For Release: April 28,
Contact: Jeff Fontana (530) 252-5332
Wild Horses and Burros Available for Adoption in Napa
Residents of the Napa Valley and surrounding areas have the opportunity to adopt a wild horse or burro, when the U. S. Bureau of Land Management brings its Adopt a Horse or Burro program to the Napa Mustang Days celebration, Friday and Saturday, May 15 and 16.
The BLM will offer 30 mustangs and about 10 wild burros at the Napa Valley Horsemen’s Association, 1200 Foster Dr. A preview begins Friday at 2 p.m. Adoptions begin with an hour of silent bidding at 9 a.m. Saturday, with remaining animals available for a $125 fee after 10 a.m.
“Our Mustang Days event celebrates all things equine,” said event organizer Nancy Kerson of the Napa Valley Horsemen’s Association. “We have built the event around the wild horse adoption. We will have professional mustang trainers on hand to show how to train a wild horse, and adopters will show their successes with these amazing horses and burros. Adopters and trainers will be available to answer questions.”
In addition to the adoption activities, the celebration will feature arena shows, a barbecue, story time for children and family games. Complete information about the event is available at www.napamustangdays.com. Information about BLM adoption requirements is available at www.wildhorseandburro.blm.gov.
The horses and burros coming to Napa were gathered by the BLM from northern California and Nevada wild herds. The BLM removes animals from these herds to keep populations in balance with other range users, including wildlife and permitted livestock, and to ensure that rangeland plants and water resources are not over-used.
Adopters must be at least 18 and have no criminal convictions for mistreatment of animals. They must provide a 400 square-foot corral surrounded by a six foot pipe or board fence (five-foot fences are allowed for horses under 2 years old; burros can be kept in corrals with four-and-a-half-foot fences).
“Adopted animals must be kept in a corral until they can be haltered, handled and led,” Kerson explained.
Kerson, with her husband, Mike, and daughter Saanen, have adopted four mustangs and will show them at Mustang Days. They have gentled and trained 11 mustangs.
“From our experience we know that mustangs are smart, loyal and strong,” Kerson said. “They bond very closely with their owners and learn quickly.”
Mustangs will be featured in parts of a Mustang Days arena show starting at 1 p.m. Saturday. It features the Radical Riders Rodeo Trick Team and a bareback riding demonstration by Janet Titus, a finalist in last year’s Western States Mustang Challenge at Cal Expo, Sacramento. Trainer Brandy Worley will present “At Liberty,” a demonstration of non-verbal horse and human communication, and Napa area resident Wendee Walker will demonstrate her mustang’s ability at the demands of dressage.
Northern California mustang and burro adopters will parade their animals as part of the arena show.
In other activities, the Napa Lit Readers will hold a Saturday morning “Wild Horse Annie Story Time” for children, and Leadership Napa Valley Class XII will staff an information booth to encourage visitors to fight “Nature Deficit Disorder,” by getting outdoors.
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