This weekend, Arenas Two and Three at Hardy Murphy Coliseum will be taken over by wild horses. The Bureau of Land Management will be bringing the Wild Horse and Burro Expo to Ardmore from noon to 6 p.m. on Friday and from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday. During the event approximately 85 horses will be eligible for adoption, and at 9 a.m. on Saturday there will also be a show with approximately 55 formerly wild horses that have been adopted at previous expos and are now trained.
Crystal Cowan, wild horse and burro specialist with the BLM, said these horses once ran wild in the western states, primarily Nevada, and the BLM must periodically remove them from public lands to maintain healthy herds and protect rangeland resources.
“The BLM is extremely overcrowded on the range in the western states. We have over 88,000 horses roaming, and we only have room for about 26,000,” Cowan said. “Left unmanaged they double in herd size every four yeas and triple in herd size every six years. Also,our BLM corrals are overflowing and we have around 40,000 animals in holding waiting to be adopted.”
Those interested in adopting one of these animals must meet a set of requirements such as not having any record of animal abuse and having facilities that meet minimum space requirements for the horses. To help incentivize adoptions the BLM is offering up to $1,000 to adopt one of these horses.
Cowan said a horse trainer will be onsite both days giving periodic demonstrations.
“One unique event we’ll be having that we don’t have at every adoption event is we’ll be having a horse trainer giving gentling demonstrations,” Cowan said. “An accomplished trainer will be demonstrating how to get your hands on the horses and showing what techniques to use to gentle and train them.”
Cowan said that while there will not be any burros available for adoption at this event, there will be five or six in the show on Saturday morning. And she encouraged everyone to come out and take a look at these amazing animals.
“If folks have any questions or are just curious, I encourage them to come out,” Cowan said. “It’s free and open to the public, so come out and see us! They can also visit our website to find all our information.”
For more information visit www.blm.com or call 1-866-468-7826.