Preparations Underway for 13th Annual Penn State Registered Quarter Horse Sale

Posted: March 9, 2015

Saturday May 2 is the date for the 13th annual Penn State Equine Science Showcase and Registered Quarter Horse Sale, organized and managed by students in the equine science program.
One of the horses sold in the 2014 Equine Sale at Penn State.

One of the horses sold in the 2014 Equine Sale at Penn State.

For the past 12 years, on the final Saturday of the spring semester a familiar sound has echoed from the Snider Agricultural Arena on Penn State's University Park Campus. As the auctioneer's cadence rings out and the gavel falls, it signals the end of a long journey.

This year, that Saturday is May 2, the day of the 13th annual Penn State Equine Science Showcase and Registered Quarter Horse Sale. The arena doors will open at 8:30 a.m. followed by a demonstration of the sale horses at 10 a.m. Tours of the Penn State horse barns and lunch will be offered at noon, and the auction will begin at 2 p.m. This year's sale features ten 2-year-olds, two 3-year-olds, a few yearlings and the possibility of brood mares.

This year's sale also includes two yearlings by PSU Dynamic Krymsun, from the State University of New York at Cobleskill. The students at Cobleskill are following the same lesson plans as the students at Penn State and will present their horses at the sale.

The sale is run and managed by students in the Equine Science program in the Department of Animal Science at Penn State. This year's sale managers are Jena Shaffer, Somerset, PA, and Natalie Styer, Pulaski, PA. The assistant managers are Molly Cashman, San Jose, CA, and Taylor Shears, Boalsburg, PA. In addition to the managers, students enrolled in Penn State's horse handling and training class, and equine marketing class also help make the sale a success.

"The sale week is a huge week for us," Shaffer said. "It takes a lot of coordination between the committees throughout the week. That is when it all starts to come together."

For Shaffer, a senior in agricultural sciences, this year's sale is the pinnacle of her equine career at Penn State. This year will be the fourth sale she has been involved with, from taking the equine marketing class as a freshman to being a sale manager this year.

"This is the ultimate goal of my college career," Shaffer said. "I'm doing everything I've wanted to. Through living in the barn and working with the horses, I've learned a lot."

Although horses have been a part of Penn State from the beginning in 1855, the student-run sale has not been around quite that long.

"The sale started in 2003. Before that the students were not heavily involved in the process," said Brian Egan, the Penn State Horse Farm Coordinator and advisor for the sale. "The sale gives the students an opportunity to work more with the horses."

He said, "We now look at it as a year-round project.  I'm proud that it is more than just a class. It gives the students an opportunity to plan and market an event.

"The part that means the most to me is when I go to events and people know that our students are gaining real world experience," Egan said. "People know that Penn State has a horse program -- it hasn't always been that way. The sale is a showcase to the horse industry of what we do here."

The day of the sale also features a used tack and equipment sale, along with a silent auction and the sale of Penn State Equine Science apparel. The commission from the tack sale, and all profits raised from the silent auction and apparel sale go toward the Ward Studebaker Horse Farm Endowment.

For more sale information, visit or contact Brian Egan at 814-863-0569 or Learn more about the Equine Science program and find sale updates by following Penn State Quarter Horses on Facebook or Twitter (@PSUHorseAuction).

By Brian Yearick (Student, Penn State Equine Marketing Class, Runville, PA)