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Wild horses, trained by masters and inmates, up for adoption this month in Sacramento County

A horse, a convict, a chance for change

At the Wild Horse Program at Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center inmates train wild mustangs to become adoptable to the public. Changed by his love for a wild mustang, Zephyr, Chris Culcasi struggled towards a life outside of crime.
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At the Wild Horse Program at Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center inmates train wild mustangs to become adoptable to the public. Changed by his love for a wild mustang, Zephyr, Chris Culcasi struggled towards a life outside of crime.

Trained wild horses will go up for adoption in Sacramento County over the next two weekends, the Bureau of Land Management announced.

Horses trained by inmates and by trainers participating in the Western States Horse Expo’s Equus Masters competition will go up for adoption Sunday in Rancho Murieta and May 18 in Elk Grove, BLM said in a news release.

More than half of the horses going up for adoption come by way of the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center horse training program, in partnership with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department.

Nine horses will be adopted out starting 1:30 p.m. Sunday in Rancho Murieta, and seven will be offered starting 9 a.m. the following Saturday in Elk Grove.

The Rancho Murieta event, at the Murieta Equestrian Center, will place three saddle-trained horses from the inmate program and six halter-trained horses – four of the latter class coming via the Equus Masters partnership.

On May 18, seven saddle-trained horses will be adopted from the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Facility. The auction will follow a live demonstration, according to the news release.

The horses come from public rangelands where the wild populations have grown beyond sustainable levels, according to BLM.

Michael McGough anchors The Sacramento Bee’s breaking news reporting team, covering public safety and other local stories. A Sacramento native and lifelong capital resident, he interned at The Bee while attending Sacramento State, where he earned a degree in journalism.
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