BLM – Northern Nevada Correctional Center saddle-started, wild horse adoption a success

RENO, Nev. — The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Nevada Department of Corrections – Silver State Industries conducted a saddle-trained horse and halter-trained burro adoption event on June 2 at the Northern Nevada Correctional Center (NNCC) south of Carson City, Nevada. All 15 animals showcased at the event were subsequently adopted.

Thirteen former wild horses and two burros from herd management areas located on BLM-administered public lands in California and Nevada were trained for approximately four months by inmate trainers in the NNCC program and offered during a competitive-bid adoption.

Successful bidders paid a total of $38,850 for the animals. With all bids starting at $150, the event’s saddle-trained wild horse top bid of $5,600 went for “Happy,” a 6-year-old bay gelding gathered in February 2015 from the Fish Creek Herd Management Area in Nevada. The two burros offered at the event were both gathered in January 2017 from the Twin Peaks Herd Management Area in California. “Kevin,” a black jack, was the high bid, selling for $550.

The successful bidders officially adopted their new horses and burros. After properly caring for their horses or burro for one year, the adopters are eligible to receive title, or ownership, from the Federal government.

The BLM uses its adoption program as the primary tool to place these iconic animals into private care. The horses or burros available for adoption typically come from overpopulated herd management areas where vegetation and water often become scarce when more animals, including wildlife and livestock, use the area or in cases where the health and or safety of the animal or the public are in jeopardy.

Many people have found it personally challenging and rewarding to adopt a wild horse or burro. Additionally, it is a chance to care for, and then own, a part of America’s heritage. The BLM has placed more than 235,000 wild horses and burros into private care since 1971. Many of those animals have become excellent pleasure, show, or work horses.

The next saddle-trained wild horse adoption and competitive-bid auction at the Northern Nevada Correctional Center is scheduled for October 20, 2018.

For more information about these special adoption or sale events and how to adopt or purchase your own wild horse or burro visit BLM Nevada’s Wild Horse and Burro Program webpage at

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in the 11 Western states and Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. In fiscal year 2018, the diverse activities authorized on BLM-managed lands generated $105 billion in economic output across the country. This economic activity supported 471,000 jobs and contributed substantial revenue to the U.S. Treasury and state governments, mostly through royalties on minerals.

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Bureau of Land Management


Jenny Lesieutre