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Saddle-trained horse auction

"Punchy" poses with his adopter and trainer. The black gelding was captured in Elko County, saddle trained by Nevada inmates, and brought in more than $5,000 at an auction earlier this month.

CARSON CITY — All 13 animals showcased at a saddle-trained wild horse and halter-trained wild burro adoption event this month were adopted, including a black gelding from Elko County that sold for more than $5,000.

Eleven wild horses from herd management areas located on BLM-administered public lands in Nevada were trained for approximately four months by inmate trainers in the Northern Nevada Correctional Center program and offered for adoption during a competitive-bid adoption event.

Two wild burros, both 2-year-old johnnies, born at the facility from jennies gathered from Nevada’s Marietta herd management area in 2017, were also offered.

Successful bidders paid a total of $30,500 for the animals. With bids starting at $150, the event’s saddle-trained wild horse top bid of $5,300 went for “Punchy,” a 5-year-old black gelding gathered in November 2016 from the Rock Creek herd management area in northwestern Elko County.

Both wild burros were adopted together for a total of $700.

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After properly caring for their adopted animals for one year, the adopters are eligible to receive ownership from the federal government. The BLM uses its adoption program as a primary tool to place these iconic animals into private care.

The horses and burros 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.

“Many people have found it personally challenging and rewarding to adopt a wild horse or burro,” stated the BLM. “Additionally, it is a chance to care for, and then own, a part of America’s heritage.”

The BLM has placed more than 245,000 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 Oct. 19. Additional information on this partnership, including past and current event catalogs, is posted at https://on.doi.gov/2jE05uy.

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