Arabian horse conference set at Michigan State University


EAST LANSING, Mich. — Arabian horse enthusiasts eager to learn more about breeding, training and marketing the majestic beast are invited to attend this year’s Arabian Horse Breeders Conference May 6-8 at Michigan State University.

This year’s conference marks the second year that the university has hosted the event, which will take place at the MSU Horse Teaching and Research Center. It will be presented in partnership with the Arabian Horse Owners Foundation.


The conference includes interactive live demonstrations and classroom presentations. Topics include the genetics and heritability of conformation traits, updates on genetic disorders specific to the Arabian horse, form-to-function of the performance horse and a session on using learning theory to enhance fair horse training.

Presenters include MSU faculty members John Shelle, Dennis Banks and Camie Heleski, and MSU alumnus Scott Benjamin, an internationally known Arabian horse judge, show manager, breeder, author, clinician and Arabian Horse Foundation ambassador. Also on the agenda are Washington Arabian horse enthusiast Beth Minnick and Arabian horse breeder Sigi Siller from California.

Horse sale

In addition to being offered insight into breeding decisions, participants can attend the 22nd annual Spartan Spectacular Arabian horse sale May 8 hosted by MSU students at the MSU Horse Teaching and Research Center.

MSU Animal Science students and students in the Institute of Agricultural Technology Horse Management Certificate Program train MSU-bred Arabian horses to lunge, wear saddles and other riding equipment and yield to the rider’s aids and commands. Horses trained and sold through this course are usually between the ages of 2 and 14 with most being marketed at 3 years of age.


The auction is a valuable experience for students, because they learn how to merchandise, present horses to the public and communicate with people in the horse industry. The training process takes about eight months to complete, and three months prior to the auction, students focus on improving the appearance of their horses.

This year, 14 horses will be auctioned off at the sale. There is a $150 per person conference registration fee to attend the Arabian Horse Breeders Conference, which includes all meals and a copy of the proceedings. The registration deadline is April 25, but for late enrollment and more information about the conference, contact Carla McLachlan at 517-432-5402 or


For more information on the MSU Arabian horse breeding program or to download information on the horses featured in the sale, visit To request a sale catalog, contact Paula Hitzler, MSU Horse Teaching and Research Center farm manager, at 517-355-7484 or


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