Posted 3 years ago
By Fred Gough
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), along with the Hutchinson Correctional Facility (HCF), will host a Wild Horse Open House Friday and Saturday.
The two-day event at HCF will feature eight saddle-trained wild horses and one two-horse driving team available for public adoption. Many untrained horses and burros will also be available. These are animals that once roamed free on public lands in the West where they are protected by Federal law. The BLM periodically removes excess animals from the range in order to ensure herd health and to maintain ecological balance. The adoption program is essential for achieving these important management goals.
The partnership with HCF allows the BLM to offer a limited number of gentled wild horses for adoption. These animals have been trained by inmates in a rehabilitation program at the facility. This unique program not only adds value to the horses, it also helps inmates develop important life skills – such as discipline and respect – that will aid in their eventual reintroduction into society.
Adoption Schedule — Preview animals Friday, June 1, from 10:00 a-m to 6:00 p-m. Inmates will conduct training demos all day. Gates open again Saturday, June 2, at 8:00 a.m., with a competitive bid adoption beginning at 11:00 a-m. Adoptions continue until 3:00 p-m.
Adoption Qualifications — Application approval is required and can be done on site. To qualify to adopt, one must be at least 18 with no record of animal abuse. Adopters must have suitable facilities and can adopt no more than four animals. All animals must be loaded in covered stock-type trailers with swing gates and sturdy walls and floors. BLM staff will be on hand to assist adopters through the short application process.
Adoption Fees — Initial bids for saddle-trained horses will range between $350-$500. Bidding on the driving team will start at $1,500. Untrained horses are available for a flat fee of $125 (the minimum fee set by law).
Those interested in taking part in the competitive bid adoption are encouraged to come Friday or early Saturday to select their desired animals and to complete their adoption applications in time.
Wild horses – iconic symbols of America’s western heritage – are renowned for their strength, endurance, agility and intelligence, characteristics bred into them in the wild that make them ideal for work or recreation. Since 1973, the BLM has placed more than 225,000 of these “living legends” in approved homes across the country.
For more information, call BLM toll-free at 866-4-MUSTANGS (866-468-7826), or HCF directly at 620-728-3296, or visit www.blm.gov/nm.