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Release Date: 09/14/11
Contacts: Shannon Borders, 970-240-5399    

BLM Offers Recently Gathered Wild Horses for Adoption

CORTEZ, Colo. – On Saturday, Sept. 24, the public can adopt a living legend from the Spring Creek wild horse herd during the adoption at the Montezuma County Fair Grounds (30100 Hwy. 160) in Cortez from 10-11 a.m. 

In mid-September, the Bureau of Land Management gathered horses from the Spring Creek herd management area and will offer about 25 wild horses for adoption.  Interested individuals can preview the horses on Friday, Sept. 23 from 5-7 p.m. and on Saturday, Sept. 24 from 8-10 a.m.  During the Friday preview, local wild horse adopter Emily Rapp will provide a mustang training demonstration. Adopters must be approved by 10 a.m. on Saturday in order to receive a bid card.     

Potential adopters may also bring a halter for their adopted horse and must bring a trailer that is suitable for hauling a wild horse.  The BLM cannot safely load wild horses into a two-horse trailer or a trailer with a drop ramp.  A four-horse or larger trailer is acceptable.  Horses must be picked up by 4 p.m. on Sept. 24 unless other arrangements have been made. 

To adopt a wild horse complete the application and review the corral and shelter requirements at

Additionally, the Colorado Wild Horse Inmate Program offers halter training services for a fee.  The price is $200 per month for training plus $4 per day for board and usually takes four to six weeks.  

“The BLM will haul the horse from the Cortez adoption to Canon City at no charge, but the adopter has to pick it up in Canon City when the training is finished,” said Fran Ackley, BLM Wild Horse Program Lead.  “If you would like to see what halter training entails, you can go to the website and click on the wild horse program.” 

The title to an adopted wild horse remains with the federal government for at least one year.  After providing a year of good care, adopters may apply for title to their adopted wild horse.  The BLM or a representative will check on the condition of the animal during the one-year adoption period.

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 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 38,500 wild horses and burros roaming on public rangelands in the western states.  More than 225,000 animals have been adopted since the BLM’s Adopt-a-Horse-or-Burro Program began in the early 1970s.

For additional information call the BLM toll free at (866) 4MUSTANGS or go to

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Last updated: 09-14-2011