BLM Nevada and Northern Nevada Correctional Center June 2022 Saddle-started wild horse and burro adoption a success


Bureau of Land Management

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RENO, Nev. — The Bureau of Land Management and the Nevada Department of Corrections – Silver State Industries conducted a wild horse and burro adoption event at the Northern Nevada Correctional Center on June 11, 2022. 

All available horses and the burro were successfully adopted at the event. Fifteen saddle-started wild horses and one burro from herd management areas located on BLM Nevada public lands, trained for approximately four months by inmates, were offered for adoption. Adopters came from all over the country with trailers from Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Colorado, and Utah.  

"We were really happy with the turnout for the adoption, it went really well and the horses and inmates showed off their talents,” said Justin Pope, NNCC Ranch Manager. “The weather was great and our visitors and adoptees were very enthusiastic!” 

Successful bidders paid a total of $62,800 for the animals. With bids starting at $150, the event’s saddle-trained wild horse top bid of $6,800 went for “Darrow”, a 6-year-old flaxen-mane sorrel, gelding, from the Diamond Hills south herd management area (HMA). A 6-year-old mare, “Brandy”, from the Snowstorm Mountains HMA, was adopted for $3,800. The painted color Johnny burro, “Wingman” from the Seven Troughs HMA was adopted for $800.  

The successful bidders officially adopted their horses - after properly caring for their adopted animals for one year, the adopters are eligible to receive title, or ownership, from the Federal government. The BLM uses its adoption program as a primary tool to place these iconic animals into private care. The animals available for adoption typically come from overpopulated herds on public lands where available vegetation and water can become scarce as populations grow. There are no natural predators that can effectively control wild horse and burro population growth on public lands.  

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 nearly 285,000 wild horses and burros into private care since 1971. Many of those animals have become excellent pleasure, show, work, or companion animals. 

The next saddle-trained wild horse adoption and competitive-bid auction at the Northern Nevada Correctional Center is scheduled for October 8, 2022. Additional information on this partnership, including past and current event catalogs, is posted on-line at Northern Nevada Correctional Facility

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


The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.