Commentary below photos are by Maggie, who was present during Saturday's event.
The foal that got separated on the hill, coming in pretty much by himself. No whips, absolutely not one moment of dragging. It took 41 minutes to get him from the top of the hill in to the catch area and he is now with his herd.
The helicopter holding the herd in while the guys close the gate. The bay roan mare (called blue roan stallion by media) remains fairly calm, no flags no whips. The helicopter leaves the second the gate is closed. When she needed to move over so they could bring in more horses is when she tried to make her escape. Very sad and very unexpected.
Bay roan mare, no panic, no sweat...watching them close the gate. Never did we see whips, abusive flagging....the loss of the mare devastated even the wranglers. You could see in their body language, they were affected just as we were.
She seemed calm until she needed to move over for the next horses to enter. The crowd of guys on the right are trying to close the gait. No flags, no whips, no panic at this time.
Because most of what you see on 'Advocate' sites is a lot of negativity and sensationalism (if not downright lies), I felt it important for those of you who read my blog and are concerned for the welfare of these animals to witness the passive, quiet and tranquil moments as well. A foal quietly walking down a hill (not roped and drug as has been said), and a mare who appeared to be just as settled as the rest of the horses until her moment of panic.
There is a video that claims the pilot hit a horse as well, but it was a horse jumping up in front of the helicopter, not a pilot running into a horse. Other video footage always shows a well trained pilot who moves livestock for a living and knows how to minimalism the dangers by keeping a safe distance, while also putting pressure on when needed. Nothing else I've seen has shown contact...I believe it was simply a matter of the camera angle in the one video by the Animal Rescue Unit.
I was asked in a comment last week about the BLM's plan to zero out all HMAs except for a select few. I've done some asking around, and there is an element of truth to this story. There had been a suggestion earlier this year to keep only 'treasured' herds, such as Pryor and Kiger, but that didn't appear to have a whole lot of support and the idea has been dropped.