The MHC is guided by up to 17 directors who each serve a three-year term.
Tracy Turner, DVM
10777 110 St. N.
Stillwater, MN 55082-8402
(651) 351-7206; (763) 441-3797 (w)
Committees: Legislative (Chair), Expo, Direct Funding, Scholarships, Grants, State Horse Council, and as President serves ex-officio on all other committees.
Tracy Turner was raised around horses on a small ranch in Southwestern Colorado and he has had a love for horses since. He apprenticed with a farrier in 1972 and used these skills to help finance his education.
He received his DVM degree from Colorado State University in 1978, received post graduate education at the University of Georgia and Purdue University. He has served on the faculty of University of Illinois, the University of Florida, and the University of Minnesota. He left the University in 2004 and joined Anoka Equine Veterinary Services. He is board certified by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and by the American Board of Thermology. He has spoken nationally and internationally on lameness topics.
Turner is a member of the AM Vet Med Assoc., the AM Assoc of Equine Practitioners, the Minnesota Assoc of Equine Practitioners, the AM Farrier's Assoc, the Minnesota Farrier's Assoc, and the Minnesota Thoroughbred Assoc.
Turner rides and competes at combined training, he is also a member of the United States Eventing Assoc, the United States Dressage Federation, Minnesota Thoroughbred Assn and served on the board of directors of the Central States Dressage and Eventing Association from 1998-2001. He has been a member of the MN Horse Council Board of Directors for the past 6 years. He serves on the Facilities/Show, Direct Funding, Scholarships, and Grants committees. He is chair of the Legislative committee. His goal for the Horse Council is to have the council become the voice in Minnesota for the horse industry and for the Horse Council to be the leading advocate in the state for Horse welfare.
15421 70th Place North
Maple Grove, MN 55311-3246
Darrell has been riding all his life. He actively participated in trail riding and trail development for many years. In 1990 he became a director for MHC and focused on work with the Trail Blazers Committee. This committee has been instrumental in the opening of new horse camps, maintaining current horse camps and trail repair and maintenance. With his position on the Board of Directors of MN Recreation Trail User’s Association (MRTUA) he is able to assist the Horse Council with matching funds.
The MN Horse Expo takes up a large amount of his time. His wife sometimes says he works longer hours at that than at the bakery. He manages the barn, campground, and security at the Horse Expo.
Darrell is a baker by profession, and owns the Old Fashion Donut Shoppe in Crystal for the pas 30 years. Darrell is married; he and his wife currently own two mules.
Committees he is involved with include Trail Blazers (Chair), Expo, Chair of Expo Oversight Committee, State Horse Council, Promotions, Nominations, Inventory/Storage, Horseperson of the Year, Grants, Budget, Budget Review/Expo, Annual Meeting, and Communications. Darrell also is a member and co- chair of the Equine Advisory Group (Oversees money from Trail Passes).
3035 34th Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55406-2103
Committees: Scholarships (Chair), Grants, Direct Funding
Trina Joyce has been riding since about the age of four. She is a graduate of the former Hennepin County Vo-Tech's Horse Care and Stable Management Program. She then taught individual and group lessons through Community Education and the University of Minnesota horseback riding physical education class at the Vo-Tech. She is also a graduate of Cheff Center in Michigan, where she learned to teach riding to people who have disabilities and that has been a primary interest of hers. She founded and was the first instructor for We Can Ride, Inc., co-founded and was an instructor for Cloud 9 Therapeutic Horsemanship. She was involved with Courage Riders from the beginning and now volunteers with River Valley Riders.
Trina's been involved with the MHC and has attended monthly meetings for about 30 years. She has been chair of the Scholarship Committee since its inception and now serves as the Philanthropy Coordinator; which includes scholarships, grants and direct funding.She also volunteers her time on the Aisle of Breeds and Promotions committees. She maintains an updated list of all of the therapeutic riding programs in the state and another of all the horse-related educational opportunities.
Trina has been at every Horse Expo since it started as a volunteer and/or presenter. She has written articles and taken photos for the MHC newsletter and volunteered at the Aisle of Breeds at the State Fair. When she was Secretary of the MHC, she helped develop the first Policy and Procedures for about 15 committees and provided direction for the Administrative Assistant. Trina has been an avid trail rider for many years.
4190 190th St. E.
Prior Lake, MN 55372-8703
(952) 226-4190; (952) 226-4192
Committees: State Horse Council (co-chair), Trails, Expo, Budget Review/Expo, Grants, Horseperson of the Year, Legislative
Tom Tweeten, PhD, is a scientist with more than 38 years of experience in Analytical Chemistry. He has worked with industrial chemicals and human and animal nutrition to develop chemical testing procedures to insure product quality and integrity.
Tom grew up on a large farm in Southeastern Minnesota. During his early childhood horses were still used to work the farm. Horses, hogs, beef, soil conservation and youth leadership were key activities in his youth 4-H experience.
The Tweeten family owns a small farm where they train American Saddlebred and Morgan horses. Family members show both regionally and nationally. The horse experience lead Tom and a couple of young entrepreneurs to begin a small business in 1996 that has developed a line of horse care products that are sold in the US, Canada and Europe. In addition Tom has become a recognized clinician giving talks around the country on how grooming is an important part of building a relationship with the horse.
Tom is on the Board of Directors for the Tri-State Horseman’s Association serving as a liaison to the Minnesota Horse Council. His experiences on the Minnesota Horse Council Board of Directors include being on the Trails Committee, Budget Committee, Grants Committee, and Legislative Committee as well as being chairperson for Direct Fund and the Board Nominations Committee. He served as 1st Vice-president for two years and Council President in 2006. He represented Minnesota at the national States Horse Council Advisory Committee Meeting twice and once at the American Horse Council Meeting in Washington DC. Through these positions, responsibilities and experiences, Tom has developed a broader sense of how the Minnesota Horse Council can serve the Horse Industry of Minnesota.
PO Box 96
Monticelloo, MN 55362-0096
Committees: Communications (Chair), Expo, State Fair/Aisle of Breeds, Budget Review/Expo,Web Oversight, Trail Blazers
Missie has been involved with horses for many years. Her first horse was a Pinto Welsh the family had while they lived for a short time in Nebraska. When her father was transferred back to Minnesota, he chose not to pay for the shipping charges so Speckles stayed in Nebraska. After five years of a little girl pleading, her grandfather took her to a farm one day and had her ride a few horses. That weekend her dad picked up "Jubilee" and the farm owner threw in a Shetland, "Jip", for company. When Missie later wanted a foal, she walked beans to earn the fees.
Many years later, Missie is still doing those extras for her horses and other equine enthusiasts. She is a current board member and past ride manager, newsletter editor and President of the Minnesota Distance Riding Association, member of Upper Midwest Endurance and Competitive Ride Association, American Quarter Horse Association, International Arabian Horse Association and American Endurance Ride Conference. Missie and her husband enjoy trail riding and compete in team penning, team sorting and ranch rodeos. Together they own and operate Tucker Road Stable, a member of the Minnesota Horse Council Certified Stable program since 1997.
In her spare time Missie enjoys training young horses and assisting her boarders with problems. She also works as a part time equine vet technician
4328 France Ave. S.
Edina, MN 55410-1343
(952) 356-2090; Expo: (952) 922-8666
Committees: Expo (President), State Horse Council (co-chair), State Fair/Aisle of Breeds, Inventory/Storage, Budget Review/Expo.
Glen has been a member of the Minnesota Horse Council since about 1982 and a Director since 1989. Glen became the Exhibit Director of the Minnesota Horse Exposition, Inc. in August of 1988 and has held that position to the present time. He has also served as President of the Minnesota Horse Expo since 1991. The Minnesota Horse Expo is Glen’s primary function for the Minnesota Horse Council but he serves on other committees as well.
Since moving to the Minnesota State Fairgrounds in 1989 the Minnesota Horse Expo has become one of the best known and largest Horse Expos in the United States and Canada. Glen enjoys every minute of the work and challenge that goes into making a successful Expo (not only in size but quality). Of course this could not have been possible without the many dedicated Minnesota Horse Expo Directors and Staff members who have continued their efforts over the years.
Glen enjoys working the Directors and Staff, meeting people and talking with them over the telephone, but the most satisfying time is at the Minnesota Horse Council Annual meeting where the profits from the Expo are distributed as grants, scholarships, and to the other areas such as the Trail Blazers, etc.
Glen is a member of the Zuhrah Shrine Horse Patrol and is a Past President of the Midwest Shrine Horse Patrol. He is the present Secretary and Treasure of the Midwest Shrine Horse Patrol that meets once a year in various cities throughout the Midwest and Canada. He also holds a full time job with the E. Weinberg Chemical and Supply Co., in St. Louis Park. On a national basis, Glen has been active member with the States Horse Council Activities Committee (Committee within the American Horse Council in Washington DC). Glen is the present Chairperson of the Horse Fairs and Expos Sub-committee. In April of 2006 Glen was awarded the annual American Horse Council Van Ness Award for the volunteer work he has done in the Equine Industry.
Glen hopes to be involved with the Minnesota Horse Exposition and the Minnesota Horse Council for years to come.
Barbara Anderson Whiteis
9209 Iffert Ave NE
Monticello, MN 55362
Barb has been in the horse business professionally since 1973. She got her first horse when she was 13 and started training a year later with a 9-month-old colt that had to be roped in order to be caught. A career was established. From that Barb started training and showing in WSCA, then the Class A Arab circuit. While attending college at the University of Minnesota – Waseca, Scottsdale Community College in Arizona, and the University of Minnesota at St. Paul, Barb was training and working in numerous disciplines. She graduated from the ‘U’ with Bachelor of Science (BS) in Animal Science.
After finishing some graduate classes, she went to work at the University of Minnesota for the Dept. of Surgery, managing horse serum production for the ALG program. During the eight years at the ‘U’, Barb showed and trained Western, saddleseat, eventing, dressage, reining, endurance, carriage driving, foxhunting, drill team, parades and halter, as well as many years of teaching riding – particularly at Golden Ridge Stables in Lakeville. Any activity that involved horses she would give it a try.
In 2001, Barb and her husband started Caille Farm Inc. in Monticello, focusing on dressage and riding lessons, and with an emphasis on amateurs and young riders. In the past 13 years, many of her students have become dedicated horsepeople, receiving many local and national honors. She currently has two junior students ranked 5th and 8th in the nation in FEI-level dressage.
Barb is a member of United States Dressage Federation and has earned the Bronze and Silver medals. She also has been a longtime member of the United States Equestrian Federation, Arabian Horse Association, and the American Quarter Horse Association. In addition to completing two terms on the board of directors for the Central States Dressage and Eventing Association (CSDEA), she has recently joined and competed in Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association and the Minnesota Mule and Donkey Association.
4309 30th Ave So
Minneapolis, MN 55406-3710
Committees: Web Oversight, Communications, Grants, Budget, MN Horsemen's Directory, Nominations,
Tim has been around horses all his life. His parents were successful breeders and trainers of Morgan horses, operating the Bonnie-Lee Farms in Willmar, MN. Horses were a significant part of his growing up years, and he continues working with them.
Tim came to the MN Horse Council after serving on the Board of the North Central Morgan Association as Treasurer for 9 years. He still works with the North Star Morgan Show, and serves as Ringmaster at some Morgan Horse Shows, and at the State 4-H horse show.
He began working with the Minnesota Horse Expo back in 1987, when it was held in the Auditorium in downtown Minneapolis. He worked as 'stage director', seeing that the horses were ready to enter the arena and that the announcer had the script for those horses, and that the matching music was ready, etc. He continued that for many years when the Expo moved to the Fairgrounds, as well as creating the schedule of arena events for the weekend, and has worked on computerizing some of the Expo office activity.
From the Expo, Tim moved to the parent organization, the Minnesota Horse Council, where he was first elected to the Board in 1988 to fill a vacancy. In 1991 he was chosen to be Treasurer, and he still serves in that office.
He also serves on the Legislative, Communications, and Horseperson of the Year committees. As Treasurer, Tim chairs the Donations & Grants committee, and serves on the Financial committee. He also works on maintaining the Council website.
Tim says that his main goals in serving on the Minnesota Horse Council are:
- First, seeing that the Council Board understands where the Council is spending it's money.
- Next, seeing that the money is spent on projects that benefit most of the horse owners in the state.
- Then, seeing that the Council money is invested as 'seed money' to help local horse groups start projects in their area -- the Council can't do everything, it must cooperate with local horse groups (and one of the ways the ways we can cooperate is by using our financial resources).
- Finally, seeing that the Council stays focused on activities that provide specific benefits to horse people in the state. We should be a functional organization, not a research group!
10300 Brent Ave
Inver Grove Heights, MN 55077-5026
Raised on a farmstead in Eastern South Dakota, David grew up around animals and was especially fond of the work horses used on the farm where he mastered harnessing skills, driving wagons and plows. As a young person he learned not only the value of horses as working partners but he enjoyed riding as a pleasure past time and spent many hours on horse back.
Life’s adventures brought David to the Twin Cities to pursue an education and a job, and eventually the ownership of two businesses. He was also an active volunteer in a variety of organizations and held leadership roles in many of the organizations including Radio Emergency Action Citizen Team (REACT), Minneapolis Aquatennial, St Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation.
Never losing his passion for animals, he eventually settled on a small hobby farm in the south Metro that he shares with his wife, three horses, and a collection of small dogs. Dave has served canine rescue and re-homing organizations for the last four years, providing foster care for approximately 200 dogs, managing procurement, assisting with relay transport, and fulfilling roles in the canine rescue system.
Recently, Dave and his wife have become active in Emergency Animal Disaster Response completing a variety of certifications and participating in training exercises related to disaster rescue and animal sheltering. They are involved in the development of Scott County’s Emergency Animal Disaster Plan. Scott County has significant agricultural space and high density of equine interest, including many stables and boarding facilities. Dave has just been appointed to the Board of MN Animal Disaster Coalition.
Dave is passionate about animals, their role in society as companions, and insuring there are resources available to equine enthusiasts. David is dedicated to quality animal care, welfare and safe management of horse related facilities. He is an advocate for the humane management and needs of all animals.
White Bear Lake, MN 55110
My name is Kris Kelly and I live in White Bear Lake. I was active with horses as a youngster, as many horse crazy young girls are. As an adult, for the past 30 years, I have been involved with horses both privately as an owner and publicly in the business arena.
I have had the good fortune to have worn many hats in the horse world. I started out as a horse owner and quickly became a successful competitor in both the open show circuit and the Quarter horse circuit in both the english and western disciplines. I was involved with Minnesota High School Rodeo through my daughter’s activities. I worked both as an assistant trainer and have been an instructor for over 20 years, including designing curriculum and training seminars for instructors. I have had the experience of managing a 140 horse commercial boarding facility for 23 years. For 18 years, I have owned and now currently own a full service public horse facility offering horse activities to the general public.
On the retail side, I owned a tack shop for 24 years. I have been instrumental in the formation of Minnesota Stable Owners Association, Stable Pathways, Inc. (therapeutic riding program) and the Gordon Nelson Memorial Foundation (scholarships awarded to the horse community) and also serving on their Boards. Locally, I have been an active member of Northwest Saddle Club for 25 years, serving on their Board, and am a founding member of DeadBroke Saddle Club. Over the years, I have served on the Boards of WSCA, MQHA and MAQHA. I chaired the WSCA Championship show one year. December 2016 will mark the completion of a three year term on the MN Horse Council Board of Directors.
On the volunteering end, I have coordinated and run the Minnesota State Special Olympics Equestrian Show, consisting of 140-160 athletes, for the past 15 years providing both horses andvolunteers. I love to trail ride and still take many people on their first “out of the arena” experience on overnight camping trips. I feel that to be a part of something, you must give something back and I have tried to do that with all the organizations I have joined.
Needless to say, I have been involved in many aspects of the horse industry in Minnesota over a long period of time and know personally, and as a business owner, the issues that we, we who have horses are facing, both humane, economically, and environmentally. We are being impacted by state and federal regulations daily and it is important to be proactive so the sport remains a viable recreational pursuit. I feel I can bridge old and new thoughts to forge ahead and help the Minnesota Horse Council do the best job it can for the horse owners and for the industry in our state.
1314 Fairmount Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55105-2703
Committees: Certified Stables (Chair), Direct Funding, Disaster Response, MN Horsemen's Directory, Grants, Horseperson of the Year, Pioneer Award, Scholarships, Web Oversight, TEEFA.
Sue was introduced to the Minnesota Horse Council by a Director who invited her to a meeting and also to accompany this director to re-inspect a Certified Stable. She was hooked. She assumed the role of chairperson for the Certified Stable Program and attended meetings for 3 years before agreeing to become a director. The CS program had 15 stables when Sue started and currently has 65 and growing. Sue takes pride in "Promoting Pride in Ownership" through inspecting, re-inspecting and certifying qualified Stables and Farms. She does not have a problem giving up her weekends in the summer to drive the many miles required to do the inspections. In spite of being a grandma to nine grandchildren, she continues to volunteer her time with the MN Horse Council.
Sue has been an active participant at the Minnesota Horse Expo helping in the Horse Council booth and Aisle of Breeds. Sue was president of the Grant Trail Rangers for five years, and was an active participant at meetings pertaining to the development of the Willard Munger Gateway Trail system. Sue has taken Horse Management classes and other horse related classes at the University River Falls. She has loved horses all her life, and has owned horses for the past twenty five years. Sue has her two horses Brio and Binaca at Saint George Dressage Academy in Stillwater, MN.
Sues’ goals she would like to see for the MHC
• Continue to "Promote Pride in Ownership" through the Certified Stable Program
• Give a voice to all horse owners and enthusiasts in Minnesota
• Continue to promote programs and decisions that benefit all, not just a select few.
• Continue to be available to listen to horse owners, stable owners and enthusiasts throughout MN, while assisting them in finding solutions to best fit their needs or concerns.
PO Box 1095
Minnetonka, MN 55345-0095
Committees:Horseperson of the Year (Chair), Pioneer Award (Chair),Web Oversight Committee, Annual Meeting, Nominations, Scholarships, Certified Stables, Budget, MN Horsemen's Directory
Dawn grew up near Mound, MN and had horse and ponies as a young child and throughout her high school years. She was an active member of Trista Riders, a now defunct WSCA saddle club based out of Minnetrista. She showed her grade horses at local open shows, fun shows, Parkdale Riders shows, and other smaller WSCA shows in the area. Then off to college, she took a sabbatical from the horse industry.
Her return to the horse industry was in 1998, when a neighbor introduced her then 11 year old daughter, Ashley, to American Saddlebred horses. Ashley and Dawn started riding lessons and driving lessons at Westwood Farm in Plato, MN. Today, they own 1 American Saddlebred and enjoy riding him at the barn and letting others use him as a lesson horse to fall in love with this great breed.
Dawn is a member of MSHA (MN Saddlebred Horse Ass’n), Tri-State, and the MN Horse Council. She has also volunteered at several horse shows, F.A.S.H, (Friends of the American Saddle Horse), Northstar Morgan Americana Horse Show, MN Futurity Show and other horse related events. She volunteers with her daughter on a regular basis for WE CAN RIDE, INC therapeutic riding program.
Her main involvement with the MN Horse Council focuses on the Annual Meeting, which continues to grow each year. She currently serves as Secretary for the Council. She has been involved in several ad-hoc committees over the years, as well as on the Certified Stable committee. She has volunteered at the Aisle of Breeds and the MN Horse EXPO as well throughout the last few years. Dawn has been a board member sine January 2002 and looks forward to working with the Council as the horse community continues to grow in MN.
5122 Lever Street NE
Isanti, MN 55040
My mother had a horse, so I began riding at a very young age. Western, at that time; she did games and pleasure with her mare, so it was naturally how I was started. When I was 12, I started hunt seat riding lessons at Fortuna Farms in Long Lake under the instruction of the late Max von Bluecher. At the age of 13 I began an online equine rescue network called Horses America that worked to get horses out of feedlots, primarily in the state of California. During the five years that I networked with horse lovers across the country, we managed to place more than 900 horses out of the feedlot and into new careers and I was published in five different countries.
I got my first job when I was 16, which was quickly followed by my first two horses, a thoroughbred named Johnny, and a quarter horse-saddlebred named Ella. I also began volunteering with We Can Ride, a therapeutic riding and driving instruction organization located in Minnetonka. I volunteered for five years with We Can Ride, eventually becoming a riding instructor for the organization. Eventually, though, I needed to make time for my education, so I began college at the University of Minnesota, where I got my degree in Animal Science, then proceeded to further my education at The Ohio State University in Veterinary Epidemiology through the College of Veterinary Medicine. My horses came with me to Ohio, and I continued riding huntseat, attending Equine Affaire and taking my warmblood stallion, Laertes, to his national inspection titles: AWS Horse of the Year and Stallion of the Year for 2011. While in Ohio, I began a career in Biodefense, first as a scientist, and later moving into computer system validation.
Minnesota has always been home. After 7 years in Ohio, I had the opportunity to move back here in 2013. So hauling the horses along, I made the 850-mile trip to our new home on a 75 acre hay and hobby farm in Isanti. I am an active member of the Minnesota Half Arabian Horse Association and Northwest Saddle Club. I am also the state’s representative for the American Draft Pony Association. If it has to do with horses I’ll try it, and I’ve competed in Dressage, Huntseat on the flat and over fences, Games, Driving, and Sidesaddle with my ten horses, and attend a handful of exhibits with my horses each year as well.
What has impressed me the most about the horse people in the state of Minnesota is their ability to organize and connect with one another, regardless of their involvement with horses. That, along with the support and respect that they have for one another, is something unique to our state and our equine culture. Upon returning from Ohio and realizing how much my state had to offer, I began to seek more ways to become involved with the horse people that I admired growing up. That quest led me to the Horse Expo, which in turn brought me to the Minnesota Horse Council. I hope to put my educational background and industry experience to work as a board member for the Minnesota Horse Council.
28192 County 18
Browerville, MN 56438
Kim Otterson grew up as one of those kids who always wanted a horse. “A horse” was at the top of every Christmas wish list for the first 11 years of her life. At the age of 11, she had saved $100 and was able to purchase her first horse, a weanling part-Arab colt. The deal was, “she could have a horse, and do what she wanted with him, but she had to pay for everything herself.” That was the beginning of a career in the horse industry.
An entrepreneur from an early age, Kim started by taking in a boarder or two and did a little training over the next few years to support her own horse. This led, eventually, to a B.S. in Agriculture from UW-RF, and a career that has included such diverse jobs as starting Thoroughbreds for the track, working on large Quarter Horse breeding operations, working with young cutting prospects in Oklahoma, owning her own small AQHA breeding farm, and working for most of the last 25 years as a full time farrier.
During that time she also served on the briefly on the board of the Minnesota Horse Council. She also served as an election judge and has always been happy to help out groups like 4-H and FFA.
When Kim bought that first horse she was fortunate enough to have an excellent mentor in Bill Eckert the man who sold her that colt. Anytime there was a problem or a question, he was ready, willing, and able to help. Since that time, her path has been blessed by the help of countless others. This has left her with a deep appreciation of the importance of giving back to the industry that has given so much to her. It has also left her with a deep appreciation for the many ways that a horse can have a significant influence in the life of a person.
The state of Minnesota has a history of having a vibrant and diverse horse industry. The Minnesota Horse Council has played a significant role in protecting and supporting the many aspects of that industry. Kim’s interest in the Minnesota Horse Council stems from the desire to both give something back to the industry and to support this group in its efforts to do the same.
Kim lives in central Minnesota in a rural area, about an hour north of St Cloud. She feels that with both her background in the horse industry and living outside the Twin Cities she can bring to the board a slightly different perspective on the diverse nature and needs of the horse industry in the state.
PO Box 401
Buffalo, MN 55313
Doug Persian bought his first horse eleven years ago, and he’s been addicted ever since. In his journey of learning everything he could about horses, he found the Minnesota Horse Council. Doug has been a member for many years and attended the MHC board meetings on a regular basis since 2008. One of the issues he has been instrumental in is the boarding stable property tax issue. Doug took the issue to the Farm Bureau Federation and it was added to the state platform.
Doug has enjoyed trail riding and is an active member and Vice President of the Buffalo Stars & Stirrups Saddle Club. Doug has helped at the MN Horse Expo as a volunteer as well as volunteered his time for some of the heavy lifting (literally) at the MHC storage locker, helping to put in new shelving for storage.
Doug currently boards horses and provides horse activities for disadvantaged youths through a non-profit organization he started called So Others May Shine.
In Doug’s words:
Attending MHC board meetings as a visitor has given me insight to the scope and range of the benefits the MHC provides to the horse industry. To indicate my commitment to the MHC, I am currently serving on the promotions committee and the education committee.
4630 Golden Valley Road,
Golden Valley, MN 55422
I started riding at Como Zoo pony ride and gradually moved on up to Western Riding. When the family moved to Vermont it was mostly trail riding with several mishaps...being thrown and dragged, rolled on and a run away of sorts. After college I moved back to Minnesota....tried saddle seat, hunter jumper and I guess my 2nd favorite to English riding was Dressage....no jumping thrown in. When I saw Kathy Thiesen on her black Warmblood performing that was it for me....I fell in love with Dressage, but by then I thought I was too old start....as I got older I quit riding but enjoyed watching people enjoy their horses.
Started to get involved with Horse Council by just going to meetings at the Medina Ball Room years ago and ran into Miriam Tschida who got a lot of people involved with Council. When the big flood of 1997 came along people were wondering what we were going to do for horses, etc.
Miriam and some of her friends and I got really involved and the call for volunteers and hay came through and we directed them to where to drop everything off. I was working for Cargill, Inc. in Minnetonka then and they donated a semi load of feed for horses, cattle, etc. that had all been put on someone's dry land who volunteered their place to hold all kinds of hooved animals......not just horses and cattle....sheep, goats, etc. Bill Robbins was Pres. of Council then. That's when we formed the Disaster Committee...1997. After that people started getting interested in helping each other out and we were needed except for a backup.
I started taking FEMA classes online and in classrooms and got certificates for them showing I knew something about communications between agencies and so forth. Have gone to FEMA conferences in the spring, joined up with some of the state agencies so Council could get their name out there in case we could be even more helpful. And in times of disasters: fires, floods, etc. there are always conference calls and I let them know I was online. We were of some help last year when a farm got directly hit by a tornado and they got some money to help rebuild shelters. During the Kansas State Horse Council conference this past October some horse councils asked me how we got started and if I would help them out with whatever I had or knew that could help them. I believe this was Kansas's first Fall conference with other horse councils around the country attending. They had a great turn out with 50+ people in attendance and 16 state horse council's.....2nd largest council to come was Minnesota with 5 directors in attendance. Ks. I think had at least 8 people there and they were all directors on their Council.
I'm director of the Council's Disaster Committee with David Fleischaker as co-chair. David is chair of the Council's TEEFA committee where horse owners can get some assistance but on a one time basis. I'm on the Grant's committee, Horse Person of the Year Committee, help out at Council's booth during Expo and help out during the State Fair Aisle of Breeds in the barn.
555 Central Ave S
Milaca, MN 56353-1156
Meg Sax grew up on the family farm in West Central Minnesota where her first experiences with horses were with the Belgian draft horses that her grandfather owned. Along with the draft horses there would be a saddle horse, donkey or even a mule or two to help take care of. Following graduation from college in St. Cloud Meg had the opportunity to ride with a roommate who had horses. When she moved to Milaca a few years later she purchased her first Quarter Horse gelding and has been actively involved with the horse industry since then.
Meg is currently working in the private sector and is active in several equine related organizations from a local to national level which have provided her with a wide range of experiences and broad view of the horse industry and working with youth, two of her significant interests. Her primary involvement has been with the 4-H Horse program. She is also actively involved with the American Youth Horse Council, Minnesota Quarter Horse Association, Round Up Riders, a local WSCA saddle club and the Minnesota Horse Council (MHC). She she currently serves on the MHC Promotions Committee.
As a Minnesota 4-H Program alumnus, she went from being a 4-H member to being a 4-H volunteer leader. As a 4-H volunteer leader she has coached horse judging and horse bowl teams as well as serving on the Minnesota 4-H Horse Association/Minnesota State 4-H Horse Project Development Committee as a director for several years. Some of her many accomplishments in the Minnesota 4-H Horse project include organizing the Minnesota 4-H Winter Round Up which is a horse project leaders forum for volunteer leaders to explore and learn about the horse project and leadership activities to assist them in their local counties, 4-H Hippology Event in Minnesota which has grown to one of the largest horse project activities along with Horse Bowl. She chaired the Minnesota State 4-H Horse Show for three years as well. She developed and organized a 4-H Horse Camp at the county level which was open to both 4-H and non-4-H youth. Meg was member of the State 4-H Horse Project Committee when the MN Horse Expo asked if 4-H would consider taking on a Used Tack and Clothing Sale at the MN Horse Expo when it was started and was a part of the 4-H group that organized that and continues to work with it today.
Meg is a member of the American Youth Horse Council and has served on the AYHC Board for 6 years, currently serving as treasurer. She has served on the Grants and Scholarships Committee, Symposium Committee and chaired the Membership Services Committee. In 2014 along with Judy Barka, she co-chaired the AYHC Symposium which was hosted in Minnesota for the first time. The AYHC Symposium is an annual national conference for the youth horse industry for youth, adult leaders and industry professionals.
She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Technology at St. Cloud State University and also took graduate coursework in Vocational Education with a double emphasis in Extension Education and Training and Development at the University of Minnesota. Meg worked at the Minnesota Center for 4-H Youth Development coordinating Animal Science events and activities for 3 years.
The Minnesota Horse Council supports the horse industry throughout Minnesota and provides education to the public as well as the equine industry. Meg feels that her experiences and broad view of the horse industry would bring another perspective on the needs of the horse industry in Minnesota to the Minnesota Horse Council.