UF annual horse sale preparation

Students on-campus participate in and organize the yearly horse sale

By Brooke DeSynder, DeSynderB@Findlay.edu

Put on every year in the spring, the University of Findlay Horse Sale is an opportunity for students to learn what it takes to organize a large-scale event, train horses to sell and watch what other students were able to accomplish.

The sale will take place on April 27. Until then the Equine Marketing EQST 337 class is planning the logistics of the sale and marketing the horses to help gain interest for the sale.

In the equine marketing class, student Kailynne Gomez works as one of the sale coordinating assistants. Her role is to oversee everything and help where is needed to make sure the preparation for the sale goes smoothly; however, bumps along the road do occur.

“The most stressful part of preparing for the sale so far has been ensuring everyone is on the same page,” Gomez said.

The class’s capacity is set at 60 students, but only 28 students are currently taking it. Between the students in the class, sponsors, riders riding horses for the sale and owners of the horses, strong communication is needed to stay on the same page.

“I would definitely recommend future students create a sheet with everyone’s contact information and group chat,” Gomez said. “This has been a life saver for us and ensures everyone can communicate with each other outside of class.”

Communication has been a key part of the process so far. It continues to be important when horse from both the English and western farms are being sold.

The class takes place at the western farm, which leads to easier marketing for the horses located at the western farm. All the marketing videos and pictures for the English farm takes place outside of class. The assigned riders of the English horses are asked to help get riding videos.

Lauren Nielsen is pursuing a degree in English Equestrian Studies and has been training a pony named Dale all semester for her trainer back home. Dale is located at the English farm and will be auctioned off in the sale.

“I know many students enrolled in the Equine Marketing class, so it was easy to get on the same page as all of them,” Nielsen said. “They just let me know what days they’d like to shoot content and we go from there.”

All the videos and pictures of the horses are used on the Findlay Horse Sale Instagram. The Instagram allows the public to see what kinds of horses are available and help gain interest in the horses.

“I’ve had multiple people reach out to me inquiring about him and also asking if I would sell him privately,” Neilsen said. “It makes me so happy that everyone’s interested in him.”

Social media has been the main form of marketing for the horses. Facebook and TikTok have also been used by the class for promotion.

With the sale open to the public, students can attend and see what their peers have been working on and even bid on the horses if they want to.

Kalena Jackson is third year student who completed her associate degree in Western Equestrian Studies and has attended the sale before.

“My favorite part of previous sales is seeing it all come together,” Jackson said. “From the Equine Marketing class to the student trainers, it takes a lot of coordination to make this event come to life.”

When it comes down to the actual bidding of the horses, there is both in-person and online bidding.

“It can be hard to judge where the price is at on a horse with people bidding both in person and online,” Jackson said.

The prices on the horses can be reserved as well to make sure the owners get the minimum price that they want on their horse.

“His owner wants his reserve at 10 thousand, which everyone I’ve talked to so far agrees is a good starting price,” Nielsen said.