Weather, Economy Hit Utah Mustang Sale

A Bureau of Land Management (BLM) official credited wintry weather and the high costs of horsekeeping for lackluster results at a Jan. 24 Wild Horse and Burro sale in Delta, Utah. Of the 320 Spanish Mustangs offered from Utah's Sulphur Herd, only eight found buyers, netting the agency $725. In previous years, the Sulphur herd horses have fetched as much as $3,000 each. The sale group had been gathered in November.

"We had nasty weather and the economy has brought the horse market down across the board, but if we make horses available for adoption the first chance we get, the fewer expenses we incur," said Utah BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program manager Gus Warr.

Some of the unsold horses will be sent stronger Eastern region markets, and some will join prison inmate horse training programs in Utah and Colorado. The remainder are available for adoption online at

Still, the lackluster numbers don't necessarily reflect overall demand for adoptable wild horses, Warr said. Of the 80 horses offered at a similar event in Texas last week, 79 were adopted.

"There is a market for these horses, just not in Utah last weekend," he said.

About the Author

Pat Raia

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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