The Michigan Horse Council Catalyst Awards were started in 1995 by our then president, Barb Heyboer, who thought there should be recognition for individuals involved in the Michigan Horse Industry. A catalyst is a person who dares to step forward and make a difference. Four “Catalysts” are recognized each year at the annual Michigan Horse Expo®.
The inscription on the plaques presented to the recipients reads: “Your efforts and communication have made a significant contribution to the renaissance of the Michigan Horse Industry.” These Catalyst Award recipients have made an impact in the horse industry through education, leadership and innovation.
The 2016 Michigan Horse Council Catalyst recipients are:
Nancy Bohnet was born and raised on a farm in St. Clair County. Upon graduation, she went to work for Chrysler Corporation, Missile Division, as a secretary and remained with Chrysler until the spring of 1960, when she relocated to the Dansville area.
In the fall of 1971, Nancy became a school bus driver for the Dansville Agricultural School system. During this time, Nancy served as a 4-H leader for various projects, Sunday School teacher and held various offices in Cooperative Extension.
In 1972, Nancy and her family moved to their present location on Hannah Farms, where Nancy and her husband Jim, managed the foaling, breeding, showing and the raising of the Hannah Farm Arabian horses. Nancy was also involved with the daily management of a 240 head beef operation.
In 1984, Nancy ran for and was elected to the position of Ingham Township Clerk. Also in 1984, Nancy was elected to the board of the Arabian Horse Association of Michigan. Prior to being on the AHAM board, Nancy represented AHAM on the Michigan Horse Council board for several years.
Nancy was recording secretary for the Michigan Horse Council for many years, as well as a willing and capable volunteer at the annual Michigan Horse Council’s Horse Expo. In addition, Nancy was the barn manager for the All Arabian show held at the Mason County Fairgrounds, handling this position for many years. Nancy is still involved in showing Arabian horses with her granddaughters Alexis and Caitlyn.
DON AND CARLENE DAVIS
Don has been a member of the Michigan Dynamometer Association, (horsepulling), for 51 years, a director for 41 years. He is the current Secretary- Treasurer, a position he has held for 32 years. He has missed only one contest during those years. Don served as Michigan Great Lakes International Pull Co-Chair for 34 years. He has served as judge for the Southern Draft Horse Association pulling circuit numerous times.
Don has been a member of the Michigan Draft Horse Breeders Association for 42 years. This year will mark Don’s 43 year as a Lightweight horse puller. Don retired in 2008, after 50 years as a Structural Steel Detailer, a draftsman.
Carlene has been a member of the Michigan Draft Horse Breeders Association for 53 years and serves as a current director. She served the Michigan Great Lakes International Draft Horse Show and Pull as Secretary-Treasurer and Vendor Chairman for 33 years. Carlene has been a member of the Michigan Dynamometer Association for 25 years and has served as their announcer for those years. She has been announcing draft horse shows and pulls for 26 years. Events include the Live Oak Invitational Hitch Show, Ocala, FL, the Southern Draft Horse Association Pulling Circuit and several county fairs. Carlene retired in 2009, after 25 years in home health care.
Don and Carlene are both lifetime members of the Belgian Draft Horse Corporation of America. The Davis’s, married 42 years, have one son, two daughters and sonsin- law, and four grandsons. All are involved in farming and livestock. Thank you for this great honor. It is a privilege to have served the draft horse community.
JIM AND MARGARET WARDEN
Jim and Margaret Warden are the proud parents of two daughters and one son who have all graduated from college and have eleven grandchildren. They have been involved with horses for many years. Jim was a breeder of Quarter Horses for over 40 years and is a member of the American Quarter Horse Association and a Lifetime member of the Michigan Quarter Horse Association, where he has served as a Director in charge of Finance, Chairman of the MQHA Breeders Futurity and Chairman of MQHA’s Hall of Fame. Their two daughters showed Quarter Horses extensively throughout the US including “The Gold Coast” in West Palm Beach, FL and the “Congress” for several years. Both held offices in MQHYA. Jim also showed a Quarter Horse gelding to a State Championship.
They have been involved with the Michigan Horse Council for many years, starting with the Lansing Civic Center. Jim is a past Treasurer and Margaret has been the MHC Expo Treasurer since 2002. Margaret is also a member of MQHA and both are members of the Michigan Paint Horse Club. They serve as delegates and alternates for both organizations. They were leaders of a 4-H horse club for many years and traveled with the Washtenaw County 4-H judging team, with their participating daughters, to several states and championships.
They have, also, been involved in their community where Jim has served as President of the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds and President of the Dexter Lions’ Club where he still remains a very active member and was elected “Lion of the Year” in 2009-10. He was also a director of the Dexter Jaycee Club. Margaret is a past president of the Dexter Jaycee Auxiliary and served as Troop Service Director for the Huron Valley Girl Scout Council of Washtenaw County and also a Co-Den mother for the Cub Scouts, Dexter’s chairman for the Washtenaw County March of Dimes and chairman of the Dexter Blood Bank. She was voted, out of a field of four, as “Dexter’s Outstanding Young Woman” in 1969 for outstanding community service. She was elected as MQHA member of the year in 1984.
They are members of the Dexter United Methodist Church. Jim retired as a Quality Control Manager and Margaret continues to work part time as the Controller of Photo Systems, Inc., a photo chemical manufacturing company and also an accountant for Imetris, Inc. an IT consulting company.
Paul Yauk is the Michigan Department of Natural Resources State Trail Coordinator, and has been extremely active over the years in helping develop and maintain equestrian trails in Michigan. Paul is also a DNR staff member of the Equestrian Trails Subcommittee, the Trails Advisory Council and the Michigan State Parks Advisory Committee.