MORRISVILLE, N.Y. — The last time Jeff Cantine was on the SUNY Morrisville campus 42 years ago, he was participating in a Boys State government leadership conference. This time, he was there to buy a horse.
Jeff and his wife, Jackie Cantine, were working with trainer Mickey McGivern, giving him their opinions on several horses he had his eye on during SUNY Morrisville’s Annual Yearling Sale.
“We look for breeding and confirmation, and of course, something that is in our price range,” said Jeff, who traveled from Saratoga to the highly anticipated sale, the only one of its kind on a college campus in New York State.
In all, 51 yearlings grossed $813, 909, for an average of $15,959 — an increase of 18.4% from last year.
Bay filly So Diva, consigned by Pine Hill Stables of Cohocton, and purchased by Purple Haze Stable, of Fairport, topped the sale at $75,000. It is the second highest price paid for a horse in the history of the SUNY Morrisville sale.
The sale, which consisted of a selection of New York, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ontario and Pennsylvania-eligible yearlings, drew a crowd of potential buyers, sellers, trainers and owners from across the Northeast. It included 24 of the top sires in the industry, including yearlings by first crop sires of Creatine; Hill I Am; Southwind Frank and Whataworkout.
Lenny Rosenbaum, who has purchased at least six horses throughout the years, drove four hours from Rockland County, looking for a trotter.
“It is a good sale. I like the hometown atmosphere and talking to all of the college students who are working it,” he said.
The sale is an all-around experience for students, allowing them to learn in a real-life business setting. Throughout the day, they participated in various roles, from administrative to horse handling and showing horses in the sales ring.
Some played a role in foaling and raising the seven yearlings the college consigned during this year’s sale.
Alumni of the college’s equine programs had a heavy presence throughout the day.
Ashleigh Bennett ’09, farm manager at Allerage Farm in Sayre, Pennsylvania, and Amber Pruchnik ’16, Bennett’s assistant, were readying two horses for sale in a large barn bustling with activity. Bennett hired Pruchnik after she completed an internship for her Bachelor of Technology degree in equine science – equine breeding management.
Throughout the sale, potential buyers scanned their sale catalogs intently as bid spotters kept track of those who raised their hands and shouted out amounts.
Profits from the sale go toward general maintenance and enhancement of the college’s equine programs. For complete sale results, visit www.morrisvillesale.com.