In the sport of horse racing, there can be only one winner. However, recent news for MSU’s Equine Science program will provide winning opportunities for many students.
In 2011, Three Chimneys Farm, a world-renowned thoroughbred farm, donated a breeding nomination to the thoroughbred stallion, Lewis Michael, for the mare, Spanish Ghost, donated by Fred Kissling. The sales from any foals will support the equine program by establishing scholarships and maintaining facilities.This was made possible by Jenn Roytz (03), marketing director for Three Chimneys Farm. After being contacted by Tammy Platt, assistant professor of animal science and equine program coordinator about the program’s newly acquired mare, Roytz said she felt compelled to push this donation as a way to support MSU.“When I learned that my position in the industry could give back to my alma mater, I was eager to help out any way that I could,” Roytz said.Platt said this arrangement has the potential to produce several foals and raise tens of thousands of dollars for MSU’s Equine Science Program. While there’s obviously a monetary benefit to this arrangement, Platt said there’s much more to be excited about.“I think it’s extremely beneficial from both a teaching and a financial standpoint,” Platt said. “I think it has the potential to be a huge asset for our program.”For students like senior equine science majors Katie Hart and Kristen Boylan, the experience this donation has offered to them is priceless. For the first foal Spanish Ghost produced on the MSU grounds – which the staff affectionately calls Fanny – Boylan and Hart have each had the opportunity to participate in various aspects of breeding and foaling, along with grooming and sales prep.“When I got to Morehead State, I did not expect to have anything to do with foals, so this is something really different,” Hart said.“We got to be there for her first big experiences,” Boylan adds of working with Fanny. “It was really awesome to be there for her first few steps and to watch this little foal grow and develop into what will hopefully be a good little race horse.”For MSU’s Equine Science Program, the collaboration with Three Chimneys Farm is also allowing students to be seen at the Keeneland Horse Sales, where they can network with notable names in the industry.“They get to interact with some of the big farms that are selling horses at that level, which are probably some of the biggest in the world,” Platt said. “They are getting exposure that they would have never had before.”Thanks to the relationship between MSU and Three Chimneys Farm, the financial benefit mixed with unique hands-on experience is giving the Equine Science Program and its students an even brighter future.For more information on MSU’s Equine Science Program, visit www.moreheadstate.edu/equine.
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