BLM California News.bytes 
News.bytes Extra, issue 544

Wild Horse and Burro ambassadors greet Nevada County fairgoers

Triple-digit heat didn’t stop people from coming by to meet BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program ambassador animals at the Nevada County Fair in Grass Valley. Fairgoers could visit the booth and learn about the wild horses and burros, from August 8 to 13. (text continues below)

a burro rests on the ground
Steve and Michele DeCamp’s 10 month-old burro, Buckshot -- from the Black Mountain Horse Management Area in Arizona -- takes a momentary rest from the public.

Volunteers Sue Watkins, Marcy Schaffer-Egot, Michele and Steve DeCamp, and Mikaela and Sierra Sawaya helped staff the booth and brought ambassador animals to the event.  Mikaela and Sierra are going to take their yearlings to Fort Worth, Texas in September for the Supreme Extreme Mustang Makeover.  They picked up their yearlings in May for this makeover.  We were very happy to have them at the Fair to show how trainable the mustangs are.  Good luck to the Sawaya sisters at the competition!

two women inspect a horse
Mikaela Sawaya shows the public how gentle her yearling mustang, Amira, is.

people look at a donkey in a corral
The public admires Caldwell, a two-year old BLM mule from the Twin Peaks HMA. 

a woman sitting atop a horse and another holding a horse's reins, speak with visitors
Sue Watkins, on Walley, and Sierra Sawaya, with Shasta, talk to the public about their horses at the Nevada County Fair.

a woman holds a horse's rope lead
Michele DeCamp’s horse Modoc (Devil’s Garden WHT) feels a little frisky in the demo arena.

Sue Watkins -- with Shasta’s assistance -- shows the crowd a safe way to teach a horse to pick up its back feet.
a woman holds a rope to train a horse 

a young lady poses with a horse
Mikaela Sawaya poses with her yearling Amira...

a smiling young woman poses with her horse
...and Sierra Sawaya poses with Shasta.  These girls are competing in the Supreme Extreme Mustang Makeover in Texas in September.  The Nevada County Fair was a training experience for these young horses.  They were exposed to crowds and people petting their faces, life in a stall, and all kinds of noises, such as PA systems, applause, and monster trucks.  Despite this being their public debut as gentled horses, they handled all this new sensory exposure like pros.

- Amy Dumas, BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program Manager (August 13, 2012)

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