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A Memorial Showmanship Jacket- Madelynne Herlocker

Filed under: Club & Show News,Club and Show News,Featured,The Buzz |     

maddie webBy: Brittany Bevis

Today’s Showmanship preliminaries supplied a stunning display of jackets emblazoned with crystals and studded with sparkles. One particular outfit caught our eye: a black, turquoise, and pink ensemble worn by Madelynne Herlocker.

Upon closer inspection, we discovered that the numerous heart appliqués on her jacket were filled with initials. As it turns out, each heart contains a reference to a member of her family who recently passed away.

First, the large heart and arrow in the center with the name “Junior” refers to her late horse, He Invested Wisely, who had to be euthanized in May of this year due to a degenerative disease. “A couple of years ago, Junior had some soundness issues and was off for six months. Basically, the bones in his foot weren’t holding up, and putting him down was the best option. We put him down in May when I got home from school. I was supposed to show him here this year.”

M1Thus, the job of being Madelynne’s all-around mount for her final Youth World fell to a new horse that was purchased in August of last year, a 6-year-old green, gelding named RR Pack Your Bags, aka “Rock.” “When we got him, he didn’t know Showmanship or Horsemanship. It’s been a long proess. My horse trainer, Jess Bergantzel, has done a lot of work with him, because I go to school at the University of South Carolina, and I’m on the equestrian team. We did show in Trail and Horsemanship here, but he’s still pretty green. Honestly, he’s learned so much in the past year. We will be taking him to the Congress.”

M3The heart on the back of Madelynne’s jacket holds the initials “VV,” a reference to her beloved grandmother, Vera Vaupel, who passed away in December. The initials on her right sleeve refer to Doris, Madelynne’s aunt, who passed away from cancer in June. “My aunt Doris is the one who got me started in horses when I was younger. If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be here.”

Finally, the letters, K, M, E, N, and K on her left sleeve refer to the members of her family: her mother, Koleene; father, Matt; and brothers and sisters, Kendie, Nolan, and Evan.

“It’s been kind of a rough year for us,” she says. “My mom makes all of the show clothes for my sister and I, but she didn’t tell me she was doing this one. She showed me last night.”

“I appreciate my parents’ support, and I love them very much. I couldn’t do any of this without them, as well as Jess. He’s has become family, and losing Junior hit both of us really hard. He was my once-in-a-lifetime horse, and not a day goes by that we don’t think about him. Rock has been a good distraction from that and is turning into a really cool horse.”

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