Penn State Horse Barn Open House welcomes football fans Oct. 13

Kelly Jedrzejewski
September 19, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The sixth annual Penn State Horse Barn Open House, hosted by the Collegiate Horseman's Association at Penn State and the Penn State Equine Research Team, will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13. The open house complements Celebrate Ag Day at Beaver Stadium, an event designed for Penn Staters to honor the agricultural roots and history of the University.

The open house will be held at the equine teaching and research center's "old barn," located directly across Park Avenue from Beaver Stadium, prior to the football game against Michigan State. The on-campus horse farm is home to approximately 70 American quarter horses and an active breeding facility, which raises about 20 foals per year and trains them for sale by the time they reach 2 years of age.

Penn State-raised horses are used in many classes for the equine science minor and for research projects. Horses born at the farm make great pets for people with a wide variety of equine interests, and many may also go on to show extensively.

The barns usually are not open during football weekends, so Celebrate Ag Day is a unique opportunity for the public to meet some of the horses and students. But the open house is more than just a chance to get a peek inside the barns. The members of the Collegiate Horseman's Association at Penn State — known as CHAPS — and the Penn State Equine Research Team will showcase the long history of equine science at the University and what they contribute to agriculture at Penn State today.

"The open house is important because it allows the public, especially those with no agricultural background, to see what students in the equine science program are doing," said CHAPS President Rachel Kline, of Mifflinburg, a senior majoring in animal science and minoring in equine science.

Club adviser Andrea Kocher, equine extension specialist and instructor in equine science, said she is pleased to be able to showcase the program, students, horses, history of the horse barns, and breeding program. 

"The students of CHAPS and the Penn State Equine Research Team do a great job of putting together this fun and unique experience, which provides insight into our program," Kocher said.

The event is entirely student run and organized, explained CHAPS Vice President Kate Meyer, a senior animal science major and equine science minor from Canandaigua, New York.

"The students are responsible for cleaning and decorating the barn, bathing and grooming the horses, and setting up displays in the week leading up to the open house," she said. "It's a team effort, and we are proud to show off our program and the students involved."

Students from CHAPS also will be selling equine science merchandise, including their popular foal calendar. Photographers for the foal calendar include Meyer and other club members, horse farm employees, and even alumni.

"Each month features a cute picture of the previous year's foals," Meyer said. "The calendars make great gifts, and they're also the club's biggest fundraiser." 

Visitors also have a chance to name one of this year's Penn State foals in a "name-the-foal" contest. For the kids — and maybe adults, too — there will be a station for face painting, complete with saddles to try out.

"People will get to see our horses, interact with our students, and, we hope, gain a sense of how important Penn State's agricultural programs and the teaching barns are," Kline said.

CHAPS is a club for equine enthusiasts of all experience levels and majors who meet to learn more about horses through lectures, discussions and hands-on activities. The Penn State Equine Research Team consists of science-oriented students who study different aspects of horse health and performance.

  • CHAPS open house two

    Visitors take pictures of horses at last year's Penn State Horse Barn Open House.

    IMAGE: Kelly Jedrzejewski

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated September 19, 2018