Equine lessons continue at MSU horse auction

Equine lessons continue at MSU horse auction
Photo by: Submitted

Most Mississippi State University horses arrive on campus in the spring educating students about the foaling process and leave in November teaching them about auctions.

The annual horse sale will take place in a nontraditional setting as about 20 horses, ages 6 months to 12 years, are sold online Nov. 15 through 21. Bidders are invited to view horses beginning Nov. 1 at

Ryann Campbell, the MSU herd supervisor overseeing the sale, said the annual Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station's production sale has been a joint effort between the Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and the MSU Extension Service. Proceeds go back into the research and teaching program.

"The horses produced at the MSU-MAFES Horse Unit are used for research and teaching purposes. Undergraduate students take an equine reproduction course to learn about foaling and the care of mares and foals," Campbell said. "Veterinary students receive hands on experience with breeding and conducting ultrasounds on mares as well as medical care of the horses."

The Animal and Dairy Sciences department offers several classes that involve the horses raised by MSU. The foals are used in an equine behavior and training class where students halter break and gentle the foals for the upcoming sale.

Trent Smith, associate professor in ADS, said his sales and marketing class students learn the ins and outs of selling livestock and how to properly prepare animals to sell.

"They take pictures and videos of the horses to go on the website," Smith said. "They collect all the background information to go online with each horse, and help promote the horses and the sale in general."

2013 was the first year for the horse sale to be held online. This method of selling the horses is a joint effort with the MSU Extension Center for Technology Outreach, which developed the online bidding program.

"The program is set up 'eBay style' where users create a username and password and can electronically place bids on horses," said Steve Hankins, Extension instructor. "Users can put in a maximum bid and the program will bid for the individual in $25 increments up to their maximum bid."

The registration process involves bidders creating a user name and password accompanied by their full name, mailing address, email address and phone number. Buyers can pay for their horses online with credit/debit card. When paying by check, registration papers will be held until the payment processes.

Dated: 10/21/2014