From a fairly young age, I always knew in my heart that I wanted to run my own business. Like many young adults, I changed directions a few times along the way. When I started out at the University of Findlay, I did so with intentions of going into training, but by the time I left two years later, I was leaning towards becoming involved on the breeding side. However, after graduating and our wedding in 2009, Kurtis & I started playing around in sales a bit and officially launched EKG Equine Services in 2013. Two years in, we were really enjoying our work and starting to build up some recognition in the industry, but took a step back for a while as we prepared to become a family of three.
In addition to the sales, Kurtis had begun to take on occasional announcing jobs, following in the footsteps of his father, Tom. Among the first of these was the MHSA Youth Show held at MSU every October. In the spring of 2015, after announcing the show for a few years, we had the opportunity to become involved on the show management side of things. It was an avenue we hadn't really considered much before, but we jumped in feet first, assisting with development of the showbill, purchasing the awards, and handling all the entries both before and during the show, among other things. We were probably crazy to take on so much responsibility during the same period of time that we welcomed our first child, Owen. Luckily, we live for the grind! :) After that, we really realized that horse show services could be the perfect fit for us. I found that my background in the corporate world, including business communication and event planning (my day job for the last 4+ years), really aligned with a lot of the skills necessary to successfully run a horse show. That combined with Kurtis' technical skills and announcing experience allows us to offer associations the complete package.
In 2016, we made the switch from horse sales to 100% horse show services. We were blessed to get the contract for the four Ranch Horse Association of Michigan shows. We got to work with some of the nicest people in a different area of the show world than what we were accustomed to, and were really able to fine tune our office management and entry procedures. Kurtis continued with his announcing gigs - he was the voice of Holland Western Saddle Club, the MIHA District 5 Equestrian Team meets, the State MIHA Equestrian Team meet, and of course, the Youth Show! :)
This year we are so excited to be involved with the Michigan ranch horse shows again and to help out at the American Ranch Horse Association World Show in Cloverdale in July! Kurtis will be announcing and I'll be working in the office alongside ARHA's staff. These shows are really making quite the splash and we couldn't be happier to be a part of the movement. This will be our third year as part of the Youth Show's management team - each year we just come back with so many ideas and we can't wait to get going on our newest plans! We also look forward to bringing on other new clients and extending our service offerings. STAY TUNED for some exciting updates coming in early 2017!
Happy Horse Showing!