At the MU Equine Teaching Facility, located at the University of Missouri South Farm, we’re passionate about horses and education.
Our facility is home to a quarter horse breeding program. Some are born and raised here, while others come to us through the generosity of our supporters. In each semester, we help educate about 100 undergraduates who are enthusiastic about equine science. Every November, we offer a select group of these horses for sale in our Annual MU Online Horse Auction.
The Learning Journey
In the spring, our equine breeding management class takes on the responsibility of breeding and caring for our mares during foaling. The foals, along with some donated horses, become the focus of our equine behavior and training class in the fall. Additionally, our barn management and marketing class prepares information for the MU Online Horse Auction and hosts the sale preview. Every horse is sold with complete health records and daily training journals. Our goal is to find long-term homes for these horses while supporting our equine program. Students can earn a certificate in equine science and management.
Since 2008, our Horse Farm Volunteer program has provided students with the chance to gain hands-on experience in horse care and farm maintenance. No prior equine experience is required – we welcome students from all backgrounds. Volunteers help with daily tasks like feeding, turnout, stall cleaning, and grooming. They also get involved in coordinating veterinary and farrier appointments, offering a holistic farm management experience. There are opportunities to participate in foal watch, handle weanlings and yearlings, practice routine healthcare, disease prevention, and assist with the sale horse preview.
To keep our equine program thriving, we rely on support from our community and alumni. Donations of useful tack, equipment, and supplies are greatly appreciated, as they enhance our ability to educate students. We’re also in the process of renovating our facilities to better accommodate our educational activities. If you’re interested in making a donation to the MU Equine Teaching Facility, please visit Donate to the Equine Program or reach out to Marci J. Crosby, email@example.com, 573-884-7836.
In 1957, Robert Q. Sutherland of the R S Bar Ranch, Overland Park, Kansas, donated six horses to the University of Missouri, College of Agriculture. These horses were the foundation for the developed quarter horse breeding program. Additionally, they were used for teaching and extension activities, as well as cattle work. Under the guidance of Bill Slemp, the University of Missouri equine breeding program began.
From this core breeding herd, all geldings were kept and used to work cattle and for class work while fillies were added to the broodmare band. The palomino stallion Commando Star (by Power Command and out of a Star Deck mare) was the first herd sire. In 1968, the breeding herd was moved from Columbia to the Wurdack Farm near Cook Station, Mo. All geldings, due to their working bloodlines, were used by the cattle farm. In 1969 Bar Le Top (sired by Clabber Bar) was acquired from Kenneth & Mary Botner of Columbia, Mo., to cross with the Commando Star daughters. As the size of the horse herd grew, many two and three year old horses were started under saddle by students and sold. In 1978, the current MU Equine Teaching Facility was built near campus at the University of Missouri’s South Farm. At this time the breeding herd was moved closer to campus so it could be used for undergraduate education. Also during this period, Wayne Loch began to develop the University’s equine teaching program. Throughout the years, various program supporters donated stallions, mares and breedings to world champion stallions to assist in the University’s goal to produce athletic performance horses.
The equine program at the University of Missouri is present due to support from our community and alumni. We would especially like to thank the following people for their years of service and support:
- Elmer Kiehl, Ph.D., Dean of College of Agriculture (1960-1979)
- Homer L’Hote, Asst. Director of the Agricultural Experiment Station (1964-1981)
- Melvin Bradley, Ph.D., Animal Science Professor & Livestock Extension Specialist (1968-1985)
- William H. Slemp, Manager of Farm Operations (1957-1992)
- Karen Bennett-Wimbush, Ph.D., Graduate Assistant (1989-1995)
- Herman Klippel, Horse Farm Worker (1980-2004)
- Erika Berg, Ph.D., Graduate Assistant & Instructor (1998-2006)
- Wayne Loch, Ph.D., Animal Science Professor (1973-2007)
- Doris Lyons, Administrative Assistant (1969 to 2016)
- Marci J. Crosby, Instructor & Equine Program Coordinator (2007 to present).