Area youth participate in the Kansas Wild Horse Youth Challenge

Faith Bannister and Claire Jordan of Wichita with their horses loaded.
Faith Bannister and Claire Jordan of Wichita with their horses loaded.

The Bureau of Land Management held a pick-up event for the Kansas Wild Horse Youth Challenge in Hutchinson, Kan., on Saturday, May 11.  Nineteen youth, ages 9 – 17, picked up yearling horses to gentle, train and show the horses at the Kansas State Fair on Sept. 14 and 15.

This is the second year for the program that is sponsored by a dedicated group of volunteers, the Kansas State Fair and the Bureau of Land Management.  The youth will show their horses in a few classes at the fair and end with a freestyle class.  After the show, the trained yearlings will be available to qualified buyers by competitive bid.  Any amount above $25 will be retained by the youth trainer.  If a youth trainer wants to keep his or her horse, the horse will not be offered.

“It’s great to work with the volunteers and the Kansas State Fair to produce a youth event,” said BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program Manager Pat Williams.  “It’s exciting to see the youth develop their horsemanship skills while helping us place wild horses into private care.”

 “It was wonderful to see the excitement in the youth as they picked out their horses,” said volunteer coordinator Tammy HaIsey.

Sorrel yearling loading.
Sorrel yearling loading.

“I look forward to seeing the youth and the yearlings compete at the Kansas State Fair,” said Jenn Galloway with the Kansas State Fair.  

The animals offered at the event are yearling horses that once roamed free on public lands in the West.  The BLM periodically removes excess animals from the range in order to maintain healthy herds and to protect other rangeland resources.  In addition to events like this, the adoption and sale program is essential for achieving these important management goals.  Since 1973, the BLM has placed more than 235,000 of these animals in approved homes across the country.

Sahara Barker-Wellesley touching a yearling.
Sahara Barker-Wellesley touching a yearling.