Excitement’s building for the students at DelVal University as they finish prepping their yearlings for The Black Book Sale. The yearly horse sale, a leader in the industry, draws select Standardbred yearlings from around the country to the PA Farm Show Arena Complex in Harrisburg, PA where prospective domestic and international buyers search for future winners and possible champions. The sale begins Monday, November 7 starting with 3 days of select yearlings followed by 2 days of a mixed sale concluding Friday, November 11, 2022.

Delaware Valley University offers a specialized program for students interested in equine breeding that includes hands-on classes in horse sales management, breeding, and mare and foal care. Every year, the students breed, foal, raise, and prep several yearlings for their own consignment at The Black Book Sale. This year’s crop was only 3 yearlings, but next years is 6 or

Gee I’m Hungry

7. Planning begins several years prior to the sale starting with selecting stallions for their broodmares. The 2022 consignment includes a colt named Chips and Beer by Six Pack, and a filly named Gee I’m Hungry by Stay Hungry. A third yearling sold at the Ohio Jug sale this September.

 According to Jenna Reigle, DelVal’s Equine Breeding Center manager, “this year, we bred our mares to high profile, modern young stallions. We bred our mare, Brooke Blue Chip, to Six Pack, a trotter that stands at Deo Volente Farms in Flemington, NJ. His oldest foals are yearlings of 2022. Six Pack is a 3-time world record holder and was named Dan Patch 3-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year in 2018. He won The Kentucky Futurity, The Stanley Dancer, and The Allerage Open Trot, and earned over $1,900,000. Our mare has a good race record with 11 wins and earnings of over $100,000, and she’s the dam of 4 winners so far.”

“The pacer that we bred to is Stay Hungry. He won the Breeders Crown as a 2-year-old and was 2-year-old Pacer of the Year and earned over $1,300,000. He stands at Hanover Shoe Farms. His oldest foals are 2 years olds of 2022, and his first crop includes winners Annapolis Hanover, winner of over $200,000, Lyons Surfing, and Hungry For Love. Last year, his yearlings averaged over $45,000 with 5 selling for six figures. The mare we bred to him is Gee I’m Lucky who is the dam of 11 winners.”

Prepping the yearlings begins during the summer, and students, Sophia, Elicse, Tara, and Jaida all work together to groom, handle, clip, and exercise the horses. Five days a week, the yearlings are hand walked from the Breeding Center down a long driveway to the Equestrian Center which is equipped with a covered round pen and an automated exercise machine where the horses get timed, supervised, and controlled exercise. The students take pride in their yearlings’ condition and manners, and they practice walking and standing the yearlings for possible buyers. The yearling are groomed daily, feet picked, and brushed till their coats glisten. They also practice loading in and out of a horse trailer.

For all four students in the yearling sales class, this is their first time working with Standardbred yearlings, and according to Tara, “I was mostly interested in thoroughbreds, but now, its neck and neck after working with these Standardbreds.”

 “Standardbreds are great for this program,” described Jenna. “The horses are hardy and easier to deal with than thoroughbreds. They have better feet too. The students can follow the careers of the horses they helped care for and sell, so it’s also a good way to introduce young people to harness racing.”

“We have a great relationship with the sales company and with Hanover Shoe Farms. Dale Welk

Chips and Beer

works closely with the University, and we work hand in hand with Hanover. Students can sign up to work for the sales company at the sale, or they can work for other consignors. It’s a great way for them to gain first-hand knowledge,” explained Jenna.

The yearlings head to the sale on Saturday, November 5, and the students set up their consignment for viewing on Sunday. The colt, Chips and Beer sells on Tuesday, November 8, and the filly, Gee I’m Hungry sells Wednesday, November 9, 2022.

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