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Equine program acquires nationally known quarter horse

February 3, 2011

UW-River Falls’ equine breeding program gained a very valuable, nationally known quarter horse stallion this December with the donation of Skeets Peppy.

Zimmerman Performance Horses, operated by Vaughn Zimmerman, of Springfield, Mo., previously owned and showed Skeets.

It was a “spur of the moment scenario,” according to Zimmerman, which resulted in Skeets being donated.

“I wanted to get back to my roots, and the showing side of it,” Zimmerman said. “I decided if I sell Skeets I want him to go to a really good home.”

According to Zimmerman, he knew UWRF had interests in acquiring a stallion and knew he would be taken care of at the university.

It took less than 24 hours for the donation process to be completed once Zimmerman talked with David Solum, an old friend who also happens to help with the UWRF Colt Sale.

Solum contacted the university and Zimmerman said it “went from one to the other in a very short period of time.”

“Skeets is going to be a real asset to the college,” Zimmerman said.

Zimmerman bought Skeets, as he is affectionately called, back in 1997, when he was just a young 2-year-old.

Ken Eppers, a trainer out of Krum, Texas, spotted the horse when the two were at a National Reining Horse Association’s sale and helped train him.

Todd Bergen from Eagle Point, Ore., also trained and showed Skeet and helped contribute to his $86,000 that he earned over the course of his career.

Skeets Peppy was primarily shown in reining, which according to the NRHA website, is often called “Western Dressage.”

“It is a “predetermined series of gaits and movements designed to test mounts’ athleticism, obedience to the aids, and overall gymnastic development.” 

Offspring of Skeet have earned $407,000, if you are counting in reining, cutting, and cow horse, according to Skeets’ very own website, www.skeetspeppy.com.

The website is now updated by UWRF’s Kris Hiney. 

Hiney is his breeding manager and also an associate professor in the Equine program who said he is very excited to have him at Campus Laboratory Farm No.1.

Acquiring the 15-year-old chestnut stallion was simple and sweet, according to Hiney, “We had to get the university to agree to accept the horse, and then it was pretty much just getting an appraisal and signing his transfer papers.”

Arriving from Cedar Ridge Stallion Station in Whitesboro, Texas, with just a halter with his name on it, he has already made an impact.

“He is a nationally known stallion,” said Hiney. “People have already contacted me about shipping semen to them. So far we have plans to ship to Connecticut, Oklahoma and Texas.”

His addition will also be a great teaching aspect for the breeding program at the lab farm.

“Previously in the breeding program, students would practice shipping semen to themselves. Now with the addition of Skeets, students can actually ship the semen.” said Hiney.

Zimmerman knew the history of the breeding program and how it started and said, “I felt it would be a really good fit and the horse would do really well.”

All the money from Skeets’ breeding fees and the colt sale are what fund the breeding program.

“Students have a huge roll. It is really fun and students really like it. They can say-’I made that!’” said Hiney, the teacher of the program.

A maximum of ten mares will foal this spring at the lab farm and each will be bred to one of the now three stallions with more mares being bred to Skeets, according to Hiney.

Skeets’ mind is kept sharp by getting turned-out in the day and exercised through the process of lunging him often, and also by occasionally riding him.