BLM plans wild horse adoption event

Equines will be offered at Yavapai County Fairgrounds in Prescott Valley

PRESCOTT VALLEY - Living symbols of the Western spirit will be available for adoption during National Wild Horse Adoption Day on Sept. 26.

The event, part of a national effort by the Bureau of Land Management and the Wild Horse Ranch Rescue to adopt 1,000 wild horses on one day, will be held at the Yavapai County Fairgrounds in Prescott Valley. The fairgrounds are located off Highway 89A, east of Fain Road.

Public viewing of the wild horses and burros, along with registration for bidding, will take place on from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 25 and from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Sept. 26.

Halter-trained

Eight wild gelding horses will be halter-trained by the Wild Horse Ranch Rescue of Gilbert and will be offered for adoption by BLM along with about a dozen other mares, studs, and burros.

On Saturday, silent competitive bidding and a lottery drawing will be held at the green BLM Corrals at 10 a.m. The minimum adoption fee is $125 per animal.

To qualify, bidders must be at least 18 years of age, with no record of animal abuse. Animals will need to be kept in a corral made of sturdy material and at least 400 square feet. An adoption application must be completed and approved by BLM. After one year, adopters demonstrating humane treatment of animals in their care will be eligible to apply for title.

Healthy horses

BLM offers animals removed from public lands for adoption only after they receive a clean bill of health by a certified veterinarian, and possess a negative Coggins test (the only known method to determine if a horse has equine infectious anemia), and receive vaccinations for other common equine diseases including West Nile. The animals vary in age, color, and breed. BLM wild horse and burro specialists, previous adopters, and trainers will be on hand to provide guidance to individuals throughout the adoption process.

Adopt a buddy

After the auction, successful bidders will have a chance to adopt one additional "buddy" (companion) horse from those remaining for only $25 by lottery drawing.

The site will remain open until 5 p.m. Sept. 26 and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 27, for adoption of remaining animals available, and for adopters to pick up and transport their animal(s) home.

The eight halter-trained geldings presented by the Wild Horse Ranch Rescue will receive their training by members of the rescue group beginning mid-August until the adoption event. The horses with their trainers will be onsite to provide demonstrations.

All proceeds beyond the regular adoption fee will be donated to the rescue group. For information and photos of the training, visit the Web site: wildhorseranchrescue.org.

For more information about the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program and to qualify to adopt, contact the BLM toll free at 1-866-4 MUSTANGS (866-468-7826), or visit the Web site at www.wildhorseandburro.blm.gov.