Wilhelmina and Fred McEwan’s involvement with horses began in Fenwick, Ontario, Canada. For Wilhelmina, those riding lessons evolved into a life-long career with horses. As a teenager, Wilhelmina rode with the Alamo Pony Club in San Antonio, Texas. She successfully competed on the Texas show circuit winning many championships in the hunter, jumper and equitation divisions under the coaching of Col. John W. Russell, while Fred was beginning his riding career with his pony, Irish Rover. By the mid 1970’s, Wilhelmina was competing on the Grand Prix circuit in the United States and Canada, while spending a summer in Germany with Hans Winkler. Wilhelmina was a member of the 1976 Canadian Equestrian Team at Spruce Meadows and competed in the 1977 American Invitational, aboard Mr. Dennis, an Australian thoroughbred.
During the summers as a teenager, Fred was trying his hand in the thoroughbred industry in various jobs at SamSon Farm in Canada and Normandy Farm and Spendthrift Farm in Kentucky. He also spent time at the race track with thoroughbred trainers Mike Bell and Peter Howe. He then gained experience at the sales working at Lanes End and Mill Ridge.
As Director of Racing for Spendthrift Farm, home to Triple Crown winners Seattle Slew and Affirmed, Wilhelmina had the opportunity to closely work with some of the top trainers in the world, including D. Wayne Lukas who trained Kentucky Oaks winner Lucky Lucky Lucky for her father-in-law, Leslie Combs. Wilhelmina was closely involved with the inaugural Breeders' Cup at Hollywood Park and continues to work closely with the World Championship event through Fenwick’s sponsorship. She then obtained her trainer’s license and successfully campaigned in New York and Florida having her first winner at Calder Race Course. As a trainer, Wilhelmina is proud to have bred and trained Clark Cottage, a G1 stakes filly in New York.
Wilhelmina is a member of USEF, TOBA, KTA and a board member of NTRA's HorsePac and SCTOBA. She has written a chapter on the Thoroughbred Industry for Marlene Jupiter’s New York best seller, “Savvy Investing for Women”. Wilhelmina was a recipient of the 2004 NRCC Business Advisory Council’s Businesswoman of the Year award for South Carolina.