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Fall a busy time for the Knowlton Center for Equine Science

Fall a busy time for the Knowlton Center for Equine Science

It has been a busy fall at the Austin E. Knowlton Center for Equine Science.

The center recently hosted first-year veterinary students from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, up-and-coming riders at the 2015 Emerging Athletes Program (EAP) National Training Session, a program run by the United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA), as well as intercollegiate competitions in hunt seat and dressage.

Approximately 160 first-year OSU vet students, enrolled in the veterinary college's course “Introduction to Animal Behavior”, attended sessions at the center this fall, gaining hands-on experience with horses, becoming familiar with their behavior and learning basic handling techniques and non-invasive diagnostic procedures. Veterinarians from central Ohio and Otterbein undergraduate students served as facilitators for the program.

Included in the group of OSU vet students were Otterbein graduates Madi Rohl ’15, Danielle O'Callaghan ’14 and Kelly Pruchnicki ’14.

“It was a great opportunity for some of our students to share their background and knowledge of horse handling with the veterinary students, some of whom had little or no horse experience,” said Otterbein Professor Emeritus Maria S. Calderone, DVM, who had invited the OSU vet school to come to Otterbein after serving as a facilitator in the program last year.

“I think OSU was really happy about coming here,” Calderone said. “All of our horses have their own stalls, their own grooming equipment and we know our horses’ personalities really well. The center provided a convenient environment in which to practice skills.”

From education to educational competition, the Austin E. Knowlton Center for Equine Science hosted the four-day EAP National Training Session Nov. 12-14. From a group of 130 riders, who participated in regional training sessions earlier this year, 16 riders and four stable managers were invited to participate in the national training session at Otterbein. This year’s session was led by Olympic gold medalist Peter Wylde and expert stable manager Anne Thornbury.

The EAP was created specifically to provide opportunities for young riders under the age of 21 to advance their education as they strive to become knowledgeable horsemen within the hunter/jumper community, which may or may not include a career in the horse industry, according to the USHJA website.

“We were excited to open our facility to the top industry professionals and talented young horsemen alike,” said Kari Briggs, business manager for the Austin E. Knowlton Center for Equine Science. “The ability to host national events and partner with organizations such as the USHJA will continue to draw national attention to the Department of Equine Science. This prestigious event allowed us to share our exceptional programming and top-quality school horses.”

Otterbein also hosted a pair of regional competitions at the center this past month: the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association Hunt Seat competition for Zone 6, Region 2 on Oct. 24-25 and the Intercollegiate Dressage Association Region E competition Oct. 31 to Nov. 1. Otterbein was team champion both days at the dressage competition and also brought home the team championship on the second day of hunt seat competition.

Learn more about Otterbein's Equine Science Department on their website.

See more photos from the OSU vet school training session in our Flickr photo gallery.