Courtesy photo
A saddle-trained wild horse and burro adoption event is set for the White Pine County Fair next Saturday.

The White Pine County Fair is bringing something new to this year’s event. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Nevada Department of Corrections, Silver State Industries on Saturday, Aug.19, will host a saddle-trained wild horse and burro adoption at the White Pine County Fairgrounds. The BLM will offer for adoption three saddle-trained wild horses and one cart-trained burro from Nevada herd management areas.The horses range in age from three to eight years and vary in weight and color. The burro is a three-year-old Jack male.  The public may preview the animals starting on Friday, Aug. 18, at the BLM exhibit located on the fairgrounds. The inmates will demonstrate the animals at approximately 5 p.m., Saturday, immediately prior to the competitive-bid adoption.

Potential adopters must be qualified to bid. For pre-approval, download the adoption application available on the BLM website at and email the completed form to Adopters lacking electronic access may complete the form at the BLM booth on the fairgrounds.

Clifford an 8-year-old gelding is no stranger to the terrain in White Pine County. Clifford was gathered from the Triple B Herd Management Area which is located about 30 miles northwest of Ely. He has helped gather cattle, has all the basics down from gaits to side passes. Bishop is a 7-year-old gelding who is a quick stepping traveler, with a smooth lope, Scooter is a 3-year-old gelding  although young has had many hours of working cattle, and Juanito is a 3-year-old Jack Burro that has been started on a cart who would make a fine companion for a horse or as a guard animal for sheep or small animals.

Jenny Lesieutre, Wild Horse, and Burro Public Affairs Specialist Bureau of Land Management said “this program began back in 2000 between the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Corrections.  The BLM came on board in 2004 and by 2007 they made the program exclusive to training BLM horses”.  The facility at the Northern Nevada Correctional Center in Carson City, Nevada holds up to 1,500 wild horses, and select inmates are responsible for feeding and caring for all of them. Horses are being trained continuously by the Inmates. They spend 120 days training them before they are presented at an adoption event. The minimum bid for a horse starts at $150, the average adoption is usually $1,000-2,00 but there have been some who have been adopted for as much as $15,000.  Lesieutre said, “The Washoe County Mounted Police force is comprised of horses that were adopted from the program, the Border Patrol is another agency that has adopted horses through this program as well, we end up with a lot of repeat adopters through this program, the adoption is almost 100 percent successful”.

This program is being brought to Ely so that it can be reviewed to see if this program can be housed at the Ely state prison. Sandy Reed, a citizen not affiliated with any of the governmental agencies became an advocate two years ago for for wild horses and started researching and attending adoption events with hopes of bringing it to Ely. Reed says “the timing is right to bring this program to Ely, we have a very proactive warden and the partnership with the BLM could work out great”.

Three to four adoption events are held each year with 15-20 saddle trained horses and 75-80 horses being adopted out at these events.

A catalog featuring the animals is available online at and posted, with additional footage of the to-be offered animals, on BLM Nevada’s Facebook event page at  For more information, contact the Ely District Office at 775-289-1800.