By, Carol Borchert
A documentary exploring the world of equine health at Colorado State University will make its theater debut at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science’s Phipps Theatre on Monday, Feb. 18. The privately funded film is a joint project of Colorado State University and Chapman University in California.
The documentary, which is narrated by Gov. John Hickenlooper, showcases CSU’s equine programs including the Orthopaedic Research Center, Equine Reproduction Laboratory, Equine Hospital, and Equine Sciences undergraduate program. The story of equine health is told through the experiences of clients, faculty, staff and students, and through the beauty and grace of the horses for which they care. If you would like to make a gift to any of our equine programs at Colorado State University, visit our giving page!
Additional showings of Horse Sense scheduled to date include:
“This is a fairy tale for me,” said Cathy Carpenter Dea, a CSU alumna and lifetime horse lover who is an ambassador to CSU and a veterinary client. She suggested the film in honor of the university’s equine programs. Her son, Cort Carpenter, is a Chapman student who will graduate from the Screen Acting program in May.
Dea helped visualize and coordinate the film on behalf of the Dea Family Foundation. “Now the state of Colorado and the region, the nation and the world will see the incredible gem we have here in our own backyard,” she said.
“Chapman students have truly honored Colorado State’s equine health and science expertise, but more importantly, they’ve highlighted the important relationship between people and horses in the western United States,” said Dr. Mark Stetter, Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
Colorado State conducts cutting-edge research that assists the equine community with everything from orthopaedics to reproductive techniques and educates undergraduates as well as future veterinarians. Horse Sense features interviews with horse owners, ranchers and several faculty members from the university’s renowned equine programs in the College of Agricultural Sciences and College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences including:
Dr. Wayne McIlwraith, University Distinguished Professor, Director of the Equine Orthopaedic Research Center, Professor of Surgery, and Barbara Cox Anthony University Chair in Orthopaedics.
Dr. Chris Kawcak, Iron Rose Ranch Chair in Equine Musculoskeletal Disease and Injury, and Professor in Clinical Sciences.
Dr. Jerry Black, Associate Professor in the Department of Animal Sciences; Director of the Equine Sciences undergraduate program – one of the most popular majors on campus; Director of the Equine Reproduction Laboratory; and Wagonhound Land and Livestock College Chair in Equine Sciences.
Dr. Patrick McCue, Professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences, and Iron Rose Ranch University Chair in Equine Reproduction.
Tyler Gurd films at the ERL
The film discusses Dr. McIlwraith’s pioneering arthroscopic procedures in horses that have been translated into use in humans. Dr. Kawcak talks about his pioneering biomedical modeling technologies that use three-dimensional motion analysis and high-speed cameras to better understand what leads to injuries in horses.
Dr. McCue talks about his role as a baby doctor for horses – incorporating state-of-the-art techniques for mares that can no longer become pregnant naturally – to help preserve valuable equine bloodlines on Colorado ranches: “In our eyes, it’s the same level of excitement to get a live, healthy foal for a horse owner.”
The professors also talk about their passion for teaching and educating the next generation of equine practitioners. “We are continually looking at industry needs and scientific breakthroughs and making sure our curriculum helps our students in their future careers,” said Dr. Black.
Horse Sense was directed by Chapman students Katie Chilson, Charlie Cook, Malina Fagan, Tyler Gurd, Brendan Nahmias, and Sam Price-Waldman. Executive producers are Dr. Wayne McIlwraith, Dr. Chris Kawcak, Jeff Swimmer, Judea Franck, Katie Briggs, Cathy L. Carpenter Dea, Peter A. Dea, and Cort L. Carpenter. The documentary was edited by Tyler Gurd and features original music by Nashville recording artist Pete Martinez.
Support for the film was provided by the Dea Family Foundation, Steve and Paula Reynolds, TBR Ranch, and the Verdad Foundation. Additional support was provided by Gary Dixon, President, Foundation for a Better Life; Rocky Mountain PBS; Denver Museum of Nature and Science; and the National Western Stock Show.
About Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts
The Dodge College of Film and Media Arts trains students across all media disciplines including film, marketing, broadcast journalism, digital arts and public relations. They are best known for international collaborations throughout Africa, South Korea, Singapore, and around the world. Their faculty and students have been recognized by the Director’s Guild of America, Sundance, SXSW, Tribeca and Telluride, as well as prestigious local festivals like Palm Springs, LA International Short Film Festival, and Santa Barbara. Internationally, its students’ films have been shown at Clermont-Ferrand (France), Sao Paulo (Brazil) and Short Shorts (Tokyo).