Excerpt from an Article written by Kelly Billstein in the June 2007 Stillwater Living Magazine:

The lights in the barn turn off automatically at ten o’clock, and the horses quiet down for the night—all but one mare. She will foal tonight, but she won’t do it alone. A baby monitor positioned in her stall records the anxious noises she makes as the evening bleeds on. Kelly Thommes listens in the lab at the end of the stalls. She hasn’t slept in 24 hours. Alone, fatigued, Kelly stays up with the mare until she hears her water break. Acting as an equine midwife, Kelly stays on to make sure the foal and the mare survive the process.

As the first rays of the morning sun stretch over the landscape, the rest of the barn’s animals begin to stir. Inside 39 stalls, hooves paw at the ground, eager for breakfast. A border collie by the name of Roxie trots past a black cat crouching in the hay and barks a warning at a mischievous horse named Petie.

kelly Still in the stall, Kelly and the mare share a moment as they watch the foal wobble to its feet on long, bony legs—this is Kelly’s love.

 A passion for horses has led Kelly and her husband, Tim Thommes, to start their own equine facility: Exclusive Equine Center. For the past 11 years, it has been here, situated amidst wild acres outside of Hugo, Minnesota that the Thommes and their staff have focused their horse sense on the animals that call this place home. The center offers a thorough horse training program, boarding program, clinics, and prides itself on its breeding program.

Like any true success story, this one’s got a long history—if you could back the tape up far enough, you’d see Kelly and her future husband, Tim Thommes, getting gussied up for prom at Stillwater High School. You might say they were made for each other. Kelly had been riding horses since she was a little girl (and actually showed her horse at the World Championship Show when she was 18) while Tim grew up around hogs, cattle, and horses…

 AirFreshTim and Kelly Thommes also own and operate AirFresh Industries, a portable restroom rental/septic design and inspection company. Both Tim and Kelly serve on the board of the Minnesota Stable Owners Association (MNSOA). Kelly also holds a board position for the Association of Women Contractors (AWC).

For more information about the services offered at Exclusive Equine Center, please call 612.720.3046 or contact us online.