The 2019 Pioneer Horseman Award Recipient is Gloria Enger

                                          Gloria Enger
                    September 22, 1931 - February 3, 2019 

The Minnesota Horse Council Pioneer Horseman Award program was started as a way to posthumously honor people who have been true “pioneers” in the horse industry in Minnesota – those who have been leaders and who brought others to equine activities in the state. This year’s honoree is indeed the epitome of the definition of the award.

 Gloria Enger was born in 1931, she married Wallace E. Enger, who she met at a horse show. Together Gloria and Wally began raising and selling Quarter Horses, standing several stallions.

 In 1953 She was a founding member of the Upper Midwest Quarter Horse Association, what is now known as the Minnesota Quarter Horse Association. She served as its secretary, treasurer, state show secretary and finally as its executive secretary. She was an AQHA judge, an AQHA director and became a AQHA director emeritus., In the center of it all were several individuals, but none who turned it into their life’s work like Gloria.

 Those who knew her would want Gloria to be recognized for her absolute dedication to MQHA. Often, she may not have even been aware of her influence, and just how much she meant to others. Even after her retirement at the end of 2014, she attended all board meetings and functions. Her sound advice, wisdom and institutional knowledge were always being called upon.

 Some of the enduring benefits for MQHA members that she started would include recognizing horses and riders with year-end awards, starting a newsletter, supported starting a futurity, and she supported sponsoring the annual Corporate Challenge that grew into the one of the largest shows in the country.

 In a Quarter Horse Journal article, upon Gloria’s retirement as MQHA’s executive secretary, then AQHA Executive Vice President Don Treadway is quoted saying, “Gloria is one of our anchors in the Quarter Horse industry.”  MQHA members would agree.  Close friend and fellow AQHA National Director, Mary Ebnet said “She was an avid horseman” and described her as “the poster child for living the passion of AQHA.”

 Gloria’s favorite mare, probably was Lil Dobber, whom she made an AQHA Champion. While Gloria played many pivotal roles in the formation of MQHA, it was truly the horse itself that captured Gloria’s imagination. She said in 2014, “I was always horse nuts,”

 At the same time, Gloria and Wally were starting a family, with daughter Susan born in 1956, Anne a couple years later, and Joyce in 1966. In the background were the horses, which offered the family the chance to pursue a common interest. Daughter Anne Anderman earned great success in the show ring, and today is an AQHA Professional Horseman. Anne’s children, Tony and Emily, continue to show Quarter Horses.

 As a director, Treadway said, “She’s interested that the right thing is done for the horse and the rider. She doesn’t yield to pressure.” He also noted that she was very sharing, got help or got the right people to help, and knew how to delegate.

 In 2002, Gloria was MQHA’s first inductee into its Hall of Fame.

 Many who knew Gloria, say she was their mentor. For years, Gloria spearheaded MQHA’s Scholarship program. She believed in the next generation, and she felt horses taught young people how to be responsible, and how to work hard for a goal.

 Fellow AQHA Director and AQHA Professional Horsewoman Lainie DeBoer said, “I have never met a person that was so fiercely loyal to the integrity of the American Quarter Horse. Gloria was a force in our Minnesota Quarter Horse community. She expected the best from everyone, whether you were on the board or volunteering at a show.

 In November, Gloria watched live coverage of the 2018 World Show from her kitchen table, surrounded by young Quarter Horse enthusiasts who kept horses at her farm. Donning her grandson’s 2017 World Show Championship jacket, Gloria was thrilled to watch her grandson, Tony, win his second consecutive world championship in showmanship.

 In an interview in 2014, Gloria was asked to offer some advice for the future of the Quarter Horse industry. “We can’t ever forget the little people. We must make room for them in the association … because the sport of riding a good horse should be attainable by everybody.”

 The riderless horse, which signifies the loss of its’ rider, has been generously provided by Mallory Storm.  The people will not soon forget Gloria as her legacy lives on.

 Accepting the award was Gloria’s daughter, Anne Anderman along with granddaughter, Emily Greenlee, great-granddaughter Violet Greenlee and Emily’s husband, Jesse Greenlee.

Return to top »