All of the horses owned by William Woods University are protected from contracting the West Nile Disease, which has been affecting birds, horses and, in some cases, humans. A dead Blue Jay was identified with the disease in Columbia yesterday.
According to Laura Ward, chair of the division of equestrian studies, more than 100 WWU horses were vaccinated last fall and have all received the booster shot. Ward said they did it as a precaution because WWU horses go to horse shows in St. Louis, one of the first places the disease was identified in Missouri.
“With 106 horses, it was a pretty hefty investment, but we couldn’t afford not do it,” Ward said.
WWU’s on-campus stable complex encompasses a city block with 106 large box stalls in four barns; each barn containing its own wash racks and tack rooms. The university maintains a newly renovated, large indoor arena and a cross country course.
Breeds represented in the William Woods stable include American Saddlebreds, Appaloosas, Arabians, Morgans, National Show Horses, Quarter Horses, Thoroughbreds and Warmbloods.
In 1972, William Woods became the first university in the nation to offer a four-year degree in equestrian science. The university provides instruction in saddle seat, hunt seat, dressage and western.