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 HCI Board Members

Background and Expertise
Paula Briney
Sangamon County

Paula Briney of Chatham, Illinois serves as the President of the HCI Board. Paula is the manager and head instructor of her family’s Pratense Farm. Paula teaches English lessons and coaches her students in competition. She competes in Saddleseat and dressage events. Paula advances the horse industry by volunteering her time and leadership with many organizations. She is a lifetime member of the United States Pony Club and a graduate of their program at the H-A level and is still very active in Sangamon Valley Pony Club. She is a lifetime member of the CenterLine Dressage organization which is part of the United States Dressage Federation.  Paula has been a delegate to the USDF convention for the last 10 years and is an active competitor.  She has Bronze, Silver, Gold Medal rider status with USDF, has passed their judges program with distinction and is accepted into the USEF "r" dressage judge program.  She serves on the Youth Charity Horse Show board as co-vice president.  She loves the Saddlebred and now serves as the committee chair for the ASHA Sporthorse committee and is vice president of one of their charter clubs called Versa. She has a BS from Stephens College in Equine Science with a minor in Business.Paula’s parents helped organize Horsemen’s Council of Illinois and Illinois Horse Fair, so she is a ready resource for other board members and volunteers. She joined the board of HCI in 2013. Paula has organized the English clinics, demonstrations and breed demos for Illinois Horse Fair for many years and currently serves as Chairman of the Illinois Horse Fair Committee.

Dennis French, DVM
1st Vice President
Champaign County

Dr. French graduated from the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota in 1978 and began his professional career as an instructor at Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine where he did both ambulatory and in-house medicine and surgery.  Dennis then went to a private equine practice in Naperville, IL for a period of time before returning to LSU as an Assistant Professor of Large Animal Medicine and Surgery.  Dr. French was active in large animal practice during his career at LSU as well as being involved in numerous large animal research projects. He has published over 65 refereed papers on various large animal topics. He has also presented numerous presentations to audiences throughout the world. Dr. French certified as a Diplomate of Equine Practice by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in 1985, and has maintained his certification in 1993, 2006 and 2014. Dr. French served as the lead shelter veterinarian for the Hurricane Katrina equine relief effort in 2005, spending over 50 days meeting the needs of over 300 rescued horses. He joined the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine as a Professor of Large Animal Medicine in 2009 and currently serves as the Interim Head of Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine. Dennis is active on the HCI committees, serving as a member of awards, emergency response and Illinois Horse Fair. He and his bride of 34 years have three equids on their farm, a Peruvian Paso, a Paso Fino and a donkey. 

Tony Troyer
2nd Vice President
LaSalle County

Tony Troyer is the owner-operator of T2 Enterprises an Arabian Carriage Company. Tony and his team work throughout the region providing the equine touch to weddings, parties and community events. In addition to carriage driving and training, Tony is a strong and vocal advocate for horse trails and participates in  endurance & competitive riding and driving. He also provides long distance horse hauling services. Tony lives in Earlville, Illinois. Tony is taking the lead for HCI in developing organized trail work days throughout the state. Tony also serves as Co-Chair for the Illinois Horse Fair.

David Nobbe, PhD
Kane County
David Nobbe, PhD manages Light Farms in Wauconda, Illinois where he is responsible for 400 Hackney ponies with a crop of 120 foals every year. He works for the Illinois Department of Agriculture as an Equine Investigator during the foaling season. Dave attended Southern Illinois University at Carbondale where he majored in Animal Science and Psychology as an undergrad and received a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology. Dave started his career as a farm manager working for Dr. Donald McCrosky in Waterloo, IL. He was the General Manager of Horizon Farms in Barrington, Illinois for 17 years. Throughout the course of his career Dave has written numerous articles for scientific journals and trade publications. Dave serves on several equine related boards including the Illinois Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Foundation for which he is currently Vice President and has served continuously since 1992. He is a Director and Treasurer of the Horsemen's Council of Illinois and has served as President of the Illinois Equine Research and Promotion Board for five years. He is a licensed realtor in Illinois and Wisconsin. Dave resides with his wife in Carpentersville, Illinois and can be reached at
Russell (Russ) Derango
McLean County
Russ Derango of Lexington, IL graduated from Illinois State University with a Bachelor Degree in Agriculture/Animal Science.  Russ has been involved in many aspects of the equine world including all phases of horse show management, ring steward, announcer & 4-H & FFA judging teams. Russ and his family are very active in Arabian Horse Organizations. He has served has a director on many of the Arabian Horse Clubs as well as serving as President and Vice President. 

Brad Hubbard
Ogle COunty

Brad Hubbard of Oregon, IL is a trail rider, and trail ride promoter and coordinator in Northwestern Illinois. He is active in the Rock River Trail and Horsemen’s Association, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to family fun, horsemanship, trail rides and horse shows. The RRTHA is the 2nd oldest incorporated saddle club (only by 3 months) in IL. Mr. Hubbard is especially well acquainted with gaited horses and gaited horse riders.


Mike Bassett
Jersey County
Mike Bassett of Godfrey, IL is on the Illinois Quarter Horse Association’s Recreational Riding Programs Team. It promotes trail and recreational riding through an awards/points program. He coordinates a major trail ride every year in September that rotates from Northern to Central, to Southern Illinois every year. The ride accommodates over 100 riders and about 80 trailers, and features customized rides for pleasure and show horse people as well as gaited horse owners.

 Kevin Kline, PhD

Champaign County
Dr. Kevin Kline is a Professor of Animal Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He serves as the State Extension Specialist - Equine, and also has appointments in resident instruction and research. Dr. Kline’s Extension appointment includes both youth and adult components. Dr. Kline serves as a Director of the Horsemen’s Council of Illinois (HCI) and Chair of the Illinois Equine Foundation that raises scholarship funds on behalf of HCI. He also has served as a consultant for several state racing commissions and race tracks regarding the integrity of horse racing. Dr. Kline conducts research regarding the detection and deterrence of illegal substances in race horses using blood gas testing, and has done several nutrition studies related to the effects of feed processing on growth and feed efficiency in growing horses. Dr. Kline teaches the popular undergraduate Horse Management and Equine Science courses at U of I, with enrollment of about 60 students per semester. He also teaches the equine section of Introduction to Animal Sciences with up to 180 students and independent study courses in horse breeding, foaling management, and yearling sale preparation. He has over 20 undergraduate advisees and also advises MS and PhD degree candidates in Animal Sciences. Dr. Kline produces the annual Illinois State Horse Judges Seminar, maintains the Illinois State Horse Judges Directory, and cooperates with several nearby states to offer the Multi State Horse Judges Seminar.
Dr. Kline is personally active in Standardbred Breeding and Harness Racing.

Deb Bonner
Sangamon County

Deb Bonner has been an amateurs horsewoman for over 40 years.  Her main passion outside of riding is marketing and promotion.  She joined the HCI board to help grow HCI's social media presence to help HCI find and maximize new opportunities to educated the public on HCI's mission and the work we do.  

Mrs. Bonner currently owns two American Saddlebreads and shows Western Pleasure, Ranch, and Western Dressage.

Picture coming Soon

Hannah McGee
Scott County

Bio coming soon

 Picture coming soon
Ronnie Paul
Macoupin County
Bio coming soon

Dennis Monroe, Bethany

Dennis Monroe of Bethany brings years of horse knowledge to HCI. He has played a crucial role at the Illinois Horse Fair as our CTO as well as many other duties during the yearly event. Dennis along with his wife Rechele and two daughters Amy and Blair enjoy trail riding. Dennis and Rechele volunteer as Moultri County 4-H leaders. They have taught 4-H kids to ride, show and care for horses for over 10 years. They own registered Quarter Horses and Paint Horses. The family also enjoys raising and showing Nigerian Dwarf goats as well as Beefalo cattle at Blazin' M Farms.

Jenne Rosegay
McHenry County

Jenne Rosegay  of Crystal Lake earned a BA in Public Relations from Mount Mary University she returned to Chicagoland to work in marketing and administrative roles in a wide variety of industries, she later completed a certificate in Equine Science from Kishwaukee College. Jenne served 6 years as an equine humane investigator under the Illinois Department of Agriculture which led to her deployment with the ASPCA FIR team. A tragic trailer accident involving horses belonging to friends then prompted her to learn more about large animal technical rescue through a wide variety of programs including TLAER, ASAR Training and Response and the University of Illinois Fire Service Insititue.  Jenne promotes emergency planning and preparedness by participating on podcasts and radio programs about large animal rescue.

  Sheryl S. King, PhD
Dr. Sheryl (Sheree) King currently serves as the Past-President of the Horsemen’s Council of Illinois and has been a member of its Board of Directors since 1988. She is a Professor Emeritus and retired Founder/Director of the Equine Science Program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Dr. King received a BS degree in Animal Science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and her PhD in Animal Physiology from the University of California Davis.  She has had the privilege of teaching hundreds of students about the care and management of horses, worked with many hundreds of horses and provided advanced reproductive services to the university and community. Among her honors, Dr. King was elected a Fellow of the Equine Science Society in 2009, an Associate in the Fifty Year Horse Society, an SIU Outstanding Scholar and Faculty Service Award recipient.  She has authored many scientific research publications as well as general horse articles and has spoken on horse management topics in more than a half dozen countries on five continents. Although retired from her primary career in academia, Dr. King continues to serve the horse industry through active membership in a number of advisory boards, authoring educational articles and providing leadership on legislative issues of concern to the horse industry. 

Yvonne Ocrant

Yvonne C. Ocrant is a transaction and litigation attorney and practices equine law, and commercial litigation in areas including employment, title insurance, general commercial litigation, at Hinshaw & Culbertson, LLP, a Chicago based law firm.  She currently serves as Chair of the Equine Law Subcommittee of the Animal Law Section of the American Bar Association.

Ms. Ocrant assists individual horse owners, trainers, breeders, riding, boarding, and training facilities, veterinarians, and other equine industry clients litigate and resolve claims for personal injury, property damage, breach of contract, fraud, misrepresentation, and a variety of other legal issues. She also drafts contracts for horse purchases, sales, leases, and commission arrangements, and creates equine liability releases for boarding and training facilities, trainers, transporters, and other individuals and entities sponsoring or participating in equine activities.

Ms. Ocrant provides pro bono legal services for the Hooved Animal Humane Society (HAHS) in Woodstock, Illinois and Hooved Animal Rescue and Protection Society (HARPS) in Barrington Hills, Illinois, and is an active member of the Board of Directors for the Horsemen's Council of Illinois (HCI). Ms. Ocrant is a member of the Illinois Dressage and Combined Training Association (IDCTA) and currently trains for dressage and eventing in Illinois and Florida and competes in United States Dressage Federation (USDF), and United States Eventing Association (USEA) sanctioned events.

HCI board members serve as resources to all members. If you have a question or concern, please contact HCI Administrator, Tracey Walker and she will connect you. (, 217-689-4224) 



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