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19th Annual Penn State Quarter Horse Sale Open For Virtual Bidding

When the coronavirus pandemic put the world on hold last spring, the Penn State Quarter Horse sale was just weeks away. Professor Brian Egan and his Animal Science 117 students quickly needed to pivot their in-person sale to a virtual format.

Now, a year later, Egan’s class is ready to show off the prized Quarter Horses of Penn State within the virtual auction ring again.

The 19th Annual Penn State Quarter Horse Sale is now open through Saturday, May 1, with the first bid lots closing at 7 p.m. A total of 14 horses will be auctioned off this year.

While Egan is the professor for equine marketing, it’s his 30+ students that do most of the planning and marketing. Madi Heilveil and Emma Murgas are this year’s sale managers. The two have worked throughout the year as teaching assistants in ANSC 117, assisted with the planning of the sale, and connected students with industry professionals.

“Personally, this sale is exciting for me not only due to having a leadership role but this group of particular sale horses are ones that I helped deliver or ‘foal out’ in our ANSC 357 Broodmare and Foal Care class,” Heilveil said. “Then, having watched them grow up and finally teach them how to be ridden really is the complete circle.”

Students who take on leadership positions such as sale manager or committee chair have previously completed the course. With experience under their belts, this means these leaders are able to start the planning process in the summer prior to the course beginning in the spring semester. The decision to have a virtual sale came back in the fall due to safety concerns.

With this early decision, the syllabus and assignments were able to be adapted to the virtual format to continue to keep everyone involved and engaged. To reach a wider audience, the class introduced a virtual tour aspect and an alumni newsletter.

One aspect that ANSC 117 missed out on this year was being able to establish a connection with the horses. Students were still able to spend some time in the barns, but Egan’s ANSC 317 horse handling and training class assumed most of the responsibilities of getting the horses trained.

While Egan hopes to return to an in-person sale again within the next two years, there are still great benefits to keeping the sale virtual. For example, the 2020 Penn State Quarter Horse Sale had bidder numbers assigned across 36 states, stretching as far as Seattle, Washington. The virtual sale wasn’t just limited to the United States, though. Bidders from Canada and even France logged in to have their pick of Penn State’s heard.

“I am extremely grateful to be a part of an event that is internationally recognized,” Murgas said. “I look forward to seeing how far we reach with this year’s sale and watching the program grow.”

Overall, the sale made $94,000, which is the largest total to date. That money is used to cover the feed, labor, and other costs associated with raising the Quarter Horses at Penn State.

With 14 empty stalls after the sale, what will Penn State do with that space? If you’ve driven down East Park Avenue lately, you may have noticed the newest residents of the Penn State Horse Barns. Eighteen new foals, or baby horses, are expected to call State College home. In just a few years, these babies will be the new faces of the Penn State Quarter Horse Sale.

Sale ads and more information on the Quarter Horses involved can be found on the Penn State Quarter Horse Sale website.

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About the Author

Dana June Nunemacher

Dana is a redshirt freshman, who is studying public relations. She is from the 570 and her favorite Office quote is "DID I STUTTER". Her passions in life include drinking unsweetened iced tea and spreading her love for agriculture (yee haw)! Ask Dana about storming the field at the 2016 White Out because that was her peak. Send any cow pictures or complaints to [email protected]

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