Wild horse adoption at the South Plains Fairgrounds - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/16/09

Wild horse adoption at the South Plains Fairgrounds

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By Katie Bauer  - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - A "stampede" of wild mustangs invaded the South Plains Fairgrounds on Thursday.  For the first time, the US Bureau of Land Management will hold a wild horse adoption in Lubbock.

These wild horses represent a piece of the American West, living legends, that you can now be a part of. "People love the mustang they love what the mustang represents," said Spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management Paul McGuire.

McGuire says reducing the range population is meant to preserve the plains, protect the wild horse population and other wildlife. "We have to call the herds from time to time to keep the populations in check. So those animals that we remove we bring around to places around the country like Lubbock to make them available for people to adopt," said McGuire.

Before adopting a wild horse you must qualify. Potential owners will go through an application screening, must have the proper facilities, and no record of animal abuse. Seventy wild horses are at the South Plains Fairgrounds for anyone to come look at, and fill out an application if interested in adoption.

"I might be interested in adopting, I'm looking at them pretty close," said Bill Head.

Head browsed through the herd for potential adoptees. "There's several good ones in here, there are three in one pen that I would take home for a little bit," said Head.

Because adopting a wild horse is certainly a challenge. "That's what people need to realize. They are getting into and that these are in fact wild animals. The first hurdle is getting the horse accustomed to you as a companion," said McGuire.

"You got to break them if you want to joy ride, or team rope, or bell race. You got to break them because they are wild and they don't have human contact. That's what they told me," said potential owner Casey Garcia.

The gates will open Friday at 8 a.m. and adoptions will start at 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.  On Saturday, adoptions will take place from 8 a.m. to Noon. The minimum adoption fee is $125, and an auction will be held if more than one person wants a certain horse.

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