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The University of Montana Western Announces Colt Challenge and Sale

December 16, 2019

Due to the recent global outbreak of COVID-19, the Montana Western Colt Challenge and Sale has changed formats. Please see below the changes and contact list for any questions.

Colt Challenge and Sale

Update to our 2020 Montana Western Colt Challenge & Sale

Due to COVID-19, we have updated our competition and sale format.

Part 1– The Challenge (canceled this year)

The opportunity to compete in Dillon at Montana Western’s Colt Challenge is a once in a lifetime experience for many of the program’s students. This is an exceptional experiential learning opportunity to start a colt and ready it for competition. This year, the Challenge has been canceled.

Part 2– The Preview & Sale (Online, March 23-28, 2020)

Montana Western and the community of Dillon is excited to present the annual colt sale. The sale is a fundraiser for the Natural Horsemanship Program at Montana Western and promotes experiential learning and the ranch and cow horse industry.

This year’s sale will be available through internet auction at

Online bidding will begin Monday, March 23, at 8:00 a.m. MST and will close on Saturday, March 28 at 3:00 p.m. MST. Bids can be placed via phone or online the day of the sale. Colts will be put through a vet check and results will be posted on the auction site.

Visit Rivers West Auction online to preview colts and register before the sale.

For more information, please contact Jason Clinkenbeard by calling (406) 239-3529 or email [email protected]. Or contact Melanie South by calling (406) 230-6114 or email [email protected].

The Colt Challenge, held on March 27 starting at 9:00 a.m., will showcase Montana Western students from the Sales Preparation Class riding their assigned colts. Each student in the class is assigned to one of the colts by their Natural Horsemanship instructor. The Challenge will consist of a ranch trail course. The colts that are a part of the class are quarter horses donated from ranches in Montana and across the Northwestern United States.

The Colt Sale, held on March 28, will feature the sale of the donated colts from the Sales Preparation Class that competed the previous day with their student. The sale preview will start at 10:00 a.m., followed by a luncheon from 11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m., sponsored by Karl Tyler’s Beaverhead Motors, with the sale to commence at 1:00 p.m. Buyers from all over the United States travel to see the colts in the Montana Western Colt Challenge and Sale. All proceeds are reinvested in the program in order to provide scholarships to Natural Horsemanship majors at the University of Montana Western.

The Equine Studies Department at the University of Montana Western offers the nation’s only Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Horsemanship with options in management, psychology, science and instruction, and was ranked among the “Best Equestrian Colleges” by, an online education resource.

The Montana Center for Horsemanship is the first and only equine center in the United States that is devoted expressly to promoting ‘Natural Horsemanship.’ With its stables, arenas, riding areas, and instructors, the center serves as the primary facility and progressive teaching resource for Montana Western’s Natural Horsemanship BS curriculum. 

The MCH teaches the ‘La Cense Method,’ which was developed under William Kriegel, owner of La Cense Montana and Haras de la Cense in France. Mr. Kriegel is also co-founder of MCH, and he has been involved in Natural Horsemanship for many years. The La Cense Method is a progressive, step-by-step process that blends the best of traditional horsemanship training with the art of training and riding horses—all in a manner that works with a horse’s behavior, instincts, and personality. Taking a positive and respectful approach, the La Cense Method gradually builds trust, and frees the horses to be confident in all they are asked to perform. 

For more information about the Colt Challenge and Sale, please contact Head Natural Horsemanship Instructor Eric Hoffmann by email at [email protected] or call 406-925-1499.