Wild Horse & Burro Adoption Going On In Mercedes

Friday, January 27, 2012 - 12:11pm

MERCEDES - Wild horses and burros are unloaded from the trailers and sorted into pens at the Rio Grand Valley Livestock Show Grounds. Each is ready to be adopted.

The sale didn't start until 2:00 p.m, but potential buyers were scouting out the herd as early as 9:00 a.m.

Jessica Frantz comes every year and said she never leaves without making an adoption.

 "Last year I got three, than the year before that I got two, and the year before that I got three and three," said Jessica Frantz, Horse Trainer. "I will probably do the same thing this year, two or three."

For $125 and a passed application, anyone can take home a wild horse or burro. To get a buying application, you must provide a name, address, phone numbers and have at least 400 sq. ft. of land that has access to water, food and shelter.

These horses are brought in every year by the U.S. Department of Bureau and Land Management.

"The wild horses and burros are roaming the public lands out west, and there are just too many out there for the land to support, and so we gather up a certain number each year, an offer those to the public for adoption," said Crystal Cowan, Wild Horse and Burro Specialist.

If you're looking at burros, there are both jacks and jennys. And if you are looking at the mustangs, they have mares and geldings. Everything ranges in age from yearlings to four year-olds. 

There are one or two older animals, and for buyers who are interested in these animals, there comes an additional incentive. It's called the $500 Incentive. After a year of ownership of one of these older horses, the BLM will send that owner a check for $500 to help with care costs.

Previous buyers said that both animals are extremely versatile. Cowan said she has seen the horses be used as ranch horses, barrel horses and even show jumping horses.

"I kind of call these the common sense horse, they really take care of themselves," said Cowan.

Frantz said she's sold some of the mustangs she's adopted, but there are two she knows she will keep forever.

"I don't know, they are very loyal, once you train them they, uh create a bond with you, they are really, really, they are really awesome horses," said Frantz.

Every burro and mustang is freeze branded too. The freeze brand works like a social security card, so that if anyone ever wants to look up all the information on that horse they can.

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