Chapman University Dodge Film School Documentary Highlights World-Renowned Colorado State University Equine Programs

Note to Reporters: Photos are available with the news release at Due to limited space, reservations are required for the public viewings of the film on April 2 and April 27. Reporters interested in attending the private February 18 event should contact Emily Wilmsen.

A documentary produced by Chapman University undergraduate film students and narrated by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper stars Colorado State University’s efforts to advance equine and human health and support the critical connection humans have to horses in Colorado and the West.

The film, “Horse Sense,” will debut at a private event at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science Phipps Theater on Feb. 18. Hickenlooper will introduce the film at the event.

Rocky Mountain PBS will broadcast the film at 8 p.m. May 9.

Students in Chapman’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts produced the film, which also includes original music by country singer/songwriter and Colorado resident Pete Martinez.

Additional free public viewings of “Horse Sense” are scheduled April 2 and April 27 at CSU. Due to limited space, reservations are required at for the following events:

Tuesday, April 2: 7 p.m. at the Lory Student Center Theatre on the CSU campus.
Saturday, April 27: Noon at the B.W. Pickett Equine Center, 735 S. Overland Trail, as part of the Legends of Ranching Performance Horse Sale.

“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 The 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 Departments of Animal Sciences and Clinical Sciences, director of the Equine Sciences undergraduate program – one of the most popular majors on campus, director of the Equine Reproduction Laboratory and The Wagonhound Land and Livestock College Chair in Equine Sciences; and
Dr. Patrick McCue, professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences and Iron Rose Ranch University Chair in Equine Reproduction.

The film discusses McIlwraith’s pioneering arthroscopic procedures in horses that have been translated into use in humans. 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.

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 that 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,” Black said.

The film is produced by Chapman students Tyler Gurd and Sam Price-Waldman. Executive producers are Dr. McIlwraith, Dr. Kawcak, Jeff Swimmer, the Dea Family Foundation, Cathy and Peter Dea and Cort Carpenter. 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 The Foundation for a Better Life.

About Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts
The Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University in Orange, Calif., trains students across all media disciplines including film, screen acting, 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).