Sheryl King to Head Horsemen's Council of Illinois

Sheryl S. King, PhD, PAS, director of Southern Illinois University's (SIU) Equine Science Program, has been elected president of the Horsemen's Council of Illinois (HCI), the voice of the equine industry in Illinois.

King began her position as the equine specialist in the department of animal science at SIU in 1983 and presently serves a director of its equine science program, the only such four-year program in Illinois. She supervises 11 classes and serves as general manager of the SIU Horse Center where about 50 horses serve as teaching, research, and breeding stock.

King conducts research in the area of equine reproduction and general horse management and welfare. She has published numerous scientific and lay articles, has received awards for Outstanding Service and Outstanding Scholar in the SIU College of Agricultural Science, and recently became a Fellow in the Equine Science Society.

She has served on the HCI board of directors for 23 years, the past seven as its vice president. She and her husband have raised two children and assorted animals, including horses, on a 25-acre farm in Makanda, Ill.

Other officers elected at the recent strategic planning session and directors retreat were Karen Freese of Hammond, Ill, vice president, and Joe Lowry, DMV, of Davis Junction, secretary/treasurer.

Freese, who also serves as chair for the Illinois Equine Industry Research & Promotion Board, has been an HCI board member for six years. She has a bachelor's degree in microbiology from the University of Illinois and more than 20 years of experience in agribusiness with the Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM), initially in research, but for the last several years in sales/marketing and brand management. She owns and operates Lamplight Farm and Stables in Hammond with her husband Dennis and two sons John and Michael. They offer boarding, training and lesson programs and are active with the Rus' Wranglers 4H club in Monticello. Karen is a member of the Appaloosa Horse Club and actively competes in local shows, competitive trail riding and mounted orienteering.

Lowry has been on the HCI board for more than 10 years. He received his DVM from the University of Illinois in 1966 and began practice in Davis Junction (where he continues to operate a primarily equine practice) in 1968. With his family, he has raised and shown Hackney ponies for more than 40 years and keeps Quarter Horses for trail riding and team penning.

Among Lowry's professional memberships are the American Veterinary Medical Association, Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association (former chairman of the board), American Association of Equine Practitioners and American Hackney Horse Society along with their affiliates in Illinois, Wisconsin, and across mid-America.

Past President Frank Bowman of Pleasant Plains steps down but remains on the HCI board and has been appointed to serve as the organization's first executive director. Bowman had been president of HCI for the past nine years and on the board of directors for the last 12.

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