December 29, 2022
Michigan Horse Council
Mr. Sasha Glover – Communications Director
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Michigan Horse Council to Celebrate 50th Anniversary in 2023
The Michigan Horse Council (MHC) will celebrate its 50th Anniversary in 2023. Founded in 1973 with the mission to “Promote and Protect the Horse Industry”, the Michigan Horse Council has been doing just that through a variety of events, legislative actions, and financial investments into Michigan equine organizations.
“As we approach the Golden Anniversary of the Michigan Horse Council, let us celebrate the health and strength of this organization. Only the Horse could lead such a diverse and dedicated group of humans for over 5 decades” said current Michigan Horse Council President, Inger Lanese.
Since 1973 the Michigan Horse Council has built a wide variety of events that advocate, positively impact, and engage individuals to participate in the equine industry. Some of these events include Equine Legislative Day, Michigan Horse Expo, Statewide Trail Ride, and monthly Virtual Equine Coffee Hours. Most recently, Michigan Horse Council partnered with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to help execute the first Michigan Shoreline Ride.
The Michigan Horse Council has also been very active on the legislative front to ensure that the Michigan equine industry is supported and protected by state, regional, and national leaders.
Financial support of the Michigan equine industry is another vital part to the Council’s success over these 50 years. Since 2017 Michigan Horse Council has awarded $29,000 in scholarships, $20,086 in education and youth development, $7,089 to various associations and partner groups, $7,750.00 to Michigan trails, and $24,620 to promote the Michigan horse industry to Michigan legislators.
“What a pleasure to see how this organization has progressed, the Michigan Horse Expo, the support to all organizations, and the fiercely loyal professionals that lead this organization” said Past President and 50th Anniversary Chair, Colonel Don Packard. This committee is also being chaired by Past President, Mike Foote.
At the 2023 Michigan Horse Expo being hosted on March 10-12 at the Michigan State University Livestock Pavilion is where the Michigan Horse Expo will host many of its celebrations to commemorate this golden anniversary. Not only will the 2023 Michigan Horse Expo celebrate the Council’s 50th anniversary, it also marks the 40th Anniversary of the Michigan Horse Expo.
# # #
Rules and Tips for Shoreline Rides
Please text TROT to 80888 to sign up to be notified from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources of opportunities. If you have previously signed up notifications through TROT to 80888, are still in the DNR notification system.
The MDNR has asked for a Michigan Shoreline Horse Friends volunteer group to be formed to help sustain these opportunities with Parking Lot Directors/Greeters/Hay and Manure Maintenance and ORV Dune Route Manure Maintenance. The Michigan Horse Council is providing a utility vehicle for Dune Route manure maintenance.
We will be organizing a volunteer sign through Sign-Up Genius, so please consider which dates you may be able to volunteer. If you are traveling with family or a friend, you should be able to volunteer on the same dates as you ride as long as your horses are not left unattended. Please watch for a future email with those volunteer opportunities.
Please join the Michigan Shoreline Horse Friends Facebook page to be informed of the most current information. Invite your friends also! https://www.facebook.com/groups/michiganshorelinehorsefriends/
Silver Lake State Park Lake Michigan Shoreline Horseback Riding Details: https://www.michigan.gov/dnr/things-to-do/horseback-riding/shoreline-riding
Participants must bring their own horses.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) will offer Daily Parking Reservations $10.00 /participant for 100 participants per day in the Silver Lake State Park ORV Parking Lot in Mears, Michigan. The MDNR is working on a reservation system hopefully to be ready Thursday, September 1st at 8:00a.m. to accept reservations for November SLSP Lake Michigan shoreline horseback riding. https://midnrreservations.com/
Participants and Volunteers must have a Michigan Recreation Passport on their vehicles.
Participants will be allowed to traverse the most direct dune route across the SLSP ORV Dunes starting at the ORV Dune Exit Ramp, 1.1 miles of ORV Dune Route, to approximately three miles of SLSP Lake Michigan shoreline, and return the same ORV Dune Route. See map.
Participants are required to pick up their own hay and horse manure in the ORV Parking Lot and dispose in the Manure Collection Trailer or take back home in their own horse trailer. Please bring your own manure fork and muck bucket.
The SLSP ORV Dune Route manure maintenance will be maintained by the Michigan Shoreline Horse Friends volunteer group at the end of the day with the use of a utility vehicle and disposed in the Manure Collection Trailer in the ORV Parking Lot.
Please bring water for both you and your horses. Due to winterization, there will be no water available on site.
There will be vault toilets available in the SLSP ORV Parking Lot and along the ORV Dune Route.
THANK YOU for helping launch and sustain these fabulous opportunities for horseback riders!! We appreciate YOU and YOUR COOPERATION!!
April 17, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Michigan Horse Council Elects New Directors and Officers at 2022 Annual Meeting
At the 2022 Michigan Horse Council Annual Meeting hosted at the MSU Pavilion on April 12th the organizational members voted to approve the following additions of board members which included Penny Wilson, Julie Vruggink, and Trevor Walton.
Additionally, the Michigan Horse Council Board of Directors voted to elect Julie Vruggink as Vice President for the upcoming year. For the upcoming year Inger Lenese will serve as President, Bruce Deur as President Elect, and Julie Vruggink at Vice President.
The offices of Secretary and Treasurer had no nominations, so the Council Board of Directors motioned to appoint Director and Communication Chair, Sasha Glover, to act as interim Secretary until the May 2022 meeting. Term-limited Treasurer, Sue Armstrong, will hold the position until the May 2022 meeting. Nominations for the offices of Secretary and Treasurer will be accepted/voted upon May 3, 2022, during the Board Member Meeting (7:00pm via Zoom).
The mission of the Michigan Horse Council is to provide individuals and organizations with a central authority that will support, encourage, supplement, and coordinate the efforts of those presently engaged in the constructive conservation, development, and promotion of the horse industry and horse community in the state of Michigan along with educate and inform individuals and organizations through all available media, educational programs, cooperation, and advocate the conservation and promotion of the horse industry and community.
The Michigan Horse Council’s Statewide Trail Ride Challenge begins March 1, 2022 — This is the 2nd year for fun event open to Michigan Horse Council members who join Top Trail (see details below).
The rider with the most miles (subject to audit) at the conclusion of the ride challenge period will be showered with some amazing sponsor awards.
All participants will receive a special award commemorating their challenge accomplishments.
Here’s what you need to know:
Now through July 1, 2022: Eligible participants may join Top Trail at the Michigan Horse Council membership level and automatically be added to the special challenge group. Or join at the Premium level for added benefits. If Premium is chosen you will need to manually join the group here.
March 1, 2022 through August 31, 2022: Michigan Horse Council’s Statewide Trail Ride Challenge period. All tracks recorded and posted to your account will be reflected on the special leaderboard.
September 3, 2022: final day to post recorded tracks ridden on August 31, 2022.
September 4-10, 2022: results of the challenge are audited and results will be given to Michigan Horse Council personnel.
September 30 - October 2, 2022: Michigan Horse Council will announce winners and distribute awards.
2022 Final Results
Join the Michigan Horse Council and equine trail enthusiasts for the 2022 Statewide Trail Ride weekend! This event will be hosted at the beautiful D Bar D Ranch where camping accommodations can be made along with access to various trails that can be ridden at your own pace or with groups!
If you are not camping hotel accommodations can be made with Holiday Inn: 1005 Perry Ave. Big Rapids, MI and mention the Michigan Horse Council.
The Michigan Horse Council is excited to host their annual meeting on April 12 beginning at 7:00PM! The annual meeting will be hosted at the MSU Pavilion with refreshments being provided by Brighton Trail Riders.
We ask that all attendees register so that we can get an accurate membership count along with ensuring we accommodate seating at the facility.
The Michigan Harness Horsemen Association (MHHA) is Michigan’s only recognized standardbred horsemen organization; active since 1947, the MHHA serves to support and protect Michigan’s standardbred owners, breeders, trainers and drivers. Our organization serves a wide variety of functions to ensure the financial interests of Michigan’s standardbred industry. We supply horses to Michigan’s remaining parimutuel racetrack, Northville Downs and 11 country fairs throughout the state during the summer stakes season. We represent the Standardbred industry with state administrative, budgetary and legislative matters of concern regarding the horse racing industry and actively seek change when needed to ensure policies promote live racing opportunities for our horsemen.
Rep. Julie Alexander is honored to serve residents of the Jackson community in the state Capitol. She represents the 64th House District, which includes the city of Jackson; the villages of Concord, Hanover, and Parma; and Concord, Hanover, Napoleon, Parma, Pulaski, Sandstone, Spring Arbor and Summit townships.
In the House of Representatives, Rep. Alexander chairs the Committee on Agriculture, where she guides state policy to improve the agriculture industry, insuring a safe and secure food supply for all. She also serves on the Committee on Health Policy and the Committee on Local Government and Municipal Finance.
After graduating from Northwest High School and Western Michigan University, Rep. Alexander continued her post-graduate education at Michigan State University and started in the teaching profession. During her 22-year career as a passionate educator, she taught both middle school English Language Arts and adult education.
Rep. Alexander has wholeheartedly embraced the lifestyle of a farmer alongside her husband, Jeff. The Alexanders own and operate their third-generation family farm in Hanover Township, where they grow about 1,600 acres of crops, including corn, soybeans, wheat, and hay. Recently having sold their milking herd after 40 years of dairy production the family remains active in their community and state promoting the agriculture industry.
At the local level, her leadership roles included: County Commissioner 2011-2016, Human Services Committee Chair, Marine Corps League (Auxiliary member), Jackson County Parks, Cradle to Career (C2C) Coordinating Council, SCMWorks!, Land Bank Authority, Region 2 Planning Commission, Board of Public Works and Hanover Horton Hometown Celebration.
Rep. Alexander has received many awards for her commitment to public service. These include: the National Milk Producers Association Young Cooperator Advisory Council (1992), Jackson County ‘Dairy Woman of the Year’ (1993), Jackson County Farm Bureau ‘Service to Agriculture’ (2004), United Dairy Industry of Michigan’s ‘Excellence in Dairy Promotion’ (2013), Center for Family Health’s ‘Community Health Champion’ (2014), and Jackson County Great Start Collaborative ‘Great Start in Life’ (2014).
Since serving as State Representative, Rep Alexander has been recognized for many achievements including: 2020 Potato Growers of Michigan Peeler In Our Community, 2019 Michigan Allied Poultry Industries Golden Egg Award in recognition of Outstanding Commitment to Michigan's Family Egg Farmers, 2019 Friends of Corn – Legislator of the Year, 2019 FFA Agricultural Education Supporter, 2019 Michigan Great Lakes International Draft Horse Show Appreciation of Service, 2018 Michigan School Counselor Assn. Legislator of the Year Award, 2018 State Legislative Leaders Foundation (SLLF) Emerging Leaders Program graduate, 2017 & 2018 The American Conservative Union Foundation Conservative Excellence Award and the 2017 & 2018 NFIB Guardian of Small Business Award.
Julie and Jeff were married in 1987. Together, they are the proud parents of four children and grandparents to three.
So what happened to the plans for the building? Lots.
There were many challenges in 2020 that impacted our ability to operate, fundraise and proceed with the project as designed. Our Community was hit especially hard with the dam failures and devastating flooding. And it happened during a global pandemic. To find our path forward, we sought support and encouragement of community leaders to revise the scope of the project and to align the costs more closely to the committed funds in order to advance the project for our community. The revised scope of work uses a design build approach and valuable insight gained from the initial project scope of 2019. The project delivers 155 stalls in the four-season building and another 70 stalls in an adjacent barn being moved and repurposed on the property as an improved asset. Total Stall capacity exceeds 410 stalls for seasonal use with an additional 127 harness barn stalls available for event use. The design allows for planned expansion of the facility based on the 2018 master plan for the fairgrounds.
The equine and livestock industry continues to thrive and our wait list for events demonstrates the desire for organizations to hold events in Midland, Michigan. Our key stakeholders, including area businesses as well as new customers will benefit from this project. The fairgrounds will benefit from additional revenue, area businesses receive direct economic impact, customers will benefit as their events can host more participants in our community and we help meet the demands in the equine industry.
The project is estimated to take 6-8 months for completion, with the project designed to be started in the Fall of 2021 and be completed by May 2022. This is a very positive project for our community with several local contractors working on the project. “Our plan is to increase capacity and as a result, better serve our customers and the community. This project is good for everyone; the equine industry, the fair industry and Michigan as a whole,” says Trish Steele, manager of the Midland Fairgrounds. “This equestrian center project would be sustained through the contracts for future use in operations. It is a self-sustaining business model that has proven to be effective in fairground facilities across the U.S.”
This four-season equestrian venue will provide an economic benefit to the local businesses and commerce, as it will add 30,000 visitors to the area during a time of year in which they would not normally be present (late fall and throughout the winter).
In addition to grant funding from local family and private foundations, individuals, businesses and organizations, the Midland Fair will be hosting fundraising events in 2021 to support the equestrian center project. Through the generosity of the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation in Midland, the Midland Fair has been awarded a $1 for $1 matching grant up to $200,000. This award will maximize contributions and help us reach our goal of fundraising for the project. To learn more about the Rising Strong campaign and how your tax-deductible contributions can support this project, visit midlandfair.com.
The Midland County fairgrounds serves approximately 375,000 visitors annually through a variety of 114 unique events which are held at the facility. A recent study from MSU’s Center for Economic Analysis shows that the Midland Fair events generate more than $3.70 million dollars of new transactions annually into the Midland County economy and supports the equivalence of about 48 jobs.
Visit midlandfair.com to learn more about this exciting project!