(Riverton, WY) – The Wyoming Department of Corrections Wyoming Honor Farm and the Bureau of Land Management continued their 35-year partnership celebration last weekend in Riverton, placing 40 gentled wild horses and burros into new homes.
While the mood was light and celebratory, returning to the Honor Farm was bittersweet for one adopter. Jack Corney of Lander adopted an Honor Farm-trained horse in spring 2022 for trail riding and camping, and for his work with the U.S. Forest Service. Tragically, the horse he had named Coyo was killed by lightning during a camping trip this summer.
“We felt like he took one for us,” remembered Corney, with girlfriend Eileen Pelkey by his side. “We had a couple good, but short years with him.”
Corney, who had also adopted a second Honor Farm-trained horse this past spring, likes to have two, so he and Pelkey returned to the Honor Farm last weekend to find a companion for their mare. He found what he was looking for in Bolt, a 3-year-old palomino from the Salt Wells Creek Herd Management Area southeast of Rock Springs.
“The horses at this adoption were one of the best batches I’ve seen so I’m glad we came back,” said Corney. “We’re really excited about Bolt, and our adventures to come.”
The high bid of the adoption was $6,250 for saddle-trained Captain Spalding, a 3-year-old red roan gelding from the Antelope Hills HMA southeast of Atlantic City. Of the seven burros offered, a 3-year-old gray named Jenny, who had been trained to pack and pull a cart, fetched the winning bid of $375.
Matt Ryken adopted two of the more sought-after riding horses available: buckskin mare Honey from the Salt Wells Creek HMA and gray gelding Silver from the Adobe Town HMA. He and his family will use the horses on their working ranch in Snowmass, Colorado.
“These are good, sound horses that got a great start here,” said Ryken, who was adopting for the first time. “The trainers did an awesome job.”
Two adoptions are held at the Honor Farm each year—the next one is scheduled for May 18, 2024. Working together over the past 35 years, the Honor Farm and the BLM have placed more than 5,000 animals removed from overpopulated herds into good, private homes.
There’s still time to adopt this fall! BLM Wyoming’s next adoptions are at the Wheatland Off-Range Corral on September 22, Mantle Adoption and Training Facility on September 23 and at the Deerwood Ranch near Laramie on September 30. For more information, check the schedule at blm.gov/programs/wild-horse-and-burro/adoptions-and-sales.