The Missouri Department of Agriculture reports that Missouri ranks third nationally in horse population. With an estimated horse population of 200,000 horses, the total value of all breeds exceeds $400 million and operating expenses are more than $200 million annually. Equine science is important to a growing number of students in Animal Science at MU, with approximately 20% of our current students having a primary interest in horses. Due to these numbers, the MU Equine Program is a popular and growing component of the Division of Animal Science. Currently, five equine specific courses are taught within the Animal Science Division.
Equine Program Overview
The MU Equine Teaching Facility at South Farm currently houses a quarter horse breeding program with care and management of these horses being the cornerstone of these courses. Some of these horses have been raised at our facility, but most of them were received through generous donations from program supporters. Overall, the horses MU Equine Teaching Facility assist in teaching approximately 100 undergraduates interested in equine science each semester! The MU Equine Program is committed to raising athletic horses with great dispositions and marketable bloodlines. Each November the MU Equine Program offers a select group of horses for sale in their Annual MU Online Horse Auction.
In the spring the equine breeding management class, as part of their coursework, is responsible for breeding and foaling of all mares at the farm. The resulting foals, as well as some donated horses, are then trained by students in an equine behavior and training class during the fall semester. Additionally, a barn management & marketing class prepares sale information for the MU Online Horse Auction and hosts the sale preview. Each horse is sold with complete health records and daily training journals. The ultimate goal of this sale is to place horses in long term homes while providing income directly to the equine program.
Established in the spring of 2008, the Horse Farm Volunteer program allows for students to gain experience in horse care and general maintenance while caring for the breeding herd. Students from all backgrounds are eligible; with 87% of those volunteering have no prior equine experience. Volunteers are responsible for daily feeding, turnout, stall cleaning, and grooming of horses. In addition, volunteers are notified of all veterinary or farrier appointments in an effort to engage students in the entire management of the farm. Other volunteer learning opportunities include performing foal watch, handling weanlings and yearlings, practicing routine health care and disease prevention, and assisting with the sale horse preview.
As the equine program strives to become financial independent it must rely on support from the community and alumni. Donations of any useful tack, equipment, and supplies to further our ability to teach students are greatly appreciated. The equine program is also in the process of renovating facilities to better accommodate our educational activities. If you would be interested in making a donation to the MU Equine Teaching Facility please contact Marci J. Crosby
at (573) 884-7836.
Each November the MU Equine Program offers a select group of horses for sale. These horses are of various ages, and have been through our Equine Behavior and Training class. Each horse comes with complete health records and daily training journals. Our goal is to place our horses in long term homes, so we want to make sure that you know everything we know about each horse! Bidding occurs on-line so buyers know the current price and can bid accordingly. Our 2010 auction will run from mid-October until November 11th, with the sale horse preview on November 6th from 10:00am-2:00pm. Bidding will close at 7:00pm on Thursday November 11th, 2010.
For more information call Marci Crosby at (573) 884-7836;