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Annual Colt Sale Raises Over $96,000 for Natural Horsemanship Program

April 14, 2018

The University of Montana Western’s Second Annual Colt Challenge and Sale was a huge success for the university and community.

Around 400 people attended the two-day event, held on April 6 and 7, 2018, which included a competition and sale of donated colts trained by students from Montana Western.

Natural horsemanship instructor Eric Hoffmann said that the colts, which were trained in a variety of ranch tasks, sold in some cases for over $10,000 and ultimately raised over $96,000 for the university’s program.

“I am very proud of the job well done by the UMW sales prep and events classes in order to have a successful event again this year.  The quality job that our students, colt donors, corporate sponsor, event sponsors, and everybody else involved do throughout the year shows through the product that we produce year in and year out,” Hoffmann said.


The top five Montana Western students to place in the competition include: Tess Turk, riding Weavers Star Heaven (donated by Stan and Nancy Weaver) won the challenge. Camas Neville riding Just Might Miss (donated by Mark and Barb Harrington) placed second and Hannah Harrington aboard Nu Cash Breeze (donated by Fred and Lynn Harrington-Hirschy) placed third. Maggie Blandford aboard MT Adel (donated by Koy and Denise Holland) placed fourth. Karin Zehm riding Weaver’s Smart Tuf (donated by Stan and Nancy Weaver) finished fifth in the horsemanship competition.

Tess Turk was awarded a $2500 scholarship.

Weavers Star Heaven (ridden by Tess Turk) was the high selling colt at $12,000 purchased by Marlene Turk, of Elko, Nev. In addition, Weavers Smart Busy (ridden by Lorrie Ann Smith) was purchased by Matador Cattle Company, of Dillon, Mont., for $7,000. Shooters At Marstons (ridden by Gillian Nasty) sold for $6,500 and was purchased by Mike Barrett, of Dillon, Mont.

Tess Turk with Colt

“The tremendous effort on the part of our students, faculty and staff, along with incredible community support, made this a fantastic event. It not only provides training for our students, but raises money to fund our unique natural horsemanship program,” Chancellor Beth Weatherby said.

Major corporate sponsors included CHS Inc. and New Generation Supplements. Dillon’s Montana Center for Horsemanship and Montana Western were major partners in the challenge and sale.

Other sponsors included Beaverhead Home & Ranch Real Estate, Farm Bureau Financial Services, Rocky Mountain Supply of Dillon, Mont., Frecker’s Saddlery, Holt Custom Saddlery, Frontline Ag Solutions, Murdoch’s of Dillon, Mont., Osburn Fence & Fabrication LLC, Beaverhead Livestock Auction, Montana Mad Hatters, East Bench Grain, The Merc, Sparky’s Garage Bar & Grill, Comfort Inn of Dillon, Mont., ASA Publications, INC, Atomic 79, Steele Halters, and Brogger Saddlery.

Erika Kirkpatrick from Twin Bridges, Mont., donated a Montana Mad Hatter’s custom hat for a scholarship for a natural horsemanship student. Auctioneer Malik Hegge, from Mills, Wyo. purchased the hat for $500.

Samantha Mehta

Beaverhead Livestock Auction handled the terms and conditions of the sale. Judy Tash was clerk. Stan Weaver researched the pedigrees of each colt and was pedigree specialist. Ringmen for the sale included Gregg Goggins, Bo Bevis, Colin Erb, and Bill Pelton.

Dr. Layne Carlson and Dr. Megan Kelly were veterinarians for the sale with Dan Bungi serving as brand inspector.

Colts were donated by Cal and Brooke Erb, Mark and Barb Harrington, Fred and Lynn Harrington-Hirschy, Chad and Verna Holland, Koy and Denise Holland, Diamond Land and Livestock, Stan and Nancy Weaver, and Daniel Weaver.

Cenex Harvest States provided feed and was the title sponsor of the sale.

Montana Western is the only university in the nation offering a four-year natural horsemanship degree with options in management, psychology, science and instruction and was recently ranked among the “Best Equestrian Colleges” by ThoughtCo, an online education resource.