Friday, July 07, 2017

[497] MTSU stock horse team lassos second place in national event

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Middle Tennessee State University was named reserve national champion — a second-place showing — at the American Stock Horse Association collegiate championship show in Sweetwater, Texas, earlier this spring.

This comes following MTSU winning the Division II national championship in 2016.

The National Collegiate Championship brings together collegiate and individual riders from across the country to present their versatile stock horse. A stock horse is well suited for working with livestock, particularly cattle.

Two students, recent May graduate Delaney Rostad of Maryville, Tennessee, and junior Luke Brock, a transfer from Franklin, Tennessee, finished in the top-10 in the nation in their respective nonpro and novice divisions, respectively.

“I felt good about how they performed,” said coach Holly Spooner, associate professor in the horse science program, discussing the overall team effort. The program is based out of the Horse Science Center on North Thompson Lane in Murfreesboro.

The team competes in working cow horse, reining, ranch pleasure and ranch trail, Spooner said.

In addition to Rostad and Brock, other team members included Rachel Hutton, a graduate student from Knoxville, Tennessee; Seneca Sugg, a grad student from Memphis, Tennessee; sophomore Jessica Starling of Cleveland, Tennessee; and senior Trevor Higgins of McMinnville, Tennessee.

Unrelated to the Sweetwater event, horse science has had seven student abstracts accepted for the Equine Science Society Symposium May 30 through June 2 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Spooner said all of the MTSU students (a group of authors conducting graduate thesis work) who had their abstracts accepted will attend and plan to participate in either a poster or an oral presentation.

Spooner has been awarded the 2017 Equine Science Society Symposium Josie Coverdale Award for Outstanding Young Professionals.

The award is presented to an equine professional under the age of 40 that has made meritorious contributions to equine science in teaching, research, public service or industry.

Horse science is part of the School of Agribusiness and Agriscience, which is one of 11 College of Basic and Applied Sciences departments.

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