The MHC Catalyst Awards were stared in 1995 by then MHC president, Barb Heyboer, thought there should be recognition for individuals involved in the Michigan Horse Industry.  A catalyst is a person who dares to step forward and make a difference. This award has identified people from industry, education, business, government, and volunteers who have spearheaded many significant changes in the industry. The people receiving this award have all made a difference in their areas of interest.

The following SHTRA members have received the MHC Catalyst Award.


Sandra receving her award from then MHC President, Mike Foote.

Sandra receving her award from then MHC President, Mike Foote.

Sandra Batie is a member of The Equine Trailways Subcommittee (ETS) which is a subcommittee of the Michigan Snowmobile and Trails Advisory Council. She represents the Central Lower Peninsula. The ETS represents the equestrian community in meetings with the DNR and is currently finalizing a statewide trail plan to address all forms of recreational trail use.


Marsha receiving her award from MHC President, Mike Foote.

Marsha receiving her award from MHC President, Mike Foote.

The inscription on the plaque presented reads: “your efforts and communication have made a significant contribution to the renaissance of the Michigan Horse Industry. This year’s Catalyst Award recipients have made an impact in the horse industry through education, leadership and innovation.”

Marsha has been a tireless proponent of trail riding in Michigan. For over ten years she has been instrumental in the success of the trails at Sleepy Hollow State Park in Laingsburg, Michigan. Marsha makes sure the trail riding organization there stays active and fosters a good relationship with park management. She is now working on an expansion of the trail system within the park. Marsha has worked hard to ascertain the inclusion of horseback riding on the new CIS Clinton-Ionia-Shiawassee) Rail Trail north of Lansing. The 41 mile trail runs from Owosso west through Muir. Marsha has devoted countless hours on behalf of all Michigan trail riders.



Pat Brown wrote a letter from the Clinton County Horse 4-H Leaders to the DNR making a request for horse trails at Sleepy Hollow. She didn’t stop at one letter but kept writing letters for the next 10 years until DNR finally listened. Pat was heavily involved in Phase 1 development of the Horseman’s Staging Area, the organization of SHTRA and to this day continues to work diligently to secure more options for the equestrian community in Sleepy Hollow State Park.