It will be a red-letter day for 11 horses at the Warm Springs Correctional Center Saturday. The animals are up for adoption and may soon be going to their first real home.
Originally estray animals from the Storey County's Virginia Range, they were trained and gentled by prison inmates.
All geldings, the horses range in age from 2 to 4 years and come in a variety of colors, including sorrels, roans, duns and buckskins, according to Mike Horrigan, wild horse training program coordinator at Warm Springs Correctional Center.
"These horses are really nice," he said. "If I could, I'd take them all home myself. There isn't a bad one in the bunch."
Adoption by qualified individuals is a primary objective of the Department of Agriculture, who captures and removes estray horses from the range when they are endangered or when their population exceeds the capacity of their natural habitat.
The Nevada Department of Corrections provides humane gentling and training by prison inmates, under professional supervision. The program can handle up to 16 horses at a time. Trained in 45- to 60-day cycles, most are working well under saddle and rider, and after completing the program they are put up for adoption.
"This program demonstrates what can be accomplished when we work together," said Gov. Kenny Guinn.
Individuals wishing to adopt a horse are asked to preregister for the event with the one of the following agencies:
-- Wild Horse Organized Assistance, Ind. (775) 851-4817.
-- American Mustang and Burro Association, (530) 633-9271 or via e-mail at AMBAinc@bardalisa.com.
-- Wild Horses in Need (775) 677-7262 or (775) 358-7943 or at email@example.com.
-- Lifesavers, Inc. (661) 727-0049 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-- Nevada Legends (775) 867-2355 or at email@example.com.
-- Breakthrough Crime Prevention-Nora Christianson (775) 882-0807.
Because the adoption is held at the Warm Springs Correctional Center, a medium-security institution, the following restrictions apply to attendees:
-- Guests may not wear blue clothing of any sort, including blue jeans, blue work shirts, or blue denim jackets.
-- No weapons of any sort (including knives), alcoholic beverages, illegal drugs or controlled substances are permitted on prison property.
-- No cameras, cell phones or recording devices.
-- Persons under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult parent or guardian.
For additional attendance information contact Tim Bryant, NDOC ranch manager, at (775) 887-9331. Horses available for adoption may be viewed online at www.ndoc.state.nv.us/wildhorse/.
IF YOU GO
What: Comstock Wild Horse Gentling Program adoptions
When: 10 a.m. April 6
Where: Warm Springs Correctional Center, about one-quarter mile south of the intersection of Edmonds Drive and Fifth Street on Edmonds Drive in Carson City.
Preregistration is required.