Great Barrington Teen to be Awarded Horse by UMass Amherst at Springfield Equine Show

AMHERST, Mass. - Aimee Boyer of Great Barrington will be awarded a Morgan foal during a ceremony at 12:30 p.m., Thurs., Nov. 9, in the Coliseum on the Big E fairgrounds. Boyer was named the winner of the first annual University of Massachusetts-Bay State Morgan Weanling Essay Competition. The presentation of the colt, Bay State Vista, will take place as part of the Equine Affaire, a national horse exposition scheduled for Nov. 9-12 on the Big E grounds.

The equine studies program in the department of veterinary and animal sciences at the University of Massachusetts initiated the competition, with Douglas Freeman, program director, coordinating the effort. The competition’s sponsors were W.F. Young Corp., of Springfield, which manufactures Absorbine Jr., and TackUp! Saddle Shop of Millers Falls.

Boyer is a senior at Monument Mountain High School in Great Barrington. Boyer’s win was announced last July during the Morgan Youth awards ceremony at the New England Morgan Horse Show in Northampton. The competition was open to Massachusetts 4-H Club and Morgan Youth participants 15-19 years old. Boyer, a member of the Sheffield Whinnies 4-H Club and the Berkshire Morgan Youth Group, won on the basis of her essay, "Current Theories and Methods of Training a Young Horse." She has been involved in horsemanship for nine years, and hopes to attend a college or university with an Intercollegiate Horse Show Association team.

Boyer will provide the University with a scrapbook report on the horse for its first three years, and will also bring the horse to the University for demonstrations of their progress together. The equine studies program competition, which will be expanded to include all of New England next year, is aimed at enhancing the University’s ties to the community by promoting horsemanship, 4-H and Morgan Youth Club development, and youth participation in the equine industry.

Part of the department of veterinary and animal sciences, the UMass Equine Center is located at the Hadley Farm, a teaching and research facility. The farm houses more than 80 horses used in the equine degree programs, which combine academic skills with applied training for careers in all phases of the horse industry. The University’s horse herd includes 30 registered Morgans. The Bay State Morgans bred at the University descend from stock dispersed to the New England land grant schools in the 1950s by the U.S. government’s Morgan farm in Vermont.

NOTE: Douglas Freeman may be reached at 413/545-5564 or dfreeman@vasci.umass.edu.