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Horse soccer? It's real.Submitted: 10/03/2013
Story By Lauren Stephenson


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.

They hope you'll feel the same way.

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AMHERST - The small town of Amherst recently broke ground to replace their aging dam.

The dam was built on the Tomorrow River decades ago for power to the local feed mill.

The Wisconsin DNR believes the structure does not meet it's 500 year flood criteria.

This designation gave the town residents a choice.

"The determination of the DNR that the dam had to meet the 500 year flood lead us to the idea that we had to be able to release more water. The DNR basically brought this to the forefront and the village responded then," says Amherst Village President Michael Juris

This close knit town of just over 1000 residents took the decision very seriously.

"The residents of the village really had the opportunity to speak on what they wanted the vision of their village to be for the future. Whether to maintain the dam and the pond or to take it out and rehab it," says Juris.

Residents chose to keep the dam and thus the millpond.

With the decision made, the bidding process moved quickly and work has just started.

The new improved structure will use parts of the current one.

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There were many options on the table and some that were just too expensive.

"It's been our determination that to dredge the millpond would be an expense that the taxpayers of the village at this time aren't going to be able to shoulder," says Juris

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"We spent a fair amount of time in discussion before this decision was made because this is an expensive decision for a community our size. The original estimate was around 1.2 million dollars," says Juris.

Work moves quickly in Amherst as a completion date is set for this September.

"We expect that the substantial completion will be towards the end of August and with final completion early in September," says Juris.

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The business started in Hartford, Wisconsin, in the mid 2000s. Then it relocated a few years later to St. Germain.

Now Pier of d'Nort is swamped with orders this time of year.

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