2023 Annual Award Winners

Each year, the Wisconsin Horse Council presents awards for the Horseperson of the Year, Judge of the Year and the WHC Director of the Year. In some years, there is also a Legislator of the Year. 2008 was the first year that nominations were accepted for the Special Achievement Award and Lifetime Achievement Award, and new in 2016, Equine of the Year was added.

Recipients of the Horseperson, Special Achievement Award and Lifetime Achievement Award are nominated by the public and voted on by the WHC Board of Directors. The WHC Director of the Year and Legislator of the Year are nominated and voted on by the Board of Directors. The Judge of the Year is an annual award given by the Wisconsin Horse Council and is based on a person’s contributions to Wisconsin’s equine industry as a judge.  The winner is chosen by past, active Judges of the Year. The Equine of the Year candidates are submitted by members in each district to their District President and appointed district members chose a winner. The winner from each district is then sent to the WHC Board of Directors and a final WHC Equine of the Year is chosen.

Please join us in applauding these people and horse for the contributions they have made to our equine industry in Wisconsin.

Do you know someone who deserves to be nominated for recognition for their work in our equine industry?  Check out the WHC Awards Program on our web site www.wisconsinhorsecouncil.org.




Judge of the Year - Rick Fanella

Fair, honest, willing to give extra time to educate are all descriptors of this year’s Judge of the Year, Rick Fanella. As an exhibitor and judge Rick knows what’s involved from both pair of boots. Even when he is an exhibitor, Rick knows he is still representing the Wisconsin State Horse Council because he carries a WHC judging card. He always acts in a professional manner.

Rick never puts himself above any other person and knows he can learn from the people he judges as well as freely sharing the knowledge he has. He always takes feedback seriously and is humble both when he is showing or judging.

Giving of himself is just second nature to Rick whether it be a free clinic the day before a show or acting as a Big Brother when he’s not busy with his horses.

Congratulations to Rick Fanella, this year’s Judge of the Year!


Equine of the Year - Elysium Boanerges (Brego) owned by Anthony Camera

Elysium Boanerges is a very prestigious name for a horse deserving that prestige. Brego, as he is commonly called, is the Wisconsin State Horse Council’s Equine of the Year.

Brego started his life as simple trail horse and has gone on to earn national acclaim with different partners. He has won countless open show high point titles as well as earning two championships in Western Dressage. He has competed in a prestigious A-Rated Morgan show and has been featured in the “American Morgan Horse Magazine” three times. He has even competed in a few ranch shows. This past summer he became a junior rider’s partner and earned a coveted belt buckle in an online show series.

For many years Brego has shown the versatility of the Morgan breed and has had a lasting impact on the people lucky enough to have worked with him.


Horseperson of the Year - Pat Jenkins

This year’s Horseperson of the Year for the Wisconsin State Horse Council is Pat Jenkins. Pat has been a driving force in promoting trail use at Wild Cat Mountain. Every spring you can find Pat championing the sale of trail passes. Many weeks during trail riding season Pat will drive 80 miles to the Wild Cat Mountain campground to sell t-shirts.

If there is a problem with the trail, users know to call Pat. Many suspect she has the campground manager on speed dial! Pat will make sure the right person is contacted and the problem is taken care of.

Pat’s go get them attitude was an asset while serving on the Board for the Friends of Wildcat State Park, and she is also a member of the Wisconsin State Horse Council Trails committee.
Pat is a prime example of the power of volunteers who have a passion for a project. The Wisconsin State Horse Council is proud to call Pat Jenkins the 2023 Horseperson of the Year!


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