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And They’re Off! Studying and Training Horses at SUNY



Horse race at Belmost Race Track in NY.

There is a lot of buzz about Triple Crown winner American Pharaoh coming to the Travers Stakes in Saratoga. A fact his trainer Bob Baffert seemed to imply was true. And experts suggest there is no better next stop for this champion racer. But whether or not we see this champion thoroughbred in upstate New York on August 29th, New York still has quite a history with the races. And SUNY is increasingly a part of that history. With programs such as Morrisville State’s Equine Racing Management program, Cobleskill’s Equine Studies, or Alfred States’s Agriculture & Veterinary Technology program, SUNY schools are educating some important figures in thoroughbred racing and equine management, from the doctors and trainers to the horses themselves.

Horses in the running

Morrisville State’s equine programs have had a good deal of success at the standardbred and thoroughbred level. So far this year, Morrisville has had two winning horses at the Finger Lakes Racetrack in Farmington, NY. The first win on June 9, went to Don’t Back Down, a Bay Gelding. The second, on June 12, went to Hot Idea, a Brown Mare. Both horses were trained by Dr. Clyde Cranwell, associate professor and director of the college’s Thoroughbred program.

But at Morrisville, students don’t just learn to train horses. Morrisville State offers a bachelor of technology degree in Equine Science and two associate degrees in Equine Racing Management and Equine Science and Management. The diverse equine science curriculum includes specializations in breeding, western, hunt seat, draft/driving, and thoroughbred and standardbred racing.

A female rides a horse galloping indoors at Morrisville State College.

Yes, you read that right, racing. A unique feature of the college’s thoroughbred program is a summer option where students can gain actual experience racing horses at the Finger Lakes Racetrack with Dr. Cranwell. The college has been racing at Finger Lakes Racetrack since 2007.

But what about the horses who aren’t as successful? What happens to thoroughbred horses who, whether by age or injury just can’t keep up with the race?

It turns out there are solutions for that too. The Morrisville State College Equine Rehabilitation Center (MSCERC), which welcomed it’s first horses in 2011, offers equipment and rehabilitation techniques to keep healthy horses conditioned and to help injured equine athletes recover post injury or post-surgery. The center, which has room to stable up to 40 horses, has state of the art equipment including:

  • Aquatrainer underwater treadmill (a treadmill that is slowly filled with water, allowing horses to exercise without putting their full body weight on injured limbs, joints or tendons)
  • Cold salt-water spa
  • Indoor swimming pool
  • Therapeutic ultrasound
  • Laser therapy (Class IIIB)
  • Game Ready™ equine treatment unit (cold compression therapy)
  • 8-horse, 80-ft diameter exerciser

But even with these rehabilitation options at Morrisville, there is another option for Equine Studies.

Providing an Education on Horses

Cobleskill student stands with horse inside barn. Staff and students at SUNY Cobleskill have their own Equine Studies program where they get to learn how to work up close with horses. The program has been available to students for more than 35 years, making it the oldest of its kind in New York. In this program, students gain valuable skills in recognizing and demonstrating safe horse handling techniques, being able to analyze an equine ration, understanding basic training and behavior of equine, and understanding basic reproduction principles.

These students learn to handle horses whether they are thoroughbred or not. With courses such as Equine Farm Management and Intro to Equine Training, the equine studies program teaches skills to students and horses alike.

Written by Kay Broughton

Kay is a student assistant with the SUNY Office of New Media. She is a University at Albany undergraduate working towards a double major in English and East Asian studies with a double minor in communications and film.

August 19, 2015

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Mascot Madness Champion, Hugo the Hawk, Speaks on His Victory and Getting Back to Work




SUNY Mascot Madness winner - Hugo Hawk from New PaltzThe first ever SUNY Mascot Madness came to a close yesterday with over 300,000 votes cast over the entire competition.  In a race that was too close to call initially, Hugo the Hawk from New Paltz was declared the winner of the first SUNY Mascot Madness over Wolfie the Seawolf from Stony Brook.  In a race to the finish, he met the library dean, cleaned the campus, and hung out with many students on campus.

We were able to catch up with Hugo and get his thoughts on the final round of the competition.

What responsibilities do you carry as SUNY Mascot Madness 2013 Champion?  What’s next for you?

As the SUNY Mascot Madness 2013 Champion, it is my duty to represent all that this title stands for. I will continue being the best mascot I can possibly be and keep getting better at it each day.

What will you do with all of your free time once SUNY Mascot Madness 2013 is complete?

With this free time I will get back to the basics. I will work on my cheers and dances and keep myself in tip-top shape for all the teams I root for. I will work hard to earn my place in next year’s tournament and make sure I do my best to defend my crown.


And we look forward to next year’s competition with you Hugo!

Hugo Hawk with Mascot Madness championship trophy

Emily Schwartz

Written by Emily Schwartz

Emily Schwartz is the Coordinator of Open SUNY Communication and Projects.

April 5, 2013

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Bobby Hurley Named University at Buffalo Men’s Basketball Head Coach




Bobby Hurley has been named the 12th head men's basketball coach at the University at Buffalo.

Bobby Hurley has been named the 12th head men’s basketball coach at the University at Buffalo.

Bobby Hurley, one of the most iconic figures in college basketball history, has been named the 12th head men’s basketball coach at the University at Buffalo.

He joins UB from the University of Rhode Island, where he has been serving as associate head coach. He was hired as an assistant coach at Wagner College in 2010, and spent two seasons with the Seahawks, playing a critical role in rebuilding the men’s basketball team. He helped lead Wagner to a 25-6 record during the 2011-12 season – its best record in school history – before joining Rhode Island.

A first-team All-American in 1993, Hurley is best remembered for being the point guard at Duke. Hurley helped lead the Blue Devils to three Final Four appearances and consecutive national championships in 1991 and 1992. Hurley still holds the NCAA record for career assists with 1,076.

Following his outstanding career at Duke, Hurley was selected by the Sacramento Kings with the seventh pick in the 1993 NBA Draft. He went on to play five years in the NBA with the Kings and Vancouver Grizzlies.

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SUNY Oneonta Senior Sets Off on 4,200-Mile Cross-Country Bike Adventure




Jayme Haynes biking in Central Bridge on her cross country adventure

Jami Haynes sets off from her home in Central Bridge, NY, on Tuesday, May 28.

SUNY Oneonta senior Jami Haynes set off on a 4,200-mile, cross-country bike adventure today with the goal of raising awareness about the Harvest of Hope Foundation, an organization that provides emergency assistance to migrant workers and their families. Haynes, 21, accompanied by her boyfriend and sister, left early Tuesday morning from her home in Central Bridge, N.Y.

An avid runner and hiker, Haynes got the idea for the “Miles for Migrants” bike tour after Harvest of Hope founder and President Phil Kellerman visited one of her education classes, taught by Madeline Berry, this past semester. Her 20-year-old sister, Jena, signed on for the adventure, and then her boyfriend, Caleb Grippin, 23, joined the team.

Jena Haynes, Caleb Grippin, Jami Haynes with bikes

SUNY Oneonta student Jami Haynes (right) with her sister, Jena, and boyfriend, Caleb Grippin.

“I wasn’t very familiar with what a migrant farm worker was and how they contributed to American society, and I was especially touched as a future educator by the support that Harvest of Hope gives to these families and the scholarships that the foundation provides,” Haynes said.

The class did a service-learning project to benefit Harvest of Hope, and Haynes kept the momentum going. She and her sister organized a spaghetti supper, several bake sales and a raffle, as well as giving presentations about Harvest of Hope on campus and in the community. “Spreading awareness of the foundation and how it helps migrant farm workers has been extremely rewarding,” Haynes said. “The community definitely knows a lot more about the contributions of migrant workers because of this project.”

Haynes hopes to continue raising awareness by meeting with media outlets during her journey. The trio plans to ride about 60 to 80 miles per day, camping and staying with friends and family members en route to San Francisco. They have been training for the trip for about three months, logging several hundred miles of short and long rides.

The Harvest of Hope Foundation was established in 1997, when Kellerman worked at ESCORT, a migrant education resource center based at SUNY Oneonta. In addition to its affiliation with ESCORT, SUNY Oneonta has operated a College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) since 2001. Created in 1972, CAMP is a federally-funded scholarship program that helps students from migrant and seasonal farm-working families pursue higher education.

ESCORT senior programmer analyst Bob Thomas, a friend of Kellerman’s, loaned Haynes and her crew three touring bikes and trailers. Thomas, who completed a cross-country bicycling trip himself back in 1976, was on hand for the send-off Tuesday, offering last-minute tips and advice.

An elementary education major with a concentration in social studies, Haynes will share experiences from her trip this fall as a student teacher at Cobleskill Elementary School.

She will also chronicle her adventures throughout the 11-week journey on the blog:


SUNY Oneonta

May 28, 2013

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