Horses removed from Sand Wash Basin in Northwest Colorado available for adoption in April |

Horses removed from Sand Wash Basin in Northwest Colorado available for adoption in April

Application accepted prior to silent auction sales

In April

— The 43 wild horses removed from Sand Wash Basin between November and January will be ready for adoption in April.

The Bureau of Land Management removed the horses during an on-going bait and trap operation.

After capture, the horses were transported to BLM's wild horse holding facility in Canon City where they have been prepared for adoption.

"Two adoption events are planned for the Sand Wash horses: One on April 8 at the Great Escape Mustang Sanctuary and one April 20 to 21 in Fruita at the Rim Rock Adventure Facility," said Jayson Barangan, Public Affairs Specialist BLM Colorado State Office.

About 20 to 22 horses will be available at each event. Adopters must be approved and onsite to participate in the bidding.

"All of the horses will be made available to approved adopters first," according to the Great Escape Mustang Sanctuary (GEMS) website.

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Potential adopters must prove that they have the ability to provide humane care. While BLM will accept applications on sale days, GEMS recommends completing the application ahead of time.

"We are encouraging people who would like to adopt to submit their application and write Sand Wash Basin on the top of it," said Aleta Wolf, GEMS' Sand Wash Basin Advocates Team Program Director.

To learn more and see photos visit the Sand Wash Basin Advocates Team Facebook page where they are posting photographs and stories about each adoptable horse.

GEMS will open for public to inspect the horses at their facility between 10 a.m. and noon starting on April 3 in Deer Trail, Colorado.

Any horses not adopted during these events will return either to the sanctuary or to Canon City for further training and later adoption, Barangan said.

A fact sheet describing BLM adoption requirements and an application are available at:

For more information contact Stephen Leonard with the BLM by emailing or GEMS by emailing

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or or follow her on Twitter @CDP_Education.

Wild horses with names?

Visitors to the SWAT Facebook page will notice that Sand Wash Basin horses have been given names.

SWAT and other volunteer groups use names to help identify and track the horses; whereas, BLM uses numbers and freeze brands for identification.

Regular columnist for the Craig Daily Press, Patti Mosbey described the history, process and reasons volunteers name the horses in a column in the Craig Daily Press on May 1, 2015.

“Knowing the horses by name makes finding them more personal and fun, especially when discussing them with other advocates and Sand Wash visitors,” Mosbey said.