The Natural Horsemanship Program, which educates students to work with young horses as part of a broad range of equine and other academic studies, is a joint program of the University of Montana Western and the Montana Center for Horsemanship. Every year, as part of the Colt Sale course, UMW students work with young horses to be trained and sold at live auction the following spring. All of the horses sold are donated by well-known area ranches and have excellent bloodlines. The proceeds are then donated back into the Natural Horsemanship program for scholarships, facility updates and more. “It’s one of the most important fundraising events of the year,” according to UMW Foundation Director Roxanne Engellant, and is also a highly anticipated event in the horsemanship world, bringing in buyers from around the country.
The two-day event began with the Colt Challenge on Friday, April 2. Students showcased their colts and the variety of ranch tasks they had been trained to perform. The top five placings were as follows: Gus Hoffman riding Easy Docs Latigo, donated by Fred and Lynn Hirschy, placed fifth overall, Callie Wasser riding Smart Irish Poppy, donated by R Lazy 6 Quarter Horses, placed fourth, Krya Trahant riding Ima A Gambler Now, donated by Erb Ranch, placed third, Brianna Bruneau riding Ima Nu Starlita, donated by Fred and Lynn Hirschy, placed second while Jacob Christenson riding RSR Easy Playguns, donated by Roaring Springs Ranch were the overall champions. Christenson was awarded a $2,500 scholarship for taking home the top place.
The sale, held the following day on April 3, generated a record-breaking $208,750 averaging $9,076 per colt. The highest selling colt was RSR Easy Playguns (ridden by Jacob Christenson). The colt was sold for $19,000 to Karen Murphy from Old Chatham, NY. Weavers Gonnab Busy (ridden by Kayla Lake) sold for $14,000 to Kathy Klick Robinson from Augusta, MT. Docs Smouch (ridden by Katie Ross) and Weavers Tuf N Busy (ridden by Callie Wasser) both sold for $13,000. Docs Smouch was sold to Kaaren Ross from Elko, NV, and Weavers Tuf N Busy was sold to Pete Kyle from Amarillo, TX. Easy Docs Latigo (ridden by Gus Hoffman) sold for $12,750 to Lynn Hirschy from Jackson, MT.
The University of Montana Western Natural Horsemanship Program would like to thank donors Chad & Verna Holland, Koy & Denise Holland, Cal & Brooke Erb, Shirley Harrington, Mark & Barb Harrington, Garrison Ranches, Hollenbeck Ranch, R Lazy 6 Quarter Horses, Harrington and Hirschy Quarter Horses, Fred and Lynn Hirschy, Weaver Quarter Horses, and Roaring Springs Ranch for making this year’s event so successful. Thank you to New Generation Supplements, Zinpro Performance Minerals, Rocky Mountain Supply, CHS Inc., and the Montana Center for Horsemanship for sponsoring the event.
For more information about Montana Western and the nation’s only Natural Horsemanship degree program, please visit www.umwestern.edu or call 1-877-683-7331.