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UMW and MCH to Host Annual Colt Challenge & Sale in April

February 19, 2021

The Annual Colt Challenge and Sale, hosted by the University of Montana Western and the Montana Center for Horsemanship, will take place April 2-3, 2021, at the Montana Center for Horsemanship in Dillon, Mont.

Students and colts compete in a series of events that demonstrate their wide range of abilities on the first day, and the following day, a public auction features the colts for sale, with all proceeds reinvested in the program in order to provide scholarships to Natural Horsemanship majors at the University of Montana Western.

Schedule of Events:

Friday, April 2nd

  • Colt Challenge: 9:00 a.m.

Saturday, April 3rd

  • Preview: 10:00 a.m.
  • Lunch: 11:30 a.m.
  • Sale: 1:00 p.m.

More than two dozen of the best bred colts are donated by some of the finest ranches in the region. The colts receive approximately 90 days of Natural Horsemanship training from equine students in the Natural Horsemanship/Equine Studies Bachelor of Science Degree program at Montana Western, under the guidance and leadership of Eric Hoffmann, MCH Director of Horsemanship.

The young horses are familiarized with being in enclosed areas, as well as experiencing the many surrounding mountains and trails. They are also prepared for the unexpected events that happen both indoors and out and working with cattle, ropes, and anything a horse and rider might encounter in ranching or recreational riding. Simultaneously, students and instructors get an in-depth feel for each horse, that enables them to convey this information to potential buyers.

The horses and students are featured on Facebook leading up to the main event in April with information about the colts including their color, conformation, personalities, and skills. More information about the Colt Challenge and Sale, including the sale catalog, is available on the University of Montana Western website.

Those interested in attending the auction can do so in person, online, or by phone. To bid online, participants must pre-register at least one day prior to the sale. To pre-register, please visit and click “Get Approved to Bid.” Participants can then bid online via desktop by visiting the day of the sale or by downloading the Northern Livestock Auction mobile app.

To bid by phone, pre-register by calling Northern Livestock Video Auction at 866-616-5035 before the sale day to obtain a bid number. Bidders can then phone in the day of the sale by calling 406-245-0889.

The sale order will be posted on Friday, April 2nd by 5:00 p.m. on the Montana Western Colt Challenge and Sale website and Facebook page.

The Annual Colt Challenge and Sale corporate sponsors include CHS Inc., New Generation Supplements, Rocky Mountain Supply, and Zinpro Performance Minerals in partnership with the University of Montana Western and the Montana Center for Horsemanship. Saturday’s lunch is sponsored by Beaverhead Motors. We wish to thank our sponsors for their generous support of the event and the students in the program.

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.