BLM Nevada and Northern Nevada Correctional Center saddle-trained wild horse and burro adoption a success


Bureau of Land Management

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The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Nevada Department of Corrections – Silver State Industries conducted a saddle-trained wild horse and burro adoption event on October 19 at the Northern Nevada Correctional Center (NNCC) south of Carson City, Nevada. All 14 animals showcased at the event were adopted.

Thirteen wild horses from herd management areas located on BLM-administered public lands were trained for approximately four months by inmate trainers in the NNCC program and offered for adoption during a competitive-bid adoption event. In addition, one wild burro, gathered from the Lake Pleasant herd management area, located in Arizona was also offered for adoption.

Successful bidders paid a total of $37,400 for the animals. With bids starting at $150, the event’s saddle-trained wild horse top bid of $6,600 went for “Tahoe”, a 5-year-old gray gelding, gathered in November 2016 from the Owyhee herd management area located outside of Elko, Nevada. The same family adopted another gray wild horse, “Gandolf”, also from the Owyhee HMA - the two left Nevada together to their new home in Dos Palos, California. The female burro “Crystal” adopted for $1,000, was the crowd’s favorite.

The successful bidders officially adopted their horses and burro - 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 horses and burros 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 245,000 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 February 22, 2020. 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

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.