In September of '98, we were at the Ohio Buckeye Challenge Show. It was Elizabeth Morton's last year as a junior exhibitor and she was dying to show one last equitation class. At the last minute, we threw her on Lizzy and sent her in the ring for the UPHA Challege Cup. Lizzy had never done a pattern in her life and as usual came through like the champ she was. She left the ring with the blue ribbon on her bridle and a beautiful young lady in tears! A fantastic dream fulfilled by Lizzy.
We went to OKC in the fall of '98. We were worried about the trip, because my elderly grandma was not well. She passed away that tuesday morning. Lizzy came through, as usual to ease our pain. One of my girls, Elizabeth Morton had done a fabulous job riding her all year. She showed her in the 16-17 JR. Exibitor English Pleasure class. Boy, was the competion stiff. Past Champions and World Champions, knee deep, but Lizzy rose to the challenge and trucked around that ring with the big guys. We nearly passed out when her name was called, recieving 5th place out of 16 horses. My son, Andres Guardiola, showed her in the 14-15 JR. Exhibitor Pleasure Driving class. She loved that second way road trot and wooed the judges to an 8th place ribbon.
The most incredible part about that show, was that Lizzy had won many harness classes, but had never won a blue ribbon or championship under saddle, lots of reds and yellows, but never a blue. But, thats the kind of horse she was. I asked several other trainers if they would have even taken a horse to the World with out a couple blues under their belt, and not one said they would. But we had faith in her and knew she would make her mark. Another dream come true! Not only did she become the only buckskin to show in the English Pleasure division at the World, she became the first to win a top 5!!
Liz T opened the doors for Morgans of any and all colors to compete in any divison at any level.
Lizzy single handedly, changed the stereotypes and preconcieved notions about buckskins and palomino Morgans that alot of show horse people and trainers had. She was not a cow horse or a western family horse, she was a big time show horse, with the most humungeous Morgan heart on this planet. Everyone, that knew Lizzy, loved her. She was just that special.
She was a favorite at the barn too, everybody loved her. We used her for grooming lessons, and for school field trips to exhibit what a Morgan was all about. Needless to say, everybody always wanted a "Lizzy" when they left!!
If you were having a bad day, all you had to do was go in her stall and let her hang on you, lick your hands and kiss on her sweet face. You'd forget all your problems of the day. If every other horse you'd worked that day, had given you a rough time, you'd go get Lizzy out, and just watching her would leave you in awe.
Her color, presence, attitude and talent were what you saw on the outside, but her heart was that of pure gold.
"Lizzy was every hope, she was every dream, I ever had in life with my horses. I will miss feeling the wind in my hair when we did that fabulous road trot that she loved so much, and my sons' smile when he took his victory lap. I'll miss just stopping to look at that beautiful golden horse every time I pass her stall, and letting her loose in the pasture, just to stand in awe of her. But most of all, I will miss my dearest friend, the one that changed my life, the special gift that God gave me, 5 years ago. She has left hoofprints in my heart and because of her, I will never be the same. I will miss my "Lizzy T". Somehow, I will go on, not because of Lizzy, but for her. She changed my life and those of all future colorful Morgans and their owners," Patty.
"Some Angel's Have Hooves"
"When a special life ends in such an unexpected way, it can be totally overwelming"...was what a card said I recieved the other day. It fits our feelings to a "T". The beautiful buckskin mare, Prairie Run Liz T was taken in the prime of her life by a freak barn accident on May 13,2000, at the age of 7 years. She had just been pronounced in foal to Nobility the day before.
I feel my whole life started over again, in May of 1995, when Debbie Tull and I purchased Prairie Run Liz T. I had just gotten out of a horrible marriage. My friend Kathryn Schwartz, told me she had a buckskin 2 year old mare. I was really interested and told her to send me some pictures. I got the pictures, a couple crude copies of polaroids, but just knew she was going to be somebody someday, I had to have her. Within a few weeks, she was in my barn.
At the beginning, she was alittle tough, and moody, it wasnt easy, but the good ones never are! We made our debut at the Gold Cup that year. I remember taking her to the ring to lunge after we arrived. I had people follow me saying, I never saw a buckskin Morgan before. They thought for sure, she was a pokey little western horse. NOT!! As soon as I sent her off, she snorted and flagged her tail, trotting above level and snatching her hocks up to her belly!! Boy were they suprised. But, that was just Lizzy's way. She loved to show off. She'd snort and blow until everyone was looking , they had no choice. Her flawless golden color was her crowning glory, you couldn't miss her. She won the 2 year old pleasure driving mare class, and people followed us back to our stalls. It was great! That was only the begining of what this incredible horse would do to heal my heart and life.
Alot of people saw her that year. They had mixed emotions. I heard everything from," great Patty, cool horse", to "good for you, but you wouldn't catch me showing a buckskin, let alone an english one". We didnt care. We were having fun and blues or not, we had a huge cheering section at every show, and always had visitors come to the stalls just to see Lizzy.
Someone once described her as a a "buck naked sexy lady wearing black silk stockings". Bruce Eckstrom judged her at the Penn Ohio Show in 1998, and came back to our stalls after the show, to see her. He said he thought she was the best quality colorful Morgan he had seen to date in the country. Bruce, convinced me to take her to OKC that fall. He said "she may not be a World Champion in hand mare, but she sure thinks she is, and dont ever tell her anything different". That's what made her so awesome to watch. She thought, no, she knew, she was something well worth keeping your eyes on!
More written in 2006... Lizzy was killed tragically when in a matter of a brief second,
she grabbed the cord on her stall fan, with me standing inches away from her,
completely helpless, she was instantly electrocuted.
We have had fans on our stalls for all the years we have owned
horses, and still do today.
But, this accident has shown many people
that they need to "Morgan proof" their barns and
install GFI outlets everywhere in their facility.
Complete barns have been rewired and many lives saved,
I know, because of this horrible accident. Thats just like Lizzy too.
She didnt leave this world due to colic, founder or a broken leg,
she left in a way that would save other people from the pain that
we have endured because of this.
She was just that special...... I look back now nearly six years later, I know why God
brought her into my life and I know why He took her when He did.
Her job here was done.
It was time for her to go and for me to have new
colorful Morgans to show the world.
We have since purchased a RARE CREMELLO Morgan colt,
with which we have raised to produce more gorgeous golden palomino and buckskin Morgans
that are very competitive in the Class A arena.
We had 5 beautiful colorful foals in 2001, 3 in 2002, 6 in 2003,
5 in 2004, 7 in 2005, and 5 in 2006
and are fast becoming known as one of the
top breeders of quality show palomino and buckskin Morgans in the country.
I never would have thought that the purchase of one buckskin filly
would have created so many changes in our lives!
Her life brought us much happiness, and in her death, she has brought us a new understanding of what our future was to be all along. Without her, none of it would have been possible.
GOD has blessed us many times over, and continues to be faithful to us!!
Thank You Lizzy, for all you have done for me, in both your life and your death.
Because of you, my life long dreams are being fulfilled!
UPDATE May 13, 2010..To my dearest Lizzy,
I cant believe it has been ten years since you left us. You would have been 17 years old now. So much has happened, I never could have imagined what you started in me...all those years ago. We have been blessed a million times over, including a lovely buckskin filly I hope can come close to filling your shoes. We have come so far in those ten years... we have produced over 30 colorful foals.... You would have loved them all. I know how you loved the babies and wanted so badly to be a mom yourself. I am sure you are romping in heaven with all the foals around, playing, snorting and flagging their tails, with you giving them lessons on just how to do it to stand out in the crowd up there.
You taught me so much Lizzy. You brought me through so much pain. And you gave me so much joy. You made me feel what real love was. You made me happy and helped me believe in myself again.
Its been tough without you. But I know that you were so special, you didnt deserve to ever be compared to another, while here on earth. So the Lord took you after you had done your job here. I struggled for a long time, not wanting to give my heart completely to another horse, like I had you. The loss hurt way too much.
God used you in ways no human could have ever gotten me through. After you left, I swore I would never love another horse, so deeply as I did you. But God had other plans. He brought me a timid blue eyed "white" colt, who we planned out our future with, who would make "golden foals". I was the only one who could catch him, the only one he would bond with. I had no choice but to make him think I loved him, whether he frustrated me beyond belief or not. And at 2 yrs old, I finally realized, after breaking him to drive and teaching him to collect, settling mares and taking him to his first horse show...that God had brought him to me, to heal me, and teach me, that I am not ME If I don't LOVE my horses the way I did you. I thought Buzz was "just a stallion to make us a name and some money" but he had a much higher purpose, just like you did in my life.
I will forever be grateful for the short time we had together. I miss you terribly. I remember it like it was yesterday, that horrific moment you were taken from me.
I look back at your many wins and how people would follow us to the warm up ring, thinking you were a western horse, only to be left standing in awe as they watched you move and snort and blow and put on one heck of a show. I remember people asking if you were a Morgan because they didnt know buckskins could move like that. And how many people marveled at the fact you were a BUCKSKIN Morgan. Most had never seen one before. And I was so proud to call you mine....I can still feel the wind in our hair as we made a victory pass, your road trot was amazing or my sons ear to ear grin as he beat past world champions or you being the first buckskin to win top 5 and 8 at the nationals, all those years ago......I will never forget you. I dont remember a time in my life, when I smiled so much, When I felt such joy. When I had so much fun showing a horse. You left hoof prints in my heart that no one will ever erase. Its our memories together that keep me going and keep me pressing on with my future dreams.
I love you. I hope you are proud of me, my dear Lizzy. I rest assured that one day I will see you again, feel the power and grace beneath me as we trot through the fields of heaven and down those streets of gold.
I am all I am today, because of what you gave me. I have what I have, because you inspired me. I thank the good Lord above, for placing you in my path, back 15 years ago and for lighting the "colorful fire" under me, that no one can put out. Thank you Lord in heaven, for sharing Prairie Run Liz T with me. Rest in peace my beloved angel with hooves....until we meet again... :*)