Thanks to All!

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A not-so-small army of family, friends, and volunteers pitched in enthusiastically to make the enormous undertaking of preparing for, presenting at, and competing in the 2009 Road to the Horse Colt Starting Challenge work. We'd like to acknowledge how blessed we are to have these amazing folks in our lives.

Family first! Brandi and Josh both rode in my demonstrations and helped to show how we all really can have fun on horseback. Josh also was my pen wrangler during the competition. Since he competed himself in 2003, I knew he'd be a great choice. Mike, our 17-year-old, drove our huge truck and trailer across the country-this marked the first time he'd driven more than 45 miles! Jana kept everyone fed and relaxed, and Katie helped out enormously in the booth. Even our grandkids pitched in with helping hands and enthusiasm.

A workforce of volunteers helped with the horses, manned our booth, and generally pitched in wherever needed. One crew-who began rehearsals viewing a carriage harness as a bewildering mass of straps-learned to unsaddle and immediately hitch Preacher up to our carriage in a total of 50 seconds, so the choreography would coordinate properly with a song. They ended up completing this feat so smoothly that the few people who realized what an accomplishment it was assumed it had been done by professionals!

And what an amazing feeling it was to see the mass of red-and-black jackets that marked the Lyons certified trainers. The consummate professionalism of this group, who lent their support and prayers to me wholeheartedly, made me feel quite humbled and honored to have my name on those jackets!

Again, we thank everyone whose efforts helped make this event something we'll always remember. Win or lose, we know we've received the greatest testament to friendship and blessing from the Lord we could ever hope for.

--John and Jody Lyons