Leadership, Education, Public Policy Advocacy Provided By Horse Council To Equine Industry

By Frank J. Buchman
“The Kansas Horse Council (KHC) provides the Kansas equine industry leadership and direction through education, promotion and public policy advocacy.”
Kallie Emig, Maple Hill, president of the KHC headquartered in Manhattan, opened the KHC annual meeting at Lawrence.
Twenty-two KHC members rode horses in Lawrence’s Old-Fashioned Christmas Parade then gathered at the Douglas County Fairgrounds for the session.
Veterinarian Dr. Fred Gardner, KHC director from Garnett, discussed the Equine Economic Impact Survey.
“It’s especially important for everyone with horses and a part of equine businesses to complete the survey,” Gardner said. “Information collected from it will help determine assistance programs which can positively impact people involved with horses in Kansas.”
While the survey is voluntary with no cost, it will be open only through December. “Such surveys are conducted infrequently so information gathered now could impact the horse industry for 25 years,” Gardner said.
Director Dr. Craig Barnett, veterinarian at Paola, previewed the virtual format of the KHC Horse Care 101. “Anatomy for the Ride will be featured in presentations by several veterinarians,” Barnett said.
The program will be available for viewings at no charge all of the new year through the KHC website link.
Diana Skinner, Lawrence, national director representing Back Country Horsemen of Kansas, (BCH-KS) recapped the Santa Fe Trail Ride during September.
“The 11-mile ride which our association sponsored celebrated the bicentennial of the Santa Fe Trail,” Skinner said. “Fifty riders participated in the ride from Bushong to Council Grove. Two years of planning and more than 400 volunteer hours contributed to success of this ride.”
Joint memberships are now available for the KHC and BCH-KS at a lower cost with additional benefits for both groups. Details can be found on the organizations’ websites.
Cheryl Thomas, Lyndon, KHC secretary, recognized KHC’s Horsemanship Rewards Program honorees. Jan Moore, Wellsville, has logged 2,000 hours while Donna Droge and Kelley Hamersky, both of Tecumseh, have each logged 1,500 hours. Thomas has also logged 1,000 hours.
Justine Staten, KHC executive director, presented the annual KHC report. “The 25th EquiFest of Kansas is March 18-19-20 at Salina,” Staten said. “We can expect to see significant improvements made to the Saline County Fairgrounds this year.”
The Kansas Horse Council Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit group founded in 2003, Staten reminded. “Its mission is to encourage learning and higher education pursuits of individuals involved in the equine industry,” she said. “The foundation is largely funded by a silent auction during EquiFest.”
Besides lower cost for joint membership in the KHC and BCH-KS, Staten said KHC membership for 2022 includes a subscription to “The Horse” publication.
Tera Benefiel, Burrton, EquiFest Volunteers chairperson, said Sign Up Genius is ready for volunteers to register on the EquiFest website. “EquiFest typically requires more than 250 volunteers to assist with the three-day event,” Benefiel pointed out.
Jana Barcus, Paola, KHC director, drew names to receive EquiFest wristbands as door prizes. Recipients were Ed Adams, Deanna Dugan, Kathy Foster, and Judy Jones.
Emig announced Marty Bloomquist, Tecumseh, to receive the Bud Newell Award. “This award is named after Bud Newell who founded the Kansas Horse Council,” Emig said. “Marty is this year’s recipient for service ‘above and beyond’ to the Kansas equine industry.”
Bloomquist was unable to attend the meeting, but was told about the recognition during a special phone call. She expressed surprised gratitude for the award.
“Marty has volunteered many hours of leadership and creative ideas benefitting the Kansas Horse Council,” Emig credited.
It was also announced that Bloomquist donated a Dale Chavez show saddle to the KHC to be used for fundraising.
Sheryl Strathman, Topeka, KHC director, announced candidates for open KHC board of directors’ positions. Incumbent Strathman was reelected with Frank Buchman, Alta Vista; Molly Olson, Junction City; and Jen Stalder, Wamego, elected new directors.
Jim Thomas, Lyndon, KHC advisor, expressed appreciation to those attending the session and for everyone’s KHC service.
Additional KHC directors not previously named are Shanda Mattix, Colby; Greg McDonald, Stillwell; Erin Glassman, Buhler; Dr. Chris Blevins, Manhattan; and Joann Kouba, Manhattan.

Kallie Emig, Maple Hill, president of the Kansas Horse Council, chaired the Manhattan-based organization’s recent annual meeting in Lawrence. Justine Staten is executive director of the Kansas Horse Council in Manhattan and presented an annual meeting report at Lawrence. Jan Moore, Wellsville, has logged more than 2,000 hours in the Kansas Horse Council’s Horsemanship Rewards Program. Cheryl Thomas, Lyndon, serves as secretary of the Kansas Horse Council based in Manhattan and has logged more than 1,000 hours in the KHC Horsemanship Rewards Program.