Montana State University

MSU to host clinic with Buck 'Horse Whisperer' Brannaman

February 11, 2014 -- MSU News Service

Brannaman practices a unique approach to horsemanship and teaches a philosophy that respects a horse’s natural instincts. This training method encourages a deep connection between horse and human. Photo provided.   High-Res Available

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
msunews@montana.edu

BOZEMAN - Montana State University’s Department of Animal and Range Sciences is hosting a horsemanship clinic for MSU students with internationally celebrated horseman Buck Brannaman on Monday, Feb. 17, from noon to 3 p.m. at MSU’s Miller Pavilion, located off of West Garfield Street just west of 19th Avenue.

While participation in the clinic is solely reserved for MSU students enrolled in colt-starting classes, the public is invited to attend. Tickets for spectators are $20, or $10 for students, and they will be available at the pavilion the day of the event. Proceeds from the event benefit MSU’s equine science program.

Prior to Brannaman’s clinic, beginning at 9 a.m., there will be a public preview of colts that will be up for sale during the MSU equine boosters’ annual Top of the West Performance Horse Sale at Copper Spring Ranch on April 5. 

Brannaman, a world-renowned horseman who holds an honorary doctorate in equine science from MSU, was one inspiration for the character Tom Booker in the Nicholas Evans novel “The Horse Whisperer,” which was made into a film directed by and starring Robert Redford.

Brannaman practices a unique approach to horsemanship and teaches a philosophy that respects a horse’s natural instincts. This training method encourages a deep connection between horse and human. The film “Buck,” a documentary featuring Brannaman’s work, won the U.S. Documentary Competition Audience Award at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Brannaman regularly serves as a motivational speaker on the topics of animal and child abuse and conducts national and international horsemanship clinics and lectures.

“It’s an honor to have to Buck Brannaman offer this course for our students,” said Patrick Hatfield, interim head of the Department of Animal and Range Sciences. “There’s a lot to learn from a horseman of his caliber and standing, and we’re thankful on behalf of the department and university for this special opportunity.”   

Hatfield said MSU’s College of Agriculture equine science major is one of the fastest growing programs on campus. Brannaman’s daughter, Reata Brannaman, is an MSU student and currently teaches colt-starting classes.

Hatfield said having Reata as an instructor in the equine program has helped to bolster the national notoriety of the program.

“Reata, of course, brings with her the world-class horsemanship stature and capability learned by her father,” Hatfield said. “That expertise in turn, helps our programs and students receive top-notch instruction and training.” 

Contact: Jenny Lavey, (406) 994-7866, jlavey@montana.edu.