<strong> <BGSOUND SRC="http://www.kansashorsecouncil.com/wp-content/themes/graphene/hooves.mp3"> </strong>

Kansas Horse Council Board of Directors Biographies

(In Alphabetic Order)


Dr. Craig Barnett has been a horse owner and equine enthusiast his entire life.  After receiving his doctorate of veterinary medicine from the University of Missouri, he owned an equine/small animal veterinary practice in Spring Hill, KS.  Several years later he started his industry career as an equine technical services veterinarian in the animal health pharmaceutical industry. He is currently the director of the Merck Animal Health equine veterinary technical services team. Barnett is actively involved in many aspects of the equine industry.  He currently is a member of the American Horse Council Health & Regulatory Committee, the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Infectious Disease Committee, and is the AAEP representative on the American Veterinary Medical Association Clinical Practitioners Advisory Committee. In addition to his veterinary work, Barnett also enjoys working with horses in his free time. Barnett boards several retired, senior horses on his ranch in Paola and enjoys driving a wagon team and trail riding as often as he can.                                                                                                                                          



1b1e5d396-ba58-41e3-92c6-6b597e52cbd5_2Al Davis grew up in NW  PA on a small horse farm raising and showing horses. After graduating from Thiel College, he took a job working for Penn State as a 4-H agent in Beaver County. While there he continued to train, show, and judge.  In 1995 he moved himself and his horses to Johnson County, KS, where he would be the 4-H agent for 12 years. While in Extension, Al worked on many horse activities including the State Horse show, Horse Panorama, and state judging contest as well as helping write the level testing horse for the 4-H Horse Program. After 5 years working at the American Royal as the Operation and Education Manager, he returned to KSU to be President of the Kansas Agriculture and Rural Leadership Program.  Over the years Al has competed in many shows including the AQHA Congress and World Show, APHA Congress and World Show, and the Challenge of the Breeds contest.



Dr. Beth Davis is a faculty member at Kansas State University, she is a professor of equine internal medicine and serves as the equine section head.  Dr. Davis grew up in Pennsylvania riding in the hunter/jumper circuit throughout her junior years.  Dr. Davis attended undergraduate college in PA and then relocated to Florida where she attended veterinary college and continued riding as time allowed.  In 1996 Dr. Davis graduated with her DVM from the University of Florida and moved to Kansas to complete an equine internship at KSU.  Following completion of her internship she entered into a combined equine internal medicine residency and PhD graduate program at KSU.  In 2002 Dr. Davis received diplomat status from the American College of Internal Medicine and in 2004 she received her PhD from KSU in equine immunology.  Dr. Davis has been an active faculty member in the equine section since 2003.  Most recently and in addition to her faculty activities she served as the president of the Kansas Veterinary Medical Association.  In this capacity, Dr. Davis works with veterinarians throughout the state and remains active with the legislative issues that impact veterinary medicine.  Although only riding for pleasure at this time, she enjoys riding in the local Manhattan community and currently owns 5 horses.   She is thrilled to be on the board of the Kansas Horse Council where she can help horses and equine enthusiasts in Kansas. 




Kallie Emig grew up in Manhattan, Kansas and has been heavily involved with all types of horse activities her whole life.  She showed competitively with the APHA for most of her youth career and developed a passion for training horses in high school.  She attended Kansas State University as an Animal Science major for 3 years and then transferred to Colorado State University for their Equine Program.  Kallie graduated CSU in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Equine Science and Bachelor of Arts in Spanish.  At CSU, she was a member of the Reserve World Champion Horse Judging Team and also the Versatility Ranch Horse Team.  Currently, Kallie is the Breeding Manager at the Kansas State University Horse Unit and enjoys starting colts and competing in Versatility Ranch Horse shows.







Tom Frey is a real estate broker for Kansas and Missouri specializing in horse properties. He is a lifelong horseman working for the growth and prosperity of our industry. His bio includes: Life Member of AQHA and National Cutting Horse Assn; Past Member of NEKQHA and BECHA; Past President of both the Kansas and Missouri Cutting Horse Associations; National Reining Horse Association; Mission Valley Hunt; Saddle & Sirloin Club of Kansas City (served on Board of Directors, Producer & Manager of AQHA Show); Advisory Board for Johnson Co Comm College Equine Studies Program; American Royal – Rodeo Committee, Wild West Show Committee, Ranch Rodeo Committee, Chair of Cutting Horse Show, Director of AQHA Show, Director of All Breed Horse Show; Producer and Manager of Circuit of Champions all Breed Shows.





Brad Harrelson joined the board in December 2016 as the new Executive Director of the Kansas Horse Council. Mr. Harrelson brings over 25 years of experience representing Kansas agriculture and agri-business. Throughout his professional career in trade association management and service he has advocated on behalf of the grain and livestock industries in Kansas and Washington D.C. He is uniquely qualified to guide the Kansas Horse Council in the future. Brad lives in Topeka, Kansas and is a lifelong horse owner and still competes in team roping when time allows. His wife Cindy is an elementary school teacher and they are the proud parents of two daughters’ one attending college and the other high school. He is enthusiastic about the opportunity to work with members, volunteers and the leadership of the Kansas Horse Council to promote the horse industry in Kansas.





susan jaax

Susan Jaax is a Food Scientist and Research Laboratory Manger for Cargill, Inc.  She has Bachelor and Master’s Degrees in Food Science through the College of Agriculture at Kansas State University and works closely with Food, Nutrition and USDA Regulatory professionals and scientists within the Agribusiness Company, Cargill. She resides on the outskirts of Wichita, KS with her husband Bryan.  Susan has a strong interest in horses and the many breeds and programs available in Kansas. Susan enjoys all disciplines of riding and has spent many hours with her children competing in 4-H, Pony Club, Dressage, Eventing and Hunter/ Jumper shows. Although she grew up riding in a western saddle, she now experiments across the disciplines including Hunter/ Jumpers, English Dressage, Western Dressage and various trail challenges. Susan has a small mixed herd at home that she cares for, trains and rides including a few Thoroughbreds adopted from various racing and rehoming programs and in training for new careers. Susan has a passion for the equine industry and appreciates the company of the people that are brought together under this multi-faceted industry.





Dr. Justin Janssen, President of the Kansas Horse Council, was raised on a farm/ranch in Ellsworth County Kansas.  He attended Kansas State University graduating in 1972 with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. After a two year Army Veterinary Corp tour, he and Mary moved to Indiana where he worked as a predominately equine veterinarian for 35 years, owning his own practice the last 33 years.   While in Indiana, Justin volunteered extensively with numerous horse related activities, namely the Indiana Horse Council and served in several roles with that group. In 2007 Justin and Mary returned to Kansas and have since enjoyed the opportunities to reconnect with Kansans in the livestock industry. Justin absolutely enjoys his days in the saddle helping with ranch work.




MaRyka Smith, from Hoyt, Kansas, grew up competing in all things 4H and youth horse had to offer. Her experiences range from representing Kansas Hippology at the National Western Stock Show and Quarter Horse Congress to competing with her Two-Year-Old Snaffle Bit Projects at the Kansas State Fair. Still a student, MaRyka will be a member of the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine Class of 2021. She has served as the Community Service and Philanthropy Chairman for the Kansas State University Horseman’s Association, and a member of the 2016 KSU Horse Judging Team. When she finds a break from school, MaRyka enjoys competing with her mustang, Sven, in horsemanship challenges. As the KHC Collegiate and Youth Representative, she brings a unique prospective on the Kansas horse industry and encourages the membership of the younger population. 






Pattie Stalder
didn’t grow up with horses, only wishing for one. As a young adult she purchased her first horse and hasn’t been without one since. She and her husband, Bob, live at their Irish Gate Farm near Westmoreland, where they stand a Connemara stallion, JEF Sir Lancelot. Pattie enjoyed serving for 10 years as the Pottawatomie County 4-H Horse Quiz Bowl leader and has 2 daughters which meant lots of horse shows, barrel jackpots, overnight campouts, trail-riding and parades. When her kids grew up, she showed Western Pleasure at Paint shows and then began taking hunter/jumper lessons.  She is honored to have served as the Executive Director of the Kansas Horse Council since 2007 and retired December 2016.







Jim Thomas got his first horse when he was 10, and horses have been a part of his life ever since. Jim is an avid trail rider and is dedicated to preserving and maintaining trails on Kansas public lands. He is on the board of the Kansas Trails Council and is a founding member of Back Country Horsemen of Kansas. Jim has been involved with the Kansas Horse Council since 1995 with many years on the board, including a term as president. He is currently KHC Vice President and Trails Director. Jim and his wife, Cheryl, live near Melvern Lake and enjoy spending their retirement seeing America by horseback!




Jolie Van Petten grew up in the saddle, following a family tradition of being involved in the horse industry. Jolie was an active member in American Quarter Horse Youth Association and Kansas High School Rodeo Association, as a youth and had the opportunity to compete at the World/National level. She is a past AQHYA world Champion and multiple top ten qualifier. She was a team member of the Kansas State Rodeo Team, during her time at K-State, she earned her B.S in Elementary Education, and now teaches Special Education. She is currently a member and competitor in multiple associations; United Rodeo Association, Kansas Barrel Racing Association, National Barrel Horse Association, United States Team Roping Association and American Quarter Horse Association.