Although one of my sponsors passed on a horse I liked for good reason, I couldn't get him out of my mind. He has an excellent walk, an unbeatable temperament and is beautiful. What else could I currently ask for? So I called Jane Clark and said, since one of the few disciplines she hadn't had a horse in the Olympics in was para, did she want to buy him for me? To my absolute shock and bliss, she said, "That sounds like fun!"
I changed his show name to "Make Lemonade." His barn name is perfect: Buddy.
He got to my barn this afternoon, and the first thing I did was groom him (go, Righty, go!) I warned him that it may hurt a little bit, but he didn't move a muscle, just stood like a very cheerful statue! It was so great to be able to give his neck a full on hug, something I haven't dared to do with another horse in over 2 years.
As I said before the last Olympics, I know that all of the stars need to be in the right alignment and the horse needs to wake up on the right side of the stall on the morning of the selection trials in order to make the Team; a lot of luck is involved, but it gives me something to work for. It feels SO good to have a goal. Whether I make it or not is secondary; the striving for it is what I yearn for.
Jane was unbelievably generous in purchasing Buddy, and she promised me, "he will never miss a meal," but I need to cover what I can for his expenses. So I called Carol Lavell to see if by any chance I could use the Prize I won immediately before my accident to help support him. She couldn't have been more excited. She said, "You won that money fair and square, and I couldn't think of something more in line with its purpose." I wanna represent my country, even if it's only at the walk! And one of my clients, Alex Rukeyser, unbelievably gave a generous amount because she "so wants to be part of my Olympic dream."
So I have an extremely good start, but as we all know, maintaining a horse is expensive, especially when going after the Olympics. So an old friend, Laura Aikin, came up with an idea. Because I was going for the last Olympics on Idy, on whom I paid all expenses, I did something called "Courtney's Quest." It was a fundraiser I absolutely adored because, instead of asking for something for nothing, it was a way I could give something in return. What I did was this: everyone who gave money received my journals via email chronicling my journey. I was torn about whether to pursue this idea because I keep up this website blog. And I think, because of the immense amount of past financial and emotional support, anyone who wants to, deserves to be kept informed. I don't want to or feel right about stopping. Then, as usual, I called Lendon for advice. She said, "Well, your web updates are brief and infrequent. You could do a more frequent and detailed one for contributors and still do your general one." Lendon is very prolific in having brain children.
SO, I asked the woman who very generously manages my medical fund, if there was any way we could have a separate account for Buddy. She said absolutely!
So, if you want to be a part of my pursuit of the Olympic dream, Courtney's Quest Continued, send a minimum of $100 made out to Courtney Dye Paralympic Fund' along with your email address, and you will receive my journal. Send to:
Law Office of Elizabeth Clarke
Equine Business Institute
P.O. Box 286
South Deerfield, MA 01373
phone 413-665-7400/fax 413-665-7419
I loathe to be a person thought to always ask for money. I so appreciate all of the help thus far; please don't think I'm a "give an inch take a mile" sort of person. Jane promises that we will never be left in the rain, but she asked that I do what I can and pointed out that some people may WANT to help. So, please, only give if you want to be a part of it. For my therapies, I was in need and can't say thank you enough; for this, my health is not at risk, and I will be fine if you don't want to give. That's a reason I thought doing "Courtney's Quest Continued" was right. I want contributions from the people who want to part of my Olympic dream. This is a way I can bring you along on that journey.
Here's a video with my new love, Make Lemonade. FYI It is not my para test, just something I made up as I went along.