Longtime Equine Science professor now leads Legends of Ranching program

Dave Denniston7In a career spanning 15 years at Colorado State University, Associate Professor of Equine Science Dave Denniston has been an enthusiastic teacher and mentor and an invaluable resource for the equine community. Now, Denniston is taking on a new role as Director of the Legends of Ranching program while he continues to teach and coach CSU’s award-winning Horse Judging Team.

The Legends of Ranching program helps equine students develop skills in the areas of communication, event management and working with staff. The year-long program culminates in April with a Performance Horse Sale, a sale that includes a comprehensive catalog that is also produced by students.

Providing students with valuable skills

“The Legends of Ranching program focuses on providing our students with skill sets they will need when they go to work in the horse industry,” said Denniston. “The program combines information learned in a classroom with the hands-on experience of preparing for and running a high-end horse sale.”

Helping students learn from and connect with the horse industry is just one of Denniston’s roles in the Equine Science program which is housed in CSU’s Department of Animal Sciences. Denniston also coaches CSU’s Horse Judging Team which has racked up 16 National Championships and 18 Reserve National Championship titles since 2002.  The team has placed first or second at major national horse judging contests 34 times in the past 13 years.  In 2014, the team took home a Reserve National Championship at the Quarter Horse Congress and a National Championship at the prestigious Arabian Nationals Horse Judging Contest.

Legends_logoAs his role has evolved over the years, Denniston has also taken on many outreach activities for Equine Sciences. Denniston has always enjoyed having an active role in community engagement and interacting with stakeholders interested in all aspects of the equine industry.

A respected judge and dedicated teacher

Denniston is also a sought-after judge for both national and international competitive horse shows including the 2012 Quarter Horse Congress, the 2012 European Quarter Horse Championship Show and the 2015 National Snaffle Bit Association World Show.

In addition to the Legends of Ranching program, Denniston’s courses at the university also provide students with skills that can be applied when they enter the horse industry. Just a few of his courses include Equine Evaluation, Equine Business Management and Equine Sales Management.

“We are delighted that Dr. Denniston has agreed to take the lead of the Legends of Ranching program as its director,” said Dr. Jerry Black, a CSU veterinarian and director of the Equine Science program. “With the continued growth of the multiple facets of the program over the past 10 years, it was apparent that the day to day management responsibilities needed to be a given to a person with significant knowledge in the equine industry as well as an in-depth experience in education at the university level. In my opinion, Dave Denniston has the ideal credentials to continue moving the Legends of Ranching program and sale forward in the future.”