Extension by Amy McLean
A Year in Review for UW Equine Science
By Amy McLean, UW Extension Equine Specialist
The past year has been a very busy year at the University of Wyoming. Two new courses have been developed and are being taught, a new equine team has been formed, the school received their first two donated horses, adopted two burros and the judging team had unforgettable year.
The year started out with eight students attending the National Collegiate Horsemen’s Association Convention in Fort Worth, Texas. The students toured some of the industry’s top equine facilities and trainers, such as McQuay Farms in Tioga, Texas, where the students had the chance to meet Tim McQuay, who has earned millions training reining horses. The students also saw some of the top industry stallions at McQuay’s, such as Colonel Smoking Gun and Smart and Shiny, who is owned by Lyle Lovett. The students also visited Valor Farms, a Thoroughbred racing farm that had horses run in this year’s Kentucky Derby. The group also visited with professionals in the industry about potential career opportunities in the equine industry.
The school also received its first donated horses from Jackson Land and Cattle Company in Jackson. In September two Quarter Horse geldings found a new home at the university. The geldings have proven to be perfect additions for teaching students more about horse care and management, and have also proven to be trusty mounts for gathering cattle.
The school also adopted two BLM burros, which were used in the ANSC 3250 Equine Behavior and Welfare course for comparative purposes between donkey and horse behavior. They will also be utilized this spring for equine courses. Students in the newly taught Equine Behavior and Welfare course also received a behind-the-scenes tour at the Denver Zoo last fall, where they learned more about wild equid behavior of two endangered equine – the Przewalski horse and the Grevy zebra.
The UW Horse Judging Team had a very memorable and historical year, to say the least. This year’s team included Lisa Eckhardt, Corinna Slingerland, Stephanie Schroeder, Lacey Teigen and Ruth Uptain, and they performed outstandingly at the All American Quarter Horse Congress in Columbus, Ohio, where they finished reserve overall and first in halter by a large margin.
Team member Stephanie Schroeder took home the prestigious honor of being the Overall High Individual at the Congress and scored a 50 – a perfect score, which is basically unheard of – on one set of oral reasons. Stephanie was also high individual in halter, performance and reserve high individual in reasons. Ruth Uptain was seventh high individual overall, reasons and reserve high individual in halter. Lisa Eckhardt was fourth high individual in halter. Lacey Teigen and Cori Slingerland were in the top 20 overall.
The team also had an outstanding day at the American Quarter Horse Association World Show in Oklahoma City, Okla., where, out of 3,600 points, the UW team was a mere one point behind the legendary West Texas A&M Horse Judging Team! The team placed in all three divisions: fourth in halter, third in performance and fourth in reasons. They were the only team to place in all three divisions. Stephanie Schroeder was high individual in reasons, seventh high individual in performance, and fourth high individual overall. Lacey Teigen was seventh high individual overall.
The team finished the season competing in the National Reining Horse Association Futurity. This contest was somewhat different than the other two, but the team again did a great job and finished 10th overall. Stephanie was fourth High Individual Overall. The team has definitely put the University of Wyoming on the map, and has left behind big shoes to fill in the future.
After completing the judging season, two of the horse judging team members, Cori Slingerland and Lacey Teigen, traveled to Kenya with a study abroad course to learn more about donkey draft power and welfare. The students spent two weeks in Kenya with 13 other students from the UW College of Ag.
International travel will not stop there for several equine students – recently UW was selected by the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) for an International Horsemanship Camp grant, meaning students from the university who submitted a proposal to teach horsemanship abroad were selected. Students involved in the development of the international horsemanship camp curriculum included Lisa Eckhardt, Kate Peine, Corinna Slingerland and Lacey Teigen. The grant applications were also selected based on the students’ previous experience in the equine industry, including riding, judging, training, teaching lessons and accomplishments in the show ring. This is a very prestigious award that has been granted, and in the next few weeks the group will learn where AQHA will send them for two weeks this summer. Destinations include Europe, South America or Australia.
Last but not least, another new equine course will be taught this semester. Veterinarian Donal O’Toole and myself will teach a new course: ANSC 4111 Equine Health and Disease. The course will focus on various equine aliments, including prevention, management, clinical signs and treatment.
In addition to these equine activities, a new equine team has also been formed. The first UW Ranch Horse Team will compete this coming spring against other colleges on their own horses, showing in ranch horse pleasure, ranch trail, reining and cow work. The team will travel to Sterling, Colo., Fort Collins, Colo., Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne and, possibly, the National Collegiate Ranch Horse Show in Amarillo, Texas in April. Currently, Wayne Miller has graciously donated his help and expertise to coach the team this semester.
If you have any questions, comments or would like to make a donation to the equine program, please don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 307-766-4373.