Rutgers' Young Horse Teaching and Research Program a Success

The Equine Science Center and Young Horse Teaching and Research Program are pleased to announce the results of the annual young horse auction. Despite unseasonably cold and rainy weather, a sizeable crowd, including 21 bidders attended the auction on Sunday, April 25 at the Round House on G. H. Cook Campus at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J. All 12 of the young horse in the program were sold. This year, the Young Horse Teaching and Research Program had a unique slant; for the first time in its 11-year history, the YHTRP included mustangs. Throughout the fall 2009 and spring 2010 semester, students incorporated the mustangs into their research. The four mustangs, RU Rambling Rose, RU Canella, RU Casanova, and RU Marley, were extremely popular during the auction.

"There were bidding wars on all but one of the mustangs," said Sarah Ralston, VMD, PhD, Dipl. ACVN, associate professor of animal sciences at Rutgers University and associate director of teaching with the Equine Science Center. "The interest in mustangs was so high, I will be including them in the Young Horse Teaching and Research Program again next year--with six to eight mustangs."

In previous years, the program led by Ralston, featured progeny of mares used in the production of pregnant mare urine for hormone replacement products. Ideally, Ralston’s objective was two-fold: to conduct research on nutritional growth needs and other equine research topics, and to promote draft cross horses as a valuable breed. Over the years, Dr. Ralston noted an increased acceptance of the draft crosses into a variety of disciplines. Ready to face a new challenge, Dr. Ralston decided to try her hand at researching another breed for the YHTRP, mustangs.

"Mustangs are often misunderstood," said Ralston. "They have tremendous athletic potential and can be very well-behaved, as demonstrated during the auction. The students did a great job working with the mustangs throughout the fall and spring semester. I was extremely proud of both the mustangs and the students during the auction."

Several of the young horses were sold to owners of previous YHTRP graduates. Other horses were purchased by the students who handled and trained them as part of the Young Horse Teaching and Research Program.

For more information about the Annual Auction results or the Young Horse Teaching and Research Program, please visit or call Dr. Sarah Ralston at 732/932-9404

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