Galloping in the Gallatin-Brenda Wahler
Organized horse racing in Bozeman dates to the 1870s, Three Forks may have hosted the first Steeplechases in Montana, and Bozeman was the birthplace of William “Smokey” Saunders, a Triple Crown–winning jockey. But Gallatin County’s brightest years centered in nearby Belgrade during the 1950s and 1960s. In 1954, Lloyd Shelhamer Jr., and his wife, the former Jane Ringling, built and operated the Beaumont Club, the most glamorous and modern racetrack in Montana.
A fourth-generation Montanan with a lifelong interest in horses and history, Brenda Wahler showed horses in the 1970s and 1980s, when the racing community was a major presence at fairgrounds across the country. Through college and beyond, she taught riding and judged horse shows. Today, she is an attorney and owns Wahler Equine, an education and consulting business. She and her husband live near Helena, Montana, with assorted horses and house pets.