Cole Joseph “CJ” Benoit comes to us from St. Amant, Louisiana. He is 27 years old and this is his second year in sales prep. He spent 6 years in the Army, achieved the rank of Sergeant, and spent a year deployed in Syria and Iraq as a black hawk crew chief before coming to Western. He is pursuing a degree in Natural Horsemanship with an emphasis in Psychology and Instruction. He is also involved with the Horseman’s Club on campus. This year, he is riding Sacos Pay Day from the Holland Ranch and Classy Pepto Doc from Fred and Lynn Hirschy. We asked him what he enjoys most about our competition and sale and he said “seeing everyone’s hard work pay off and seeing the amount of support that this program gets from the community”. We are sure glad to have you back CJ! Come join us March 31st and April 1st to see him and his colts in action. “It’s not so much what we do, but it’s how we do what we do” – Ray Hunt
This is Katherine Bills from Rockford, Minnesota. She is a 19 year old sophomore at UMW and this is her first year in sales prep. She is majoring in Natural Horsemanship and Business Administration with a minor in Farm and Ranch Management. She is on the rodeo team and involved with Young Farmers and Ranchers, the Horseman’s club, and the rodeo club. Interestingly enough, Katherine started out riding english! After graduation she plans to go to grad school to become an equine repro specialist. Come cheer on Katherine and her colt, Miss Dynamite Ike, a black filly from the Hollenbeck Ranch on March 31st and April 1st!
Introducing… Ashley Chavez! Ashley is from Salinas, California, is a sophomore at UMW, and this is her first year in sales prep. She is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Natural Horsemanship. She is also involved in the equestrian club as well as the horseman’s club. She enjoys weight lifting, rodeo, drawing, working on cars, and welding. Fun fact: Ashley used to be a bull rider! After graduating, Ashley plans to own her own line of performance horses and compete in the professional industry. She would like to host natural horsemanship clinics in her hometown and make a name for herself in the performance world using natural horsemanship techniques. WE asked Ashley her favorite quote and she responded: “As I live the cowboy way, protection is what I pray”. Good luck to Ashley and her colt, Weavers CallMe Cat at our 2023 MWCCS!
Jacob Christenson is a 22-year-old Natural Horsemanship student from Buffalo, Minnesota. Jacob is a senior at UMW and this is his 4th year in Sales Prep. In addition, he has on-campus involvement in the Student Senate and is the President of Young Farmers and Ranchers as well as the Horseman’s Club. In his free time, Jacob enjoys hockey, ranching, and of course, working with horses. He also has aspirations to take over the family ranch. Jacob says that he is most looking forward to “seeing how he and his fellow classmates improve as the year goes on”. He has competed previously in high school rodeo as well as local reining- cowhorse shows and sorting. Come see Jacob take his final Colts through the sale on March 31st! This year he will be competing on GR Valentine Rose and RSR Playguns Swallow at the 2023 Montana Western Colt Challenge!
This is Mikala Doss from Big Timber, MT. She is a transfer student from Bozeman. She is 24 years old, a senior at Western, and this is her first year in sales prep. She is pursuing a Bachelors of Science degree in Natural Horsemanship with a minor in Management and Farm & Ranch Operations and has earned a spot on the Dean’s List. She is active on campus as the Co-Activities Director, a senator for ASUMW, involved in Young Farmers and Ranchers club, the Horseman’s club, and an officer in the IT club. She enjoys riding, ranching, camping, and being outdoors. After school she plans to work closely with trainers/business owners to learn successful habits and prides herself in being a fast learner with lots of drive to get things done the right way. “There are two 6’s in a day and you should be awake for both.” – Mr. Doss. Come root on Mikala and her blue roan filly from the Holland Ranch, Sacos Blue Bows, on March 31st and April 1st!
Introducing Ahna Fox from Bigfork, MT! Ahna is a transfer student and this is her first year in sales prep. She has been at Western for two years pursuing a degree in Natural Horsemanship with dual minors: Management and Professional Writing. She is the ASUMW Vice President and a member of the Horseman’s Club as well as the Young Farmers & Ranchers Club. Ahna is also one of our students that has made the Dean’s List! She enjoys fly fishing, playing guitar, hiking, and was a wrangler at Flathead Lake Lodge. A not so fun fact about Ahna: she put a cinch buckle through her foot last summer (youch!). Ahna is most looking forward to seeing the progress her colt makes before the sale and is excited to see her peers succeed and perform. She knows managing her nerves will be a factor come sale weekend, but speculates the biggest reward of the class will be going through the competition and sale with her classmates. Come cheer on Ahna and her filly from Mark and Barb Harrington on March 31st and April 1st!
Here’s a familiar face. We have Gus Hoffman from Big Sky, MT. He is a junior at Western and this is his third year in sales prep! He is pursuing a degree in Natural Horsemanship with a Management minor. He is part of the student senate on campus. He enjoys riding colts and would like to continue training horses after school. This year he is riding IM USUALLY PC, a bay filly from Mark and Barb Harrington. Come cheer on Gus and his colt on March 31st and April 1st. “Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday.”
Here’s another familiar face. This is Molly Jackson from Gunnison, CO! This is her 3rd year at Western and she has competed in our colt competition and sale all three years! She is riding not one, but two colts this year. She will be competing on SMOKE THREE SHI, a bay gelding from the Erb Ranch, and RSR Tarida, a dun filly from the Roaring Springs Ranch. Do you guys remember that super gentle palomino gelding we had from Greg Goggins last year? Well this is the same rider folks! Molly knows how to build a good one. She is pursuing a double Bachelor’s in Business and Natural Horsemanship. She is also involved in YF&R (Young Farmers and Ranchers Club), Student Senate, and is the president of the Horseman’s club. Come see her March 31st and April 1st to see what a nice job she does with these colts.
Chloe Keith comes from Arroyo Grande, CA, and is a 22-year-old sophomore here at UMW. She is studying Natural Horsemanship and Biology and this is her first year in sales prep. Chloe is heavily involved on campus and some of her roles include but are not limited to… Chair of ASUMW, Vet Science Club, Biology Club, Horseman’s Club, and YNFR Club. Some fun facts and accomplishments about Chloe are that she has sung the National Anthem over 200 times, performed internationally with a choir, and was born on a leap year, technically making her only 5 years old! After she graduates, Chloe would like to go to vet school and train horses on the side. She is excited to watch her horse, LIGHTSTAR HOLIBAR, succeed after all the hard work they put in over the year. She is also excited to see how her horse handles the setting of the competition and sale. Come out and support Chloe and her mare on March 31st, 2023, for the Montana Western Colt Challenge. And as Chloe says, “If your dream doesn’t scare you, your dream isn’t big enough!”
Here is Jordan LeCompte, a 20-year-old junior at UWM and this is her second year in Sales Prep. She comes to us from Bellingham, WA. She is pursuing two Bachelor’s degrees: one in Biology (Pre-Vet) and one in Natural Horsemanship. She is a senator on campus, President of the Vet Science Club, and a member of the Horseman’s Club. After school, Jordan plans to go to vet school. This year she is starting a bay filly from the Goggins Family. We asked Jordan what she most enjoyed about the competition and sale last year and she said “getting to meet a lot of people and seeing the colts go to good homes”. She’s looking forward to the competition this year to see how all the colts do. She says “there isn’t a bad one in the group so it should be pretty exciting”. Come root on Jordan LeCompte and her filly at the 2023 MWCCS!
This is Aubrey Little from Centerville, MT. She may look familiar because this is her third year in Sales Prep and she placed in our Top 5 in last year’s competition. This year she is riding a sorrel filly from the Goggins family. She is pursuing Bachelor’s degrees in Natural Horsemanship and Business with minors in Instruction and Management. She is involved with Safe Ride on campus. After school, she plans to work under a reputable trainer to get more experience and eventually own her own training program.She enjoys hunting, fishing, and activities with her dog. Be sure to come cheer on Aubrey and her filly this year at the 2023 MWCCS!
Audrey Murphy is a junior from Burnsville, MN studying Natural Horsemanship and this is her first year in Sales Prep. Audrey is riding STAR SPANGLED PEPTO and is excited to learn how to train a young fresh horse under a different discipline. After graduating Audrey hopes to start working in equine and canine rehab as well as train service dogs. Audrey is involved in Vet Club on campus and enjoys training dogs. Come to support Audrey as she takes her colt through the 2023 Montana Western Colt Challenge on March 31st.
TaLyn Neville is from Hamer, Idaho. This is her second year in Sales Prep. She will be taking Royal Island Jet through the class this year and is looking forward to competing with her classmates and seeing how well the horse handles the pressure of the competition. Her favorite part of the sale is getting that last ride on her colt in the sale ring. After graduating, TaLyn hopes to become an equine chiropractor and continue developing her knowledge in training horses. As a junior here at UMW, TaLyn is involved in many campus activities including YF&R, Horseman’s Club, Rodeo Team, and ASUMW Senate. TaLyn is pursuing a Bachelor’s in Business Administration as well as an Associate’s in Natural Horsemanship and Equine Science. Come see us on March 31st, 2023 to support TaLyn at the Montana Western Colt Challenge here in Dillon, MT!
This is Hanna Nielsen from Castle Dale, UT. She is 25 years old, this is her second year at UMW, and her first year participating in Sales Prep. Her educational journey did not start at Western though; she graduated with two Associate’s Degrees from Snow College before making her way to Dillon. She is now pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Business as well as Natural Horsemanship. She is very involved on campus through the Young Farmers and Ranchers Club, Horseman’s Club, and is the activity director for ASUMW. She enjoys team roping, breakaway roping, playing basketball and softball, reading, and was involved in FFA. She even spent 18 months in Leeds, England on a LDS mission! Hanna hopes to own her own business in the Equine/Agriculture Industry after graduation. She is riding MT JETTE from the Holland Ranch and is looking forward to the experience of preparing a horse for a live sale and talking to potential buyers as part of the process. Come check them out on March 31st and April 1st!
Introducing Katie Jo Ross from Elko, NV. This is her second year in Sales Prep and she is a junior at Western. She is pursuing degrees in Natural Horsemanship and Physical Education and has made the Dean’s List. She is involved in Young Farmers and Ranchers and the Horseman’s club. She enjoys ranch work, roping, riding colts, family time, and playing basketball. After school, Katie plans to find a life that will make her happy. She has thought about heading back to Elko and either work the ranch with her dad or become the highschool PE teacher like her mom. She has also considered teaching Ag. We asked her her favorite quote and she stated “When you were born you were crying and everyone else was smiling. Live your life so at the end, you’re the one who is smiling and everyone else is crying” – Ralph Waldo Emerson. We are sure looking forward to having Katie be a part of the team again this year and she said she is looking forward to the sale and all the excitement and adrenaline that comes with it. She likes to see the accomplishments of her teammates as well as seeing herself grow as a horseman. Be sure to come see her in action on March 31st and April 1st on her colt Weavers Light Smart!
Cooper Weiland is a 19-year-old sophomore here at UMW and this is his first year in Sales Prep. Coming from Spokane, WA he enjoys fly fishing, skiing, and kiteboarding. Currently, he is an RA on campus and a student senator. An interesting fact about Cooper is that he lived in Africa for two years! As an Equine Science and Natural Horsemanship student, some of Cooper’s career goals include, learning all he can about horses and sharing that knowledge with others who want to learn. He is most looking forward to just being a part of everything in Sales Prep and gaining experience from both instructors and peers. Come support Cooper on March 31st as he takes his first colt, DRIFT N SUG, through the 2023 Montana Western Colt Challenge!