due to the use of tarps over the holding panels.

Date: November 10, 2023

Location: East of Fallon, NV (Same as November 8 and 9)

Weather Conditions:

  • 39°–58° F

  • Overcast


Operations proceeded as they have the last two days with observers meeting BLM officials in the morning at Middlegate Station, East of Fallon, NV. The livestock semi transporting horses to temporary holding left before helicopter operations began. During the roundup, a group of horses run by the observation site and the helicopter was redirected to trap them. During the last run, one horse was roped. An estimated total of 57 horses were captured with no observed or BLM reported deaths. Operations ended early as the trap will be moving location tomorrow. 85 wild horses (34 Stallions, 35 Mares, and 16 Foals) were captured and there were two deaths after the BLM euthanized: 

  • 2 year-old black mare, ruptured tendon on hind
  • 20+ year-old grey stallion, cancer polyps on head

Observations and Events:

  • ~7:30 AM: Observers passed by the livestock semi transporting horses to the Palomino Valley Temporary Holding Facility.
  • Soon After 7:30 AM: Helicopter launch
  • 8:15 AM: Approximately 12 horses enter the trap
  • 11:45 AM: 5 horses run in front of the observation group. At the time the horses appear, the helicopter is not visible. On-site observer reports that the horses appeared fearful and confused about their surroundings. BLM personnel call the helicopter pilot in order to have them drive the horses into the trap. As the helicopter is chasing the horses towards the trap, one of the horses in the band falls while going up a hill. He gets back to his feet quickly and catches up with the other horses. After all the horses in the group have entered the trap, the helicopter returns to the area he came from.
  • 12:15 PM: Approximately 40 horses are brought into the trap. One horse, a grey, remained outside of the trap, and 3 wranglers rope it and bring it in.
  • 2:12 PM Helicopter lands
  • 2:44 PM Observation operations are completed for the day. The trap site will be moved.

Temporary Holding Facility

As in days previous, it was difficult to see the horses due to the use of a tarp around the holding panels. Only the tops of the horses’ heads could be seen. 

Date: November 9, 2023

Location: East of Fallon, same trapsite as yesterday

Weather Conditions:

  • Temperature: 16°-49°F
  • Conditions: Sunny
  • Wind: 1-2 mph


On the day of the operation, we met the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) officials at Middlegate Station, east of Fallon. The roundup began early in the morning with the deployment of a helicopter. Throughout the day, several groups of horses were captured, including bands with rival stallions, which led to observable heightened anxiety and protective behavior among the stallions. 80 horses were captured and there was one death after the BLM euthanized a 5-year-old healthy mare for being blind in one eye. 

Observations and Events:

  • 6:30 AM: Meeting with BLM representatives at Middlegate Station to caravan to the trap site.
  • 7:27 AM: Helicopter launched, stampeding approximately 18 horses from a ridge, including two black stallions engaged in a fight.
  • 9:20 AM: Around 20 horses, including a black stallion who set off into a different direction. After the group was in trap the pilot went into the direction of the stallion. The stallion was near the road, from a distance it appeared one motorist stopped. The ranger headed in that direction.  Shortly after, a truck and trailer headed out with saddle horses. Due to the knoll I was unable to see what was transpiring. Approx 25 minutes later (9:45) the trailer came back with a few horses.
  • 9:45 AM: A truck and trailer returned with a few horses after an unseen event behind a knoll.
  • Throughout the morning: The helicopter pilot continued to push horses from various locations, including a large group along the mountain base.
  • 12:22 PM: An additional 20+ horses were brought in from the area where the helicopter had been active.
  • 1:22 PM: Helicopter operations continued with temperatures reaching 49°F.
  • 2:50 PM: Approximately 6 horses were herded into the trap.
  • 4:02 PM: The final large group of horses was brought in, concluding the day's roundup activities.

Note: The temporary holding facility was not visited on this day. Observations were made from a distance, and the full details of the events behind the knoll and the actions of the motorist is not known. The behavior of the stallions and the impact of the roundup on the horse bands were significant concerns noted during the operation.

November 8, 2023: On Day 1 of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) wild horse roundup operation, BLM personnel were met at Middlegate Station, approximately one hour east of Fallon, NV. The roundup took place ten miles east of the meeting site, with the trap set up ¾ to a mile from the observation point. 130 wild horses were captured.

Location: Middlegate Station, East of Fallon, NV 

Weather Conditions: Clear skies with temperatures ranging from 19°F to 50°F. 

Observations and Events: 

  • At 6:30 AM, with a temperature of 19°F, the team parked off Highway 50 and commenced the operation. 
  • The first run at 7:15 AM resulted in the capture of 9 horses. The trap's wings were visible, but the catch pen and loading area were obscured by a hill. 
  • A second run at 8:15 AM brought in 7 additional horses. The helicopter was promptly refueled and returned to the field. 
  • At 11:20 AM, the helicopter returned for fuel. 
  • By 1:00 PM, 5 horses were observed evading the trap along a barbed wire fence in front of the observation area. 
  • At 1:20 PM, with the temperature at 50°F, a group of over 20 horses was brought in from the Middlegate/Dixie Valley area. 
  • At 3:30 PM, another large group was successfully guided into the trap area.
  • The operation concluded at 4:00 PM, with all horses appearing to be in good condition, exhibiting a body score of around 5. The horses displayed a variety of colors.

Potential violations: Some of the overhead bars at temporary holding and the trap were not padded

Temporary Holding Facility: 

  • The temporary holding facility has limited visibility due to the use of tarp fabric, which restricts views of the horses' legs or hooves. 
  • Hay is placed around the bottom portion of the pens, further limiting visibility. 
  • Observers can only view the horses from a distance on a hill. 
  • Two water troughs are provided per pen. A veterinarian was present on-site, and the horses appeared calm and closely gathered.