By: Brittany Bevis
Facing a cancer diagnosis is a tough enough battle on its own. But consider going through that journey, for the second time, during a global pandemic. Thankfully, Mandy Heilers not only has the support of her friends and family, but her entire barn clan at MVP Performance Horses as well.
Mandy and Samantha Heilers own the multiple Congress and NSBA World Champion, Justin Beamer. Samantha competes with “Beamer” in Novice Youth all-around events under the guidance of Megan Vanderslice.
For the second time in the past five years, Mandy is battling cancer. As a result, she will not be able to attend the AQHA Youth World Show this fall to watch her daughter, Samantha, compete with Beamer. So, her barn crew decided to make signs, decorate the truck, deck out Beamer, and parade through her neighborhood in McKinney, Texas, much to the delight of local residents.
“One of our barn family members had a great idea to do a drive-by parade to cheer Mandy up,” says Megan Vanderslice, the Heiler family’s horse trainer. “I decided we should take Beamer to see her, because she will not be able to attend the Youth World to watch them show. She was shocked! She was so happy and got a little choked up.”
“Our whole local barn family made signs and decorated cars. We met in a cul-de-sac and walked Beamer a half a mile through the neighborhood to their house. He was a perfect gentleman. All of the neighbors came out to watch and meet Beamer.”
Currently, Beamer and Samantha compete in Hunter Under Saddle and Equitation, and they’re working to add Horsemanship and Showmanship. In addition to being a NSBA World Champion, Beamer is also a Congress Champion in Hunter Under Saddle. Apparently, he’s also an excellent parade horse and Quarter Horse ambassador, especially when he gets to wear his favorite flower wreath.
“Going through cancer once is tough. Then, doing it during this time must be so hard. I can’t imagine. Mandy is always there to cheer everyone up, so we wanted to return the favor!”
If you have a great story to share with EquineChronicle.com, email B.Bevis@EquineChronicle.com.