Sponsored by Lane Powell

Mustang money

| Print |  Email
Articles - Nov/Dec 2012
Monday, November 05, 2012

 

1112 MustangMoney 06
Auctions at the BLM corrals in Hines draw Kiger fans from around the world, last year garnering $72,575 in one day that sent 88 Kigers to 22 states and Sweden.
// Photo by Joseph Eastburn

High prices were hardly foreseen when BLM first began managing Kigers and “adopting” them approximately every four years in the early 1980s. The goal is to manage the range for sustainability, says Tara Martinak, public affairs specialist for the Burns District of BLM. Overpopulation can lead to a shortage of food and water for wildlife, can cause heavy damage to riparian areas and can deplete forage.

Since breeders popularized the Kiger, BLM adoptions, previously a lottery system, shifted to more lucrative auctions. These events at the BLM corrals in Hines now draw Kiger fans from around the world, last year culling $72,575 in one day that sent 88 Kigers to 22 states and Sweden. The fresh-from-the-wild Kigers are eyed by breeders eager to refine their characteristics for the marketplace. They’re also a find for horse lovers looking for their own piece of the West.

Martinak says there is far more interest in Kigers than other wild mustangs. “Our other big event in 2011, we maybe adopted 15. It is nothing like 88 horses in a single day.” But BLM benefits mostly by avoiding costs to lodge the animals. The real money in Kigers is on the private side.

As breed popularity grows, Kiger registries have popped up worldwide. And some of the latest buyers from Sweden and Germany are beginning breeding programs, like Arizona’s Polinger.

Wild-horse advocates, however, question whether Kigers really belong behind corrals and in barns, or whether they are being managed for the benefit of breeders and grazing livestock, a charge Martinak denies. In July 2011, wild-horse advocacy group The Cloud Foundation sued the Oregon BLM, aiming to push Kigers’ preservation on their rangeland. The suit was settled, ostensibly while BLM and The Cloud Foundation work together to safeguard Kigers’ genetic variability and improve management. Martinak says horse hair is tested for genetic variation after every BLM roundup, and that so far no problems have come up.

For his part, Polinger looks forward to diving into the market to keep the Kiger bloodline alive. More than money, he says, the business also comes with another motivation.

“I’m going to make horses that knock people’s socks off,” he says.

Lee van der Voo is a Portland-based journalist. Her last story for Oregon Business was about the battle over genetically modified seeds. She can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .



 

More Articles

The Human Factor

February 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015
BY BRIAN LIBBY

Matt French opens up South Waterfront.


Read more...

Party Like It’s 1999

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
pets-com-sock-puppetBY JASON NORRIS, CFA | OB GUEST BLOGGER

Pets.com, GeoCities, eToys, and WorldCom … blasts-from-the-past that all signify the late 1990s Internet bubble. Yet we believe the dynamics of the market, specifically in technology stocks, are much different today than it was during the late 1990s.


Read more...

Downtime with the president of NAI Norris, Beggs & Simpson

March 2015
Monday, February 23, 2015
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Live, Work, Play: Catching up with Chris Johnson.


Read more...

That's Not a Watch (This Is a Watch)

February 2015
Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Smartwatches are all the rage. But old-fashioned timepieces keep on ticking.


Read more...

Umbrella Revolution

March 2015
Monday, February 23, 2015

Yeah, we know: Oregonians are way too cool for umbrellas. But today’s stylish, high-tech models will soften the resistance of the most rain hardened.


Read more...

Thy neighbor's house

March 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Vacasa may lack the name recognition of Airbnb. But not for long.


Read more...

10 quotes explaining crisis at Port of Portland

The Latest
Friday, February 20, 2015
022015 port portland OBM-thumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

The ongoing labor disputes at the Port of Portland came to a head two weeks ago when Hanjin, the container port's largest client, notified its customers it would be ending its direct route to Oregon.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS