Education

So many cute baby horses frolicking at Cal Poly these days

Baby horses frolick the day away at Cal Poly

Cal Poly’s Equine Center is full of baby horses. Within the past couple of months, 10 foals have arrived and two more babies are on the way as part of the university’s Quarter Horse Enterprise Project.
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Cal Poly’s Equine Center is full of baby horses. Within the past couple of months, 10 foals have arrived and two more babies are on the way as part of the university’s Quarter Horse Enterprise Project.

Cal Poly’s Equine Center is something of a horse kindergarten these days.

Within the past couple of months, 10 foals have arrived and two more are on the way as part of the university’s Quarter Horse Enterprise Project, which breeds and raises horses for sale to the public, Equine Center manager Julie Yuhas said.

The first foal was born Feb. 25 and the last two are due May 15.

“It’s really a student-driven enterprise project,” Yuhas said. “They’ve worked really hard with these babies, and we’ve had a really successful foaling season.”

The foals are raised on campus and sold as 2- and 3-year-olds at the annual Cal Poly Performance Horse Sale. This year, 16 3-year-old horses and another eight 2-year-olds will be sold at the auction June 3.

The program has a nearly four-decade history on campus, with Cal Poly students breeding, training and selling the horses since 1978.

Cal Poly Foals13143
These two colts are engaging in nipping horseplay. Cal Poly students are seeing the last foals of the season arrive as part of the Quarter Horse Enterprise Project. David Middlecamp dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

“Each horse goes through a minimum of four months of training, including trail and cow work,” according to a Cal Poly statement.

The Equine Center is also about to begin work on a major facility upgrade. In June, work will start on a new foaling barn, stallion barn and covered arena, funded by money from Cal Poly alumni Peter and Mary Beth Oppenheimer, who pledged $20 million to the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences in 2014.

The construction is expected to take six to seven months and should be completed in time for the start of winter quarter next year. Among other benefits, it will allow the center to expand its outside breeding program for stallions Hot Pepper Cat and Tejon Jaguar.

For more information on the horse sale or the Equine Center, call 805-268-6609 or visit ranchhorse.calpoly.edu.

Andrew Sheeler: 805-781-7929, @andrewsheeler

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