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Annual colt sale at UW-River Falls marks 40th anniversary

Falcon News Service

April 27, 2016

The 40th annual Colts in Training Sale, featuring 53 two-year-old horses, is scheduled Saturday, May 7, at UW-River Falls.

This year, UWRF will be selling 10 of its own colts that have been raised through the university’s horse breeding program. As with colt sales, the revenue will go back to the horse breeding program.

Most of the horses that are for sale are quarter horses. In the past, buyers from around the country and the world have shown up for the sale.

The colt sale gives students the chance to showcase their skills learned from the principles of training horses class taught by Nathan O’Connor, an associate faculty associate in the Department of Animal and Food Science.

“It creates a great tie with the horse industry and the horse community in the region and the nation,” O’Connor said. “And it’s a great way to give students real life experience in the industry because in the colts in training class a majority of the assignments in the class are actually marketing projects.”

The 10 colts being raised as a part of the university program include a new horse named Galaxy, born March 26.

Galaxy was raised as a part of the Equine Reproductive Techniques class by a group of students in order to learn more about the process of how horses are born. Student Janelle Mishler said there have been some challenges but it has also been rewarding for her also to be in the class and learn new skill sets.

“I definitely like the hands on,” Mishler said. “I don’t think anywhere else you can find something like this in the Upper Midwest… I feel very comfortable with it.”

The colt sale, which is widely known to those in the horse industry, drew more than 200 bidders in 2015 for horses and in the previous year the gross sales for the colt sale were around $200,000. Jennifer Weinert, the barn manager at the UW-River Falls Campus Farm, said that many potential buyers tend to preview the horses leading up to sale in order to better understand what types of colts will be available.

“In these last couple of weeks before the colt sale we will have a lot of industry people that will come here to watch the classes, try the horses and get a look at them before the sale,” Weinert said.

The event, which is managed and organized by the UWRF Department of Animal and Food Science, begins with a preview at 11 a.m. on May 7 at the UW-River Falls Campus Farm, 1475 S. Wasson Lane, River Falls. For more information, visit the event’s website, www.uwrfcoltsale.com.