Montana State University

Internationally renowned horseman Buck Brannaman to visit MSU for horsemanship clinic

December 17, 2014 -- MSU News Service

Internationally renowned horseman Buck Brannaman will lead a horsemanship clinic for equine students from Montana State University, Miles City Community College and the University of Montana Western on Monday, Feb. 16, at MSU's Miller Pavilion. The clinic is open only to students, although members of the public are invited to attend as spectators. Photo courtesy of Buck Brannaman.

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Tel: (406) 994-4571
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Internationally renowned horseman Buck Brannaman will lead a horsemanship clinic for equine students from Montana State University, Miles City Community College and the University of Montana Western on Monday, Feb. 16, from noon to 3 p.m. at MSU’s Miller Pavilion, located off of West Garfield Street just west of 19th Avenue.

The clinic is open only to students enrolled in colt-starting classes at MSU, Miles City Community College and UM Western, although members of the public are invited to attend as spectators. Tickets for spectators are $20, or $10 for current students with student identification, and they will be available for purchase at the pavilion on the day of the event only. Proceeds from the event benefit MSU’s equine science program.

Prior to Brannaman’ s clinic, beginning at 9 a.m., there will be a free public preview of colts that will be up for sale during the MSU Equine Boosters’ Club annual Top of the West Horse Sale at Copper Spring Ranch on April 11. The colts are donated to the club for the sale, and proceeds go directly to programming and facilities for the MSU equine science program.

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. He is also a member of the MSU Equine Boosters’ Club.

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 also regularly serves as a motivational speaker on the topics of animal and child abuse and conducts national and international horsemanship clinics and lectures.

“MSU is proud to have a relationship with one of the best horseman around,” said Glenn Duff, head of the Department of Animal and Range Sciences. “We’re thankful Buck not only donates his time and expertise for our students, but also for the gentle manner in the way he highlights the necessary focus on human-horse interaction.”

Duff said the MSU College of Agriculture’s equine science program is growing quickly. Brannaman’s daughter, Reata Brannaman, is an MSU student and currently teaches colt-starting classes. Duff said having Reata as an instructor has helped to bolster the national prominence of the equine program.

“Reata naturally brings with her the world-class horsemanship stature learned by her father,” he said. “That proficiency translates directly to our equine students receiving top horsemanship training in the country.”

Contact: Julie Hager, (406) 994-7953 or jhager@montana.edu