This item originally appeared in the Jan. 15, 2004, issue of The Tech Talk.
By CYNTHIA HILL
Donations made to the Equine Center will provide opportunities for more student riding classes or therapeutic riding sessions for children, Karen Dowling, lab supervisor and instructor, said.
Alumnus Tim Parker and his wife Sara of Ruston, decided their 23-year-old quarter horse Butch still had a lot to offer, though they wanted a younger horse for their 7-year-old daughter Elizabeth.
"We believe he can still bring pleasure to some child for a few more years," Parker said.
Parker's father, Ted Parker, was instrumental in founding the Equine Center.
"He helped build those barns and contributed a lot to that program. It pleases us to give to something he was such a part of," Parker said.
C. W. Rayborn donated Nu Cinnamon Twist, a horse Dowling said will be used as a brood mare, a horse used strictly for breeding.
Robert Smith of Monroe contributed two young paint stallions named Doc's Mr. Fancy Pants and Doc's Handsome Man.
"I checked out a few other universities, and Tech is where I wanted these horses to be," Smith said.
Of the nearly 70 horses cared for on 80 acres on the South campus, 45 are owned by Tech. The remaining horses are boarded or have been brought to campus for breaking and training.
While most of the horses donated are used for breeding purposes, Dowling said it is beneficial to have options.
"It depends on which type of horses we have available and what our current needs are. We have an animal search committee that helps us look for available horses," Dowling said.
It has been a few years since Mary Long, a previous race horse owner from Shreveport, donated a stud colt to the program, but she still boards Bahama, a nearly 30-year-old thorough-bred, at the center.
Chiara Cross, a student worker at the Equine Center and a senior animal science major, said it is easy to become attached to the animals they care for.
"That makes these donations all the more special," Cross said.
"You have to realize these people are letting go of a special animal."