BLM Nevada and Northern Nevada Correctional Center Saddle-started wild horse 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 saddle-started wild horse adoption event at the Northern Nevada Correctional Center on February 26, 2022.

All available horses were successfully adopted at the event. Sixteen saddle-started wild horses from herd management areas located on BLM Nevada public lands, trained for approximately four months by inmates and one halter-trained colt, fostered by the Washoe County 4-H group were offered for adoption. Adopters came from all over the country with trailers from Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, and Utah. 

"As always, the horses and inmates made for an exciting day,” said Hank Curry, NNCC Lead Trainer. “Both mares offered for adoption went for high bids so folks may see more mares offered in the future.”

Successful bidders paid a total of $92,250 for the animals. With bids starting at $150, the event’s saddle-trained wild horse top bid of $9,250 went for “Big Red”, a 4-year-old bay roan gelding, from the Diamond Hills North herd management area. A 6-year-old mare, “Jolene”, from the Little Owyhee HMA, was adopted for $8,600.

“I am very pleased that “Finn”, the young colt that was halter-trained by the 4-H group was adopted by a couple who brought him to their ranch in Napa, California,” Ruth Thompson, BLM Nevada Wild Horse and Burro program lead said.”

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 more than 284,000 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 June 11, 2022. Additional information on this partnership, including past and current event catalogs, is posted on-line at

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  

Picture Attachments:

  1. NNCC Adoption Results for the February 26, 2022 event
  2. High Bid of $9,250 was for “Big Red”, a 4-year-old Bay Roan Gelding from the Diamond Hills North HMA
  3. One of the Mares adopted, “Jolene” was adopted for $8,600; she is a 6-year-old from the Little Owyhee HMA
  4. “Finn”, who was fostered and Halter-trained by the Washoe County 4-H Group in 2020, will be 3-years old in September was adopted by a couple who lives in Napa, CA

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.