People Pets

E.C.’s Beloved Mini Horse, Jack the Magnificent, Showcased on PBS Wisconsin

‘Wisconsin Life’ episode premieres Thursday, Oct. 5

Tom Giffey, photos by Andrea Paulseth |

MINI BUT MIGHTY! Jack the Magnificent, Eau Claire's resident mini horse, is hittin' the PBS Wisconsin big screen.
MINI BUT MIGHTY! Jack the Magnificent, Eau Claire's resident mini horse, is hittin' the PBS Wisconsin big screen.

Jack the Magnificent, the 400-pound mini horse you may have seen trotting around the Eastside Hill over the past few years, is something of a celebrity in Eau Claire.

His fan base is about to get even bigger: Jack and his owner, Rose Johnson, will be profiled on a segment of the PBS Wisconsin series Wisconsin Life, which begins its 10th season at 7pm on Thursday, Oct. 5 – that’s tonight! – on PBS stations around the state, including WHWC-TV (Channel 28) in the Valley and online at

Volume One profiled Jack last October, and some of our staff even got to hang out with him. An emotional support animal in training, Jack is a popular sight out on the street and through his Facebook page, which has attracted thousands of fans.

Jack and his owner have a heart-warming, supportive relationship. “He’s a killer ham,” Rose says in the Wisconsin Life segment. “I might have created a monster! I taught him how to smile. You tap him on the nose, and you say ‘Smile, Jack!’ with a carrot. And then, as soon as the lip goes up, you stuff the carrot in his mouth. .. Now he won’t stop!”

Here’s what PBS Wisconsin has to say about the upcoming TV feature:

The tenth season of Wisconsin Life on PBS Wisconsin offers plenty to get excited about. Host Angela Fitzgerald connects viewers with people whose passions, experiences and expertise celebrate the best of Wisconsin, introducing new stories from every corner of our state.
A miniature horse from Eau Claire named Jack the Magnificent is featured in the season premiere of Wisconsin Life, 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5 on PBS Wisconsin.

In the heart of Eau Claire resides a miniature horse named Jack, and his owner Rose Johnson. This pint-sized horse has brought a touch of countryside charm to the city, turning Jack into a beloved local icon. Whether trotting along the streets or delighting children at the park, Jack and Johnson embody a remarkable bond, spreading joy and wonder throughout Eau Claire.

This season sees Fitzgerald crossing the state to visit places including Willow River State Park in Hudson, Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad in Trego and more. The rest of the Wisconsin Life team is just as well-traveled. As always, the program finds and introduces unique and inspiring Wisconsinites from all parts of the state and all walks of life. Explore Wisconsin Life episodes and online exclusives at

Wisconsin Life is a partnership project of PBS Wisconsin and Wisconsin Public Radio. In addition to the television program, audio stories can be heard on Wednesdays and Fridays on The Ideas Network programs The Morning Show at 7:35 a.m. and on Central Time at 4:07 p.m. They can also be heard Wednesdays and Fridays on the NPR News and Classical Music Network program Morning Edition at 6:45 a.m. and 8:45 a.m.