MTSU’s Stock Horse Team was named reserve national champion — a second-place showing — at the American Stock Horse Association’s collegiate championship show in Sweetwater, Texas, this spring.
The win follows MTSU’s victory at the Division II national championship in 2016.
The National Collegiate Championship brings together collegiate and individual riders from across the country to present their versatile stock horse. A stock horse is well suited for working with livestock, particularly cattle.
Two students, recent May graduate Delaney Rostad of Maryville, Tennessee, and junior Luke Brock of Franklin, Tennessee, finished in the top 10 in the nation in their respective nonprofessional and novice divisions.
“I felt good about how they performed,” Dr. Holly Spooner, associate professor in MTSU’s Horse Science Program, said of the overall team effort. The program, part of the university’s School of Agribusiness and Agriscience, is based in the Horse Science Center on North Thompson Lane in Murfreesboro.
The team competes in working cow horse, reining, ranch pleasure and ranch trail, Spooner said.
In addition to Rostad and Brock, other team members include Rachel Hutton, a graduate student from Knoxville, Tennessee; Seneca Sugg, a grad student from Memphis, Tennessee; sophomore Jessica Starling of Cleveland, Tennessee; and senior Trevor Higgins of McMinnville, Tennessee.
In more good news for the program, seven horse science student research abstracts also have been accepted for the Equine Science Society Symposium, which is being held May 30 through June 2 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Spooner said all of the MTSU students, who have been conducting graduate thesis work, will attend and plan to participate, via either a poster or an oral presentation.
The professor has earned acclaim as well; she’s received the 2017 Equine Science Society Symposium Josie Coverdale Award for Outstanding Young Professionals. The award is presented to an equine professional under the age of 40 who’s made meritorious contributions to equine science in teaching, research, public service or industry.
— Randy Weiler (Randy.Weiler@mtsu.edu)