WSHC Equine Foundation (WSHCEF)

The Wisconsin State Horse Council Equine Foundation was created to better serve Wisconsin’s growing equestrian community and to help that community realize its fullest potential.

The Foundation is a tax exempt, non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization and as such allows individuals to make tax-deductible contributions to support Wisconsin equine projects.

The mission of the Wisconsin State Horse Council Equine Foundation (WEF) is to support equine priorities identified and supported by Wisconsin equine owners and organizations.

To accomplish this mission the WEF will establish and maintain programs that:

a. support fund raising through grants and estate donations; and,

b. distribute funds to support equine needs that were identified in donations and grants.

Current fund raising efforts focus on: the establishment of a disaster relief and emergency response program for equine owners and managers; and the creation of an equine end of life program that provides equine owners information on equine end of life options and emotional support during and following equine end of life decisions. As donations and grants are received, additional focus areas will be added.

Wisconsin Horse Council is our parent organization and the sole member of the WSHC Equine Foundation. WHC Board of Directors are elected to serve on the WSHC Equine Foundation Board of Directors, along with non-WHC individuals. The current officers and members are:

Jim Harris - President
Gail Seasor - Vice President & Midwest Horse Fair Representative
Diane Sackett - Secretary
Nancy Young - Treasurer
Floyd Finney- WHC Executive Board Representative
Lori Helmer - Board Member
Jan Pieper - Board Member
Katie Bachhuber - Board Member
Rich Ernsberger - Volunteer Committee Member
Linda Ernsberger - Volunteer Committee Member
Mike McGowan - Volunteer Committee Member
Karen Meekma - Volunteer Committee Member
Margo Miller - Volunteer Committee Member
Dave Kluge - Volunteer Committee Member
Roxanne Cromheecke Kluge - Volunteer Committee Member
Sharon Hookstead - Volunteer Committee Member
Wayne Osterhaus - Volunteer Committee Member
Nancy Young - Volunteer Committee Member



WSHCEF "Winter Fun Day" 2024 Recap

“Winter Fun Day” 2024, is being called the “no snow fun day”! This year the weather cooperated, if we put a spin on it. While we always want perfect snow and perfect temps, we didn’t quite get it. At least we knew far enough in advance that we could adapt to the no snow and make plans that would allow “Winter Fun Day” 2024 to continue! Our spin went to wheels instead of runners on the bobsled and sleighs. The event has been held at the beautiful Springbrook Events near Burnett since 2019.

Wagon loads of thanks to all who came to enjoy the day for some winter fun. The people who came to see what we do, the teams of horses that pulled the wagons, all the horses/mules/minis that pulled carts, the sled dogs, the trick roper, the musician performer, the famous race horse, the vendors, face painting, the model horse show participants, and those that worked at the Sleigh Bell Cafe…..we thank you all!

Our volunteers are a small team that provides all of the organization and prep for this event, but we also have a lot of people that come and help to make the day of the event a success. Thank you to everyone who gives of their time and talents to make this a great event!

Here are some interesting stats from the 2024 event:

* the model horse show had about 50 exhibitors from 8 states this year. They bring thousands of models to show and compete for awards.
* the horses/sleighs (carts this year) come from far and near. Some from the same town of Burnett, and some from almost the northern edge of Wisconsin.
* 3 teams of BIG horses took turns pulling wagons with people around the grounds.
* we have volunteers from 5 miles to 150 miles away that come and help make this event happen.
* we have some of the best businesses that support “Winter Fun Day”, and provide many parts and pieces that contribute to a great day!

Look for our “Winter Fun Day” 2025, which is scheduled for the second Saturday in February...we hope to see you there!


WSHCEF Jan Spencer Scholarship 2019

*** Congratulations to Gabrielle Schumacher for winning the WSHCEF Jan Spencer Scholarship 2019! ***

Jan Spencer was a member of the Wisconsin Horse Council for many years and served in several officer positions including Vice President.  Jan Spencer was devoted to the equine industry for many years and was an advocate for education.  Jan passed away in 2015 and in her memory, the Jan Spencer Scholarship has been established for non-traditional students.

One scholarship is available in the amount of $1,500 to a non-traditional student.



A HUGE thank you to all who helped make the "Red Barn Blues" a fun and successful event! The WI State Horse Council Equine Foundation sponsored the July 28th fundraiser to benefit the future equestrian campground at Governor Dodge State Park. Partnering up with the Friends of Governor Dodge-Equestrians, the fundraiser was held at Shepard's Bed and Barn in Columbus, WI.

The day started with a presentation from WAMSTAR, Whitewater Area Mounted Search and Rescue. WAMSTAR members Roger Kincaid, Debbie Kahn, and Candi Kildow shared information about how the volunteer team works with local Sheriff/Fire Departments and EMTs to serve the public in locating lost or missing persons. Horses are especially useful in searches because of the terrain they can cover and the line of sight provided to the rider. Horses are valuable searchers as they are instinctively aware of their surroundings and will alert on anything out of the ordinary. The horse/rider teams undergo extensive training to become certified. Thanks to WAMSTAR’s Ralph Hunter and Bill Maddox for bringing their amazing horses to the Red Barn Blues. For more information about Whitewater Area Search Team and Rescue, a 501(c)3 organization, visit their website at

Next was the fascinating demonstration by WI Large Animal Emergency Response led by Howard Ketover, DVM.  WLAER is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to educating emergency response, animal control and veterinary personnel in technical emergency response. Whether an animal is in a trailer accident, submerged in mud or water, trapped into a ravine, cast in a stall, or has fallen on barnyard ice and cannot get up, it is human nature to want to help. Large animals can be unpredictable, especially when in desperate, life or death situations and when stressed and trapped, livestock can injure themselves, property, and the people around them. It is crucial that the rescue is performed in an organized, efficient, and safe manner. WI Large Animal Emergency Response not only trains first responders around the state but also serves in a support and response role for large animal emergencies. For more information visit

A BIG thank you to Peter Lewke at Shepard’s Barn & Bed for hosting the fundraising event in his beautifully restored barn and for all the preparations he and Micha took on.  We are also extremely grateful to Madison’s Blythe Gamble and the Rollin’ Dice who performed their award winning original and traditional blues from 4:00-7:00 pm. There was plenty of good food to go around and local beer and wine crafters were on hand to serve refreshments. It was great to see folks of all ages, young and old, come out to enjoy the music and a fun day in the country!

Most of all, a heartfelt thank you to the WI State Horse Council Equine Foundation for supporting The Friends of Governor Dodge in their efforts to build a new equestrian campground at one of the largest and most beautiful state parks in Wisconsin.  WI State Horse Council Equine Foundation members came together to support an endeavor that will serve equestrians now and well into the future. Governor Dodge State Park has some of the finest horse trails in the state and with a suitable campground, riders from all over the state will be able to traverse the trails in the beautiful Driftless Area and then enjoy a positive and memorable camping experience. For more information or to DONATE TO THE CAMPGROUND FUND, visit


The WSHCEF has recently clarified its mission:

The mission of the WSHCEF is to support equine priorities identified and supported by Wisconsin equine owners and organizations. To accomplish this mission, the WSHCEF establishes and maintains programs that:

a. Raise funds through individual donations, estate gifts and grants; and

b. Distributes funds to support equine needs that were identified in donations and grants.

Current fund raising efforts focus on the: establishment of a disaster relief and emergency response program for equine owners and managers; and the creation of an equine end of life program that assists equine owners when they are evaluating end of life options for their equine.



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