Seventh annual Top of West Sale scheduled for April 6

The 7th Annual Top of the West Horse Sale activities are set for April 5 and 6 at Copper Spring Ranch of Bozeman, MT.

Sponsored by the Equine Boosters of MSU, the multi-day celebration showcases young horses trained by students from Montana State University, the University of Montana Western and Miles City Community College in their colt starting classes.

This year, the college competition and sale features 28 three-year-old AQHA fillies and geldings that were donated to the programs at the three schools by over a dozen quarter horse breeders.

The schedule includes the collegiate competition with the student’s horses from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 1 to 3 p.m. on April 5. The preview in the indoor arena at Copper Spring Ranch is set for 10 a.m. and the sale begins at 1 p.m. on April 6. A traveling bronze trophy created by sculptor Bob Burkhart goes to the winning team. Other top collegiate horsemen are receiving buckles.

Headwaters Livestock of Three Forks is the bonded agent and Garth Isbell of Isbell Auctions of Three Forks is the auctioneer. Ringmen are Ed Brainard, Wayne Lower and Mike Germann. Veterinary services are being provided by All-West Veterinary Hospital of Bozeman.

Bloodlines represented at the sale include some of the most popular ones in the Quarter Horse industry like Smart Chic Olena, Doc’s Hickory, Doc O’Lena, Paddys Irish Whisky, Peptoboonsmal, Peppy San Badger, Bueno Chex and Dash for Cash

For a change of pace, the sale is being held this year in conjunction with the MSU Spring Rodeo instead of on Derby Day in May.

Copper Spring trainer Justin Marquez and ranch cowboy Matt Rice served as the instructors for the MSU colt starting class. La Cense horsemanship instructors Eric Hoffmann and Brett Badgett worked with the colt starting students at Western and Josh Bilbrey was the instructor at Miles City Community College.

The sale was started by Bob Hanson, former chairman of the boosters, as a way to raise funds to help develop a stronger and well-developed equine education program in the MSU College of Agriculture while fostering public understanding of the equine program at Montana State. Since other colleges have joined the event, a similar objective is being sought for the equine programs at the other campuses.

Brent Poppe of Belgrade is current chairman of the Equine Boosters of MSU. Other members are Diana Bailey of Three Forks, Gene Surber of Belgrade, Sandy Gagnon of Bozeman and Bob Hanson of White Sulphur Springs.

The catalog is available on the Montana Farm Bureau Federation website (, Copper Spring Ranch website ( and the Headwaters Livestock site (

For more information, contact Brent Poppe at or Diana Bailey at

–Copper Spring Ranch