Rutger's Annual Yearling Auction Scheduled for April 29

The 8th Annual NAERIC Yearling Auction to be held at Cook College holds promises of bright futures for twelve well-trained yearling horses. The eight geldings and four fillies have spent the past eight months as part of the Young Horse Teaching and Research Program, which culminates on April 29th when they are sold at auction to raise funds for next year's program.

The selection of this year's crop of yearlings range from very tall and refined to the heavier draft types, offering something for everyone. They are sired by Hanoverian, Thoroughbred, Quarter horse, or American Paint stallions, and are out of Belgian or Percheron-cross mares. The horses' colors also range across the spectrum with eye-catching paints, red duns, chestnuts, blacks, and two grays.

The yearlings come from the Hiatt Ranch in North Dakota, which has provided horses for the program since the beginning, as well as two Sport Horse breeders in Manitoba, Canada. The six Canadian yearlings are double-registered with the North American Equine Ranching Information Council (NAERIC) and the Performance Horse Registry, and the six hailing from North Dakota will be registered with the American Warmblood Society.

More than 30 students participate in the Young Horse Teaching and Research Program, founded in 1999 by Sarah Ralston, VMD, PhD, Dipl. ACVN. In addition to learning how to train and handle young horses, the students assist with nutrition research projects and marketing projects, gaining valuable skills and knowledge for future careers in science and/or equine industry. Ranging from beginners to advanced horse handlers, they are all responsible for the daily care of the horses and to teach them good ground manners under a wide variety of conditions in preparation for the excitement of Ag Field Day and the Auction.

Photographs and detailed descriptions of each yearling, along with information on previous program participants and current equine research projects, can be found at the program's student run website: and at the Equine Science Center website: They also can be viewed by appointment with Ralston (, 732/932-9404).

The program's hard-working students will be showing the yearlings in hand at Cook College's Ag Field Day Horse Show, which will be held the day before the auction at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 28, and at a special Preview on April 21 at 5 p.m. These previews will be an opportunity for potential buyers to see the yearlings and talk to the student handlers.

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