A 4-year-old bay roan gelding from near Eureka hit the jackpot, receiving the top bid of $9,250 at the Feb. 26 saddle-started wild horse adoption event at the Northern Nevada Correctional Center.
Conducted by the Bureau of Land Management and the Nevada Department of Corrections – Silver State Industries, bidders spent $92,250 on Big Red and 15 other wild horses at the auction.
All available horses were successfully adopted at the event.
"As always, the horses and inmates made for an exciting day,” said Center Lead Trainer Hank Curry. “Both mares offered for adoption went for high bids so folks may see more mares offered in the future.”
Sixteen saddle-started wild horses from herd management areas located on BLM Nevada public lands, trained for approximately four months by inmates and one halter-trained colt, fostered by the Washoe County 4-H group were offered for adoption.
Adopters came from all over the country with trailers from Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, and Utah.
Bids started at $150, with a 6-year-old mare, named Jolene, from the Little Owyhee bringing in $8,600.
“I am very pleased that “Finn”, the young colt that was halter-trained by the 4-H group was adopted by a couple who brought him to their ranch in Napa, California,” said BLM Nevada Wild Horse and Burro program lead Ruth Thompson.
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.
Adopting a wild horse is a chance to care for, and then own, a part of America’s heritage. The BLM has placed more than 284,000 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 11.
Additional information on this partnership, including past and current event catalogs, is posted online 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.