'Wild, wild horses' for sale

Popular rock song lyrics say that "wild, wild horses couldn't drag me away...", but in the case if U.S. BLM public affairs specialist Martha Malik, wild horses and wild burros are indeed dragging her away-from her Milwaukee, Wis. office to the Vermont State Fairgrounds in Rutland, June 12-13.

During the upcoming weekend, Malik will help coordinate the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's Wild Horse and Burro Adoption event at the fairgrounds located at 125 S. Main St. (Route 7), just south of downtown Rutland.

It is the first big U.S. government horse sale in Vermont in more than decade.

Malik coordinates wild mustang and burro adoptions from the BLM Milwaukee Field Office. All horses and burros come from U.S. states west of the Mississippi River.

The BLM will offer approximately 60 wild horses-often called wild mustangs-ranging from yearlings to 5 year olds, along with a few burros, to potential adopters at the fairgrounds. You can adopt your own wild horse or burro in Vermont for a minimal fee-$125 for the first animal and $25 for additional animals.

"We're hoping for a good turnout," said Malik. "We've had mixed results with recent adoptions due to the bad economy. I know that Vermont is a horse-loving state, so we hope for a lot of support."

Malik said just a few years ago wild horse sales were brisk but now there's a slump in the wild horse market as people are cutting back on personal luxuries such as large pets. Sadly, large critters such as horses, are the first to go to generate cash flow.

"All our horses are disease and worm free," she said. "Every animal is inspected by a vet with a blood test-they are in good health. This is an incredible deal for a loving family or individual."

Many of the BLM's wild horses are gentle, with some prior human contact, while others fit the true definition of wild mustang.

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