Press Release

Famous Cloud the Stallion Wild Herd still Suffering Damage from BLM Capture

While Americans on holiday, Labor Day weekend round up decimates herd as winter arrives

LOVELL, WY –September 26, 2009 – On Saturday at noon, 57 wild horses from the Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Herd, made famous in part by the PBSNature documentaries, will be auctioned off to the highest bidders. A large crowd is expected due, in part, to the publicity surrounding the controversial roundup earlier this month.

While the missing members of their herd wait, tagged and branded in BLM holding pens, the damages of this poorly planned roundup are highly visible on the range.  Beyond leaving this unique wild horse herd seriously below genetic viability, the horses on the range are clearly damaged.

“We were up on the mountaintop yesterday and the cruelty of this massive roundup has not faded away,” explains Ginger Kathrens, Volunteer Executive Director of the Cloud Foundation. “Cloud is lame on his right front and his filly-daughter is still extremely sore.  It was painful just watching them walk to water.”

One of Cloud’s mares, also injured, appears to have a possible stifle injury.  His four-year-old daughter, Firestorm, has significant difficulty walking at all.  “I think they will recover but it is hard to know and winter is just around the corner,” Kathrens continues.  In the past 15 years all roundups in the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range have occurred later in the year when the horses were lower down on the range.  This roundup took place in early September when nearly all the mountain horses were the furthest away possible from the trap site.  Foals less than one month old were forced to run over 12 miles along with their families to the BLM corrals at the base of the mountain.

This roundup was scheduled early due to contractor availability, BLM desire to remove all horses from Commissary Ridge outside the designated range (a plan not revealed to the public until day one of the roundup) and National Adoption Day. The BLM is holding adoption events across the country and hopes to adopt out 1000 horses. “This is a significant event and will raise awareness for mustangs, but why they had to pillage this little herd for 57 more horses to adopt out when there are 31,750 wild horses in holding already is beyond me,” says Kathrens.

While at the turn of the century, there were approximately 2 million wild horses in America, there are only 33,100 mustangs left on the western ranges according to BLM.  “I think the BLM knows that these horses will draw a considerable crowd and they put all the horses in danger with this early roundup.  In what was planned to be a “model” roundup, even the most famous wild horse in the world was injured,” says Kathrens.

Citing “a disturbing round up a few weeks ago,” Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) was instrumental in legislation that passed the Senate on Sept. 24, 2009.  The legislation directs the BLM “to develop a new comprehensive long-term plan for wild horse populations by September 30, 2010” according to a press release from the legislation’s sponsor, Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA).

“The public outcry for preservation of our wild horses and burros is being heard” says Kathrens.

“People are not willing to sit by and watch an unchecked government destroy a Western American treasure: the wild Mustang.”


38 Responses to “Press Release”

  1. Morgan Williams Says:

    I am so grateful for these updates today from The Cloud Foundation, Carol Walker and all the bloggers. My heart has been in my throat all day as I wait for news. The first priority was winning the Mustang’s freedom and then settling them all into their new surrounding. This victory must have been so sweet to taste & savour.

  2. Marilyn Wargo Says:

    TCF, I knew you would check on them and I am sorry that there are still horses in pain. It put them in danger. All I can do is hope they are strong enough to recover. Thanks for telling us. Mar

  3. Morgan Williams Says:

    I have been reading website for a couple of hours on HR 2996. Here is the best link I found to size up the specific portion of the Appropriations bill passed on 09-24-09:

    H.R. 2996, an appropriations bill for 2010 for the Dept. of Interior including the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”).

  4. Morgan Williams Says:

    Does anyone know how Lindsay Macdannold is doing after the wisdom teeth surgery/extraction? I have not been able to contact her since Thursday.

  5. Ronnie Says:

    Of course, I wish we knew more about Cloud’s “lameness” and that of his mare and daughter. Frightening to read Ginger Kathren’s description of the great difficulty of all walking to water.

    Cloud showed such courage, defiance and unbelievable need to care for his band during the round-up. If injured at any time, he would have continued his care for his family, no matter what.

    That said, I have faith that Ginger Kathren is following Cloud and family very closely. I wonder if she can intervene if it looks like Cloud and all are worsening? It would be more trauma to capture Cloud for treatment, but better than have Cloud and family get worse with only nature’s “natural selection” up on the range. And predators are attracted to disabled animals. Winter coming soon.

    Man caused this…if worsening, it is moral and humane for caring humans to help these injured horses. Pray Cloud heals. He is the leader, but then, I imagine another would take his place. This is the way of wild horses. Survival.

  6. Janet Ferguson Says:

    Before direct dialing came to Montana, a BLM OFFICIAL, staying in Billings, expressed shock when told the charge for a telephone call he’d made to Twin Falls, down in the opposite corner of the state. “Why, man,” he told the hotel clerk, “in BLM COUNTRY, for that money we could make a call to hell and back!”“But in BLM COUNTRY, sir,” the clerk asked gently, “wouldn’t that be considered a local call?

    Sorry, couldn’t help myself. . . .

    I hope and pray the spirit of the horse will carry the travelers swiftly to
    Washington, D.C. and Arlington, VA, and back home safely to their families.

  7. Linda Says:

    I hope that Ginger can add a “foreword” to the upcoming PBS program about Cloud and his family to tell of the atrocities that they have faced this past month.

  8. Suzanne Moore Says:

    I also greatly appreciate the updates. I will be hoping for news that Cloud and his family are recovered or at least better. I just makes me SO angry…

  9. Marilyn Wargo Says:

    Morgan, thanks for that link. lots of good info and background links. this piece alone can educate a curious person. Mar

    • Janet Ferguson Says:

      Yes, I mentioned it to my friend who also sent $$ to Freedom Fund, and sent her the link today! It is a great source!

  10. Marilyn Wargo Says:

    Hope Lindsay is feeling better, did not know this, she has been busy with rally planning, Hope You are Feeling Better, Lindsay. You have some big days coming… mar

  11. Marilyn Wargo Says:

    Firestorm seems to be in worst shape, I hope matt will keep a special eye out on these horses and tell public how they are. he has done a great job giving us pictures and info. He says more photos are coming. The CBS Morning news is showing horses in the Mojave desetrt!!!!Lovely, but no burros made it, too bad. It was in their closing. Some very Wild Horses. Mar

  12. Nora Morbeck Says:

    Out of curiosity … Since horses will naturaly select certain plants to help with pain and inflamation, what kinds of plants are available to Cloud and his herd this time of year on the range?

    Aside from movement, I’m wondering if there’s anything that might help the soreness/lameness.

  13. Neil Relyea Says:

    I think PBS needs to allow additional air time to broadcast an update on what has happened to Cloud & all of the Pryor Mountain wild horses — immediately following Ginger’s newest documentary when it airs in October — as in extending the PBS special from 60 to 90 minutes to include the update. Then it may really sink into the public consciousness what has happened — and maybe help shed more light on the subject as well as boost efforts to not only protect the herd from future harm — and also to expedite reform of the BLM.

  14. Christine Says:

    Standing in cold water would help, but it may be something that Cloud and his band may not be in the habit of doing. Being wet in the mountains can be detrimental, particularly as the temps drop at night at this time of year.

    I really am glad the herds were able to be kept mostly together…are there going to be any big writeups on the adoption? I realize its a tall order, but this was an important event in the history of the herd…and possibly in the history of wild horse advocacy.

  15. Bev Says:

    I’ve been monitoring this website as well as the Pryor Mountain Mustang Center site since Labor Day weekend. As a resident of Montana, who has always wanted to adopt a Mustang (I have a 22-year-old BLM burro I adopted 21 years ago), I thought it would be really special to adopt a Pryor Mountain (Montana) Mustang and was planning to attend the adoption yesterday.

    But as I read the comments and plans it became obvious that all of these horses would find homes and I didn’t care to participate in a bidding “war.” As it turns out there was an adoption event in Blackfoot, Idaho last weekend to find homes for horses from the Challis herd. The same distance from my home …. a totally different event.

    I went to Blackfoot and came home with a gorgeous weanling filly. In two days I was petting her and one week later she’s pretty well settled in. She was one of the fortunate ones that found a home that day. MANY of the horses did not. I can’t tell you how heartbreaking it was to see all those beautiful horses who are just as deserving of good homes as the Pryor Mountain adoptees. But, they’re not famous and don’t get the same attention. And didn’t get homes.

    I know this website is devoted to this herd and I know all of you have the best of intentions. But it pains me to see all of the attention focused here then think of all those beautiful Challis horses. I now know my decision to go to Blackfoot was the right one.

    I know all of your hearts are in the right place and like many of you I will be in Washington DC “in spirit” these next few days. Just PLEASE remember all the other herds, who aren’t famous like the Pryor herd, but have the same needs and deserve the same respect.

    • Morgan Williams Says:

      Hey Bev!

      Nice to meet you. Thank you very much for sharing your adoption story from the Challis Herd adoption event. You are a very fortunate new Mom.

      There are some of us, on this Cloud blog, who are also on Facebook. There we keep up with all the other BLM and Forestry Service roundups that are continueing to take place daily. Elissa Kline just posted the news of the purchase of 19 Challis mares. Elissa and a group of supporters have placed the mares on private land to live freely for the remainder of their lives. Some of the mares had lost their babies during and after the roundup. Carol Walker is keeping folks updated on Wyoming roudnups. She just got done photographing the McCullough Peaks roundup. Frank Kuntz of the Nakota Horse Conservancy was keeping us updated on the North Dakota roundup. He was on Howling Ridge Radio this week Wednesday. We could not find anyone in Nevada though, watching over the Garfield Flats roundup. I could only speak to the BLM press agent. Another woman names Sally W. is keeping people updated on the 15 Mile Herd roundup. The BLM had 350 head so far yesterday, 10/22/09. Devastating.

      If you are a member of Facebook, please look me up!
      Name: Morgan J Williams


  16. Jana Says:

    Thank you so much for keeping us updated. I have been wondering how the adoption went, and thinking of the horses on the range and how their lives have changed. For those of us that couldn’t be there I wanted to say I really appreciate the updates.

  17. Janet Ferguson Says:

    Somewhere around on this blog is a link so you can hear the BLM meeting tomorrow. I went to that link and listened to part 2 of the June 2009 meeting. After the public comments, which were very interesting, there followed some more discussion of various topics by the BLM Advisory Board.

    They are making some sort of “recommendation” targeted for 9/30/09. They also vaguely discuss “action plans to have in place” when “decisions are finally made” They do not talk in specifics. Videos do not pick up on notes passed among the members, if any were.
    I guess, since I haven’t been following all this very long, my concern is what specifically are they targeting to do on 9/30/09.

  18. Marilyn Wargo Says:

    JF, Because of what has been happening this past week and the real pressure put on BLM, I doubt they will attempt any euthanizing. They were just told not to. It would be safer for them to call off all roundups. The schedule at the Nevada Horse Power site, is new, it was changed. The gathers will be discussed early, right after ‘old business.’ If you get the webcast do please tell us if they do announce they will stop them. I think they may. Mar

  19. Christine Says:

    Sadly I’m on dialup, so anything streaming doesn’t work for me. I’ll just have to wait for a summary.

  20. CINDY STUART Says:








  21. Gayle Says:

    I just finished watching the first episode of the National Parks documentary by Ken Burns, and it was excellent. Wouldn’t it be great if the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range became a national park? As someone said, if you’re going to dream, dream big! I think Hope would be a great name for the new filly, as in hope for the future of the horses and to honor Hope Ryden, whose wonderful book got me interested in the issue (didn’t know where to see if the name has been used before). God bless the people who adopted the horses, but I hope Grumpy and the rest of the older ones will be running free for the rest of their lives, even if it’s in a pasture.

    • Susan NY Says:

      Gayle, yes the Ken Burns documentary was wonderful. It was easy to see the connection to the Pryor mustangs with the history of the American people and natural world, and how far we have come together. The same forces that resisted reform then are here with us now … this time we have the internet : )

      I love the name Hope for the filly. I truly hope the seed of hope for these horses is watered and thrives for our children’s children, and their children.

    • Janet Ferguson Says:

      Gayle that is a great idea about Hope the filly named for Hope Ryden. She is such a brave person to do all she has accomplished and a very gracious one at that! This country is really lucky to have had all these wonderful people to bring the natural world into our lives.

    • Morgan Williams Says:


      Isn’t the Pryor Mt. range part of Custer National Forest?

  22. Linda Says:

    Maybe this has been posted before, but I didn’t remember it. Click on this link– for a concise assessment of “The Plight of the Mustang” by Sonya Malecky Spaziani. I found this under “Discussion” on the Cloud Facebook page, and she gives a good overview of all aspects of this issue, good talking points.

  23. Pam Miller Says:

    I am finally checking my emails from my friend since I was 5 years old (who is Nichol’s Photography) and I am absolutely appauled that this is how we choose to treat an amazing breed of animals that have such an amazing heritage in our world. I know she and many others have been tracking these amazingly beautiful creatures that deserve so much more respect and honor. What has our world ( and more specifically, our american culture and heritage and values come to? I have wept over this information…more than once…and I now have the opportunity to share it with our foreign exchange student who is almost 18 years old from France who is trying to grasp our ignorance and lack of respect for what should be valued and respected as a culture….I am truly embarassed to share this view of our current American culture. She presents and shares a sad truth about our current American values. Thank you for sharing. My tears will continue to flow over how our wilder side is not being respected…and I do not own a horse, and probably never will. This photographer and friend has brought out feelings and respect I never ever thought I might experience about our wild horses. I do not understand how people can be so cruel and ignorant as to how our current choices affect the future and our future children and society as a whole. I am truly saddened that this is a human choice made by those in a position of power. Thanks for sharing. I go to bed feeling very sad!!!!!!!

  24. Marilyn Wargo Says:

    If Hope Ryden told a story about trespassing to get photos and getting arrested, she is telling us we have to do all we can. People who are in Nebraska, anyone? need to go to the Horse Pens and take pictures. Like our Montana friend intends.
    We need to challenge BLM for disclosure, that their total secrecy equals a Para military operation. That is nuts. Out of place. These are, after all, only Horses. It is such an insider organization. The arrogance and the hatred are indicative of the deep disdain for all influences not of their ilk. The company they keep is questionable, too. We still need more info. Their info. Mar

  25. Cathy Kindsfather Says:

    thanks for your continued support of all wild horses and reporting.
    I am so saddened by the Calico roundups in progress. I wonder about the fate of the brave stallion who freed himself, sadly leaving his family behind. I hope blm will leave him alone!

    I hope that Cloud and his remaining family are recovered from their injuries ad trauma of the roundup there.

    Isn’t there something more to be done to stop this!!! I keep reading it is against the law what they are doing!!! Its despicable how they treat our beautiful wild treasures of joy and love. I am beginning to understand insanity. It is driving me crazy that we cant seem to stop them!

  26. Cathy Kindsfather Says:

    HI Bev!!

    So nice to hear your story of adoption. I wish more people would adopt!
    Maybe Ginger should make some more herds popular. Then more people would adopt them!!

    What I wonder about is why the BLM turned down Madeline Pickens who wanted to adopt all the horses and put them in a sanctuary. Whats up with that?

  27. Cathy Kindsfather Says:

    How is Cloud and his band?? I am wondering how they are doing after the injuries sustained in the round up and with winter and all.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: