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July 13, 2009
In Reply Refer To:
4710 (260) P
Instruction Memorandum No. 2009-172
Expires: 09/30/2010
To:                   All Field Officials (except Alaska)
From:               Assistant Director, Renewable Resources and Planning
Subject:            Requirements for Selection of Wild Horses for Mustang Heritage Foundation Competitive Events
Program Area: Wild Horse and Burro Program
Purpose: This instruction memorandum (IM) establishes policy for the selection of wild horses for Mustang Heritage Foundation (MHF) competitive events. The goal is to provide comparable, healthy horses for each competitive event and to maximize fairness to trainers for the purpose of showcasing the versatility and trainability of wild horses. Additionally, policy is needed to prevent pregnant mares and horses that have been previously adopted or that have received any kind of training from being selected for MHF competitive events.
  1. The National Program Office (NPO) will coordinate with short-term holding facilities to locate suitable horses for MHF competitions, direct shipping and identify animal pickup dates for competing trainers. The NPO will stipulate the age and sex of the horses to be selected.
  2. Selected horses are to be healthy, in no less than Henneke condition class ≥ 4.0, have a current negative Coggins test that is valid through the MHF’s event date that the animal is being selected for, have current vaccinations and de-worming, and have hooves that do not need trimming.
  3. Animals selected for an event will be at least 14.0 hands tall.
  4. No horses will be selected that have been previously adopted or have received training of any kind. The short-term holding facilities that are providing the animals will check the Wild Horse and Burro computer database and other appropriate records for previous adoption and training. Handwritten notations should be made on the health records and those records then checked regarding previous training (i.e., adoption event gentling demonstration animals, participated in prison or contract training programs, etc.). Animals that have been tried in prison or contract training programs or used in an adoption event training demonstration will not be selected.
  5. All selected mares will have been off the range for a minimum of 12 months and if there is any chance a mare has been exposed to a stallion, she will not be selected. 
Timeframe: This instruction memorandum is effective immediately.
Budget Impact: In implementing of this policy the goal is to encourage continued interest and participation in Mustang Heritage Foundation competitive events and in the adoption and placement of trained animals with qualified individuals. For each animal that is adopted and not maintained in long term holding for the remainder of its life, the total cost savings is about $13,000.
Background: Mustang Heritage Foundation competitive events have successfully trained and adopted more than 1,000 wild horses in the past two years. To ensure the continued success of these events, careful selection of wild horses by BLM is essential.
Manual/Handbook Sections Affected: The wild horse selection requirements for Mustang Heritage Foundation competitive events do not change or affect manuals or handbooks.
Coordination: The selection requirements were coordinated with the facility managers and the Mustang Heritage Foundation. 
Contact: Questions concerning this policy should be directed to Susie Stokke, National Wild Horse and Burro Program Specialist, NPO at (775) 861-6623.
Signed by:                                                                    Authenticated by:
Nancy E. Dean                                                              Robert M. Williams
Acting, Assistant Director                                             Division of IRM Governance,WO-560
Renewable Resources and Planning

Last updated: 10-20-2009