Students of the elite Equestrian Studies program at William Woods University (WWU) will be getting the opportunity of a lifetime beginning today – to have their performance skills with a nationally-known American Saddlebred Stallion displayed to a nationwide audience.
Marc of Charm, the American Saddlebred Stallion, is scheduled to be named as the 2021 Breyer Model Horse of the Year at Breyerfest, an annual celebration of horses that begins today at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky. With this year’s Breyerfest being held virtually, Marc of Charm’s owner and trainers decided to produce a video to present him to the world stage as part of the event. That video showcases not only the famous stallion, but also the William Woods Equestrian Studies program.
Earlier this year, eight William Woods Equestrian students and their horses received a rare opportunity when they were chosen to perform a drill team routine around Marc of Charm in a performance that took place at the UPHA riding arena on the WWU campus. The video that recorded the March 20 performance is what is being used at Breyerfest to reveal the champion horse to the world as a Breyer model.
“This represents a wonderful opportunity to showcase the William Woods Equestrian program to what is a vast audience in the industry, at Breyerfest,” said Sarah Track, WWU Associate Professor of Equestrian Studies, Saddle Seat. “It is a prime example of the kind of unique experiences one can expect as a student in the Equestrian program at The Woods.”
William Woods students appearing in the video as riders include Jamie Johnson ’21 (Kennebunk, Maine), Grace McFarland ’21 (Palos Park, Ill.), Emily Rhodes ’21 (Olathe, Kan.), Ashley Jeppesen ’22 (Toronto, Ontario), Tyler Hodgkins ’24 (Biddeford, Maine), Grant Hoofer ’24 (Andover, Kan.), Faith Sorum ’24 (Edmond, Okla.) and Devin Sell ’24 (Georgetown, Ky). The WWU display team also involved three grounds crew members, including Tatiana Miller ’21 (Louisville, Ky.), Haylee Sheldon ’23 (Hillsborough, N.J.), and Amy Luppino ’24 (Columbia, Mo.).
“Organizing a drill team of eight American Saddlebred show horses, decorating the arena for the performance, and preparing the stables for the iconic Marc of Charm to spend the night last March seemed like a gigantic unknown at the time,” said Track. “The fact that William Woods has such dedicated and coachable students, along with all of the amazing donated horses and support of our fellow faculty across campus, I felt strongly that we could do our best to make honoring this wonderful stallion a reality.”
To view the presentation video that will be shown at Breyerfest today, please visit:
For a more detailed, “behind the scenes” look at William Woods students and horses preparing for the arrival of Marc of Charm, visit here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohl-zkR7IDE.