The horse industry in Iowa is growing faster than ever before. From activities surrounding horse breeding, showing, racing, housing, training, riding and care, it employs more than 2,100 people and accounts for millions in revenue each year. The economic impact from horse breeding and owning is doing much to support our state’s ag-centric economy, and we need you to play an important part in making this message heard.
Lecturer, Nikki Ferwerda, teaches Animal Science 317B, Equine Behavior and Training - Yearlings. Part of the class includes a trip to Lexington, Kentucky to observe the November Fasig-Tipton sale. Fasig Tipton is an auction house for Thoroughbred horses founded in 1898. It is the oldest auction company of its kind in North America and the November sale is the world's premier breeding stock event.
The class also had an opportunity to see the opening day/book one of the Keeneland sale, another American thoroughbred auction house in Lexington, founded in 1935 as a nonprofit racing/auction entity on 147 acres of farmland west of Lexington. The November sale focuses on Breeding stock and features broodmares and weanlings with some stallions.
Students were able to explore career opportunities, visit the Kentucky Horse Park, Kentucky Equine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Center, New Vocations and connect with some ISU alums in the industry. They also had the opportunity to go to several stallion farms to evaluate stallions for future breedings that will be sires of some future Iowa-breds that will touch the lives of more students through ISU’s equine classes.
The thoroughbred stallion, Stroll, was purchased by a partnership in Iowa and ISU was honored as the stallion owners felt our central location and facilities would be ideal for mare owners. Stroll is a multiple graded stakes winner of $795,000 and is the sire of 24 stakes horses including 5 in 2017! He has sired progeny with earnings of over $10 million with nearly $1.5 million in 2017 alone, making him Iowa’s top stallion in a runaway! He stands for $2000 Live Foal Stands and Nurses.
Formidable, a graded stakes placed earner of over $200,000 was purchased by ISU and his first small crop of foals who were 3 year olds of 2017 are 100% winners. He is available for $1500 Live Foal Stands and Nurses.
The freshman Quarter Horse racing stallion, Racy Casanova, also found ISU as an ideal location to begin his stallion career. This promising young gray stallion is a three----quarters sibling to leading sire Big Daddy Cartel. He hails from one of the most successful female families of Quarter Horse racing. His pedigree and a 101-speed index suggest he will be a successful sire and his much-anticipated foals will begin arriving in 2018.
The ISU Horse Farm is looking forward to 2018 – the excitement of new students, new foals, and new opportunities is just around the corner.
Most students at Iowa State walk by the beautiful horse barns to admire the animals. Only few get to experience a part of what it takes to run an equine facility. One of the many equine specific courses students are able to take in conjecture with our Domestic Animal Reproduction Course (An S 331) is an Equine Reproduction Lab, 332E, taught by the Horse Barn Manager, Nikki Ferwerda. This course provides incredible hands on experience unlike any other university. Topics discussed and demonstrated include every aspect of reproduction from breeding both thoroughbreds and quarter horses to foaling. In an average class, we might watch a few palpations, assist in a live cover, and collect a quarter horse stud to ship semen.
Each semester one colt per ANS 216 lab or 3 colts are used in a castration demonstration. The colts are brought to the Iowa State University Veterinary Medical Center and Dr. Stephanie Caston discusses and demonstrates colt castration. The lab is one of the favorite ANS 216 Equine Science students lab.
Steer wrestling is a very intense equine sport for both the horse and the rider. Steer wrestling is an event performed at the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association (PRCA) rodeo competition as a timed event. In this event the horse and the rider are put in a small pen with a break away rope in the front called the box. The horse and rider must not break through this rope called the barrier until the steer has released the barrier with the rope that is positioned around its neck. Allowing this to happen gives the steer a fair chance by giving it a head start. Once the steer has broken the barrier the horse and rider can leave the box and catch up to the steer.