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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Wyoming wild horse auction

By James Brosher | Comments (0)

I went back out to the Riata Ranch near Cheyenne today for the second day in a row. I was there on Friday photographing folks looking at wild-born horses that were to be auctioned off by the Bureau of Land Management. Today was the auction itself and several ranchers showed up to bid on the young horses, including Erich Pröll, an Austrian filmmaker who bought two horses to take back to a ranch he owns near Linz in northern Austria. The BLM captures several young, wild-born horses every year and auctions them off in an effort to control the wild-horse population in the west. Horses don’t have many predators in the wild and, unlike wild game like antelope and deer, the government cannot use hunting seasons to control the population. The first horse sold for $750, to Pröll, but several went for less than $300.

Auctioneer Scott Fluer, of Lander, auctions off a wild-born horse during an adoption sale on Saturday, April 30, 2011, at the Riata Ranch near Cheyenne. The Bureau of Land Management captures wild horses each year and auction them off after some training in an effort to control the wild horse population.

Auctioneer Scott Fluer, of Lander, auctions off a wild-born horse during an adoption sale on Saturday, April 30, 2011, at the Riata Ranch near Cheyenne. The Bureau of Land Management captures wild horses each year and auction them off after some training in an effort to control the wild horse population.

Wild horse trainer Steve Mantle watches as officials from the Bureau of Land Management auction off several horses trained at his ranch on Saturday, April 30, 2011, at the Riata Ranch near Cheyenne.

Wild horse trainer Steve Mantle watches as officials from the Bureau of Land Management auction off several horses trained at his ranch on Saturday, April 30, 2011, at the Riata Ranch near Cheyenne.

Jeff Martin, the wild horse program supervisor at the Wyoming Honor Camp, interacts with Latigo, a wild-born bay stud colt, as the Bureau of Land Management attempts to auction it off on Saturday, April 30, 2011, at the Riata Ranch near Cheyenne. Latigo, captured in the Adobe Town Herd Management Areas in southwest Wyoming, did not receive a bid in the auction.

Jeff Martin, the wild horse program supervisor at the Wyoming Honor Camp, interacts with Latigo, a wild-born bay stud colt, as the Bureau of Land Management attempts to auction it off on Saturday, April 30, 2011, at the Riata Ranch near Cheyenne. Latigo, captured in the Adobe Town Herd Management Areas in southwest Wyoming, did not receive a bid in the auction.

Erich Pröll, an Austrian filmmaker, watches a horse during a Bureau of Land Management auction on Saturday, April 30, 2011, at the Riata Ranch near Cheyenne. Pröll, who has produced documentaries for PBS, bought the first two horses up for auction. After buying the horses, Pröll will have to keep the horses in Wyoming for a year before he can gain the title for the animals. After a year, he hopes to bring the animals to a ranch he owns along the Danube River near the city of Linz, in northern Austria.

Erich Pröll, an Austrian filmmaker, watches a horse during a Bureau of Land Management auction on Saturday, April 30, 2011, at the Riata Ranch near Cheyenne. Pröll, who has produced documentaries for PBS, bought the first two horses up for auction. After buying the horses, Pröll will have to keep the horses in Wyoming for a year before he can gain the title for the animals. After a year, he hopes to bring the animals to a ranch he owns along the Danube River near the city of Linz, in northern Austria.

Spectators watch as auctioneer Scott Fluer, of Lander, auctions off a wild-born horse during an adoption sale on Saturday, April 30, 2011, at the Riata Ranch near Cheyenne. The Bureau of Land Management captures wild horses each year and auction them off after some training in an effort to control the wild horse population.

Spectators watch as auctioneer Scott Fluer, of Lander, auctions off a wild-born horse during an adoption sale on Saturday, April 30, 2011, at the Riata Ranch near Cheyenne. The Bureau of Land Management captures wild horses each year and auction them off after some training in an effort to control the wild horse population.

Jenny Lesieutre, Wyoming Wild Horse and Burro Program manager at Bureau of Land Management, stands near a window as several wild-born horses are auctioned off on Saturday, April 30, 2011, at the Riata Ranch near Cheyenne. Several horses were not at the ranch for the auction due to a repository illness. Videos of the absent horses were shown on a video screen inside a building at the ranch.

Jenny Lesieutre, Wyoming Wild Horse and Burro Program manager at Bureau of Land Management, stands near a window as several wild-born horses are auctioned off on Saturday, April 30, 2011, at the Riata Ranch near Cheyenne. Several horses were not at the ranch for the auction due to a repository illness. Videos of the absent horses were shown on a video screen inside a building at the ranch.

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