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Buck Brannaman to lead MSU horsemanship clinic

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BOZEMAN – Internationally renowned horseman Buck Brannaman will lead a horsemanship clinic for equine students from Montana State University, Miles Community College and the University of Montana Western on Feb. 16, from 12-3 p.m. at MSU’s Miller Pavilion.

The clinic is open only to students enrolled in colt-starting classes at MSU, MCC and UMW. However, other students and members of the public are invited to attend as spectators and tickets will be available for purchase at the pavilion on the day of the event only. Proceeds will benefit MSU’s equine science program.

Brannaman practices a unique approach to horsemanship and teaches a philosophy that respects a horse’s natural instincts. This training method encourages a deep connection between horse and human.

The skilled horseman was one inspiration for the character Tom Booker in “The Horse Whisperer,” a novel by Nicholas Evans, which was made into a film directed by and starring Robert Redford.

The documentary film “Buck,” featuring Brannaman’s work, won the U.S. Documentary Competition Audience Award at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Brannaman also regularly serves as a motivational speaker on the topics of animal and child abuse and conducts national and international horsemanship clinics and lectures.

“MSU is proud to have a relationship with one of the best horseman around,” said Glenn Duff, head of the Department of Animal and Range Sciences. “We’re thankful Buck not only donates his time and expertise for our students, but also for the gentle manner in the way he highlights the necessary focus on human-horse interaction.”

The MSU College of Agriculture’s equine science program is growing quickly, according to Duff. Brannaman’s daughter, Reata Brannaman, is an MSU student and currently teaches colt-starting classes. Having her as an instructor has helped to bolster the national prominence of the equine program, Duff said.

“Reata naturally brings with her the world-class horsemanship stature learned by her father,” he said. “That proficiency translates directly to our equine students receiving top horsemanship training in the country.”

Buck Brannaman holds an honorary doctorate in equine science from MSU and is a member of the university’s Equine Booster’s Club.

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