Tokyo — Nine teenaged students at a Japanese agricultural school have really earned their keep this summer, after the racehorse they raised from birth fetched a whopping $237,656 at auction.
The five girls and four boys, now 18, are enrolled at Shizunai Agricultural High School in the northern region of Hidaka, Japan's horse-breeding heartland.
"Training the horse, building trust with it, was the biggest challenge" for the students, an instructor at the school told CBS News.
The students, who raised the 1-year-old thoroughbred from birth, named it Kento, which is derived from two Chinese characters: ken, which means health; and to, which means to realize or come true.
Kento's price far surpassed the previous record bid for a racehorse raised by the school of $49,410.
The students will not reap the proceeds, however, which will be paid to the prefectural government that operates the school. It is Japan only public school offering instruction in breeding and raising racehorses.
The winning bidder was effusive in his praise for the animal, telling the Asahi Shimbun newspaper he "fell in love with it at first sight because of its elegant back shape, powerful belly and excellent buttocks muscle tension."
for more features.