Minnesota Horse Council Announces 2015 Horseperson of the Year
                                                Warren Bengston

                              Warren and Gloria Bengston along with MHC First VP Tom Tweeten


On Saturday, January 23, 2016 the Minnesota Horse Council announced their 2015 Horseperson of the Year recipient. Criteria for the award includes:

  • Long term, serious commitment to equine activity in the Midwest
  • May be professional or amateur.
  • Should have contributed in many areas, i.e., Western shows, English shows, 4-H, Little Britches and High School Rodeo, trails, legislation, clinics and other equine related activities.
  • Usually the individual will have been a horse owner for many years although it certainly is not a requirement. The person could have worked “behind the lines” to great achievement.
  • A mature individual, “long term commitment.”
  • The individual should have excellent character.
  • The individual will likely be recognized by members of many horse-related groups and perhaps by the general population.


The Minnesota Horse Council takes great pride in awarding this honor to Warren Bengston. Long time friend Pete Karpe was on hand to assist with the presentation. Pete described the recipient as “A person who has demonstrated a type of craft in the horse world which changed the world around them for the benefit of many. For this individual, the time he invests is beneficial for both the horse and rider.”

He added that the recipient’s interest started at the early age of 10 while riding the school bus each day he passed a pony in a pasture. Having a strong desire to learn to horseback ride, he told his father he would do anything to learn to ride. A meeting was arranged with the owner of the pony and a job was created of cleaning barns in exchanged for the opportunity to ride. The owner decided after a few years to start a dude ranch where people could come for a trail ride. The Ding’s Ranch began.  The recipient spent many years working at the ranch. 

Later, Bengston heard the call to go to school and become a minister of the Word. For 18 years, he served at a Native American reservation.   Then life changed. Life decisions needed to be made and Bengston became a farrier with the help of a good friend who lent him the money in order for him to able to go to farrier school.

A book of horse training inspired Bengston and he also became not only a very fine farrier, but also a horse trainer along the way. “Through the years thousands of horses, and I do mean thousands, have been saved from slaughter and reunited in long, safe and healthy relationship between the horse owner and the horse because of the talent of Warren Bengston,” stated Karpe. These training times became known as sessions. The sessions lasted approximately 45 minutes in which a new trust worthy mount was to be found and saved...both mentally and spiritually.

In addition to the skills of shoeing and training, Bengston has written many fine articles which have been published relating to one’s own heart condition. He compares it to scripture and the relationship between God and horseperson and horseperson and horse. “When we truly understandthe willwe will then understand the behavior of the horse,” Bengston said.

“For many in the horse world he is a true Obi-Wan Kenobi; for others he is a trainer of the Jedi. I have had the pleasure to have traveled with him and to have learned the sessions,” Karpe noted, “However, I’m not sure I ever received the diploma of certified Jedi Knight.”

The force is very strong with Warren Bengston and he does amazing things with horses from head to toe. With nearly two dozen nomination letters coming in to help support the nomination, it is with great pleasure that the Minnesota Horse Council presents Warren Bengston with our highest honor, the Horse Person Of The Year for 2015.


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