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ASR Diplomat of the Breed - Portrait Of A Lady
ASR Diplomat Of The Breed - June 2018
Portrait Of A Lady
The Shirkey family knew they were getting a special horse when they purchased Portrait Of A Lady in 2000, but they had no idea just how special she would turn out to be.
As a four-year-old, the mare was already a stunning beauty, a petite bay with a flowing mane and tail. Her barn name, Juliette, fit her to a tee. And she was a dream come true for her twelve-year-old rider Bethany Shirkey. Juliette and her young partner became best friends; they literally grew up together, forging a bond that has grown deeper and stronger with every year. The mare made Bethany feel special and working with her gave Bethany the skills that would help her manage the rest of her life.
By a son of world’s champion sire Worthy Son, Juliette took to the show ring like the professional she was bred to be. Starting in the junior exhibitor country pleasure division, she quickly transitioned to country western pleasure and country hunter pleasure, where her success skyrocketed, twice earning the Pennsylvania Saddlebred Horse Association versatility award. Bethany and Juliette have won Saddle and Bridle hunter pleasure pins and William Shatner western pleasure buckles in four different states as well as multiple high point awards over an eight year span from both the Pennsylvania and New York State Saddlebred Associations. The team twice competed at the national level in St. Louis, earning sixth and third place ribbons in hunter pleasure. In her barn home, Juliette and/or her rider have been named Horse of the Year, Rider of the Year, and Role Models of the Year.
Over the years, the popular pair learned confidence and sportsmanship, not just in the ring, but outside as well. Her special bond with her human friend has given Juliette a unique talent and ability to connect with others. The personable mare has visited senior living facilities and given lessons to beginner rides, as well as to special needs riders requiring extra care and attention. Juliette has served as an ambassador for her breed at the Pennsylvania Horse World Expo and at the New York State Fair. The team has made multiple presentations on behalf of the breed at schools, summer camps and local rotary clubs.
Portrait Of A Lady sets an outstanding example for the American Saddlebred and is a treasured member of the Shirkey family. They fondly call her their little “energizer bunny.” At age 21, she just keeps going and going, and we’re all so glad she does!
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