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Central California District
Release Date: 10/14/10
Contacts: David Christy , (916) 941-3146  
News Release No. CC-11-05

Halter-Trained Horses Available for Adoption at Grand National Rodeo

The Bureau of Land Management will bring its Wild Horse and Burro Program to the Grand National Rodeo this year, including a wild horse adoption.

The rodeo runs Oct. 16 through 24 at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. The BLM will attend Oct. 20-24, giving training demonstrations Oct. 20 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and holding an adoption for up to ten halter-gentled mustangs on Oct. 23. Informal demonstrations also will be given periodically.

“These horses are yearlings and two-year-olds from California, Nevada and Oregon,” said Amy Dumas, Wild Horse and Burro program lead in California. “Our volunteers are halter training these horses.  They chose these animals for their temperament and conformation. We look forward to sharing information on mustangs with people attending the Grand National Rodeo.”
The mustangs will be available for adoption on Saturday at noon via a competitive bid.  Bids will start at $125.  All available animals have received de-worming treatments and vaccinations for West Nile virus, rabies and common equine diseases.  All have negative Coggins test results.  Adopters receive complete health records for their animals so they can begin health care programs with their veterinarians.
To qualify, adopters must be at least 18 years old and have no convictions for inhumane treatment of animals.  BLM staff members will interview all prospective adopters to be sure they meet the BLM adoption requirements.

Newly adopted horses and burros must be kept in corrals with at least 400 square feet of space per animal (20 feet by 20 feet), surrounded by a sturdy fence built of pipe or boards.  As these are gentled horses they can be kept in corrals with five-foot fences.  Adopters must provide a two-sided, roofed shelter to provide protection from extreme weather.

At the adoption event, adopters must provide a halter and lead rope. 

Title to adopted wild horses and burros remains with the federal government for one year.  After providing a year of good care, adopters can receive title.  The BLM or a representative will check on the condition of the animal during the adoption period.

"Wild horses are strong, loyal, intelligent and very trainable," Dumas said.  "Adopters love their horses for pleasure riding and trail riding, back country packing, ranch work and competition.  People train their burros for back country packing, pulling carts, guarding livestock, and riding."

Wild horses and burros are protected by a federal law, the Wild and Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act.  The law recognizes the animals as "living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the west," and requires the BLM to manage the wild herds.

The BLM periodically gathers horses and burros to control herd populations on ranges shared with wildlife and domestic livestock.  Herd sizes are controlled to ensure there is sufficient feed and water for all range users and to ensure that natural resources are not over-used.

There are about 38,400 wild horses and burros roaming on public rangelands in the western states.  More than 225,000 animals have been placed in private care since the BLM’s Adopt-a-Horse-or-Burro Program began in the early 1970s.

For additional information on the adoption event or wild horse management, contact the BLM toll free at 1-866-4MUSTANGS or the Litchfield Corrals at (530) 254-6575. Information is also available online at


Central California District   2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, CA 95825  

Last updated: 10-14-2010