Approximately 700 horses that have been the center of controversy since the ranch where they lived went into foreclosure and was sold last year have been rounded up by Crow horsemen over the past few days.
The horses, which were left to fend for themselves, strayed from the property and began living on adjoining properties including land that belongs to the Crow Tribe.
The ower of the horses, James Leachman, faces animal cruety charges and is to go to trial during the next six months. He has been given five days to collect his horses, once they have been catalogued and must pay costs of their care and the roundup.
If he does not comply with the directive, the horses will be sold.
Many people have been involved in a relief effort beginning in December when authorities and concerned citizens were informed of the condition of the horses.
Feed was trucked and airlifted to the horses to keep them fed in an operation co-ordinated through the Northern International Livestock Exposition in Billings.
If the horses go to sale, any money from the sale will compensate for the damage the horses did to other properties. Any excess will then go to cover the cost of the roundup.
If Leachman is able to prove ownership of the horses any funds left after compensation for damage to other properties and the costs of the roundup would go to him.