The future of the horse industry is in the hands of our youth. This means we need well-trained individuals to move us forward and keep the horse business a viable industry. In order to do this, we need to supply the industry with well-educated youth.
A great starting point for educating our young horsemen is through youth organizations such as 4-H. There are many 4-H programs available that provide training for youth in all endeavors of life, including the 4-H Horse Program. The 4-H Horse Program provides opportunities for youth to be informed about horses while developing the skills they need to be knowledgeable within the industry.
The facilitators for the 4-H programs are the four-year land grant colleges and their extension services. The land grant colleges have three basic goals of teaching, research and extension. The extension division fulfills its goal through the dissemination of information, or knowledge, gathered by the university to improve the life of people and their animals. It’s through the extension service that we find 4-H programs and the education of our youth.
Many of these youngsters go on to college and continue developing their life and work skills. Those with an interest in animals enter college as a student of the university’s animal science program, or more specifically, those interested in horses enter the equine program.
One of the major aspects of any animal science program is livestock evaluation, otherwise known as, livestock and horse judging. Livestock and horse judging provides students with hands on experience to develop skills in evaluating correct conformation and, in the case of horses, the evaluation of performance classes. Horse judging teams travel nationwide to events sponsored by the American Quarter Horse Association, American Paint Horse Association, National Cutting Horse Association and the National Reining Horse Association to gain exposure while in the pursuit of a career in the horse industry.
The ongoing challenge in all programs is sufficient funding to achieve the goals set down by a university. This financial need often leads to activities that will raise funds to insure the continued education of the students. One of the time-honored fundraisers is a stallion auction selling the service of enrolled stallions.
The University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, Arkansas, is one of those land grant colleges with an equine program. The extension service at the University of Arkansas is involved in a state wide 4-H Horse Program, as well as with the university’s horse judging team.
In order for the University of Arkansas to keep pace with well-rounded 4-H activities and the continued development of the university’s horse judging team, they have implemented the Razorback Stallion Service Auction. This online auction is slated to run from January 1-15, 2015, offering breeding services to a number of stallions in a variety of disciplines including western pleasure, halter, and cutting and cow horse events.
This online stallion service auction goes right to the roots of our industry by getting the breeder and stallion owners involved. The base of the horse industry begins with the breeding industry. They are responsible for the development of the breed through the stallions and mares that are bred. So their contribution of the breeding fees goes to the continued improvement of our industry by helping with the training of the next generation of horsemen.
The funds raised will go to both the 4-H and the university’s horse judging team. They will use the funds in the 4-H for scholarships, internships, camps and workshops, travel, equipment and learning tools for local 4-H Horse Clubs. The University of Arkansas Horse Judging Team will use their funds to cover travel costs to national events, registration fees and scholarships.
The stallions enrolled in this online auction represent owners that have stood up and been counted in the ongoing education of our youth, and the future of our horse industry. Now, it is the mare owner’s turn to step up and reap the benefits of breeding to a subscribed stallion to ensure the continued education of our youth.
For more information about bidding and information on the enrolled stallions, click here.