The U.S. Department of Interior Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will offer approximately 40 wild horses ranging from yearling to 5 years old to potential adopters on June 20-21, 2014, at the Meadowood Recreation Area, located at 10406 Gunston Road, in Lorton, Virginia.
With kindness and patience, a wild horse or burro can be trained for many uses. Wild horses have become champions in dressage, jumping, barrel racing, endurance riding, and pleasure riding, while burros excel in driving, packing, riding, guarding, and as companion animals. Both wild horses and wild burros are known for their sure-footedness, strength, intelligence, and endurance. You can adopt your very own wild horse or burro in Lorton.
A wild free-roaming horse or burro, as defined by Federal law, is an unbranded, unclaimed, free-roaming horse or burro found on Western public rangelands. Wild horses and burros are descendants of animals released by or escaped from Spanish explorers, ranchers, miners, U.S. Cavalry, or Native Americans.
Wild horses and burros have virtually no natural predators and their herd sizes can double about every four years. As a result, the agency must remove thousands of animals from the range each year to control herd sizes. The maximum appropriate management level is approximately 26,677. The BLM manages, protects, and controls wild horses and burros under the authority of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. This law authorizes the BLM to remove excess wild horses and burros from the range to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands.
While the adoption process is simple and straightforward, anyone considering adoption of a wild horse should remember that the animals are wild and require gentling and training. Prospective adopters must have sturdy corrals that are 20’ x 20’ (or larger), at least 6 feet high for an adult horse and at least 5 feet high for horses younger than 18 months, and have a shelter directly attached to the corral. Adopters must provide a stock-type, step up trailer (ramps and side-by-side two-horse type trailers are not allowed).
The Saturday adoption will be on a first come, first served basis. The animals can be previewed on Friday, June 20, from 2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Adoption hours on Saturday, June 21, are from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. A minimal adoption fee of $125 for animals less than three years of age and $25 for animals three and older is required for adoption. In addition, you can take home a buddy animal for only $25 when you adopt any animal at the full fee of $125.
Applications to adopt will be reviewed starting on Friday and may be submitted until Saturday. For more information, call 1-866-4MUSTANGS (1-866-468-7826) or visit the BLM web site at www.wildhorseandburro.blm.gov.
Directions: From I-95, take exit 163 for Lorton and VA-642. At the end of the exit, travel East on VA-642 briefly (.4 of a mile if you’re coming from the North and .2 of a mile if coming from the South). At the light intersection for Lorton Market St., turn right. There will be a grocery store and strip mall on your left. At the light intersection for Route 1, continue on straight ahead. This will put you on Gunston Cove Road, which changes to Gunston Road/VA-242. In about 2 miles you’ll pass the main entrance to the Meadowood Recreation Area on your right. Don’t turn here; rather continue on another half of a mile. You’ll turn right through a gate onto a dirt drive.
If you use Google Maps, Mapquest, or other GPS, you can use these coordinates as your destination and it will take you right to the location: 38.670731,-77.190827
All animals available for adoption have been examined by a veterinarian, vaccinated, de-wormed, and blood-tested. Since 1971, the BLM has adopted out more than 230,000 animals nationwide.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any other Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2013, the BLM generated $4.7 billion in receipts from public lands.