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Students

Megwyn “Meg” Bennett was born and raised in Gaviota, California, where she grew up trail riding and took three years of dressage lessons. She is a third-year Natural Horsemanship student, and this is her second year in the UMW Sales Prep class. In the 2020 Colt Challenge and Sale, Meg was awarded the Most Improved Student. After attending university, Meg plans to work under experienced horsemen in various disciplines with a vested interest in following Vaquero traditions and she will work towards an all-around horse training business in the future. In her free time, Meg loves to read, practices creative writing, and enjoys trail rides and movie nights with her friends.

Brandy Bruneau is from Blaine, Washington. She is majoring in natural horsemanship with equine management and instruction minors. This is her second year in sales prep. During her spare time, she likes to ride her horses, paint, skateboard, explore Montana, and spend time with her family and friends. Brandy’s career goals after college involve starting her own business where she can start colts and teach horsemanship.

Brianna Bruneau comes from Blaine, Washington. She is majoring in natural horsemanship and is minoring in both instruction and equine management. This is her second year participating in the UMW Sales Prep class and had the highest-selling colt in last year’s sale! Brianna enjoys riding her personal horses, running, skateboarding, and drawing. Along with attending classes at Western, she is a member of the horseman’s club. After college Brianna hopes to work in the horse industry as an instructor as well as starting and selling colts.

My name is Julia Carrasco and I am 19 years old. Originally, I am from Pasco Washington, the southeast corner of the state. This is my first year at the University of Montana Western, but previously in high school, I was able to attend a program called Running Start where I was able to take college courses at the high school through Central Washington University and on-campus at Columbia Basin College. The high school I attended in Washington was called Chiawana high school, which means “big river” because we have the Columbia, the Yakima, and the Snake River running through our community! Growing up I rode and competed through 4H, FFA, and WAHSET (Washington High School Equestrian Team) including many other local organizations and circuits.

Jacob Christenson is from Buffalo, Minnesota. He is majoring in Natural Horsemanship and minoring in Ag Business. This is his second year in the UMW Sales Prep class. His colt was one of the highest-selling in last year’s sale and placed 3rd in the competition overall. In his spare time, he likes to show in sortings, cuttings, ranch rodeos, and reined cow horses. After college, he wants to go back and take care of his family ranch in Minnesota. This year he is riding Witches Nu Broom from the Erb Ranch and RSR Easy Playguns from Roaring Springs.

Gus Hoffman grew up in Big Sky Montana, where his family manages the 320 Ranch. This is his first year in the sales prep program. He is a freshman at the University of Montana Western and is part of the horsemanship program as well. Gus likes training and riding horses in his free time.

This is Emily Hubanks. Emily is from a small town in Northern California, called Susanville. She transferred to Montana Western to major in Business Administration and Natural Horsemanship. She will have minors in both Farm and Ranch Management and Equine Management. This is her first year in the Sales Prep class and is riding A Famous Dude, a sorrel gelding donated by Lynn Hirschy. Her plan after she graduates is to work in Equine Assisted Therapy, helping people learn about the horse.

This is Molly Jackson from Gunnison Colorado. She is currently a freshman here at Montana Western and plans on majoring in Natural Horsemanship with a minor in business. She is riding a cremello mare donated by Harrington & Hirschy Quarter Horses.

This is Kayla Lake from Alturas, California. She is double majoring in Business Administration and Natural Horsemanship with minors in Equine Facilities Management, Instruction, and Accounting. She grew up very involved with 4-H and FFA, both of which started her passion for horses. Her experiences geared her towards the Instruction Option that Montana Western provides. This is Kayla’s third year in the UMW Sales Prep Class. When she’s not in school, she enjoys riding her horse or spending time with friends. After college she plans to find a job involving riding and training horses, specifically cutting and working cow horses. This year Kayla is riding at this year’s Montana Western’s Colt Challenge & Sale!

Riley Lake is a freshman at the University of Montana Western. This is her first year in the Sales Preparation class and is majoring in Natural Horsemanship and Science. She is on the rodeo team and competes in breakaway and team roping. She has spent most of her life riding horses and working on ranches with her family. She also enjoys performing in cutting and reined cow horse events. In her spare time, she likes to be outdoors either hunting, hiking, or fishing. In the future, she plans to be a veterinarian or something of that skill and would like to continue in the cutting and breakaway industries.

This is Aubrey Little, from Centerville, MT. She is double majoring in natural horsemanship and business, with minors in management and instruction. This is Aubrey’s first year in the UMW sales prep class. Aubrey grew up barrel racing, showing, trail riding, and working cattle. In her free time she enjoys hunting, fishing, working with her other horses, and going on adventures with her dog. After college Aubrey plans on working under trainers who practice natural horsemanship.

This is James Ramirez from Churchill, Montana. He is double majoring in Biology and Natural Horsemanship with a minor in Equine Science. This is his second year in the UMW Sales Prep Class. He is also on the rodeo team at UMW and enjoys roping, riding horses, and going to team roping and calf roping jackpots. After college, he hopes to continue working and training horses and would like to rodeo professionally. He is riding Docs Pickens Me, a four-year-old gelding donated from the Holland Ranch, and JustReal Good, a two-year-old donated from Mark & Barb Harrington. Check out their albums for more details!

Tiffany Ostberg is from Chester, Idaho. She is a Junior at Montana Western and is majoring in Natural Horsemanship with minors in Instruction and Management. This is Tiffany’s first year in the Sales Prep class. She grew up involved in FFA and is currently UMWs President of YF&R. After college, she would like to teach and continue to train. She is riding GR LIL Dainty Chex, a 2017 Bay Roan Mare donated by Garrison Ranches Inc.

This is Katie Ross from Elko, Nevada. She is majoring in Ag Business and minoring in Natural Horsemanship. She lives for ranch rodeos and roping. After college, she plans to day work on the ranch with her dad back home and work for some other ranches as well. Eventually, she would like to become a Western Video Market Representative. This is her first year in the Sales Prep Class and she is riding Docs Smouch, a 2017 sorrel mare donated by the Holland Ranch. Check out her colt’s album for more details!

Grace Ryan is from Beaverton, Oregon. This is her second year at Montana Western, and her first year participating in UMW’s Sales Prep Class. Grace is majoring in both Natural Horsemanship and Business. In her free time, she enjoys working with her horses, hanging out with friends, and doing anything outdoors. After school, Grace plans to further her knowledge by training and studying under more natural horsemanship influencers.

Kyra Trahant is from Blackfoot, Idaho and is majoring in Natural Horsemanship with a minor in Instruction. This is her first year participating in the Sales Prep class. Kyra grew up riding trail horses and driving Foxtrotter/Shetland Ponies. She enjoys being in the mountains with her family, horses, and dogs. After college she hopes to open a business, on the Fort Hall Reservation, helping the youth of her tribe better understand the equine world, and the joy and responsibility that comes with it. Kyra is riding Im A Gambler Now, a 2018 bay mare donated by Calvin and Brooke Erb.

Callie Wasser comes from Cedaredge, Colorado. She is majoring in Natural Horsemanship and is minoring in both instruction and equine management. This is Callie’s second year participating in the UMW Sales Prep class. Callie spent a semester last year abroad in France. While there, Callie got to start Camargue horses and practice her instruction option by teaching the students that went to school at Ecole Du Domain Du Possible.  Through the UMW internship, she also experienced horse jumping, reining, roping, and herding in the culturally rich, southern French tradition. Prior to that Callie worked as a wrangler at Mountain Sky Guest Ranch. While Callie is in school she participates in the horseman’s club. She enjoys riding her personal horses with friends that are also involved in the class. After college Callie hopes to return to her mentor’s boarding and training facility in Western Colorado. There she plans to start and sell colts, as well as give clinics and lessons.

Laci Wiggins is from the small town of Echo, Oregon. She is double majoring in Business and Natural Horsemanship with a Management option. This is Laci’s second year in the UMW Sales Prep Class. She is highly involved on campus as the Secretary of the Horseman’s Club, a member of the Young Farmers and Ranchers Club, and a member of the Stockgrowers Club. This is Laci’s third year as an ASUMW student senator and is the activities coordinator. In her free time, Laci likes to play with her dogs, cook, and hang out with her friends and family.