Another Baby Allowed To Die Alone And In Agony


Hope Springs Eternal
(A Eulogy)
By Laura Leigh
HOUSTON, (Horseback) - On January 22, 2010 I was given a tour of the Fallon holding facility after my observation days (Calico gather) had been cancelled by weather twice.
I had witnessed the gather on January 16, and met Gene Seidlitz (Winnemucca district manager) and Heather Emmons, both of the Bureau of Land Management. Both appeared to be very willing to accommodate and provide access in as transparent a manner as possible Gene spoke to me many times about the concept of finding areas for dialogue and co-operation. I had hoped to write an article based on that concept.
On January 22, Seidlitz and Lisa Ross, BLM public relations coordinator for Calico gather met me at the agency’s Fallon facility. John Neill is acting BLM manager at Fallon. I was given free access to photograph and ask questions. I was also allowed to videotape the “hospital” facility at Fallon. I soon saw a row of small pens near the entrance to the facility next to the area being built to process horses. The plywood for windbreaks was stacked but not installed.
The pens held mostly foals and a few mares. Each horse I saw demonstrated some form of lameness. Many had bandages on their legs. Of particular concern was a foal that would not rise when approached.. His eyes were glassy.
Over the next few days I made several attempts to gain information about that foal. I sent e-mails to Gene, Lisa, and John. I was told the foal was up the very next day and doing well. Information I found hard to believe because I did not think he would even make it through the night. I requested a vet report and was told I would have it as soon as one was available. I requested that the foal be released to me and I would facilitate his placement into a facility that could properly care for him. The request was denied, the BLM saying it was not needed.
I named him “Hope Springs Eternal.” I began to make inquiries to find a facility to bring him to. He would have a home.
Several more conversations with John Neill continued to assure me the foal was fine. John said he was busy and if I did not get the vet report to please call him again.
I called today. I was told the vet report is online. It’s not. He was euthanized Saturday because his hooves had begun to slough.
My emotions are many:
So much for a timely exchange of information. So much for the concept that the “guys on the ground” are any different than the guys in DC, something they want you to believe. So much for the idea that co-operation toward problem solving with the best interests of the horses at its heart will ever be a reality. So much for “ Hope Springs Eternal.”
The baby I saw on January 22 was in incredible pain to the point that, as a wild animal, he could hardly lift his head as a strange human, a potential predator, approached. All the others rose and limped away. This baby languished in that facility with no windbreak in agony. A baby that had a chance if the humans involved could have attempted to create an opportunity to work together. Releasing that foal would have cost the BLM nothing… and maybe created the sensation that somewhere in this madness a spirit of humanity could overcome this battle of obstinate adherence to outdated bureaucratic protocol. I had “Hope.”
Little spirit you are now free of this administration’s unwillingness to recognize your worth. “Hope Springs Eternal,” rest in peace. You are loved.

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  1. Such a shame and also a sham. The BLM knew that foal was in misery and wouldn't release him at no cost to themselves. It's just another form of the cover-up that is going on with that agency. It's so sad that all the innocents have to die, if they weren't chased for miles with helicopters they may still be alive.

  2. Those little delicate hooves. Those poor mares in agony, running and running, carrying their babies inside...and most likely beginning the miscarriage/aborting as they run in terror with the whirring helicopter blades so close!

    Common sense the danger of delicate new hooves, pulling, scraping off, with not only hard rock, but ICE (!) as the babies run to keep up with mother.

    If the BLM knows the horses will not be treated (ya right, a vet report) and let them suffer so, why don't they shoot them soon. I know this sounds terrible, but to be in such agony for hours whether on the ground or in a trailer for miles and miles.

    Is the BLM trying to keep up some a**-backward "humane image?"
    I just don't understand this insanity, cruelty.

    There are sadists there too. We know the helicopters buzz the horses and fly so low almost touching the horse. What damage do they do this way...and other ways that we do not know. And btw, remember the photo of the vet sticking a horse in the pen...just for fun and laughing?

    I hope there is a Hell!

  3. I totally agree with both of you. I even hesitated posting this because I cry the entire time, but this baby cannot have died in vain. Everyone needs to know about this! I have no words to adequately express my pain and rage.

    We must keep the faith and spread the word. The horses are depending on us, for they have no one else.

    Thank you both for your comments.

  4. Thank-you for helping to spread this little guys story.

    If I hadn't seen him would we have known? How many are quietly "paper shuffled" as our horses are gathered with no public witness and taken to a "private" facility where we must "make an appointment?"

    Again... thank-you for acknowledging him here.

  5. Thank YOU, Laura, for everything you are doing. I can't even imagine how painful it must be to actually SEE all this first hand. It's bad enough just relaying your information.

    If you hadn't been there, no one would have known - or CARED. If the BLM truly had nothing to hide they would have nothing to lose and a lot of pr to be gained by being as open as they SAID they were going to be. But, I certainly don't need to tell YOU that.

    I will continue to spread the word far and wide - I just wish I could see some glimmer that it's doing any good.

    Again, thank you for all you're doing for OUR horses. And, please, take care of yourself too.


"From my earliest memories, I have loved horses with a longing beyond words." ~ Robert Vavra