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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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 IN OTHER NEWS

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NORTHWOODS - Prescription drugs play an important role in our health.

They help us recover if we're sick, cope if we have a chronic condition and help manage pain.

But those drugs can expire or just stay in the back of our medicine cabinets for months or years.

And if those drugs get into the wrong hands—such as toddlers or abusers—that's a problem.

That's why many local police and sheriff's departments participate in the National Prescription Drug Take-Back program.

It's run by the Drug Enforcement Administration, and Saturday was National Take-Back Day.

"We're keeping the controlled substances in the hands they're supposed to be in, especially with the pill epidemic now, it's important that these stay out of the hands of people that are abusing them," said Minocqua Police Officer Matthew Tate. 

Several area police departments hosted drop-offs Saturday. 

You can drop off prescription or over-the-counter pills, ointments, patches, non-aerosol sprays, vials and pet medications. You cannot bring in inhalers or aerosol cans, and you cannot drop off illegal drugs or needles.

All the drugs are brought to the state Department of Justice where they will be incinerated.

That's better than just flushing them or throwing them out in the trash.

"It's very important that it's not getting into our ground water is the main thing," Tate said. "We just don't want people dumping them in toilets or in their garbage."

If you have prescription drugs you want to get rid of safely, don't worry if you missed Saturday's opportunity. Many area police stations have drug drop-off bins in their lobbies, so you can drop them off any time of the year.


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MINOCQUA - You know summer in the Northwoods will soon be here when seasonal businesses start opening up again.

Wildwood Wildlife Park opened up Saturday in Minocqua.

Hundreds of people rushed to the gate today to see all different types of animals, some local and some exotic.

"We are so busy today but it's a beautiful day to come out to Wildwood," said the park's director Judy Domaszek. "This is one of our baby aoudads, it's an African sheep, and as you can see in the background there are many people busy playing with the baby goats, and the sheep and the pigs and the tortoises, and they're just enjoying their day."

On Saturday the park had a giraffe feeding.

Workers also have been renovating and expanding the park.

The park has many new animals on the way, including some baby animals that were born there.

"The mouflon sheep are new, we've got some new reptiles, we have some new babies that we're going to have down in the nursery in a little while," Domaszek said. "We actually had a baby badger born here at the zoo. And we have a baby kangaroo. Those guys are all coming down when it's safe to come down."

Wildwood is open every day from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Then after Memorial Day the park stays open till 5:30 p.m. for the summer. 


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What We're Working OnSubmitted: 04/29/2016

- Local schools have stepped up to show their support for the Antigo community after last weekend's prom shooting. We'll show you what that effort looks like at Lakeland.

- Plus, a local greenhouse that was destroyed by a tornado in 2011 and was rebuilt is celebrating it's20th anniversary. We'll take you to the celebration.

We'll have the details on this story and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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WISCONSIN RAPIDS - We now know who were the three people killed during Wednesday's double-murder suicide in Wisconsin Rapids.

The Wisconsin Rapids Police Department says  36-year-old Justin Bohn of Wisconsin Rapids shot and killed his 5-year-old daughter, Paige, and his 3-year-old son, Devon.



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VILAS COUNTY - Vilas County will need to fill a vacancy soon at the district attorney's office.

The current DA, Al Moustakis, has filed paperwork showing that he won't run for re-election.

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RHINELANDER - Large machinery moved north and parking spots disappeared on Brown Street in Rhinelander this week.  The city's $9.8 million downtown reconstruction project continued its push, closing down Brown Street from Davenport to Rives Monday.

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MADISON - Wisconsin's attorney general has asked an appellate court for an emergency stay of a Dane County judge's ruling striking down the state's right-to-work law.

Brad Schimel says Judge William Foust's ruling has created confusion and should be put on hold while an appeal is pending.

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