by Carol Walker

Incentive Program Spurs Unusual Turnout at Rock Springs Wild Horse Adoption

Published by Carol Walker at February 24, 2021 Categories Tags

On Friday, I headed to the Bureau of Land Management wild horse corrals in Rock Springs, Wyoming for a wild horse adoption event. It was 8 am and the temperature was 18 degrees. I knew it was an adoption like none I had ever attended when I saw dozens of trucks and trailers lined up by the side of the road. A huge group of people crowded together in front of the gate, waiting for the gates to open at 9 am, all wearing masks. I had attended adoptions here and at Canon City in Colorado following the Checkerboard roundups in 2014 and 2017. This was very different. Why were there so many people? It looked more like a sale at a department store than a wild horse adoption.

My primary goal when I planned to go that day was to photograph as many of the over 600 wild horses at the corrals that had been captured and removed from their homes and families forever in October and November of 2020. Just like at those previous year’s adoption, I wanted to get the word out about these horses in hopes that they would get a good home, and I was especially focused on the older horses, often the ones no one wants. I was told by staff at Canon City that my efforts and those of other photographers who posted photographs of the horses really aided in many more horses being adopted. I was eager to do this again. A week before I had spoken with adoption coordinator Monica in Cheyenne about the event. When I asked her would we be able to see all the horses at the facility I was very surprised to hear her say probably not, because of COVID and that I would need to speak to the facility manager Jake the day of the event. This did not make sense to me since everyone would be wearing masks and it was a huge outdoor facility. I immediately called Jake and left a message on his voicemail requesting that I be allowed to see and photograph all the horses at the facility. He never called me back.

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