Author Kristen Halverson published the children’s book The Tale of Willhanna: A Horse’s Magical Birthday in April. This is third book in the series in which a portion of the proceeds support the equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) research program run by Dan Howe, PhD, professor at the University of Kentucky (UK) Gluck Equine Research Center.

To date, Halverson has donated $1,285 from book proceeds. The series also includes The Tale of Noel: The Holiday Horse Angel and The Tale of Josephine Rose: A Horse’s Magical Neigh.

Halverson said she continues to support the Gluck Center because she strongly values its mission of improving horse health and well-being. She hopes to raise an additional $2,000 from the proceeds of The Tale of Willhanna: A Horse’s Magical Birthday.

Halverson leverages her creative writing skills as a communication vehicle to further her EPM awareness mission, enhance EPM research funds, and honor her late Thoroughbred Nino Tempo, who was affected by EPM in 2010. She uses her Clydesdale and Morgan horses as inspiration for the stories that explore hope, kindness, and thoughtfulness.

In The Tale of Willhanna: A Horse’s Magical Birthday, Willhanna, a wise and athletic horse is counting the days until his 10th birthday. Josephine Rose, the kind Clydesdale, and his other equine friends want to find a special way to celebrate his big day. One March afternoon, the horses seek advice from the thoughtful cow Mirabella, since she has known Willhanna for several years. Mirabella suggests holding a surprise party in the old dairy barn. As the days lead up to the party, all the animals on the farm find additional ways to make Willhanna’s birthday a memorable and magical occasion.

“The cows, horses, and cats on the farm work together as a team to plan a surprise 10th birthday celebration for Willhanna in the old dairy barn,” Halverson said. “I have also centered some elements of the plot around Kentucky, as it is Willhanna’s dream to see his old racing buddies from Kentucky again.”

The Tale of Willhanna: A Horse’s Magical Birthday is available for purchase at Find the book and additional information at and

Jenny Evans, MFA, PhD candidate, is the senior veterinary science marketing/promotion specialist at the UK Gluck Equine Research Center.

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More information on Gluck Equine Research Center and UK Ag Equine Programs.