Horsing Around

The Gunby Equine Center is often known as the home of the Berry College Women’s Varsity Equestrian Team, but it also functions as a teaching facility for animal science classes and student workers employed there. 

On-site facilities include five buildings, 64 stalls with tack rooms and wash racks, an outdoor arena and two round pens. Open pasture includes 180 of the 185 acres.  The newest addition to the facility is a covered arena with attached classroom, offices, concession stand, judges stand and seating for 400 spectators. In addition, there is access to many miles of trails throughout the mountains of Berry’s 27,000-acre campus.

As of June, the Gunby Equine Center was home to 75 horses. Included in this team is a band of brood mares. These mares are bred to foal during spring semesters, allowing animal science classes to work with the pregnant mares and help them give birth when the time comes. There has been anywhere from three to eight foals born per year.

“It is great that Berry has a brood mare herd because of the great teaching tool it is for any students that want to go into the field of Equine industry,” said Barn Supervisor Martin Howlett.

Foals born at Berry are ultimately trained to end up in the riding program for the equestrian team. They can be identified  by a "BC" brand on their left hip. 

"It will take about four years for a young horse to grow, be trained and make it into the team riding program," Howlett said.

Gunby Equine Center also offers horseback trail riding to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. General rates are $35 per person, per hour. For faculty, staff, alumni and their guests, rides per person, per hour cost $20. For students and their guests, rates are $15 per person, per hour. 

To schedule a trail ride, contact Barn Manager Kevin Ellis at keellis@berry.edu or at 706-547-3099. 

Written by Public Relations Student Supervisor Abbie Smith. Photos by student photographer Jacob Bushey and staff photographer Brant Sanderlin.