December 2019 - Carol Dean Porter Tributes
Written by CRM
Sunday, 01 December 2019 09:36
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Late horsewoman’s legacy lives on through friends.

As Carol Dean Porter’s many friends prepare to celebrate her life on Saturday, Dec 7 at the Hansen Dam Horse Park, we asked some to share stories of how she touched them as a person and a horsewoman. Carol passed away on Oct. 21 and is missed by many throughout the equestrian world but her legacy will clearly live on through the many she influenced.
    


Celebration of Carol’s Life: Saturday, Dec. 7, 11 a.m. at the Hansen Dam Horse Park in Lakeview Terrace. Friends of Carol’s are invited to celebrate her remarkable life and contributions to the sport. Please RSVP to Marnye Langer at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Marnye Langer

I loved to share my horse and riding related ideas and questions with Carol. I would explain what I was thinking or feeling, Carol would listen thoughtfully, and then she would share some observation or insight that made the lightbulb go off in my head. When I implemented her suggestion, inevitably I got improvement. She was an astute, empathetic observer of the horse and always wanted to see horses happy and successful in their jobs.

When I was frustrated, she would give me perspective. When I was lacking confidence, she would give me courage. When I was delighted in an accomplishment, she would cheer and reinforce the things that led to the success. I could count on Carol being honest and always in a constructive manner. I knew Carol always put the horse first and so I listened carefully when she gave advice.

Carol was also a fan of horsemanship and helping people maximize their enjoyment with horses. When I needed help with the Los Angeles Hunter Jumper Association Horsemastership Scholarship, a three-phase program that emphasizes horsemanship, Carol was one of the first to raise her hand to help. She contributed to judging the Riding Phase, and she also actively helped with the Hands-on Phase. She loved talking to the participants and coaching them through tasks they were unsure of. She made sure they finished the Hands-on Phase with more knowledge and confidence to encourage them to maintain a life-long love and respect for the horse.

I miss my friend, but I know her spirit is carried forward by many of us. When I work through something with one of my horses or have a particularly good jumping round, instead of texting Carol I send a little thought out to the universe. Wherever or however she is, I am sure she appreciates my intent and appreciation.

And I am honored that the entire LAHJA Board of Directors renamed our scholarship program to: The Carol Dean Porter LAHJA Horsemastership Scholarship

Diane Grod

I could never adequately describe the emotional toll the loss of Carol Porter has had on me. She was a friend, fellow competitor and judge. Carol was more like a sister to me and she was the largest contributor to me in my appraisal business. So, I guess you could call her a partner as well.

Not long after I became a Certified Equine Appraiser in 1997, Carol insisted that everyone thinking of donating a horse to National Park Trust hire me before she would take them for her charity. I literally appraised over 300 horses for her through the years. We collaborated together on a weekly basis and sometimes just talked about “stuff.” I had the misfortune of breaking the news of Rob Gage’s death to her. I will never forget that moment in time.

Carol passed the torch, so to speak, to Jonelle Ramsay of Ramsay Equine Select to keep donations going to the charity she loved so much, National Park Trust, and Jonelle will continue to do that in Carol’s memory and as a legacy to her past support.

I think about her every day as she was truly one of the greatest people I know. I am sure she is looking over (her husband) Dan’s shoulder constantly. She passed away on their 30th anniversary.

Rest in peace, dear friend. I wish we could have talked more when I went to see her in the hospital. She was in so much pain but now she is finally pain free and with God.

Denise Finch

How do you put into 400 words or less what your hero meant to you? It’s also hard to find any words at all when your heart is still so sad. The lessons I learned from my years with Carol as my mentor go far beyond horses. Yes, I learned a lot about horses from her, an immeasurable amount, in fact. But as I find myself missing her every day since her passing, it is her advice and voice of reason I miss the most. Sometimes this was telling me it will all be OK and sometimes it was putting her boot up my butt with a necessary reality check. Because of her guidance and positive influence, I am a better person, wife, mother and, of course, trainer.

Carol was someone I could always count on in life, which is something I find rare these days. If I had questions, she always answered regardless of where she was, what she was doing or how she felt. I will probably miss that most of all and I’m thankful she’ll always be a voice in my head.

Carol was a true horseman, which besides honesty and accountability, is also becoming increasingly rare these days. She believed that kids should be taught all aspects of our sport and the horse, not just how to find the distance to 10 jumps accurately. She encouraged everyone to continue teaching the next generation what it means to be a horseman, not just a rider. I am thankful that she instilled these values in me and, in turn, I will pass them along to everyone I have the honor of teaching.

She also gave back to the masses with Judge My Ride, where she shared her tips, knowledge and guidance with those that couldn’t have access to her on an everyday basis. It is hard to know how many people and horses she touched and helped with Judge My Ride alone: it has to be countless.

Carol was one of the greatest horsemen and people you could ever hope to know. Her legacy will carry on in her many students and people that loved her. Even though she’s gone, she’ll always be right here.