Wild horses displayed at Olympics

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Wild horses viewed by thousands of Olympic visitors in Heber City, Utah, will be put up for adoption next month, including Gator, a black mustang captured near Gerlach just 14 months ago.

"We created Soldier Hall Venue to give the people traveling here a true sense of the West," said Lisa Reid, spokeswoman for the Bureau of Land Management. "We invited the wild horses to come because they're so much a part of the Western experience."

Gator is joined by Dusty, a California mustang, and Frosty, a mustang out of Utah. Belle and Rosie, the wild burros, are both from California.

"As soon as we walked them in, we had a group from Japan drop by," Reid said. "They had never seen a burro and asked what country she came from. They had the best time with it.

"These animals are tangible, loving, wonderful and this experience really touches home for these people," she said. "When we tell them the animals are wild and roaming free on the range, they're amazed."

Two other Nevada mustangs, a bay gelding named Mohawk and a buckskin named Jack, are corralled for viewing in nearby Erda, according to Reid.

Lifesavers Inc., based in Lancaster, Calif., selected the Nevada horses and started their gentling when they were moved to Utah at the end of October. All were gentled using Least Resistance Training Concepts, according to trainer Janet Tipton.

"This kind of training uses different techniques, working with their natural spirit and curiosity, as opposed to breaking their spirit," she said.

Tipton has been using the technique for three years and has been working with the bureau's Wild Horse and Burro program for two years.

She said these animals are easy keepers. Their feet are stronger and harder, often eliminating the need for shoes. Accustomed to desert rangelands, they don't eat as much and they're more hearty and healthy.

"By having the animals here, we're able to show the public what magnificent and wonderful animals these are," she said. " They are trainable, but they have a special mystique, which they share with their owners."

The horses and burros will be available for adoption through the Internet. Those wishing to bid can register beginning March 6. Bidding begins March 13 and will continue for two weeks. The horses can be viewed at www.adoptahorse.blm.gov. For information, call (800) 370-3936. The national wild horse and burro adoption schedule is available at (866) 4MUSTANGS.

About 8,000 horses are adopted annually from the bureau's program, but only 200 of those are from Nevada, according to Terry Woosley, spokesman for the bureau. The annual budget for this program, including adoptions, gathering and holding, is about $29 million.


What: Mustang adoption

When: Register to adopt beginning March 6. Bidding begins March 13


Horses can be viewed at www.adoptahorse.blm.gov

Information, call 1 (800) 370-3936


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