The University of Montana Western’s inaugural Colt Challenge and Sale was a huge success for the university and community, Chancellor Beth Weatherby said.
“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,” Weatherby said.
Over 400 people attended the two-day event, March 31 and April 1, 2017, which included a competition and sale of donated colts trained by students from Montana Western and Miles Community College.
Natural horsemanship instructor Eric Hoffman said that the colts, which were trained in a variety of ranch tasks, sold in some cases for over $10,000 and ultimately raised $100,000 for the university’s program.
“I’m very proud of our students who worked so hard and made a considerable time commitment to the colts. Our thanks to the many donors and corporate sponsors who made this event possible,” Hoffman said.
Montana Western student Jessica Thompson riding DM Rooster’s Cowhand (donated by Diamond Land and Livestock) won the challenge. UMW students Melanie Elzinga riding Weaver’s Busy Storm (donated by Weaver Quarter Horses) placed second and Camas Neville aboard Pepto Nu Star (donated by Harrington and Hirschy Quarter Horses) placed third.
Miles Community College student Melanie Johnson aboard Wee ZP Doc O Molly (donated by Weeding Performance Horses) placed fourth. UMW student Ava Duncan riding Cashin Carlyle (donated by Chad and Verna Holland) finished fifth in the horsemanship competition.
Neville was awarded Most Improved in the competition.
DM Rooster’s Cowhand (ridden by Thompson) was the high selling colt at $10,300 purchased by Western Sky Horsemanship, Redmond, Ore. In addition, Weaver’s Busy Storm (ridden by Elzinga) was purchased by Don Treadway Jr. of Amarillo, Texas, for $10,250. Pepto Nu Star (ridden by Neville) sold for $8,300 and was purchased by Dave Bradley of Cardwell, Mont.
Major corporate sponsors included CHS Inc. and New Generation Supplements. Dillon’s Montana Center for Horsemanship, Miles Community College and Montana Western were major partners in the challenge and sale.
Shelia Kirkpatrick and Erika Krist donated a Mad Hatter’s custom hat for a scholarship for a natural horsemanship student. Auctioneer Malik Heggie purchased the hat for $800.
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, Collin Erb, and Wayne Lower.
Dr. Layne Carlson and Dr. Megan Kelly were veterinarians for the sale with Dan Bugni serving as brand inspector.
Colts were donated by Cal and Brooke Erb, Hagenbarth Livestock, Harrington and Hirschy Quarter Horses, Holland Quarter horses, Longhorn Quarter Horses, Powderhorn Ranch/Diamond, McNabb Quarter Horses, R Lazy 6 Ranch, and Weaver Quarter Horses.
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.