Thirty horses that received their initial training from Montana State University and other students will be sold and the Kentucky Derby aired live during a three-day event this week near Bozeman, Mont.
The sale will be held at Copper Spring Ranch May 3-5.
The Top of the West Horse Sale and Derby Day Celebration, free and open to the public, will start with riding contests to showcase the equine programs and student accomplishments at MSU, the University of Montana Western, and Miles Community College.
The celebration will continue with the 138th Kentucky Derby aired on a big screen, a Kentucky Derby hat contest, and the horse sale of animals trained in the colt-training classes at the three institutions.
Most of the horses to be sold are registered quarter horses aged from three- to four-years-old, says Sandy Gagnon, a member of the Equine Boosters of Montana State University.
Students who rode the horses in class got them accustomed to saddles, bridles and being ridden. The horses learned how to stop, back up, turn, lope and do other basic moves that set the foundation for further training.
The sale was created to benefit the rapidly expanding equine program at MSU, explains Gagnon. It was expanded this year to include the other two colleges.
Profits from the sale will go to the school where the individual horses were trained.
There will also be exhibits on hand during the event as vendors provide booths for visitors. A clinic on back country horsemanship will emphasize rider and horse safety and wilderness protection on May 4 at 1 p.m.
That same day, saddle maker Dale Moore will conduct a clinic at 3 p.m., followed at 4:30 p.m. by a demonstration by Joe Petersen of Three Forks Saddlery on saddle pads.
At 6:15 p.m., Luanna Mazuranich ( cq) will discuss alpacas and their products, followed by a 7:30 p.m. blacksmith and farrier demonstration by Josh Stanley who will show how to create handmade shoes on a forge and shoe horses.
For more information and to receive directions to the ranch, contact Bill Brewster at (406) 459-1519 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org