Courtesy photos
Rylee with her new horse.

Clifford was the top bid of $1,500.

Juanito, the only burro, was sold for $500.00/

By Chris Hanefield and 

KayLynn Roberts-McMurray

Special to the Ely Times

All four animals showcased at the Bureau of Land Management and Nevada Department of Corrections Silver State Industries saddle-trained horse and cart-trained burro adoption event this past weekend were adopted. The event was held Saturday, Aug. 19 at the White Pine County Fairgrounds in Ely, Nev. Three former wild horses and one burro from herd management areas located on BLM administered public lands in Nevada were trained for approximately four months by inmate trainers in the NNCC program and offered during a competitive-bid adoption.

Successful bidders paid a total of $3,000 for the animals. With all bids starting at $150, the event’s top bid of $1,500 went for “Clifford,” an eight-year-old sorrel gelding gathered from Butte Valley in White Pine County. Juanito, the lone burro in this adoption event, sold for $500, as did the other two horses offered, Bishop and Scooter.

Probably the most touching adoption of all, was Bishops. Rylee, a young girl from Baker was with her father at the event in hopes to win on a bid for one of the horses. Rylee participates in 4-H, and had been riding her dad’s mustang for a little while, so she was really excited to have one of her own former mustangs. When the final bid of $500 was won by her family for Bishop, Rylee walked up to him, put her arms around Bishop and began to cry with joy. This horse touched two lives, one being the inmate, the other, being the young girl.

The successful bidders officially adopted their new horses and burro. After properly caring for their horses or burro for one year, the adopters are eligible to receive title, or ownership, from the Federal government. The BLM uses its adoption program as the primary tool to place these iconic animals into private care.

The horses or burros available for adoption typically come from overpopulated herd management areas where vegetation and water could become scarce if too many animals, including wildlife and livestock, use the area or due to emergencies whereas the health and or safety of the animal or the public are in jeopardy. Many people have found it personally challenging and rewarding to adopt a wild horse or burro. Additionally, it is a chance to care for, and then own, a part of America’s heritage.

The BLM has placed more than 235,000 wild horses and burros into private care since 1971. Many of those animals have become excellent pleasure, show, or work horses. The next saddle-trained horse adoption and competitive-bid auction at the Northern Nevada Correctional Center is scheduled for Oct. 14, 2017.For more information about these special adoption events and how to adopt your own wild horse or burro visit BLM Nevada’s Wild Horse and Burro Program webpage at: