BY GINGER KATHRENS
The Cloud Foundation
Despite 16 inches of snow 48 hours before the roundup began, the BLM was committed to starting on schedule. As snowplows opened dirt roads closed by deep drifts, I spoke with the BLM’s Contracting Officer’s Representative (COR) who cited “contractor availability” as the reason for scheduling the first ever winter roundup of the Swasey.
It was also the stated reason for proceeding with the operation as scheduled despite unfavorable conditions. What about the wild horses, I thought? Why isn’t their welfare the most important consideration?
The Cloud Foundation Video Report
Kathrens reports on February 14, 2013, a bay colt was unnecessarily separated from his mother. She states:
I was distracted watching the wranglers separate a cremello foal from the grey mare’s family. I didn’t notice that the bay colt’s family had been loaded into the front compartment of a trailer. Then they loaded more adult horses into the second compartment.
Instead of putting the bay colt in the back compartment so he could ride safely with his parents, they loaded three adults from another band in back. The colt called and called, and his mother answered, but the trailer pulled away without him. The colt kept calling and circled the pen, looking for a way out. He charged the fence, launched his body in the air, but fell backwards, failing to clear the six-foot barrier.
He called again and I could hear his mother answer as the trailer drove away. I agonized with the foal as he continued to whinny for his family. What incredible cruelty, I thought. In an instant his life changed forever.