|A yearling gets groomed prior to Morrisville State College’s Annual Standardbred Yearling Sale. Photo by Franci Valenzano of Morrisville State College|
Morrisville State College took in close to $1 million at its 26th annual Standardbred yearling sale Sept. 20.
The event drew a record crowd of potential buyers, sellers, trainers and owners from across the Northeast. The college's sale is the only one of its kind in New York state held on a college campus.
A total of 62 yearlings, including 18 owned by the college, were sold at an average of $15,540, up 43 percent from last year’s average bid of $10,715. The sale topper was Royal Pinot, who sold for $55,000.
Adding to the allure of the sleek and immaculately groomed horses up for sale was the professionalism, enthusiasm and teamwork of MSC faculty, staff and students. All of the college’s nearly 250 equine students had their hand in some aspect of the sale and played an integral role in its success.
Alexis Cook, an equine science western major from Martville, Cayuga County, was among them. Clad in a professional black suit, she and four others led the yearlings into the sale ring.
In another barn, Amber Pruchnik, an equine breeding student from Connecticut, was showing horses to potential buyers and answering their questions.
Students also prepped the horses before they headed to the show ring, bedded stalls, groomed, helped set up the business office, braided manes and put a coat of shiny black polish on yearlings’ hooves.
Throughout the sale, potential buyers scanned their sale catalogs intently as bid spotters kept track of those who raised their hands and shouted out amounts.
The sale is an all-around great experience for students, allowing them to learn in a real-life business setting.
It’s also a momentous time for students as they have played a large role in the MSC-owned yearlings’ lives — many who have helped foal and raise them. They even have a hand in naming them.
The college’s Standardbred sale is a major industry-based entrepreneurial activity for its equine programs and a vehicle to showcase the campus and its array of equine programs, which are known throughout the industry in addition to the college’s top-notch equine facilities. Profits go toward general maintenance and enrichment of the college’s equine programs.
Morrisville State offers a bachelor of technology degree in equine science and two associate degrees in equine racing management and equine science and management. Students have many options as the college’s diverse equine offerings include specializations in breeding, western, hunt seat, draft/driving, Thoroughbred racing, Standardbred racing, business, and equine rehabilitation therapy.