Fundraiser brings over $5,000 for equestrian science program

The second annual Ranch Sorting and Team Penning event over the weekend, organized by the equestrian science program, brought out western riding events Nov. 10 and 11 to raise over $5,000 for the program, according to the chair of the Pierce agriculture department.


The money will pay for one-third of the annual feed cost for the horses in the program, Leland Shapiro said in an email.


The ranch sorting event was especially important to the program because “we have zero budget to care for our animals,” Shapiro said.


Shapiro said that three more events during the year will be needed to balance their budget.


“After watching this weekend’s activities, I am completely confident in our Equine Department meeting this challenge,” he said in the email.


Ranch sorting and team penning groups competed for cash prizes and silver belt buckles during the two-day event.


On Satuday evening, national champion James Greer—half of JR Productions, which provided the herd of cattle and help run the event, according to the event press release—hosted a ranch sorting clinic for both beginner and expert riders.


Sunday, on the other hand, included a one-man ranch sorting contest, which prized the winner with a $1,600 brand new Tesky Trophy ranch saddle, according to the press release.


In addition to western riding events and competitions, the event featured a holiday boutique, silent auction, raffles, vendors, and food for purchase, according to the event flyer.


While the event was free for spectators, competitors had to pay fees in order to participate, according to the press release.


Members of the Boots and Saddles club on campus served as volunteers manning the raffle ticket table, according to Crystal Barrera, member of the club.


“It was a pretty great event even though we were behind on volunteers,” Barrera said.


The ranch sorting event brought out some Pierce students, but majority of attendees were community members, according to Barrera.