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MSU ranch horse team members earn national recognition
Murray State University graduate student Laney Workman rides university stallion Papanita Fantasy (nicknamed “Punk”) in American Ranch Horse Assoc. competition

MURRAY, Ky. — Members of the Murray State University ranch horse team will be recognized Feb. 18 at the American Ranch Horse Association Year End Awards Banquet in Nashville, Tenn., for their exceptional performance in the national year end standings.

In 2011, the team competed at shows in Tennessee, Missouri and Kentucky in the amateur division of the American Ranch Horse Association. Team members compete in several classes, ranging from cattle work to ranch trail classes. Each member is awarded points for their performances and they are able to continually monitor their rankings on the American Ranch Horse Association website.  Despite the tough competition (some competitors are outside the collegiate level), the team members earned numerous year-end awards. Top-placing MSU team members include:

Jacob Schwarm, a junior in agribusiness, placed first in the nation in ranch sorting, placed 12th in ranch cutting and tied for 39th place in working cow horse. Schwarm competes aboard his horse Pocos Pistol Two. “I really enjoy participating on a team where we’re able to truly showcase the versatility of the American ranch horse,” Schwarm said.

Laney Workman, a graduate student in the Hutson School of Agriculture, tied for 25th place in the Amateur Division overall, 11th place in horsemanship, 12th place in ranch riding, 15th in ranch trail and 27th place in ranch reining. Workman competes aboard the school stallion Papanita Fantasy (barn name “Punk”).

Abby Harper, a senior in psychology, placed fifth in Timed Speed Events, a category that includes both barrel racing and pole bending. Harper competes on her quarter horse Bar None Hank.   

Annalisa Bertsch, a senior in equine science, placed 13th in the nation in ranch reining on Slide Me Sum Sugar, a three-year-old quarter horse stallion.

Dylan Crain, a junior in animal science, placed 66th in ranch reining on his horse, New Chex Clabber Girl.

Other team members include Ashleigh Kelly, a sophomore in pre-veterinary medicine; Dana Kielar, a graduate student school of agriculture; Sam Bucy, a senior in equine science; and Meagan McClain, a sophomore in agriculture. 

Daniel Pugh, MSU equine barn manager, coaches the team. “I am very proud of our students and have enjoyed watching them improve themselves and their horses over these past two years. More so, I’m just pleased to be a part of such a fun team. We’re all looking forward to learning, working and competing this next year,” Pugh said, as he noted the importance of teamwork.  

For more information about the MSU ranch horse team, contact Dr. Alyx Shultz at ashultz@murraystate.edu or Pugh at dpugh2@murraystate.edu.

Information on the American Ranch Horse Association can be found online at www.americanranchhorse.net.

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