Long-time USET Foundation donor Barbara Smith describes how a lifelong love of horses led her to support our Team and rescue a special guy named “Goliath”
Barbara Smith knows, when you love something, you don’t have a choice … you’ve got to support it.
“I don’t remember ever not being in love with horses,” Barbara says with a laugh. “When I was in third grade, I have pictures of me pretending to be a horse.” She spent her childhood going to Pony Club rallies and events, then showing in hunter/jumper and equitation classes. Eventually, she sold her horse, went to college, got married, had a child … but the equestrian world still called to her.
“I would make my poor husband stop on the side of the road so I could pet the horses standing at the fence,” she recalls. It’s this sort of love that fuels the US Equestrian Team Foundation … a love you and I and every dedicated supporter of our Team understands. A love that can’t be denied.
In 1984, Barbara traveled to Los Angeles to watch the 1984 Olympics. When she saw the US Equestrian Team win a Gold medal, Barbara knew — she had to be a part of this. She had to support her Team.
Eventually she and her husband bought some property in Colorado, built a house and a barn, and bred Paint horses. But with a move to Florida in 1988, Barbara once again found herself horseless. When her husband passed away, she realized she needed something to focus on. A friend mentioned a horse rescue looking for volunteers.
Soon Barbara fell in love again — with Goliath. He had been very badly abused and was absolutely petrified of everything. But they formed a bond. “One thing led to another,” she says. She eventually adopted Goliath.
“We are best friends,” says Barbara. “Seeing the change I’ve been able to make with him has given me a purpose in life now that my husband’s gone,” she continues. “Goliath has just been a saving grace.”
And for the last 30-odd years, Barbara has kept her promise to support the sport she loves as well — “I want to help where I can,” she says. “I believe in what they do.”
To Barbara — and to you and all the horse lovers who believe — Thank You!