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In Remembrance

Maggie K Berkebile (July 12, 1986 - June 29, 2007)


Maggie was a student of mine from November 2001 to July 2005. She never spoke an ill word of anyone. She owned an infectious laughter that would create an environment of fun and cause everyone around her to start laughing. Her lovely and gracious parents, Steve and Peggy Berkebile did everything to help Maggie follow her dreams.


While Maggie was here she rode her horse, Cheetah. He wasn't an easy horse but they made a good team. She loved riding him and learning everything she could to be a better rider.


Maggie's family moved from Dunlap, IL, to Golden, CO, where she attended Regis University. While at college she rode Cheetah and did very well showing jumpers in shows including the prestigious Denver Stock Show.


Maggie was finding her stride and decided she wanted to be a nurse. She had just been accepted into the Nursing program at Regis University. She also was planning to find her next horse in Australia where her parents were relocating for work.


On June 29, 2007, Maggie died in her sleep. The world is going to miss her laughter, her honesty, her multiple hair colors and styles, her cookies and her simple magic. We at Gray Horse Farm and her friends are planning a Perpetual Trophy in her name. This will be a special class designed with Maggie in mind. In other words, this is going to be a fun class involving riding without stirrups. This was one riding assignment that tried Maggie. She dreaded those lessons, but always did it and was very proud of herself when the lesson was over and she was still on.

This trophy represents the essence of Maggie. Maggie was an equestrian, specially loving the jumpers. She and Cheetah were constant competitors in the show jumper ring in Colorado. In the beginning, this trophy was to be awarded to someone winning a jumper type class at Gray Horse Farm. However, as time has ticked by, I have come to realize what this trophy truly represents, MAGGIE.

Maggie was a young lady full of life. She was beautiful inside as much as outside. She was a true equestrian sweating the details, such as riding without stirrups, working/slaving at the barn and sharing her fair share (if not more) disunited moments from her horse. She was the ultra trier. She was everything as possible. Her attitude was why not. She was not a natural, but I don't think she knew that. She was always positive, happy, and kind. She had a dance to her step. Her smile lit up the barn or any place she ventured. She loved to laugh. Boy did she make us laugh. She was fun, smart, hardworking, honest, courageous, and friendly. She was a wonderful student, delightful person, and part of my family.

Just a little story to tell. The first day Maggie entered our home. Rand met her at the door. He was probably 7, and she was 14 years old. He looked up at her and was immediately smitten by her smile and genuine friendliness. He reached for her hand and asked if she wanted to see his room. That same day he asked her to marry him. We all fell for her.

So, the trophy's path has changed. The names that will go on the Maggie Berkebile trophy will be individuals that somehow reflect Maggie. The trophy will represent the bright life of Maggie and the people who have a little of Maggie in them.




Connie Fowler (November 18, 1958 - June 13, 2007)


Connie was a treasure. She worked part time at Gray Horse Farm from November 2005 to February 2007. She was dependable, honest and hard working. She loved animals and they loved her. At lunch time you thought that Connie and the barn cats had reservations at the picnic table under the tree. The cats learned early that she would always share her sack lunch. She was giving of herself to the animals and to us at Gray Horse Farm.


Connie is missed by all of us here at Gray Horse Farm and all the animals she loved and gently touched in her way.




Anna Rose Haefeli (1998-2014)

To know Anna, was to know she was larger than life! Originally from England, Anna's family moved to our part of the world for work. She came to Gray Horse Farm in 2009. She brightened everyone's day with her humor. She could roll into any accent with ease as she would tell a joke or thread a great tale. Everything was funny to her. She was always doing "a stick". During her lessons she could be quite serious; however, once the lesson was over, The Anna Show would pick up right where she had left off. She had so much energy. She was crazy funny.

Her first horse at Gray Horse Farm was, Wally, a 5 year old 15 hand paint cross. He was green, but they were a good match. She patiently worked with him as she taught him the basics. Soon, they were jumping fences successfully and schooling fences in the cross country field. The day did come when you could see her boots bobbing under his belly. Anna was growing like a weed. It was routine for Anna and I to back up to one another and measure who was tallest. That gleeful day came when she passed my stature. That day also marked the fact that Anna required a new horse. 

Stormy, a beautiful gray Percheron cross mare came into Anna's life. Stormy stood 16.2 hands and filled Anna's long legs. It was an immediate bond both structurally and spiritually. Jumping, schooling shows and even dressage was fun to practice for this team. Life was good.

In September of 2011, Anna returned to England to attend high school. Her parents, Hans and Lucy, remained here picking up the reins on Stormy. I was fortunate to teach all three of them on this wonderful horse. Anna, did frequent the States during her school breaks. These days were heartwarming as I watched Anna madly bathe, groom and care for her mare, Stormy. She would spend countless hours in the wash stall. After all, the mare was a big dapple gray and Anna wasn't going to leave one hair out of place or an ounce of dirt on her beautiful steed. I'm sure her parents could never keep enough horse shampoo at Anna's disposal when she was home. She took great pride in producing a horse that a professional groom would envy. Undoubtedly, Anna was making up for lost time and would lose herself with her best friend, Stormy. And let's not forget, The Anna Show, would be keeping us up to date and in stitches. We loved having the Haefeli family here.

In the Spring of 2014, the time arrived for Hans and Lucy to return to England. Yes, Stormy went too! They found the perfect yard for Stormy with the perfect instructor for all of them. Yes, they all loved riding Stormy. Hans, Lucy and Anna would constantly challenge one another with winks, nods and/or jabs about how they could ride Stormy and how well. It was fun and very special. I loved being a part of it. It was hard saying goodbye to such a lovely family that had become part of our family.

It was December of that year when Anna lost her life in a car accident. She was only 18 years old. She was a shinning star with so much energy and life. She had the best humor, a beautiful smile that radiated so much enthusiasm and a very kind soul. It was always fun when she was at the barn... She is so greatly missed by all of us.

Presently, Lucy has picked up Stormy's reins while Hans has picked up handlebars; in other words, cycling. Lucy is now successfully competing in Dressage and Eventing. They are becoming a magical team. I know this transformation would make Anna so thrilled and proud of her mother. How can I not be reminded of Anna's spirit while watching Lucy maneuver Stormy through her paces and over fences. 

You are forever in our heart Anna.

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