I began collecting at age 11, when I got the Palomino family Arabian Mare for a birthday gift. I still have her and adore her.
I started going to shows when I was 17. I participated in Rocky Mountain Model Horse Expo and did pretty well for myself. I dove right into the open division. I had been showing real horses for a few years prior and felt like I could handle it. I won some and I lost some, but I learned a lot and made a lot of really good friends. After that, I would go to RMMHE and ring steward and clerk for Karen Gerhardt until I decided to hold my own show, the Cornhusker Classic. It was in a tiny ballroom in a Holidome. It was thrilling and scary and I wanted to do it again and again.
I have since held live shows at Siouxland Horse Fair (my first experience holding a show many miles away from me), my own successful Buccaneer Live show series, Nebraska Horse Expo's Nebraska Model Horse Expo, a couple of smaller independent shows, and I was co-chair of NAN in 2012 with Stacy Faraci. I love the excitement of holding a show and giving out awards. I hope to do it again sometime very soon!
My showing career has come in fits and starts, but now I have a fairly competitive show string. But even before that, I met and have become good friends with a number of awesome people from all over the world through the hobby and showing. Ribbons are nice, but those friendships are priceless!
In my non-hobby life, I have 2 cats - Stuart and Gurlie - and a horse - Cooper. Stu and Gurlie are both generic cats. They are both such little characters though! Cooper is an Arabian gelding that I do Western Pleasure with. He has been shown in Hunter Pleasure by a friend and by his trainer and Western Pleasure and Halter by me. He is a winning halter horse and has placed well amongst his peers in both under saddle pursuits. My "day job" is Computer System Specialist at Lincoln Public Schools in Lincoln, Nebraska. There is a merry band of 5 of us in the Help Desk to provide support or dispatch field techs to almost 10,000 users. It is challenging and a lot of fun! My "evening gig" is voiceover and web work for AutoRestoMod in Aiken, South Carolina. This allows me to enjoy an aspect of the automotive industry that interests me greatly (classic car restoration and modification) and work for and with some of the nicest people I have ever met, including fellow hobbyist Gina Witters.
I look forward to serving NAMHSA as President. I have enjoyed my time of the Board of Directors as a Region Rep and VP and hope to contribute in some way to the organization for a long time to come.