Running T Ranch Performance Horses is owned and operated by Thereasa & Ben Wirkus.
It was founded by Thereasa in May 2008 in Crested Butte, CO as Running T Ranch, and then relocated to Wisconsin in September 2009. RTR was originally a training and lesson operation, but due to time restraints training and lessons came to an end. After 6 months of not doing anything equine related, Thereasa weighed the pros and cons of remaining active within the equine industry. In August 2013, and after some serious considerations, she decided to re-launch and rename her equine operation. This time focusing on the one part of the equine industry she has always loved and missed....breeding! Thus began the breeding operations of Running T Ranch Performance Horses. That same year she met her husband and his daughter, and they married in 2014 expanding RTRPH into a family operation.
Thereasa got her start in the equine industry in 1991. She started out with hunter/jumper and equitation lessons, 4-H & open shows, and rode in a lot of parades. Over the years she learned polo, side saddle, halter, showmanship, western pleasure, horsemanship, competitive trail, reining, barrel racing, pole bending, cutting, and dressage. She competed in many of these disciplines as well, but she always favored the performance events. Especially dressage and reining.
Although she's known to be opinionated and tough to get along with within the industry, quality equine care, treatment, and training have always been her priority. She follows the classical dressage training principles and focuses on the overall conditioning and health of horses in her care. She utilizes her skills as a licensed massage therapist and certified equine massage therapist in the everyday care of her horses, keeping them in best health possible. In short, she cares more about keeping her horses healthy, safe, and happy than following along with what’s/who’s popular within the equine industry. She has instilled these same ideals in her husband and step-daughter, and they too do not believe in or follow the latest trends of the horse industry and are not afraid to express their opinions either.
At the moment Thereasa and her family are focusing on building up their broodmare lineup. Only 1 of their 3 mares is old enough to breed.