Parties feud after federal magistrate blocks horse roundup to give opponents time to appeal

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CHEYENNE, Wyoming — Horse preservation groups seeking to block the federal government's plan to round up about 800 wild horses in Wyoming now have won at least a temporary victory.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Freudenthal of Cheyenne on Thursday denied the groups' request for a preliminary injunction to block the roundup.

But U.S. Magistrate Kelly Rankin later on Thursday approved the groups' request to blocking the roundup through Sept. 12.

Lawyers for the state of Wyoming and the Rock Springs Grazing Association say Rankin didn't have authority to countermand Freudenthal's order. They're asking Freudenthal to overturn Rankin's order.

The horse groups sued the U.S. Bureau of Land Management claiming the agency failed to follow environmental laws in planning to remove wild horses from three herd management areas in southern Wyoming.

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