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News.bytesNews.bytes Extra, issue 330

Santa Rosa Wild Horse and Burro Adoption 

An enthusiastic crowd turned out at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa Saturday, May 3, when the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse and Burro adoption program came to town.
At the peak of the day, nearly 300 people milled around the adoption area. Some adopted new “best friends,” while others gathered information about adoption and still others satisfied their curiosity about the “living legends of the American West.”

By day’s end, 32 animals of the 41 available went home with new owners (22 horses and 10 burros).

This little colt must have been wondering where all the people came from as crowds pressed the fences.

Fans gather around the adoption corrals

 In a solitary moment, a bidder jots down his offer for a yearling mustang. 

A bidder marks his price. 

The high bid received was for an energetic palomino colt.  An adopter paid $1,350 for the privilege of bringing him home. 

Horse that received the highest bids

There were many happy moments when adopters watched their horses being loaded into trailers. Adopter Maryann Bekowies of Petaluma proudly shows her mustang’s neck tag after BLM wranglers haltered the horse for the trip home. 

A very happy new horse adopter shows off her horses' tag.

Flicka, an 18-month-old filly, was a real crowd pleaser. She was halter trained for adoption by BLM volunteer Edona Miller of Wheatland. Flicka was featured when KGO TV reporter Wayne Freedman, interviewing a prospective adopter in the second photo, did his report for the evening news for the San Francisco ABC affiliate.


Flicka, an 18-month old filly.

KGO reporter covers the Wild Horse and Burro Adoption

A standout example of a mustang’s potential was Oreo, owned by Sara Reid. Sara, a volunteer for California State Parks, uses Oreo for patrol duties at Sonoma County State Park. She also rides the mustang from Nevada’s Fish Creek Herd Management Area, in endurance competition. He recently won Best Condition honors in limited distance competition.

Sara and Oreo
BLM staff helped make the day enjoyable for those attending the event. Amy Dumas, wild horse and burro program manager for BLM-California, introduces visitors to Ruby, an adopted Twin Peaks mustang. 

Amy Dumas, wild horse and burro program manager for BLM-California, introduces visitors to Ruby, an adopted mustang.

Grant Lockie, a wrangler from the Litchfield Corrals helped sort out tie bids, second photo, and then demonstrated gentling methods using a pinto yearling from the adoption pens.

Grant Lockie, a wrangler from the Litchfield Corrals assists visitors to the adoption.

Grant Lockie demonstrates gentling methods.

- Jeff Fontana, 5/6/08

Bureau of Land Management in California, News.bytes issue 331

Last updated: 05-07-2008