February 2024 BLM Nevada and Northern Nevada Correctional Center saddle-started wild horse adoption a success

February 2024 BLM Nevada and Northern Nevada Correctional Center saddle-started wild horse adoption a success


Bureau of Land Management

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Nevada State Office

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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 24, 2024. Forty-one qualified bidders including successful adopters from all over the United States attended the event.

All available horses were successfully adopted at the event. Nineteen saddle-started wild horses from herd management areas located on BLM California, Nevada, Oregon and Utah public lands, trained for approximately four months by inmates, were offered for adoption. In addition, one burro from the Seven Troughs herd management area was offered for adoption which was shown with the inmate trainer showing he could be ridden.

"The weather was incredible, and we were very excited for the turn-out by the public for this event.” said Jenny Lesieutre, BLM Nevada, Wild Horse and Burro Public Affairs Specialist. “To witness what the inmates and the animals accomplished ensures that the horses and burro will be going to fantastic homes where they will be able to use their training for any job they are ask to do.

Successful bidders paid a combined total of $89,650 for the animals. With bids starting at $150, the event’s saddle-trained wild horse averaged $4,718 each with a top bid of $9,000 for “Copper,” a 7-year-old, 16.1 hand Chestnut gelding from the Coyote Lake / Alvord-Tule Springs herd management area located in Oregon. The burro, “Dexter” a 3-year old male, was adopted for $300 and was both halter and saddle-trained by the inmate trainer. Pictures from this adoption can be found on the BLM Nevada Flickr page located at https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjBfsDU.

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.

The BLM has placed nearly 313,000 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 15, 2024. Additional information on this partnership, including past and current event catalogs, is posted on-line at https://on.doi.gov/2jE05uy.

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 https://www.blm.gov/whb

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.