A mustang is a hardy, free-roaming horse of the North American west, descended primarily from horses brought to the Americas by the Spanish conquistadors.
Because of the image of the wild horse of the west as possessing hardiness, grace, speed, and independence, the name "Mustang" is popular for high-performance products and for sports mascots.
The Bureau of Land Management controls the mustang population through a capture program, intended to control competition with beef cattle.
Most horses that are captured are offered for "adoption" to individuals willing to pay a small fee to cover paperwork and a few basic costs.
In order to prevent the later sale of mustangs as horse meat, adopted mustangs are still protected under the Act, and cannot be sold except when certain very specific criteria are met.
There usually is a much larger pool of captured horses than of prospective adoptive owners.
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