Horsemen's Council of Illinois serves as the voice of the horse industry in our state to protect our animals and our rights as horsemen, educate within and outside our industry about horses and their impact, and to advocate for horses and for you, the horse lover. HCI is the only horse association in this state that represents all breeds, all disciplines, and every type of horse-related enterprise throughout our state. READ MORE

 Governor Rauner Proclaims


Day of the Horse

At the request of Horsemen’s Council of Illinois, on March 8th  Governor Bruce Rauner issued a proclamation officially declaring December 13th as the Illinois Day of the Horse.   In doing so, Governor Rauner helped to raise awareness throughout the state of the importance of equines to the economy, history and character of Illinois.   The date of December 13 coincides with the date designated by Congress as the National Day of the Horse.


With this action, Illinois joins states including New Jersey, Maryland, Kentucky and Delaware, which have also issued Proclamations recognizing horses and the importance of the equine industry to the state and local economies.

“Equines were instrumental in building our great state of Illinois and they still figure mightily into its economic and social fabric.  The horse industry, and its ancillary professions and services, generates billions of dollars to Illinois’ GDP and horses provide tens of thousands of our residents with recreation, service, labor and companionship”, says Sheryl King, President of the Horsemen’s Council of Illinois.

Companion legislative recognition in the form of a Senate Joint Resolution has been sponsored by Senator William R. Haine (56th Senate District) as Senate Joint Resolution 0046, filed March 8, 2016

The STC Mountain Bike Survey 

Last year the Shawnee Trail Conservancy (a non-profit trail advocacy group headquartered in southern Illinois) conducted a survey of the equestrian community concerning the use of mountain bikes in the Shawnee National Forest (SNF). The survey results have been tabulated and turned over to the US Forest Service to be reviewed and considered when they develop the next forest plant for the SNF. The purpose of this article is to summarize the survey results for the general public.

This issue came to our attention after an unfortunate encounter between mountain bikers and equestrians that resulted in injuries to the equestrians. At about the same time mountain bike groups began petitioning the FS to make all trails in the SNF open for mountain biking. Based on information from other parts of the country it became apparent there are inherent dangers on trails shared by bikers and equestrians. At this point the directors of the STC decided it would be beneficial to poll equestrian users as to their encounters with mountain bikes and their opinions on the use of mountain bikes in the SNF. This article is a summary of the full report which can be accessed at


 More Trails News

Trails Work Day 2016 is just the beginning. 

Future work days will expand to include other sites throughout the state.

If you or your group will lead a work day for 2017 and have a site in mind, please forward your information to the HCI office: or 217-689-4224x106.

2016 Illinois Horse Fair a Success!!

Over 3 Days, 13,800 attendees took in all things "horse" including queen contest, youth judging trials, clinics, shopping, , carriage rides, Heartland Horseman's Challenge, seminars, sold out rodeo performance, breed & sport demos, Liberty Challenge, Pitch A Pony, grant presentations fashion show and lots of socializing.

Click HERE for IHF Results

    Click Here to view Photos from our official photographer Mane Event Promotions.

    Our deepest thanks to Committee Chairman Ron Rhoades, the coordinating committee, volunteer force, sponsors, exhibitors and vendors. See you in 2017!

     2016 Sponsors

    © Horsemen's Council of Illinois       P O Box 788, Quincy, IL 62306-0788              217-689-4224           


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