By Jamie Leary

MOFFAT COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Following pressure from Colorado Gov. Jared Polis and thousands of wild horse advocates, the state’s largest roundup ended Sunday, earlier than initial plans laid out by the Burea of Land Management.

(credit: Bureau of Land Management)

The federal agency initially set out to remove 733 horses from the Sand Wash Basin in Moffat County but stopped operations Sunday after rounding up 684 horses.

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Of the 684 horses gathered, 49 were released back into the Sand Wash Basin. The BLM also released 3 mares into the Spring Creek Basin herd management area in southwestern Colorado.

Overall, there were 2 euthanasia deaths (1 stallion and 1 foal) that were attributed to pre-existing injuries.

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(credit: Bureau of Land Management)

“Based on estimated numbers, we are well within the middle of our appropriate management level of 163-362, which will allow us to manage for healthy horses on healthy lands,” said Chris Maestas, Public Affairs Specialist for the BLM’s Northwest Colorado District.

The state has pledged an ongoing commitment to help the BLM find creative solutions to wild horse management and in the end, encouraged the agency to settle on a lower total gather number.

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(credit: Bureau of Land Management)

“With the commitment from the state, we will have the option to manage the wild horse population at a more sustainable level using contraception, bait trap gathers and other management options,” said Maestas.

Jamie Leary