Sulphur roundup begins with 127 Utah wild horses captured

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A helicopter pursues wild horses at the Sulphur HMA on Wednesday. All photos by Steve Paige for RTF.

The Bureau of Land Management on Wednesday captured 127 wild horses from Utah’s Sulphur Horse Management Area, with several of the horses stumbling in the snow while pursued by a contractor’s helicopter.

The wild horses scattered and split off, forcing the pilot to bring the wild horses into the trap in smaller groups. Wednesday’s total included two foals that were roped and brought into the trap site.

No wild horses were injured, according to BLM.

The agency plans to capture about 700 wild horses between now and Jan. 31 from the area about 50 miles west of Milford, Utah.

About 300 of the young wild horses will be permanently separated from their family bands and put up for adoption. The unadopted will be moved to long-term holding facilities, according to BLM.

About 400 of the older wild horses will be re-released, including 100 to 150 mares treated with the fertility control vaccine PZP-22.

The roundup is part of a BLM plan to reduce the Sulphur HMA’s population to an Appropriate Management Level of 165 wild horses over a six- to 10-year period, as well as to conduct smaller roundups of less than 100 wild horses near State Highway 21 for public safety reasons.

In March 2016, the wild horse population on the 265,675-acre HMA was estimated at 957 head.

Photos from Jan. 18:

How to attend:

Members of the public who wish to view the roundup should call the BLM’s gather hotline at (801) 539-4050 for daily updates.

BLM-escorted tours will leave from the Border Inn Gas Station located on Highway 6 and 50 on the Utah-Nevada state line, 88.6 miles west of Delta, Utah, where tours will depart at 6:30 a.m. MST, weather permitting.

Participants must provide their own transportation, water and food.

The BLM recommends footwear and clothing suitable for harsh winter weather. Binoculars and four-wheel drive, high clearance vehicles are also strongly recommended. No public restrooms will be available once the tour begins.

You can help:

Please consider a contribution to the Wild Horse Defense Fund, which makes it possible for Return to Freedom to have humane observers on the ground at roundups. Having an active voice has proven valuable for holding BLM and contractors accountable for the humane handling of wild horses, pressing for improvements to humane standards, and educating policymakers and the public about how tax dollars are being used.