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Fran Cole


Fran co-founded NCWHA in 2008. She served as its President for several terms following its inception and rejoined the Board of Directors in 2020.  Fran was a California representative on the TWHBEA board from 2013-2017, where she was an advocate for the sound horse.  She was formerly President of both the Tennessee Walking Horse Foundation and Bear Yuba Land Trust, serving  on the boards of Gold Country Trails Council, the Rudiger Foundation, Nevada County Media, Community Beyond Violence and the Rudiger Foundation.  She is currently the President of the League of Women Voters of Western Nevada County.  Fran is a practicing attorney who has a number of nonprofit organizations as her clients. She received the Colonel Lambert Award for Community Service in Nevada County in 2020. 

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Holly Valles


Holly, together with her husband, Javier, are proud owners of two TWHs, and she has been competing in shows over the last year.  Holly has worked as a school administrative assistant for twenty years and has consistently demonstrated dependability, a strong work ethic and attention to detail.  Throughout her career she has honed the ability to juggle multiple tasks simultaneously, ensuring the smooth operation of daily school functions.  Holly is adept at creating a positive atmosphere for students, parents and staff in the educational environment.  Her commitment to excellence is evident in her meticulous approach to administrative responsibilities, whether managing schedules, coordinating events or addressing inquiries.  She brings a wealth of experience and a proactive mindset to every task.

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Kris Herman

Board Member 

Kris is a club co-founder who has previously served several terms as NCWHA’s President and Vice President and has been a director since NCWHA’s inception.  Kris was a California representative on the TWHBEA board for several terms.   Her mother, Bonnie Herman, was a legend in the California Walking Horse world.   Kris’s daughter, also named Bonnie, has been featured for several years  in our shows’ leadline classes and this year is riding on her own, carrying on the family tradition.  Kris is known for her versatility skills and has promoted our breed in dressage and other open competitions throughout Northern California.  Kris is best known for her role in making  NCWHA’s Oktoberfest show our premier event. She accomplishes all of this while also managing a practice in medical genetics at UC Davis.


Traci Fritzinger

Board Member

Grass Valley local born and raised, Traci has shown Tennessee Walking horses for the last 12 years throughout California and has also participated in schooling shows with her thoroughbreds. She has been a member of the Gold Country Glide Riders Drill Team for many years.  This organization has opened doors and created opportunities for Traci, and she is very grateful for that. The future of Tennessee Walking Horses and educating those new to the breed is very important to Traci.

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Claudia Booth

Board Member

Claudia has owned TWHs since 2002, and she currently owns five TWHs and one trotting horse. She competed in NCWHA shows for over twenty years, but three years ago retired from showing to focus on trail riding, horse camping, parades and drill team at the Nevada County Fair.  She has also participated at the California Horse Expo representing the breed and NCWHA.  She is an obstacle judge for equine sports and has judged NCWHA trail classes for several years.  She has also been president and a board member of the MVTA trails group that maintains trails in the greater Meadow Vista/Colfax area, and she promotes new trails in our area working with Placer County Parks and other entities.  She is a returning board member from several years ago.

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Tammy Chance

Vice President

Tammy is a third generation Tennessee Walking Horse enthusiast, introduced to a love of the breed by her grandmother  Peggy (Margaret) Smith and her aunt (Fran Welch). She was a co-founder of NCWHA in 2008  and served as Treasurer. She also managed and spearheaded the Oktoberfest Horse show for many years.  Tammy has promoted and represented our great breed for years at the California State Fair.  She is serving on the Board again because she missed the involvement  on club committees for horse shows, trail riding, education clinics, kids camps and breed promotion events. 

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Joanna Troth


Joanna grew up riding Tennessee Walking Horses, and loved riding her mare Friday in versatility classes. She received her undergraduate and masters in accounting degrees at St. Mary’s College in Moraga. She is Fran Cole’s daughter, is a Certified Public Accountant, and works for Viasat, a satellite company based in San Diego. Previously an auditor at KPMG, Joanna has brought her wealth of accounting skills to the Treasurer’s position, including implementing a new streamlined system for horse show payments.

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Bob Ammirato

Board Member

Bob is co-owner of Alpine Boarding Stables in the Stockton area.  Together with his wife Valerie Valentine Ammirato, they own a pony and seven horses, six of which are Tennessee Walking Horses.  Bob retired from fifty-one years in the retail business, serving as Vice President of Macys for twenty-seven years  and as Vice President for Western Contract for six years.  He also owned his own company for eighteen years.  Bob was on the board of directors of the National Home Furnishings Association for twenty-two years, serving in multiple officer positions, including President.

Bob will contribute his experience and love of the Tennessee Walking Horse to further create awareness of the breed, along with expanding the show schedule and adding trail riding events.

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Kailee Vallente

Board Member

Raised in Fairfield, Kailee lived in Utah for a year then moved back to California and picked up right where she left off.  She has had a passion for horses since she was little and has been riding TWHs for ten years and competing since 2015.  In 2023 she received TWHBEA’s Youth Superior Championship.  She is very excited to learn and become more involved in NCWHA and its members.

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