March 11 was a big day for Lil Ruf Rider. After the long ride from California, he walked off the trailer at his new home at the Campus Farm at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and promptly had his first new experience. He stuck his nose in the deep snow, his eyes got big, and it was obvious that he did not quite know what to think.
Lil Ruff Rider "Rider" is a 2003 registered Quarter Horse (Lil Ruf Peppy x Hollywood Lolita) donated to UW-River Falls by McEntire Reining Horses. Rider is a National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) earner of $26,000. Twenty-six of Rider's foals have gone on to earn $93,000 in the NRHA.
Rider joins Skeets Peppy in the UW-River Falls equine breeding program, as both a sire and teacher. Both stallions are being used by students in the Equine Reproductive Techniques course this spring. The students learn how to handle stallions, collect semen and artificially inseminate mares.
Animal Science Assistant Professor Casie Bass teaches the course. Bass is the 2018 Distinguished Teacher at UW-River Falls. She was also awarded an USDA grant for Non-Land Grant Colleges of Agriculture (NLGCA) in 2018. The grant is funding state-of-the-art laboratory equipment, supporting research experiences for undergraduate students, and a summer camp for high school students, all focusing on investigating the maternal recognition of pregnancy in mares.
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