October 2023 BLM Nevada and Northern Nevada Correctional Center saddle-started wild horse adoption a success


Bureau of Land Management

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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 October 14, 2023. Over 30 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 Nevada and Oregon public lands, trained for approximately four months by inmates, were offered for adoption. In addition, one halter-trained female burro from the Seven Troughs herd management area was offered for adoption which brought in the highest bid in the history of this program for burros.

"Once again, we could not be more excited for the turn-out by the public for this event,” said Jenny Lesieutre, BLM Nevada, Wild Horse and Burro Public Affairs Specialist. “To see these animals going to fantastic homes is always the highlight but to have, historically, the second highest bid for a horse and the highest bid for a burro highlighted the incredible job the NNCC has done for America’s wild horses and burros.

Successful bidders paid a combined total of $78,950 for the animals. With bids starting at $150, the event’s saddle-trained wild horse top bid of $13,000 went for “Kilo,” a blue roan, 6-year-old, 15.2 hand gelding from the Sheepshead-Heath Creek herd management area located in Oregon. The burro, a 2-year old female, was adopted for $3,400 and will reside in Elk Grove, CA with her new adopter who came to the event for her only.

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 February 24, 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.