Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah
image Wild horses graze on the Onaqui Mountain Herd Management Area near Simpson Springs in 2016. About 200 wild horses will be sold on Aug. 31 at the Delta Wild Horse and Burro Corral operated by the Bureau of Land Management.

August 23, 2018
Wild horse adoption event set for Aug. 31 in Delta

Wild horses and burros will be sold on Aug. 31 at the Delta Wild Horse and Burro Corral in Delta, Utah, and several of the available horses roamed the deserts of Tooele County.

Horses ready for auction were rounded up from the Cedar Mountain Herd Management Area and Onaqui Mountain HMA in the county, according to Gary McClellan of the Bureau of Land Management. Other horses in Delta ready to be sold came from the Bible Springs HMA and Chloride Canyon HMA near Cedar City.

About 200 animals will be available from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

“There is an application process to go through,” McClellan said. “People can get on the BLM website and do it, or there will be people here in Delta on Aug. 31 that can help with the application process.”

Gates open at 9 a.m. and oral bidding starts at 10 a.m.

“Bids start out at $125,” said Lisa Reid, BLM spokesperson. “If only one person bids on the horse, it is adopted for $125. If two-or-more are interested in the same horse, then the horse is adopted by the highest bidder. The bid process is for those who are interested in a certain horse.”

Bidding will continue until 11 a.m.

“Once all the animals have been offered through the bid process, anyone can then walk up and adopt an animal for $125 on a first-come, first-served basis,” Reid said.

Potential buyers are asked questions before they can load up a horse or burro.

“The main thing we ask is about their corral; it needs to be at least 400,000 square feet with a 6-foot-high fence of lodgepole wood or metal panes,” McClellan said. “We don’t want barbed wire because these horses will run right through it.”

He also said potential buyers are asked some questions, like if they have ever been convicted of animal abuse or cruelty.

He said people like the challenge and uniqueness of working with wild horses that have been breeding and living in the wild for hundreds of years.

“People need to be patient and consistent with these horses, interact with them and gentle them down,” McClellan said. “They can make great horses.”

He said when the horses arrive in Delta their age is determined and they are branded, dewormed and vaccinated. 

The Onaqui Mountain herd extends from Johnson Pass south to Lookout Pass and maintains a population of 400 wild horses, McClelland said.

The Cedar Mountain herd can be viewed along the east and west side of the Cedars south to Dugway Proving Ground’s fence and north to Hastings Pass. Best viewing opportunities are often around Brown Spring just on the west side of Rydalch Pass. The population is about 600 horses, McClellan said.

“Those numbers need to be a lot lower,” he said. “There is only so much water out there. We have to gather them in to keep the range healthy.”

McClellan said a few people will travel several miles in an effort to adopt a horse.

“Some ladies are flying in from Pennsylvania, and I’ve heard from people in Oregon and Colorado,” he said. “One person from Arizona would like to come up and adopt a horse.”

There will also be people from Salt Lake County, and counties surrounding Millard county, including Tooele County.

“The more people who are aware of this opportunity, the better,” McClellan said. “We want to find happy places for these horses.”

Horse trainers are allowed to pick up horses from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Aug. 31 as part of the training incentive program. Reid said trainers are paid $1,000 with the understanding they will train and then put the horse up for adoption.

The Delta Wild Horse and Burro Corra is at 600 N. 350 West, Delta.


Mark Watson

Sports Editor at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
Mark directs all editorial coverage of sports in addition to reporting on a wide range of events from high school football to international racing. He has a wealth of journalism experience, having worked for four other newspapers in the state. Mark grew up in Tooele County and graduated from Grantsville High School and Brigham Young University.

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