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2014 Illinois Horse Fair Tickets On-Line
Illinois Horse Fair Email Updates

Illinois Horse Fair Sponsors
Purina Mills, LLC
Illinois Farm Bureau
Midway Trailer Sales
Green Dodge Ram

Illinois Horse Fair is Produced by the Horsemen's Council of Illinois

> Heartland Horseman's Challenge
New for 2014 the Heartland Horseman's Challenge will
Feature Illinois-based Horsemen and Horse Rescues

The Heartland Horseman's Challenge is a judged competition that will proceed through all three days of the Illinois Horse Fair. In the challenge, four horsemen/women are given an opportunity to choose a rescue horse, then will have three roundpen sessions to work with the horse before finishing with a freestyle ride and challenge course. The challenge will allow the horsemen to showcase their program and the potential talents of their chosen horse which will be available for adoption throughout the event.

Hooved Animal Humane Society

4 Horsemen
4 Rescue Horses
4 Roundpens
4 Judges

Heartland Horseman's Challenge

The Illinois Horse Fair is partnering with the Hooved Animal Humane Society (HAHS) of Woodstock Illinois for the inaugural Heartland Horseman's Challenge. HAHS is a non-profit organization, founded in 1971, by concerned and committed citizens. It is HAHS' mission to promote the humane treatment of hooved animals through education, legislation, investigation and if necessary, legal intervention. HAHS will bring eight rescued horses for the trainers to choose from for the challenge.


11:30 AM Demonstration by Jason Forby – Introducing Your Horse to Cattle Work (Arena 13)
12:30 PM Demonstration by Laurie Treber – Developing Good Horsemanship in Youth (Arena 13)
1:30 PM Demonstration by Jud Carter – Having a Purpose and Meaning with Your Horse (Arena 13)
2:30 PM Meet the competitors at the Heartland Horseman's Challenge Booth, Expo Mezzanine Level 2002-2003 – Ask them about their strategies, and which horse they hope to get!
4:30 PM Introduction of Competitors, Judges, and Horses. Horse Selection and First Roundpen Session

10:00 AM Visit with the competitors at the Heartland Horseman's Challenge Booth, Expo Mezzanine Level 2002-2003 – Find out how they think the first session went, and what their plans are for the second session.
4:30 PM Second Roundpen Session

10:30 AM Third Roundpen Session, including Skills Demonstration
12:30 PM Visit with the judges at the Heartland Horseman's Challenge Booth, Expo Mezzanine Level 2002-2003 – See what they think about the horses and competitors, get their opinion on which horse to adopt.
3:00 PM Finals! Challenge Course/Freestyle Ride, followed by announcement of winner

The Competitors ...

Jud Carter

Jud CarterJud started working with horses at the age of 16. He saw how people tried to make the horse fit what we wanted to have happen — not all would go smoothly and he thought that there had to be a better way for the horse and human. He set out to learn, and in 2007 was one of only 5 people chosen to spend the winter learning from master horseman Ray Hunt. Jud resides in DeWitt, IL with his wife and two children on a 44 acre farm where he trains between 50 and 100 horses a year of all ages, breeds, and disciplines. For more information about Jud, visit

Gigi Iacovelli

Gigi IacovelliGigi has been attracted to the wonder, power, and soulfulness of horses her whole life. She feels that they are creatures that are often misunderstood, misinterpreted, and mistreated. As the daughter of Chicago Bears NFL legend, Ed O'Bradovich, she learned dedication, perseverance, and hard work. These skills proved invaluable when she decided to teach horsemanship lessons professionally in 2009, fulfilling her lifelong passion to help other humans improve their relationships with their own horses. It is her sincere hope that we can, through our dedication to this cause, make the world a better place for horses, and the people who love them. Born, raised, and educated in Illinois, Gigi grew up in Palatine and at the age of six, started riding lessons at the local hunter/jumper stable. While attending the University of Illinois, she joined the Illini Riding Club. Then later, alongside her professional career in finance, she rode and competed in the sports of dressage, eventing, and show jumping and studied with many top level professionals in these fields. Gigi currently resides in Barrington Hills with her husband, Louie, her four dogs and five horses. She teaches horsemanship lessons at the Barrington Hills Riding Center and travels to various barns in the Chicagoland area. For more information, see her website

Laurie Treber

Laurie TreberLaurie is an accomplished rider and horseman in many areas, from competing in dressage, to western pleasure, jumping, team penning, trail, showmanship, horsemanship, mounted games, and vaulting. Laurie runs a multi-discipline horsemanship program, "Horsemanship, Naturally," where students are encouraged to learn many facets of what the horse industry has to offer. "I have always felt the need to teach good horsemanship in a way that applies to all disciplines and that allows students to find their own passion and interests in the horse industry." She feels that learning should be fun, safe, and simplified for both horse and rider. "Sometimes learning and trying something new can be quite intimidating! People and horses, need to feel safe to learn, and feel safe to make mistakes."

Laurie is a certified riding instructor with the American Riding Instructor Association. Learn more about Laurie at

Jason Forby

Jason ForbyJason grew up with horses as his mother Kim rode dressage and eventers. After high school, he began starting colts for people, then went on to work on ranches in Oklahoma, Mississippi, Georgia, and Tennessee. Jason has a unique style from having a foundation in English riding as a kid to concentrating on cow type horses as an adult. In 2013, Jason decided to compete in the Mustang Million where the competitors had four months to train an untouched mustang before competing in the final event. Jason states "it was a life-changing experience for me" in regard to working with his adopted mustang Myboy. Myboy will also accompany Jason to the Illinois Horse Fair. Jason lives in Goreville Illinois with wife Sarah and daughters Shae, and Emma where they mainly train cutting horses on their farm the Y Down Ranch. Jason and Sarah also started and pastor Southern Range Cowboy Church. In addition to competing in the Challenge, Jason and Sarah will also present the Cowboy Church service at the Horse Fair on Sunday morning. For more about Jason and the Southern Range Cowboy Church visit

The Judges ...

Mark Schwarm

2014 IHF Mark SchwarmMark is a graduate of Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois. He was raised on a horse farm working side by side with his Father and Granddad raising and training thoroughbred horses. At a young age he was galloping racehorses and assisting in training techniques. By the age of seventeen, he took over his Granddad's foaling and breeding operation. He started with ten mares and expanded to managing over fifty mares and five stallions as well as a full stable of racehorses in Kentucky and Illinois. Over time Mark began to gain a greater respect for the gentle soul and sensitivity of the horse and thought there must be a better way to communicate.

Working with horses is a way of life for Mark. He found that with time, thought, opening the mind and heart to communication, watching the horses body and mental expressions, and what actions and reactions occurred, a whole new connection emerged. This is the same connection that he believes can occur with every living creature. Although a recognized horseman, he realized that there was more. Mark found that letting go of pride and opening your mind was the first step. Mark has had the opportunity to work with Joe Wolter at the famous Four Sixes Ranch in Texas and the C.S. Ranch in New Mexico. Mark was one of five horsemen chosen in the United States for the first understudy program with Master Horseman Ray Hunt. He spent two months with Ray at his ranch in Texas.

Mark shares his experiences and the lessons he has learned with clients and students nationwide. He concentrates on working with clients and their horses in all aspects of horsemanship by improving communication between horse and rider. He also works with ranchers to help them handle their cattle quietly, safely, and more effectively. Mark and his wife Carole, sons, Jacob and Jeremiah own and operate Shady Lane Farm in Paducah, KY and Win-Thru Farm in Marion, IL. “My Granddad always told me... A person can be around horses all their life, but to be a good horseman you need to be around good horsemen.” -Mark Schwarm

Jody Wilkin

2014 IHF Jody WilkinJody was born with a love and passion for horses that was graciously supported by her parents. She began riding lessons at an early age and had her own horse by age 10. Her trainer and other adults in her barn community took her under their experienced wings, enabling her to train her second horse – a green 4-year-old – and show him in hunter shows and horse trials as a preteen and teenager. She continued lessons through college, showed both stockseat equitation and huntseat equitation for four years on an intercollegiate riding team, and showed her own horse through second level dressage.

Almost 20 years ago, Jody and husband, Brian, added an equine element to Wilkin Farms, Inc., when they built Pleasant Ridge Farm in Cisco, IL. It opened in 1994 as a boarding facility with a large lesson program. Taking what she knew of riding and teaching it to others was also a valuable experience for Jody. She has said it deepened her knowledge when she had to think through the process and articulate the “how” of riding and training. Jody suspended the lesson portion when she and Brian started a family, but the boarding operation remains.

As her children have gotten older, Jody has spent more time developing her personal horsemanship and education and has become involved in natural horsemanship methods. She has passed the Parelli Level 3 certification and continues to clinic with horsemen and horsewomen that she admires. As she works at developing her own horses, she said she is “forever amazed at their unique qualities that bring me such joy and inspire me to become a better human.”

Tim Boyer

2014 IHF Tim BoyerTim Boyer has been a horse trainer for more than 40 years, preparing horses for careers in halter, pleasure, roping, cutting, and speed events. He has also trained thoroughbreds for the race track and managed the careers of multiple grade one stakes winners. Tim believes in “studying the horse to see what they need and what help I can give them.” He works on problem solving with the horse and the human much like his mentors Tom Dorrance and Ray Hunt. In addition to connecting with horses, Tim also connects with people. He can break down the steps needed to get you working more easily and safely with your horse. He is available for training, clinics and consultations at his Boyer Training Stable in Cantrell Illinois You can also see Tim doing a number of demonstrations during the Horse Fair on trailer loading, problem horses, and taking off-the-track-thoroughbreds to their next careers.

Jodi Funk

2014 IHF Jodi FunkJodi started riding over 30 years ago in large group lessons at Harmswood Stables in Morton Grove Illinois. Riding Saddleseat competitively for over 10 years gave her a great understanding of movement, proper seat and soft hands. At the time, she did not know how priceless that information was. During college she purchased her first horse and the true journey began. Diamond became Jodi's greatest teacher and is still teaching beginners foundation seat with his priceless temperament. Always looking to grow, Jodi started learning natural horsemanship 10 years ago. She had just gotten a new equine companion and was looking for something more in the relationship. Natural Horsemanship opened her eyes about herself and her relationship with horses. Surrounded by horses to rescue, Jodi's equine family kept growing when a very talented young Arabian gelding landed in Jodi's pasture and a new adventure began - the discipline of Dressage. Jodi say's “Dressage made me excited to ride.” Working with many great trainers and going to many clinics I realized that this is truly a life long journey of learning. There are so many different theories and training methods with natural horsemanship and Dressage.

Eight years ago Jodi took over what is now Diamond Acres Holistic Horse Living in Woodstock Illinois. Her goal is to give a different experience with boarding and learning fostering a very open learning environment and bringing in great clinicians to educate anyone that wants to learn. “I wanted a farm that was truly about the horse from first class nutrition to great education with no pressure.” Focusing on a solid relationship on the ground to get greatness under saddle in a healthy environment is Jodi's mission.

The Horses ...


LanceLance is a seven-year-old chestnut Quarter Horse gelding standing at 15 hands. Lance came to HAHS from another animal rescue that was not equipped to handle large equines. He does have arthritis that limits him to light riding. He is very friendly and seems willing to learn. He does, however, have a playful, assertive personality that has earned him the reputation of the "Juvenile Delinquent" of the farm. He is currently turned out in a large field with five other geldings and has remained sound and happy.


LolaLola is a seven-year-old bay Grade mare standing around 14 hands. She has a cute, compact build and has filled out nicely from her initial arrival when she was somewhat malnourished. Lola and her friend Minnie came to HAHS from a criminal investigation into neglect. Lola is a very friendly, personable mare that gets along well with other horses. She has been learning to lunge and has shown herself to be a very easygoing horse that is willing to please and learn. She will come along quickly under saddle!


MinnieMinnie is a five-year-old chestnut Grade mare standing at 14.3 hands. When she first arrived in January 2013, HAHS was not sure she was going to survive due to her extremely thin and malnourished condition. Since then, however, Minnie has grown into a healthy and curious mare that loves attention. Minnie is learning how to lunge and has proven that she is willing to learn and trusts the people she works with. She is a great horse that will pick up new things fast!


NutmegNutmeg is a 15-year-old gorgeous chestnut Quarter Horse mare standing at 14.2 hands. She came to HAHS from a cruelty case out of Indiana. Nutmeg is a friendly mare that gets along well with the other horses in her field. She has been started with groundwork and can be energetic. Nutmeg will make a great riding horse with continued training.


PippiPippi is an eight-year-old Quarter Horse/Arabian mare standing at 14.2 hands. She is a striking chestnut with three white stockings on her legs. Pippi was found running at large before coming to HAHS. Pippi can have high energy at times, but has responded well to groundwork, as well as lunging with a saddle and bridle on.


SwanySwany is a 13-year-old palomino Saddlebred gelding standing at 15.2 hands. He is quite the head turner with his elegant build and big gaits. Swany came to HAHS, along with several other horses, from an ASPCA rescue in Arkansas. While at the ASPCA, he was started under saddle and he has continued with more groundwork while at HAHS. Swany is ready for the next step and will just need more training and time to become the perfect riding horse!

Sweet Brown

Sweet BrownSweet Brown is a five-year-old bay Quarter Horse mare standing around 15 hands. She came to HAHS when she was found running at large. Sweet Brown gets along well with the other horses in the herd and is easy to work with. She has been in groundwork training and has responded well.


TazTaz is a 15-year-old red dun Quarter Horse gelding standing at 14.1 hands. He came to HAHS from a rescue in southern Illinois. Taz has been in training and lunges well with a bridle and a saddle on. While he can be difficult to trailer at times, he has impressed us with his quiet, relaxed approach to training and we believe he will make a great riding horse!

Adoption Information

The Hooved Animal Humane Society (HAHS) is a Non-Profit 501(c)(3) organization, founded in 1971 by concerned and committed citizens. It is HAHS' mission to promote the humane treatment of hooved animals through education, legislation, investigation and if necessary, legal intervention (impoundment). In addition, we provide physical rehabilitation to animals that have endured severe neglect and abuse and then adopt them out to loving forever homes.

If you are interested in giving one of these deserving horses a loving home please contact the Hooved Animal Humane Society (HAHS) office. Adoption fees do apply.

Hooved Animal Humane Society
10804 McConnell Rd.
Woodstock, IL 60098


The Heartland Horseman's Challenge is sponsored by    The State House Inn


Horsemen’s Council of Illinois produces Illinois Horse Fair and Equestrian Lifestyle Expo.