Happenstance Farm is owned and operated by Head Trainer Ellen Baehr. Ellen's passion for horses started over 30 years ago and culminated with what has become known as Happenstance Farms.

Ellen Baehr has been interacting with horses for as long as she’s been able to walk. Ellen began riding and competing at the age of 4. In the decades since she’s sat in the saddle for thousands of competitions, hunts, and jumps an experience that she now applies during lessons at Happenstance Farms.

Ellen’s approach is simple and sincere for every lesson—regardless of the student’s age or ability, she encourages riders to become teammates with their horses. In doing so, riders often experience meaningful improvement that can prepare them for both serious competitions and casual rides.

Ellen has trained champion riders and horses at the local, state, and national levels.

Ellen Baehr

Owner and Head Trainer

Assistant Trainer

Kate Heisler-Gawriluk

Kate has been riding and competing in hunters, jumpers, and equitation since she was a junior. During her collegiate career at Truman State University, Kate competed in IHSA, riding at nationals both as an individual and as part of the team. She has multiple regional and zone titles, in addition to serving as a Teaching Assistant in multiple riding classes, and in Horse Training Techniques. White at Truman Kate also earned a Bachelor of Science in Health Science with a concentration in Community and Public Health. After college, she spent time working as a veterinary technician, honing skills necessary to support top performing equine athletes. Her degree, background and time as a vet tech help her view the horse and rider in a holistic sense, always seeking new opportunities to improve performance and horse welfare.

Kate began her professional career in 2013. Through her teaching and training, she has positively impacted a multitude of riders and horses. Kate especially enjoys working with driven team members, as they develop both as riders, and horsemen and women. In 2022, Kate joined longtime friend and colleague Ellen Baehr at Happenstance Farm. Together, their complimentary styles and approaches to teaching and training create a driven, team like environment with a focus on excellence in both riding and horse management.