‘I live for it’: 80-year-old Craig woman continues to show horses at Moffat County Fair
For 80-year-old Doris Van Dorn Zimmerman, the challenge or raising horses and then showing them at the Moffat County Fair continues to bring her back to the arena all these years later.
Growing up, Zimmerman quickly found a love for horses, according to her sister, Janet Gerber. That love has lasted throughout her life, leading to her creating a 4-H group called Happy Hunters to raise English and Western horses.
Following a number of years out of the arena during the Moffat County Fair due to health-related issues, Zimmerman made her grand entrance back into the arena last week at the 2020 Moffat County Fair, showing a young filly in the Western open show.
As she made her way back into the arena to show off her young filly – which she plans to sell in two years and donate all the money from the sale to Bear River Young Life in Baggs, WY – her family looked on, getting emotional at the site of Zimmerman back doing what she loves.
“It just made my heart happy; she loves it so much,” Gerber said.
She hasn’t been able to do it for a lot of years, but just seeing her out there, it made me so happy. It was a real thrill for me to get to help her prepare for the show with my daughter this year.”
In years past, Zimmerman had helped Gerber’s daughter prepare her horses for shows, which is something Zimmerman has experience with dating back to when she was 45 years old.
All these years later, it’s the horses that continue to push Zimmerman back into her comfort zone.
“They’re fun animals, they love you back, they’re beautiful animals and they’re a real challenge,” Zimmerman said.
“When I get a horse like the little filly I have right now – she’s beautiful – I like people to get to see them,” Zimmerman added. “I like to see how the horse does, and I like to put myself up against other people. I just love the fair; I live for it. Just being in that atmosphere with my niece, nephew, and sisters and friends…that was so special to me.”
Zimmerman says she plans on showing her filly for the next two years before selling it. The proceeds from the sale of the horse will be donated to Bear River Young Life in Baggs, which has a family tie to Zimmerman.
“My son Jim, and his wife, helped start the Young Life program up there in Wyoming,” Zimmerman said. “Those kids don’t have anything to start with up there. There are so many kids that don’t get to go to camps and things like that, so if I can help out in any way, I’d like to help them.”
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