Appaloosa News caught up with ApHC Territory Six Board of Director candidate Lori Wunderlich this weekend. Since there is still some time before votes are cast, we thought we would take a minute to get to know Lori a little bit better.
Lori grew up in Randolph, Ohio and was introduced to Appaloosas at two years old when her brother bought a horse named Riley’s Spotted Eagle, a 1952 stallion bred by CL Riley in Ohio. She continued riding and rode a horse named KWD Mohawk Champagne during her years as a youth rider. Lori obtained her bachelor’s degree from Ohio State in Agricultural Education as well as her master’s degree in Animal Nutrition. While Lori lived in Ohio, she worked as an extension agent and was very active with the state 4-H judging team.
Lori moved to New Jersey in 1988 to help her brother run his horse farm, which at that time, had over 100 Appaloosa horses. Since her move to New Jersey she has been regularly active at the state level, coaching the NJ State 4-H team since 1992. She is a 4-H leader and works on the Horse Project Advisory Committee. Her work has always followed a commitment to engaging young people with horses. Lori has also been continually active with ApHC regional clubs. She became the secretary of the Garden State Appaloosa Association when three NJ clubs merged in 1991. Since that time, she has managed the horse shows for GSAA, which runs anywhere from three to six ApHC breed shows per year.
Lori’s children began to ride when they were young on their uncle’s farm. Her eldest daughter, Amy, has gone on to own and manage Amy Wunderlich Performance Horses which is a family business that employs Amy as well as her mother Lori and her sister Emily. Lori focuses on teaching the older adult lesson program at AWPH. The AWPH lesson program serves anywhere from 65 to 75 lessons a week and every horse on the farm is an Appaloosa.
Q: How can your time as an extension agent be applied to the ApHC?
A: Extension is about education and resources. I am familiar with both the creation and implementation of programs as well as the resources to help organizations. Education can be a way that we provide more value to an Appaloosa Horse Club Membership. We can bring people into the fold with education-based programs and experiences. People want to learn. We have a lot of new horse owners that are members and all types of education would benefit. This could be education about ApHC rules and programs, horse care, nutrition, horsemanship etc.
Q: What are the main goals you would have as an ApHC Board of Director?
A: There are a few things that I am passionate about and they all involve bringing value back to the Appaloosa Horse and the Appaloosa Horse Club Membership.
The value of the Appaloosa horse needs to be increased. We have lost a lot of that value by becoming too specialized. There is a market for all around horses, and trainers and coaches need to be supported to encourage all around horse breeding, training, and showing. Additionally, incentive programs can be created for those individuals that show Appaloosa horses outside of the breed circuit. Promoting Appaloosa barrel horses, reining horses, etc. promotes the breed, the value of the breed and works to decrease the still present stigma about Appaloosas horses.
The value of membership to the Appaloosa Horse Club also needs to be increased. There needs to be a reason for Appaloosa owners to become a member even if they are not going to go to a breed horse show. This can be done with members only education programs, members only support for sale and promotion for breeders, etc. With the vast increases in technology, members only education, information and promotional content is easy and cost effective to create.
Finally, it is my position that all members of the board of directors, myself included if I am elected, should always work to uphold, and maintain the integrity of the breed and the club. This means that there should always be open communication with members with transparency. Nothing should be hidden from members (other than when legally necessary) and all members should have an open platform to provide thoughts and ideas to the board of directors.
Territory Six includes the following states: Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. It also includes the Canadian provinces of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland. Any member in this territory can vote in this election if your membership is in good standing. If you are an ApHC member in good standing who resides in Territory Six, please vote. There are two candidates, Lori Wunderlich and Bill Ready. Turn out for elections tends to be low and the only way to guarantee your voice is heard is to vote.