Montana Center For Horsemanship & University of Montana Western Host Annual Colt Challenge and Sale April 1&2

The first weekend in April marks one of the nation’s most unique equine events, organized by the Montana Center for Horsemanship and the University of Montana Western.  Known as the annual Colt Challenge and Sale, this is a two-day (Friday and Saturday, April 1 &2) event in which students and colts, compete in a series of events demonstrating their wide range of abilities.

On Friday, the first day of the Challenge, students in the nation’s only Bachelor of Science Natural Horsemanship Degree Program, showcase the colts they’ve worked with for several months every day, and the following day, they’re part of a public auction that features the colts for sale, with all proceeds reinvested back into the program providing scholarships to Natural Horsemanship majors at the University of Montana Western. The Colt Challenge this year also includes students from Montana State University who are bringing their colts and participating in the competition part of the event although the colts from MSU will not be for sale.

More than two dozen of the best-bred colts are donated by some of the finest ranches in the region. The colts receive approximately 90 days of Natural Horsemanship training from equine students in the Natural Horsemanship/Equine Studies Bachelor of Science Degree program at Montana Western, under the guidance and leadership of the MCH Horsemanship Instructors, Eric Hoffmann, Melanie South and Robert Chesterfield.

The young horses are familiarized with being in enclosed areas, as well as experiencing the many surrounding mountains and trails. They’re also exposed to situations that occur both indoors and out and working with cattle, ropes, and anything a horse and rider might encounter in ranching or recreational riding. Simultaneously, students and instructors get an in-depth feel for each horse, enabling them to convey this information to potential buyers.

The horses and students are featured on Facebook leading up to the main event in April with information about the colts including color, conformation, personality, temperament, and skills. More information about the 2022 Colt Challenge and Sale, including the sale catalog, will be available on the University of Montana Western website as the event approaches.

Those interested in attending the auction can do so in person, online, or by phone. To bid online, participants must pre-register at least one day prior to the sale. To pre-register, please visit and click “Get Approved to Bid.” Participants can then bid online via desktop by visiting the day of the sale or by downloading the Northern Livestock Auction mobile app.  To bid by phone, pre-register by calling Northern Livestock Video Auction at 866-616-5035 before the sale day to obtain a bid number. Bidders can then phone in the day of the sale by calling 406-245-0889.

 The following is the official schedule of Events:
Friday, April 1st:  Colt Challenge: 9:00 a.m.

Saturday, April 2nd
Preview: 10:00 a.m.
Lunch: 11:30 a.m.
Sale: 1:00 p.m.


The sale order will be posted on Friday, April 1st by 5:00 p.m. on the Montana Western Colt Challenge and Sale website and Facebook page.

Annual Colt Challenge and Sale corporate sponsors include CHS Inc., New Generation Supplements, Rocky Mountain Supply, and Zinpro Performance Minerals in partnership with the University of Montana Western and the Montana Center for Horsemanship. Saturday’s complimentary lunch is sponsored by Beaverhead Motors. Special thanks to sponsors for their generous support of this unique education event and the students in the program.

The Equine Studies Department at the University of Montana Western offers the nation’s only Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Horsemanship with options in management, psychology, science and instruction, and was ranked among the “Best Equestrian Colleges” by  This program is in partnership with the Montana Center for Horsemanship.

The Montana Center for Horsemanship is the first and only equine center in the United States devoted expressly to promoting ‘Natural Horsemanship.’ With its stables, arenas, riding areas, and instructors, the center serves as the primary facility and progressive teaching resource for Montana Western’s Natural Horsemanship BS curriculum.  The Montana Center for Horsemanship however, is an independent not for profit 501c3 organization with separate fundraising initiatives. In September, the Center will host the second annual Conference & Equus International Film Festival – “The Natural Horsemanship Revolution.”  Montana Western is a co-presenter.

The Montana Center for Horsemanship also teaches, exclusively in the U.S.,  the ‘La Cense Method,’ of Natural Horsemanship, developed under international horseman, William Kriegel, Board President and co-founder of the Montana Center for Horsemanship and founder of Haras de la Cense in France.  William Kriegel has been involved in Natural Horsemanship for many years. The La Cense Method is a progressive, step-by-step process that blends the best of traditional horsemanship training with the art of training and riding horses—all in a manner that works with a horse’s behavior, instincts, and personality. Taking a positive and respectful approach, the La Cense Method gradually builds trust, and frees horses to be confident in all they are asked to perform or do.

For more information about MCH Development, Special Initiatives, Sponsorship, and other events, please contact Janet Rose at 406.925.3270

The mission of the Montana Center for Horsemanship
To help every horse and person make the most of their respective lives
To enable horses to learn effectively and experience “horse happiness” through the process of Natural Horsemanship
To help individuals achieve personal and professional success in the equine fields

Contact: Janet Rose

Photos Available Upon Request