Scott and Shelley Kelnhofer
It's a long drive from Tucson, Arizona to Hortonville, Wisconsin. It was on one of these trips after following the Budweiser Clydesdale hauler when Scott turned to Shelley and said, I've always wanted to get some horses. After twenty-eight years of marriage, Shelley learned something new about her husband. They decided to take riding lessons and see if horse ownership was in their future. While not the greatest riders, they realized that horses were truly wonderful creatures and an interest they would like to pursue. Fortunately Shelley indulged his fantasy and Fenway Farms was born; their fifty-five acre parcel of property with the Bear Creek meandering through was now becoming a home for their new endeavor.
So how did two city kids, come to this point in their lives and decide to devote themselves to animals in which they had no experience? Both born and raised in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Scott and Shelley were high school sweethearts. Scott initially worked for the Allis-Chalmers Corporation in West Allis, Wisconsin earning a Journeymans card in Metal Fabrication. He eventually became an Inspector and worked in the Cement and Mining, Transformer and Nuclear powered Steam Turbine divisions of the now defunct Allis-Chalmers.
During this same time Shelley worked in the Accounting Division of Allis-Chalmers Tractor Division until the time they decided to start a family. Their first daughter, Theresa Marie was born in early 1978 and their youngest, Kathryn Rochelle was born in late 1980.
Not long after Katies birth, Shelleys dad offered Scott a job to assist in the manufacture of proprietary paper converting machinery at his business located in Clintonville, Wisconsin. Relocating the family from a suburb of Milwaukee to a small community in Northeastern Wisconsin, nearer parents and their childrens grandparents was an offer they couldnt refuse.
Scott worked as a machine fabricator and maintenance mechanic during this time. He took college classes to learn more about the business of business. Opportunities as Purchasing Manager, Human Resources Manager, Institutional Sales Manager and Director of Marketing gave Scott the incredible opportunity to work alongside and learn from some incredibly talented individuals.
Once the girls started school, Shelley joined the family business initially assuming many of the accounting duties of the company. The companys accounting position lead to Shelley becoming the Comptroller and eventually Vice President of Administration overseeing all employee benefit programs, payroll, financial statements and product cost accounting. In addition, Shelley was nominated and served on the Board of Directors for a local bank located in Clintonville.
In 1996, with the Company being excellently managed, Scott retired from the challenges of the maturing paper industry market. From that point Scott embarked on several personal challenges, including long distance biking, mountain climbing, flying and scuba diving. With all of that Scott has found nothing as fulfilling as horse ownership. To Scott, nothing is better than the knicker of a horse when he enters the barn.
In 1999, Shelley decided that retirement was calling her as well. While not as adventurous as Scott, Shelley has enjoyed traveling, everything Red Sox and spending time with her family and friends. She continues to use her accounting background in the management of the family LLCs as well as being the treasurer of their regional Friesian club. For Shelley, becoming a Grandma in 2009 was just the icing on the cake!
Now after seven years of horse ownership, Scott and Shelley have established the Fenway Foundation for Friesian Horses Inc. This new Foundation is designed to aid in the study and health of Friesian Horses. With this new endeavor, the Kelnhofers have embarked on a new challenge that is designed to give something back to a breed that has spectacularly enriched their lives.
JAMIE VAN LINN
The infatuation with horses started for Jamie when she was 13 years old. Daily requests for a horse were denied, but finally her parents let her take lessons. Lessons led to 4-H, 4-H led to leasing and horses were her main priority. She mostly rode Quarter Horses western and hunt seat and showed in open shows around the area. During and after high school she worked at a veterinary clinic for five years. Initially just there to help clean stalls, Jamie eventually worked her way up to head assistant and senior surgery assistant. Along with learning veterinary medicine she was able to meet a lot of great people. Among them were Scott and Shelley who had a small farm mainly consisting of Friesians. Having had a lot of experience with foals, they asked Jamie to help them work with their very first foal. And again, something small turned into an opportunity of a lifetime.
They offered Jamie their Friesian gelding Tys van Heech to ride and show in dressage for the upcoming show season. Despite never having ridden a Friesian or dressage, Tys and Jamie took on the challenge and became an incredible team. Jamie was offered a full time position managing and exercising the horses of Fenway Farms while continuing to pursue a college degree at night. She has since earned her Bronze medal, rode Tys to his Sport Predicate (5 scores in 3rd Level above 60% with flying lead changes) and received countless awards and ribbons. Currently schooling Tys 4th level, she also has four young Friesians she is training and showing for Fenway Farms. She is riding under the stewardship of Silver Medalist, Erinn Bieber and in her short dressage career, has had the opportunity to ride with Lars Peterson, Debbie McDonald and looking forward to a Steffen Peters and Janet Foy clinic this fall. One of Jamies many goals is to prove that Friesians can be and are competitive in the dressage world.
CAROL AND JOHN WITT
With our head count steadily increasing in late 2006, Carol Witt began helping with the morning chores and filling in when we were gone. Carol was a local friend that had had horses most of her life and was an obvious fit. We settled into a comfortable routine and she also afforded us the opportunity of having Sunday mornings off to attend church and Sunday breakfast without having to hurry back to the horses. On occasions, her husband John helped with the Sunday chores and it was only natural when John retired from his job in late 2009 that he joined the Fenway team.
We cannot thank John and Carol enough for their dedicated work here on the farm. Jamie, Scott and Shelley are able to take vacations and attend events such as Midwest Horse Fair, ROLEX and the Stallion Show in the Netherlands knowing that all is well back on the farm. John has been invaluable with farm maintenance and repair and tosses a wicked bale of hay in the loft!