Campus: Sonoma State University -- November 14, 2003

Racehorses Come to the Rescue of University Athletics as Public Wants in on New Kind of Fundraising

Faced with the daunting task of raising athletic scholarship funds to a minimum of $250,000 by the 2005-06 academic year, the Sonoma State University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics came up with a unique plan. Racehorses.

It was only last week that the department planned to sell 100 shares at $1,000 in each of two colts, of which half of each sold share is used as a tax-deductible donation to the Sonoma State University Student-Athlete Scholarship Fund.

Several days after an article was published in the local daily newspaper, reservations for shares in the two horses have already been sold out, leaving a waiting list of over 100 people and the department in the process of acquiring a third horse.

The idea was hatched by Russ Gardiner, SSU¹s volunteer assistant athletic director for marketing and development.

The two horses, Seawolf and Sonoma Slew, were selected by Tom Bachman, owner of Pegasus Ranch in Petaluma. Bachman will also be responsible for the care and training of the colts. Seawolf, named for the school¹s mascot, is the offspring of Swiss Yodeler and My Thellie. Sonoma Slew, is the OEgrandson¹ of the great Seattle Slew and is the offspring of Slewledo and Distant Love.

The anticipated first race for the horses will be at the Sonoma County Fair in July of 2004.

The horses will be available for viewing from 5:30-7p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 16 at Sonoma State in conjunction with Swirl & Swish, a wine/food tasting and auction event hosted by the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and the School of Wine Business.

For further information, contact the SSU Athletic Director Bill Fusco, (707) 664-2639.

NOTE: Digital photos of the horses are available upon request.


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