MERRILL - A local stable finds a unique way to train their horses.
In fact, it's so unique the Today Show featured the group in it's segment, "Fact or Fiction."
"It's a blast. You've got a big horse kicking a big ole' ball around and it looks silly. It's a lot of fun. Anybody can get into it," says Equine Soccer player Marty Bever.
He plays at the Keystone Stables in Merrill.
That's where America's Equine Soccer League got its start.
"Equine soccer is a training tool that we slowly started playing real soccer games with. There are other people in the country that do this. We use it as a way to get on your horses in the winter instead of parking them outside in the winter, waiting for the snow to thaw," explains league creator Terry Fenwick.
It also gives people the chance to improve their skills and relationships with their horses.
Other riders around the country play the sport thanks to Terry Fenwick and his wife, Jolene.
They started the league in 1997.
Now people from all riding backgrounds and ages play.
"Right now we play 3 on 3. We're in a 60 by 120 arena...So we have 2 forwards, we have a goalie. It's a lot like your regular soccer game," says Fenwick.
But equine soccer is more than just a game.
It helped Marty Bever transition back to civilian life after serving in Iraq.
He's been back for three years.
"It was just able to calm me down a little bit. And that was kind of a nice transition back into the civilian life," Bever explains.
The Today Show featured the league on its Wednesday show.
Members of America's Equine Soccer League hope the national attention will inspire others to join.
"The fact that they found us and wanted to do something about us is really humbling. We hope that it takes off and helps us go. We hope that we can use this to better the game and better the league, and get more people interested in this," explains Fenwick.
"I've met some really great friends and I can't wait for every season to start," adds Bever.
We'll take you live to Crandon and update you on the death of a Lac du Flambeau woman whose body was found following a report of a gunshot early Wednesday morning. Three people were put in jail following the reported incident.
A lake in Conover has flooded, but not just from the rain. We'll bring you the details.
And we'll show you a Rhinelander pasty shop that is getting ready to re-open its door nine months after it caught on fire and closed down.
We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.
RHINELANDER - Nicolet College's Motorcycle Basic Rider Course teaches folks to safely hit the road on their bike.
The class is in full swing for the season.
Nicolet College Rider Coach Mike Murray says even experienced riders can use a "safety brush-up" this time of year.
Riders should always wear their helmet, long pants and shirts, gloves, and boots.
It's also important to keep your eyes moving for critters that come out of the woods,especially deer.
"If you know you're going to hit it: let off your brakes, hit it with your handle bars straight ahead looking straight ahead so that your bike stays straight up," says rider coach Mike Murray.
The course covers the basics about motorcycles and riding techniques.
It's meant to build confidence when you ride, so that you're prepared for emergencies on the road.
"I've been a rider for a long time. When I completed the class, I had to look back and say man there is a lot of stuff I learned here and a lot of things I was doing the wrong way," says program coordinator Mark England.
You have until October to sign up for the Basic Rider Course at Nicolet.
RHINELANDER - Hodag Park received a sizable donation Thursday morning. New sand was dropped off to help the Rhinelander Parks Department grow the beach back to its original shape.
There were thousands of pounds of sand dropped off and spread out. There was a high need for this because of all the rain we've had this season.
"It was getting in pretty poor shape and washing out more and more, but this year especially, it just seems like we've lost a lot of sand. So now we're going to shape it up nicely and hopefully it'll last the year," said Rhinelander Parks Director, Jeremy Biolo.
All of that sand was donated and delivered by a company in Rhinelander.
"Musson Brothers, Inc. donated all the sand and they said we could help ourselves to as much as we want, which is unbelievable because this beach really needed some work," said Biolo. "Every little bit like that helps our community out and it improves the community. It's awesome that the Musson Brothers stepped up and would do that for us."
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Four Republican senators say they are not ready to vote for the GOP health care bill, putting the measure in jeopardy.
The four are Ted Cruz of Texas, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky. They say in a statement that they are open to negotiation before the full Senate considers the measure.
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