In 1997, management of the Virginia Range wild and feral horse herd was handed over to the Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDOA)  due to the large tracts of privately held land.  The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), who typically oversees the wild horse populations in the United States does so on public lands, which there are very little of within the boundaries of the Virginia Mountain Range.  Separate and distinct from the BLM herd management, the NDOA does not receive federal funding for the care and maintenance of its horses and relies on the help and support of wild horse advocacy groups to provide funding and volunteer time for those efforts.

The Virginia Range wild and feral horse herd is believed to be the largest publicly owned horse herd currently remaining in the US.  While the emphasis of the management of these horses is to keep them on the range and away from dense populations, horses do occasionally spread into the outskirts of urban areas and onto busy highways. Those that present a clear and continuing danger to motorists, and that return to busy areas after relocation attempts, do have to be removed.

Per state law the Department is permitted to work with qualified non-profits to facilitate the proper and humane placement of the horses that have been picked up. But state law also requires the Department to dispose at the livestock sale any horses that are not placed with in the prescribed time. Therefore, every effort is being made by all parties to get these horses placed in good homes.

The Department has recently turned a group of these horse over to the Virginia Range Sanctuary for placement.  They will be held at the Fernley 95A Speedway thanks to the generous accommodations of speedway owner Dan Simpson.


  1. These are wild and unhandled horses, if you are interested and suitably prepared, click this link to see the adoption form and further details about owning a wild Virginia Range Horse.
  2. The adoption process starts with a completed adoption form. Once you fill out your form and email it to , you will be contacted by our placement team for further questions.
  3. We will also need photos and references as a part of the application process.  References from your farrier, vet and a personal reference will be checked.

If you have any questions, please email or message us directly on our Facebook page.

You can also contribute by helping us with the costs associated in saving the lives of these beautiful creatures!  Please adopt or donate today!



AVAILABLE = Not yet in the adoption process, available to adopt

PENDING = Applications have been received and are in process on this horse by one or more potential adopters, but nothing has been approved.

ADOPTED = This horse has left the speedway and is on his way to a new home with a loving family

AVAILABLE FOR ADOPTION: ~ more pics below

  • 2143A
  • Chestnut gelding
  • Small star
  • 3 yrs

  • 2143C
  • Sorrel gelding
  • Wide blaze
  • LF & LR sock
  • 3 yrs

  • 2146C
  • Sorrel gelding
  • Blaze
  • RR sock
  • LR 1/2 pastern
  • 4 yr

  • 2146F
  • Bay gelding
  • Snip
  • RR sock
  • RF inside coronet/outside ½ pastern
  • 3 yr

  • 2146G
  • Sorrel gelding
  • Narrow blaze
  • white lower lip
  • RR sock
  • 6 yr

Geiger Grade Estray Horses: ~ 2 REMAINING

  • #2143A – Chestnut gelding: Small star, 3 yr – AVAILABLE 


  • #2143B – Tri-color Pinto gelding: Star, strip, snip; split mane; four stockings, 3 yr – ADOPTED


  • #2143C – Sorrel gelding: Blaze; LF & LR sock, 3 yr – AVAILABLE


  • #2143D – Black bay gelding: Small star, 2 yrs – ADOPTED


  • #2143E – Tri-color Pinto gelding: Wide star, fading strip, snip, white lower lip; four stockings, 4 yrs – ADOPTED


  • #2143F – Red Roan & White Pinto gelding: Blaze; four stockings, 5 yrs – ADOPTED


  • #2143G – Bay Roan/Dun gelding: Star, strip; LR & RR socks, 2 yrs – ADOPTED


  • #2143H – Tri-color Pinto gelding: Narrow blaze; four stockings, 3 yrs old – ADOPTED


Washoe Valley Estray Horses ~ ADOPTED!

  • #2144A – Tri-color Pinto gelding: Star; LF pastern, LR sock, RF & RR stocking, 4 yr – ADOPTED


  • #2144B – Sorrel & white Pinto gelding: Tapering blaze; four stockings, 4 yrs – ADOPTED


  • #2144C – Black gelding: Star, snip; LR coronet, RR ½ pastern – ADOPTED


  • #2144D – Sorrel gelding: Faint star; RR pastern – ADOPTED


Mustang/Lockwood Estray Horses: ~ 3 LEFT

  • #2146(A) Bay gelding: Star; LR ½ pastern, 3 yr – ADOPTED


  • #2146(B) Sorrel gelding: Blaze, flaxen main/tail, 4 yr – ADOPTED


  • #2146(C) Sorrel gelding: Blaze; RR sock, LR 1/2 pastern, 4 yr – AVAILABLE


  • #2146(D) Bay Roan gelding: Faint star, 3 yr – ADOPTED


  • #2146(E) Red Roan & white Pinto gelding: Star, widening strip & snip; four stockings, 4 yr – ADOPTED


  • #2146(F) Bay gelding: Snip; RR sock, RF inside coronet/outside ½ pastern, 3 yr – AVAILABLE


  • #2146(G) Sorrel gelding: Narrow blaze, white lower lip; RR sock, 6 yr – AVAILABLE


  • #2146(H) Bay stud: Star, faint strip, wide snip; LR pastern, RR sock (from prior photos about 4-5 yr old) – ADOPTED




In order to save these horses from the livestock sale where their fate would be uncertain, the Virginia Range Sanctuary has paid the following fees for each horse to release them from “impound”:

  • $300 paid to the Dept of Agriculture, per horse, including
    • Collection and holding at Northern Nevada Correctional Facility
    • Gelding, microchip & freeze brand
  • $70 for Coggins test, deworming, tetanus and health certificate for out of state adoption
  • Additionally, it was necessary to pay $1200 board to hold saved horses in temporary pens until the Fernley Speedway was available as longer-term temporary housing in early November.

We are not asking that these costs be covered by the adoptees, however, any donations collected by the Virginia Range Sanctuary will go to cover the initial costs.


When adopting a wild horse, we understand that there are many costs that the new owners will need to incur to ensure a safe and healthy home for the new horse, so in efforts to keep the adoption fees down, the Virginia Range Sanctuary is only asking for $175 per horse in addition to signing an adoption contract.

The Department of Agriculture does not receive federal (or other) government funding to support the management of the Virginia Range Horses, and the Virginia Range Sanctuary is a non-profit, relying solely on the donations and generosity of folks like you. If you cannot adopt yourself, please consider donating to help us off-set the costs of saving these horses from certain doom.

For more information please contact Corenna Vance at 775-240-1304, Kelly Hyatt at 775-530-7741 or Anna Orchard at 775-722-6960. You can also email the Virginia Range Sanctuary to get additional information.

A downloadable version of the private adopter adoption form can be found here. We will need you to submit photos and references (farrier, vet, personal) along with your adoption form.

Follow what’s going on, ask questions, request adoption applications and see additional information on the Virginia Range Sanctuary Wild Horse Adoption Facebook page.

A great deal of on-line information discussing how wild horses process and react to the human environment, respond to training and successfully domesticate can be found by visiting the LRTC Wild Horse and Burro Help Desk.