Despite heavy rains causing a short delay in start time, the Bureau of Land Management and the Nevada Department of Corrections – Silver State Industries hosted this year’s final of four annual saddle-trained horse adoption events Oct. 17.
Eleven wild horses from ranges on BLM-administered public lands in Nevada and Utah were saddle-trained for four months by inmate trainers in the Northern Nevada Correctional Center program, and offered during a spirited competitive-bid adoption that raised $37,900.
All offered horses were adopted after starting bids of $150. The event’s top bid of $15,000 – a record high bid – went for a 4-year-old gelding named “Divit.” The average bidding price for each horse was $3,445.
The successful bidders officially adopted their new horse. After properly caring for their horse for one year, the adopter is eligible to receive title, or ownership, from the Federal government.
During 2015, 46 horses and 2 burros were gentled, trained, and adopted through the Inmate Training Program at the NNCC. The four quarterly, competitive-bid auctions raised a total of $86,725. These proceeds go into a WH&B program account that funds the transportation of these animals to the adoption events and to the BLM’s holding facilities across the United States.
The BLM uses its Adoption Program as the primary tool to place these iconic animals into private care. The horses or burros available for adoption come from overpopulated Herd Management Areas where vegetation and water could become scarce if too many animals, including wildlife and livestock, use the area.
Many people have found it personally challenging and rewarding to adopt a wild horse or burro. Additionally, it is a chance to care for, and then own, a part of America’s heritage. The BLM has placed more than 230,000 wild horses and burros into private care since 1971. Many of those animals have become excellent pleasure, show, or work horses.
The next saddle-trained wild horse adoption and competitive-bid auction event is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 20, 2016.
For more information on how to adopt your own wild horse or burro, visit the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program webpage at http://on.doi.gov/1MgzuIq.