RIVERTON — Despite rainy conditions, the BLM–Wyoming Honor Farm 30-year anniversary adoption last weekend saw record attendance and the adoption of 72 gentled wild horses and burros.
For three decades, the Honor Farm has shared the BLM’s commitment to place excess wild horses and burros into private care in order to maintain healthy animals on sustainable, working public rangelands.
It’s a win-win situation, as inmates who are released after working in the wild horse and burro training program have a greater chance to succeed in the outside world.
Almost 200 people gathered to celebrate the 30-year milestone, including adopters from Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska, Idaho and Austria.
Winning bids ranged from $125 to the high bid of the day: $2,400 for Apache, a saddle-started black and white pinto gelding from the Salt Wells Creek Wild Horse Herd Management Area (HMA) south of Rock Springs.
Apache will be joined by mares Frosty and Shelby for a move to Austria. Their adopters, Franz Nebel and Johann Wedl from Berndorf, Austria, learned about the BLM–Honor Farm training and adoption program after seeing an Austrian-produced documentary.
The gentlemen wanted to take home a piece of the American West and plan to use their adopted wild horses for pleasure riding.
Closer to home, Jeff Greenwell of Lander adopted Jinx and Olga from the Divide Basin and Salt Wells Creek HMAs.
A member of the Wyoming Back Country Horsemen, Greenwell will use his horses for packing and pleasure riding, and plans to take them hunting this fall.
“Mustangs are hardy and sure-footed,” said Greenwell. “Pound for pound, they are as strong of a horse as you can get.”
In addition to saddle-trained horses, 15 burros and 9 yearling horses also found homes. Richard and Abby Raymer of Saratoga adopted a pack and saddle-trained burro named Too Tall and a halter-gentled sorrel gelding from the Salt Wells Creek HMA.
They were looking for something gentle for their two young daughters and they’ll use their newly adopted animals for rides in the mountains. The family adopted two horses last year from the Honor Farm and one from Cheyenne Frontier Days.
“Our mustangs love the kids,” said Abby Raymer.
Two adoptions are held at the Honor Farm each year. The next adoption will be held on September 8.