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August 17, 2011

Chicago High School Students Join The World Of Horse Breeding

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The world of harness horse racing is ready to add a new breeder to its ranks. The newcomers to standardbred horse breeding are none other than the students of the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences. Through the efforts of Dennis Pietranduono and Scott Nelson, this high school will begin raising standard bred horses on their 48-acre farm outside of Chicago.

“They will take the mare from conception to raising and weaning the foal and then onto training and the sale,” Pietranduono said. “We will also have seminars from local breeders and trainers.” 

An existing facility on the grounds will be used for the operation. Cameras have been set up to provide video streaming of the mares on the internet when it is time to foal.

The program has had tremendous support from the Illinois Harness Horsemen’s Association, the Illinois Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

“The most important part of this program is that it is centered around the special education department and will be carried out with special needs children,” Pietranduono said. “Horses are great, therapeutic animals, which makes this a very positive program.”

The Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences purchased its standardbred breeding stock at a sale this past Sunday. Peitranduono was present at the Illinois State Fair Ag Day with 28 students and a group of staff members. 


Results for the Cutest Little Farmer contest have been announced.  Winners in each respective age category are as follows:

Girls 2-3 Years
1.      Alexis Phoenix, Springfield
2.      Kayelea Smith, Springfield
3.      Macie Willis, Greenview
4.      Zoey Riley, Oakford
Girls 4-5 Years
1.      Makayla Morris, Rochester
2.      August Rottman, Pierron
3.      Ainsley McMann, Springfield
Girls 6-7 Years
1.      Vivian Rahmel, Springfield
2.      Elaan Bader, Morrisonville
3.      Eliza Braud, Springfield
4.      Jersey Lynn Halberg, Springfield
Girls 8-9 Years
1.      Haniah Mueed, Springfield
2.      Caroline Braud, Springfield
3.      Ellie Wetherell, Springfield
Boys 2-3 Years
1.      Riley Herr, Springfield
2.      Jonah Wetherell, Springfield
3.      Brandon Dismore, Samonauk
4.      Dennis Rottmann, Pierron
Boys 4-5 Years
1.      Carlton Rahmel, Springfield
2.      Brock Dennis, Waverly
3.      Wyatt Ratliff, Ashland
Boys 8-9 Years
1.      Mitchell Morris, Rochester
2.      Caden McMann, Springfield



The Pedal Pull Competition was open to boys and girls weighing between 30 and 80 pounds.  The results are as follows:

Open Class – 45 lbs. and Under
1.      A.J. Syphenl, Litchfield
2.      Xavier Goeddeke, German Valley
3.      Elaan Bader, Morrisonville
Open Class – 46-60 lbs.
1.      Hannah Myers, Springfield
2.      Chase Wasilewski, Athens
3.      Blake Niemann, Villa Grove
Open Class – 61-80 lbs.
1.      Mark Maaks, New Holland
2.      Cole Repscher, Taylorville
3.      Nathan Brewer, New Berlin
Sanctioned – 45 lbs. and Under
1.      Jack Rives, Carlinville
2.      Carston Callico, Mascoutah
3.      Riley Rhodes, Carlinville
Sanctioned – 46-60 lbs.
1.      Zach Reels, Carlinville
2.      Bryce Kirsch, Highland
3.      Kade Beckmeir, Menard County
Sanctioned – 61-80 lbs.
1.      Stihl Chalmers, Oakford
2.      Kevin Miller, Madison
3.      Ethan Weidner, Teutopolis



Dance Solo/12 & Under
1.      Marissa Johnson, Chatham
2.      Christian Stiltz, Forest City
Dance Solo/13-18 Years
1.      Roy Lowery, Springfield
2.      Julie Mountain, Griggsville
3.      Timothy Anders, Collinsville
Dance Group
1.      “Yippee Ty Yi Yo” – Dance Creations Dance Studio, Springfield
2.      Tori Waters & Matti McCartney, Griggsville
3.      “Invasion” - Dance Creations Dance Studio, Springfield


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