...except they left out the "responsible" part.
This guy's name is "Rambos Smoking Hot." The name alone is nearly criminal. He was bred, along with a couple dozen other colts, at UW River Falls, broke to ride before age two, and sold at auction last year. Oh, and before they shoved him into the ring, they bred him to two mares. At two years old. He's not totally horrible looking...though his left rear leg looks very turned-out, he neck is rather short, and I think he's a bit tied in at the knee. But hey, sure, break and breed him before age two! What?!
Here's the list of two-year-olds up for sale this year. There's forty-three of them. It's unclear how many have been bred by UW River Falls and how many have been consigned,
Why is a state-sponsored school irresponsibly pumping out tons of foals every year when we have so many excess horses? Do they really need that many to teach with?
Why is UWRF breaking horses at age two or earlier, when research clearly shows that doing often results in lasting harm to the horse? A two year old horse is equivalent to a 11-13 year old human. Just because they're big enough to do some homework doesn't mean they're physically or mentally ready to start full-time work like loping into sudden turns.
Finally, why is UWRF breeding two year old stallions to mares, before the stallions have any kind of performance record, or proven ability at anything?
Oh, and here's the cherry on the cake: not only are they irresponsible breeders, they're irresponsible owners. I just got an email from a Yahoo group, about how they're selling off their old school horse(s) for cheap rather than give them a decent retirement:
"University of Wisconsin River Falls is having their annual colt sale May 5. After the colts from the reining class are sold they will be selling some of the schoolies. One up for sale this year is Armani. He is a Selle Francaise I believe and is about 20 years old and was a 3rd level dressage horse before being given to UWRF. He has been used in beginning hunter/jumper classes as well as advanced classes. Had an injury in the pasture a few years back but has no issues because of it. Coach for the hunter/jumper team has never had issues with him and he can handle beginners as well as intermediates and advances though does require lighter work just due to age. He's a great boy. I've ridden him myself and seen video of some VERY bad riders on him. Not so much as a twitch or a bat of an eye. He's just great. They're looking for about $350-500 for him. At least dealer price on him. Had some unscrupulous buyers the last few years and all of us who have been around and ridden this old boy want him to go to a great home. Thanks so much!
contact info for Armani: Kris Hiney at UWRF (715) 425-3704 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org She can be a little slow in responding especially during spring since she's in charge of the breeding stallions and mares at the school so please be patient if you don't contact her. If you don't hear from her in a week try again. "
When I tried to find any more information about Armani or any of the other UWRF school horses for sale, on the school's website or anywhere else, I found nothing.
SO, not only are they dumping off old school horses that have give them years of service, they're not even bothering to advertise them well in order to find them decent homes. Armani sounds like a fabulous horse, one any dressage kid would die to have, and I found out about it via a fan of the school posting on a Yahoo email list?! Maybe, just maybe, they could concentrate on taking care of their hard-working seniors rather than pumping out more babies?! Or at least try to do even a half-assed job of promoting them when they do dump them? Armani is about 50 years old in human years-- a hell of a time to shove him into an auction ring. It's like all those guys who are laid off from their factory jobs in their 50s, replaced by Chinese or Mexican workers overseas...except more sad, because horses don't even have welfare and social security to fall back on.
Dear River Falls: you do not have, "one of the strongest equine programs in the nation," with, "the latest theories on nutrition and exercise, to breeding, raising, training and riding young horses." If you did, you wouldn't act like irresponsible bastards.