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Penn State Students Prepare for Annual Quarter Horse Sale

by on April 05, 2018 5:00 AM

Penn State’s Department of Animal Science will hold its 16th annual Quarter Horse sale on Saturday, April 28. The group of 12 young horses are currently being trained and prepared for the sale by a group of students in Animal Science 117, the equine marketing class offered at Penn State and taught by Brian Egan.

The class’s group of 12 horses are all considered “green” — in other words, they are young and untrained. The students participating in the program, including senior Paige Furtaw, are riding and lunging the horses to prepare them for the sale. Furtaw has ridden horses for most of her life, and joined the program because of her previous experience with the animals.

“I started riding horses when I was five or six,” Furtaw said during class on Tuesday. “I really enjoyed it, so I started taking lessons. I started showing at our local fairgrounds for fun, then my dad bought me my first horse and I got into eventing.”

Furtaw always knew Penn State offered the equine marketing class, but isn’t currently enrolled in it. While the students in the class are responsible for displaying and pitching the horses for sale, Furtaw’s passion motivates her to help train the horses in preparation for the event. She transferred to University Park after spending her first two years at a commonwealth campus, so this year will be her first quarter horse sale at Penn State.

“I’m actually pretty excited,” she said. “This is my first year really getting involved with [the sale]. I’m excited to see how much they go for and how well they perform in front of an audience. It’ll be neat to see how all of our hard work put into something like this.”

Harry Rice and PSU Jack on the Rox — one of the friendliest horses up for sale — take a break from training for this month’s quarter horse sale. Photo by Mikey Mandarino/Onward State

Every year, 25 to 30 students enroll in ANSC 117 and are broken up into a number of committees to help the sale go smoothly. Meg Gingerich is the co-chair for the Sponsorship and Industry Relations Committee, which helps potential buyers find trainers, farriers, and veterinarians for the horses.

Gingerich says the main objective of the course is to show the strength of Penn State’s Equine Sciences program, which includes a number of organizations like the Collegiate Horseman’s Association at Penn State (CHAPS) and the Western and English club equestrian teams.

Like Furtaw, Gingerich has ridden horses for most of her life. A State College native, Gingerich knew about the program before she arrived on campus and got involved throughout her college career. She grew up riding older, more experienced horses, so putting in the work to train the horses of ANSC 117 has been an eye-opening and rewarding experience.

“It’s so much fun,” she said. “I grew up riding older, more broken-in horses, so learning what got them to where I was riding them was really interesting. Seeing all the groundwork we put in, all the time we spend teaching them how to lunge, how to move their feet in different directions, is actually really cool to see.”

The sale will begins at 8:30 a.m. on April 28 at Snider Agricultural Arena. The horses will take their final tests before being sold at 10 a.m., and a tour of the farm where they are now kept will be offered at noon. For more information regarding the sale, visit its official website.

Mikey Mandarino is a staff writer for Onward State.
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