Professionals compete with horses who have not been started under saddle prior to June 15th or who have had severe behavioral problems when they began the Challenge.
Bonham – Anna Howard – Follow them HERE. I’m Anna Howard, and live in Kempner, Texas, where I run my own business, Dizzy H Performance Horses. Our primary focus is reining and ranch horses, and show AQHA and APHA. I grew up in Virginia, where my family bred and raised Quarter and Paint horses, and I started training and showing personal and client horses over 13 years ago. In 2014-2015, I worked for an AQHA all-around/pleasure trainer in Georgia, and learned a lot, but my passion was in reining and ranch horses, so after a year working for them I moved back to Virginia, and started rebuilding my business, and was very successful, and I began showing more in the ranch riding and versatility shows. In 2018, we moved to Texas, and began building a clientele here, and have a full barn of great horses! We are showing both APHA and AQHA, and we have a small band of personal broodmares. I have a huge passion for training, and seeing the horses in my care progress into willing animals that love their job! I’m so excited to continue watching my business grow, and have happy horses and owners!
Diego – Shannon Lucas – Follow them HERE. Hello my name is Shannon Lucas and I am the owner and trainer at Heart S Performance Horses. I am 29 yrs old and have 2 kids and live in my NE TX. I’ve had a love and passion for horses ever since I can remember wanting to do and learn everything I could with them. I started working for and under trainers in high school during the summer or weekends when I could so that I could learn how to start and train my own. I started in the show world competing and winning in such events as western pleasure, showmanship, horsemanship, trial, and western riding. I started getting interested in cow work and speed events as I got older and worked on a cutting ranch in high school. As time went on I started focusing on barrel horses and working under a barrel horse trainer. Learning the ins and outs of the business and what it takes to make a successful long career for them as well as marketing. Growing older I started wanting to know the care side of managing top horses. I’ve worked at Brazos Valley Equine Hospital- Stephenville, Cold River Equine and Rehab, and Oswood Stallion Station. These places taught me so much on veterinary work, rehabing and conditioning, and the breeding side. No matter the discipline that I learned I always came back to helping problem horse. Most horses I came across was a human issue that needed to be fixed and just confidence to help that horse grow. I love what I do and pride myself on bringing the best out in each horse that comes down my path. My Fall challenge horse is Diego a 13-14yr old appaloosa gelding who stands at 15.2 hands.
Lil Man Tate – Joe Blair – Follow them HERE. Joe Blair grew up ranching in Robert Lee, Texas. His grandad Bill Blair introduced him to the love of horses at a very early age. They roped and round up cows, sheep and goats on the family ranch. He continued his journey with horses through high school and on to Hardin Simmons University. Joe worked his way through college and was on his way to a job interview at the Highway Department where he took a small detour when he saw Taylor Farms, a performance horse facility. He took a job there instead and that started his love for training and showing. JH Taylor taught Joe the ins and the outs of the show circuit and he remained there for 9 years until he went out on his own in 2001 and started Joe Blair Performance horses in Abilene, Texas.
Joe Blair specializes in the all around horse and show circuit. Showing and training for youth, amateur, and in open events. He enjoys ranch riding, reining, western pleasure, western riding and trail classes and his clients have excelled in all areas including the English events as well.
Joe is excited about the challenge and is hopeful that his horse Shiner will find a forever home through this event.
Parker – Lynn Adimari – Follow them HERE. Owner and head trainer at Llewellyn Acres in Sealy TX. I am a certified riding instructor and carded horse show judge. I moved to Texas from the New England area 2 years ago with my husband and now 3 year old son.
I have an absolute passion for teaching and rehabilitation of horses, giving them a second chance.
I have always wanted to be a horse trainer! I have spent my entire life with rehabilitation type horses, growing up on a dairy farm in upstate New York we didn’t have a lot of money. My mom would pick up race track rejects and we would “fix them”.
I spent every chance I had riding and learning from trainers like Sally Swift, Jeff Linburg, Tom Curtin, Kenny Harlow, and Francisco De RuffIeu. I attended SUNY Cobleskill earning my associates degree in Equine Science, and my bachelor’s in equine business.
After many years of hard work, I have an outstanding opportunity to give back and educate, running “my dream come true” facility with my family.
Parker is doing well, I’m really focused on getting some weight on him, I have not put a height stick on him but he’s definitely pushing 17 hands and 22 years old. He is going to be a good lower level amateur dressage horse, Hunter on the flat, or family trail horse. He loves to be groomed, given a bath, and carrots. We have not been riding much just trying to get him fat and some muscle 🙂
Patton – Anne Van Dyke – Follow them HERE. Anne has been training horses for various disciplines for many decades. Referred to by some as a horse scholar, Anne has pursued a knowledge and understanding of horses from many angles. Years of study with various well-known clinicians has brought her to a place in her life where she has evolved a style that is uniquely her own. This includes respecting the horse while building confidence and communication in a soft way while staying as safe as possible. Safety is of paramount concern for the horse and handler.
Anne focuses on control of the horse’s body parts that develops a smooth comfortable communication between the horse and handler or rider.
From western classes to combined driving she has competed all over the US.
Her greatest passion today is liberty and tricks, desensitizing, and obstacles. The rewards for Anne are many, but nothing beats watching the change in a horse’s eye or the owner’s expression as enlightenment dawns.
Trenadie – Kristi Breickler – Follow them HERE. Kristi’s love for training horses started at a young age as she competed in multiple rodeo events. Horses and rodeo took her to Jr. High School, High School and College rodeo nationals.
In 2019 she competed in both of the Bluebonnet training challenges as well as the Fort Worth Extreme Mustang Makeover. Kristi finds great joy training many different styles of horses and bringing them to their potential and finding them their right person.
Trenadie is 14 hands and 3 years old.
Non-Pro Under Saddle
The horses in this division were trained to ride prior to the Challenge and did not have any known behavior problems. Novice/non-pro trainers are putting additional rides and refining skills to help them become more adoptable.
Athena – Pam Trettenero – Follow them HERE. Pam Trettenero has a horse addiction. It began when she was a young girl, when she was fortunate to have understanding parents and a patient gelding named Sunny. She attended Texas A&M University and earned a degree in Animal Science, then went on to enjoy a career in veterinary product sales. Pam is widowed and has four adult children, and three amazing grandchildren.
Pam’s career provided adequate income to feed her addiction and allow her to collect six horses; a sweet group of Quarter Horses and Missouri Fox Trotters. She is retired now from the corporate world and is a full time rancher. She is an active member of the Austin County Goat Committee and the Brazos Valley Equestrian Trail Riders. Pam has also volunteered with the Houston SPCA Horse Barn.
Pam prefers trail riding to arena work. She has studied the training techniques of many popular trainers, including John Lyons, Pat Parelli, and Carson James. The best clinic she ever attended was one by Ray Hunt. Her favorite saying of his is “I’m here for the horse, to help him get a better deal”.
Pam hopes that as a Non- Pro Trainer for Bluebonnet Equine Humane
Society she can help a rescue horse get a better deal in their life.
Autumn – Brittany Berchok – Follow them HERE. Brittany Berchok is twenty-nine years old and has been around horses since she was twelve. Adopted at the age of nine, she was introduced to horses to help her recover from her anger and loss issues related to circumstances leading to her adoption.
Brittany took English riding lessons and her parents soon introduced her to Madeline, a feisty Quarab, and the two were inseparable. Madeline is still with her today. The pair began endurance riding and traveled around the central region to compete. She completed several summer series competitions, 4H horse shows and Quiz Bowl, and competed for Galveston County Rodeo Queen. She has recently begun showing in Arabian halter class shows.
Because of her own personal experience with horse-related therapy, she has developed a strong belief in the healing relationship between humans and horses. She has rescued many horses and trained them on their way to finding new homes. She is also actively involved in introducing children to the care of horses and proper riding technique.
Brittany is now for the first time doing the blue bonnet challenge with autumn a 12yo quarter horse mare.
Carmen– Milinda Sill – Follow them HERE.
Milinda likes to trail ride and taking the time to teach a horse what it takes to bring a rider back safe from the trail.
Horse advocate and appreciates the horses majestic power of stress relief they bring into Milinda’s life.
Picture: Milinda and her adopted BEHS horse Amaal.
Cissy (Adopted) – Bernie Wilimitis – Follow them HERE.
“Everyone should be Quick to Listen, Slow to Speak, and Slow to become Angry” John 1:19. Horse and Human relationships are built on this verse!
Bernie is a life-long student of the horse. “It is a journey, not a destination.” Bernie transitioned out of training professionally and now only trains horses for charitable organizations like Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society. He ensures each horse he works with develops a solid foundation on the ground first, emphasizing safety, two-way respect, and trust by establishing consistent communication and building the confidence of the horse through exposure to different experiences. Developing the horse to be acceptable of different handlers and riders is always a focus for Bernie. “It’s not how well the trainer can perform with the horse, it is ultimately how well the horse can perform with different people.”
Bernie, first and foremost, gives thanks to God for allowing the horse to be a part of his life and for showing him how the horse can also be a wonderful teacher for developing trust and building relationships.
Miss Pembroke – Amber Kurkowski – Follow their progress HERE.
Amber Kurkowski grew up in Northern NV, started riding at the age of 8, and spent her summers working on a neighboring cattle ranch helping move cattle and competing in local rodeo and 4-H events.
After High School she went on to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point where she rode for 4 years in the IHSA on the Army Equestrian team in the Novice and Intermediate Hunter/Jumper divisions and she served as the Equestrian Team Captain her senior year.
After graduation, she served 5 years in the Army, did 2 deployments to Iraq and completed her service in 2012 as a Captain.
In 2011, she rescued her first horse, Lulu an OTTB, that was badly starved and abused. Through Lulu’s rehabilitation and retraining, Amber found her passion in saving neglected horses. She currently has 12 horses of her own, some of which she has rescued over the years from kill pens and neglectful circumstances, and 4 of which she adopted from BEHS. She started fostering with BEHS in 2016 and participated in the 2017 Training Challenge in the non-Pro division under saddle with Remi, in the 2018 Training Challenge with Cleopatra, and in the 2019 Training Challenge with Prairie Rose. She is excited about working with her new challenge partner, Miss Pembroke, for the 2020 Bluebonnet Training Challenge.
Amber is the co-owner and CEO of K & W Engineering Solutions.
Zane (Adopted) – Stacey Shelton – Follow them HERE. I am training Zane, a 14 HH, 4 year old gelding. I’ve had horses since I was 13, but sporadically. I’m 54 now. For the last 12 years, I’ve had 4 horses: Ruby, Bandit, Moonshine and Smoke. Most of my training has been with Moonshine, who was 4 when I got him and is 11 now. I had help with a trainer, who taught me about Clinton Anderson’s methods. That’s what I like to use, since they are pretty simple to understand and horses respond so well to his methods. My lessons as a child were all English, but I now ride with western tack. In addition to my horses, I have 2 now adult children, 2 dogs, and 2 cats. I’m married to Ronnie Shelton.
Non-Pro In-Hand Division – Handlers 13 and over
Horses in this hand have not been broke to ride. They have been worked with in hand by foster homes (novice/non-pro) handlers.
Joy Ride – Frank Sill – Follow them HERE.
Frank enjoys trail riding and taking time to enjoy the serenity of riding in the early morning in silence.
Frank has a special knack with a horses ground manners.
Pictured: Frank and Frank’s BEHS 2018 challenge horse JINGLEBOB
Magnolia -Mary Rangel – Follow them HERE.
My name is Mary Rangel. I’ve been riding horses since I was 11 years old, 25 years now. I have ridden and worked with problem horses, but not professionally and under no time constraints. I started 2 horses and 1 donkey, all my own animals.
I’ve competed in western events from playdays to stock horse shows.
This will be my first training competition. I wanted to do what is best for the horse I got paired with, so I asked to compete in the in-hand division to minimize the time constraint affecting my training process. Here’s a picture of Magnolia and me.
Magpie (Adopted) – Jennifer Kuhn – Follow them HERE. I’m told the first time I was on a horse I was 6 weeks old. I’m not sure how true that is but as long as I could remember I was trying to ride any horse I could. I spent much of my youth on gaited horses following hunting dogs. I took lessons when I could and even explored jumping for a while. In my twenties I became a commercial carriage driver and found a love for draft horses. When my children got old enough to participate in horse activities, I got into minis so we could all show together. A bad accident on a young horse I started left me with some significant fear issues and a much better understanding of my limitations, so unfortunately I am no longer as bold as I used to be but I still enjoy riding and driving as well as training.
I am forever grateful to everyone who let me ride their horses when I was a kid and I’d like to do the same so I love to share my horses with others and see their smiles.
Magpie is about 38 inches tall and I believe she’s about 15 years old.
Non-Pro In-Hand Division – Handlers 12 and under
Horses in this hand have not been broke to ride. They have been worked with in hand by foster homes (novice/non-pro) handlers who are under 12 years of age.
Blu – Beverly Kurkowski – Follow them HERE.
Beverly is 7 years old and has been riding since she was 2.
Beverly started competing in lead line classes when she was 2 and started showing under saddle when she was 5.
She currently shows her adopted BEHS pony, Percy, in the walk/trot division.
Beverly’s favorite color is red and her favorite thing to do is dance.
Kai – Brayden – Follow them HERE.
Hi, my name is Brayden Thompson I am 11 years old. I started working with horses 3 years ago.
I like working with many animals, I like
learning an animals personality and just generally spending time bonding with them.
This is my second time doing the Bluebonnet challenge and enjoy building relationships with challenging horses to get them adopted.
My other interests include video games, building model vehicles, reading, and playing outside in the pasture.
Wren (Adopted) – Norma Kurkowski – Follow them HERE.
Norma is 9 years old and has been riding since she was 2. Norma started competing in lead line classes when she was 4 and in under saddle classes, in walk and whoa, when she was 5. She competed in walk trot classes at the age of 6.
She currently shows her jumper pony in walk, trot, canter classes and is jumping crossrails.
Norma’s favorite color is blue and her favorite thing to do is compete with her pony at horse shows.