2019 USU Equine Production Sale

Kelsey Romney

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This past April, Utah State University’s equine program held its annual USU Equine Production Sale. The university’s Equine Breeding Program was created to benefit the Equine Science Program while also providing a learning opportunity for students. The sale includes a preview that is open to the public, and an online auction that manages bidding for four days. All of the funds generated in this sale are directed back into the Equine Science Program to benefit students in their educational endeavors.

Coursework and Sale Preparation

All colts in the sale were prepared by students over several semesters. The coursework follows a linear progression that is beneficial for developing student competencies and experience in equine sales preparation. The yearlings are produced by breeding USU broodmares through the program’s Applied Equine Reproduction course. Students work to balance proper exercise, nutrition, and handling regimens for the colts in the Yearling Fitting and Sales Preparation course. The 2-year-old colts are started under saddle by students in the Equine Behavior and Training courses. Throughout the semester, students introduce the colts to a variety of environments such as indoor/outdoor riding arenas, being ridden over logs and bridges, crossing water, and  experience working around cattle.

The hands-on experience for each student provides an extremely valuable opportunity to learn about making a profit in the equine industry. Students were actively involved in the entire process until the very end, including the marketing efforts and interacting with potential buyers.

Sale Details

The 2019 USU Equine Production Sale included a preview at the USU Equine Center where students showed the work they had done to prepare each colt by riding the 2-year-olds and working yearlings in a round pen. This year the preview was also livestreamed so the public could watch without attending in person, and it was viewed by over 2,250 people.

The online auction was hosted by Professional Horse Services, LLC. Bidding opened Saturday, April 20 and closed Wednesday, April 24, as students gathered after regular class time to watch the final bids online and celebrate their successes. 

Sales Data

The USU Equine Program is transparent about the costs associated with producing the colts, how much each colt sells for, and about any ailments each horse may have by offering free radiographs to potential buyers. This allows Utah State University the unique ability to collect and share accurate data about financial gains in the current industry climate. Below is an example of just one data set on the USU equine website that is beneficial to buyers when considering the bloodlines, training, soundness, and conformation of each colt.

Equine Sale Average Prices
The USU Equine Production Sale also brings public awareness to the equine program. The colts have had interest from customers as far as Canada and Mexico, and from California to Rhode Island. Shipping is available for colts across the U.S. Below is a snapshot of online analytics surrounding the sale:

Sale Analytics

2020 USU Equine Production Sale

Preparations for the next several USU Equine Production Sales are already underway. Stallions are being selected, yearlings are being handled, and colts have been started. To stay up to date with next year’s sale, follow the Facebook page @USUEquineBreedingandSales and check out the website: usu.edu/horsesale. Questions related to the sale can be directed to:

Writer: Kelsey Romney, Email: kelsey.romney@usu.edu