Jim and Kris met each other in 1972, while showing their horses in 4-H. Jim showed timed events and Kris rode pleasure. They started dating in 1975. By 1976 Jim had built onto his barn and Kris was moving her 5 horses in. They were married in 1978 and built their own home on the farm property where Zelenka Farm began.
Their first child, Elizabeth, was born in 1980. Their son, James, was born in 1983. When the children were old enough they too became involved in 4-H. The farm soon had everything ranging from cattle and horses to turkeys and ducks. Elizabeth was 4 years old when she showed her first Walk-Trot class. She rode her dad's faithful old mare "Daisy". James began showing when he was around 10 years old.
When Elizabeth was 11 years old, she decided she wanted her own horse to show. It just so happened that Jim and Kris had a very old friend that bred and sold Registered Paint Horses. He had recently called and asked if he could purchase 800 bales of hay. Jim asked if he had any horses for sale, and maybe a deal could be made. The whole family went to look at a pasture full of 2 year olds. One mare in particular stood out from the crowd. She was very attentive to Elizabeth, sweet and quiet. Needless to say, Leos Waterbug, "Bug", was traded for 800 bales of hay. This was the start of the Zelenka Paint Farm.
Bug and Elizabeth bonded quickly and became a competitive team. James bonded with a Pinto mare, Glory, that the farm already had. The children showed 4-H with Bug and Glory for many years.
Jim and Kris both agreed that the Paint breed was the direction to go to build the farm. Through the years the children have grown and started on the road with their own lives. "Bug" has now passed on, but the barn is full of her offspring and and grandchildren. The Zelenka Paint Farm (ZPF) breeds, trains and shows all of their own horses. The goal is to produce top notch performance horses. We would never consider having any other breed of horse.