Hold your quarter horses: Donors create equine legacy at Penn State

By Susan Burlingame
May 30, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — “He was the most gorgeous, handsome colt I had ever seen.”

That’s what Becky Bailey, a horse breeder from Batavia, Ohio, said in 2000 when she first laid eyes on a young stallion that would become a three-time American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) world champion.

That very colt began what has become many years of meaningful impact on the equine science program in the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences. The college’s quarter horse farm and breeding program has been forever enhanced because of it.

According to Bailey, she spotted “One Hot Krymsun” in a trailer with a mare she was purchasing. Never intending to own a stallion — she needed mares for her breeding operation — Bailey said she couldn’t resist.

“I knew I had to have him, and I told everyone he was going to win the world," she said.

Not only did One Hot Krymsun win the AQHA world championships and several other competitions, he became sire, through sold or donated breedings, to some 1,500 offspring.

In 2005, one of those breedings was donated as a gift-in-kind to the Penn State quarter horse program, part of the Department of Animal Science.

Gifts-in-kind are donations of items of value as opposed to monetary contributions. Traditional gifts-in-kind include real estate, jewelry, works of art or other valuables. The Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences, however, often receives gifts-in-kind that break the traditional mold. Corn-picker parts, insect collections, a double-fork hay harpoon, rare wood specimens, tractors — and yes, animal semen for breeding — have come to the college through generous donors.

One Hot Krymsun

Three-time AQHA world champion One Hot Krymsun, now being cared for at the Penn State equine facility.

IMAGE: Kelly Graphics

This particular gift-in-kind — a breeding from One Hot Krymsun valued at more than $2,500 — had an impressive result the following spring: a healthy colt named "PSU Dynamic Krymsun," who quickly became a beloved member of Penn State’s quarter horse herd and equine science minor program, which teaches students about nutrition, handling, breeding, management and much more.

“He was a beautiful, special stallion,” Bailey said, adding that she loved receiving updates through the years from Brian Egan, instructor in equine science, who works closely with the students and the horses on the farm.

In late 2017, however, the unthinkable happened. PSU Dynamic Krymsun was injured in an accident and had to be euthanized. Egan contacted Bailey to give her the terrible news.

“Even though One Hot Krymsun has more than 1,500 offspring, this loss hit me really hard,” Bailey said. “I thought a lot about donating another breeding, and then I decided the program needed something even better.”

Bailey contacted Egan with the news that she would be donating “Red, White N Good” — an elite stallion valued at $130,000 and half-brother to One Hot Krymsun.

“I knew he would fit in well at Penn State because he is so well-behaved and well-bred," said Bailey. "I was sure the students would be able to learn a lot working with him."

To make her gift even more valuable, Bailey included “A Pretty Big Deal,” a mare who was pregnant with Red, White N Good’s foal. A healthy filly was born in February 2018.

Through the years, several other breeders have contributed horses to the Penn State quarter horse program. Ronald and Susan Johnson of Spring Mills, Pennsylvania, have donated 14 horses (two stallions and 12 mares) since 2004.

“We think Penn State does a really terrific job with the care of the horses and the education of the students,” said Susan Johnson, adding that she and her husband make a habit of visiting their “grandchildren” — the offspring of their donated horses — on a regular basis. Two years later, they often purchase them at the annual Penn State Quarter Horse Sale, which supplies the program with important revenue for the care and maintenance of the horses and their facilities.

“We were familiar with the quality of the program because of our friendship with Ward Studebaker,” added Johnson.

Studebaker was manager of the Penn State horse farm from 1968 to 2001. The Ward Studebaker Horse Farm Endowment was created in his honor by Penn State earth and mineral sciences alumnus Charles Bowman and his wife, Lynn Holleran.

Though he retired more than two decades ago, Studebaker said he still visits the farm to see the horses.

“Everything is special about that program,” he said. “The horses have always been well cared for; they get all the health benefits we can give them.”

“When I donated that first breeding," said Bailey, "I didn’t really know anything about the Penn State quarter horse and equine programs. Since then, I have learned just how wonderful they are.”

Terry Etherton, head of the Department of Animal Science, agreed.

“Our horse farm is one of the top-rated campus farms in the country, and this remarkably generous gift by the Baileys [Red, White N Good and A Pretty Big Deal] is very exciting news for our equine program,” he said. “We are excited about the opportunity to continue moving our breeding program forward and offering our students the chance to interact with this outstanding stallion.”

In a full-circle turn of events, One Hot Krymsun, the beautiful stallion Bailey purchased all those years ago, now is living at Penn State. Bailey and her husband recently sold their farm and needed a home for the 19-year-old.

“I asked Brian Egan if they would consider standing him for us,” she said. “After a while, I came to visit him, and he was one happy horse.”

To learn more about equine science and the quarter horse program, visit the Animal Science Department website.

The Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences represents the foundation of Penn State University and its land-grant mission to serve the public good. To fulfill that mission for a new era of rapid change and global connections, the University has begun "A Greater Penn State for 21st Century Excellence," a fast-paced campaign focused on the three key imperatives: Open Doors, Create Transformative Experiences, and Impact the World. Through teaching, research and Extension, and because of generous alumni and friends, the College of Agricultural Sciences is able to offer scholarships to one in four students, create life-shaping opportunities, and make a difference in the world by fueling discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship. To learn more, visit http://agsci.psu.edu/giving.

  • Baby horse Mia, offspring of Red White N Good and A Pretty Big Deal

    Informally called “Mia,” this young filly will soon receive an official "PSU" name. Born Feb. 28 at the College of Agricultural Sciences quarter horse farm, she is the offspring of Red, White N Good and A Pretty Big Deal, the stallion and mare donated to Penn State by Craig and Becky Bailey of Bailey Farm LLC.

    IMAGE: Penn State

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Last Updated June 28, 2018