Sunday, November 16, 2008

Passing: AERC Hall of Famer Jeri Scott

From Julie Suhr:

AERC Hall of Famer Jeri Scott's life was celebrated today at the Santa Clara County Horsemen's Grounds following her funeral services. Jeri was elected to the AERC Hall of Fame in 1989 for her dedicated service as a volunteer treasurer for many years.

The following from a letter she sent about a year ago when she knew her time was limited is quite poignant.

I have so many wonderful memories of all the hours with Pistol and riding with friends, endurance rides, meetings, board meetings, conferences, banquets, parties, QSER and AERC and all that both organizations meant to me. And all the behind the scenes hard work I did with both clubs as a member and a board member. I put in a lot of hours with QSER and even more with AERC crunching numbers. Bill Waters paid for an accountant to help me put together all the QSER paperwork, volumes of paperwork, to apply for non-profit status with IRS. Then there was the thrill of winning the IRS QSER audit. I prepared so hard for that audit and I won. I often wonder if QSER ever really understood that they could have lost their non-profit standing that day. Everything hung on that audit turning out well. I don't think the board members were that impressed at the time which was a bit of a downer for me but later in the week Pistol and I took a trail ride in QS park and we had our very special and rare treat of jelly donuts and I took along a small bottle of Champaign, most of which spilled due to being carried in a saddle bag, and we celebrated winning the audit. I have so many memories of debates over issues in QSER and AERC, the limited distance program, weight issues, juniors, protests, and always the budget and financial problems. It was a wonderful era with many changes going on.

I have so many wonderful memories of the time I spent with Pistol and the special bond we had, trail rides alone in the park where we just rode slow and enjoyed the experience or I just hung around in the pasture and watched him and the other horses interact or spent time grooming him and talking with him. And of course the endurance rides. Him with his front foot on the bumper of the camper bouncing it up and down trying to hurry me along with his hot bran and shredded carrot breakfast. Me calling him on my way back to the camper after a ride meeting and his answering me. All the smells of the morning at the beginning of an endurance ride, hot horse poop and horse sweat and excitement. I close my eyes and I am back there. The pride of finishing ride after ride on a horse no one but me had faith in to begin with. The pride of finishing Tevis. The respect that the vets and riders alike eventually gave the fat little horse who could and did.

When I think back I have a panorama, a smorgasbord, of the most wonderful thrilling memories anyone could have. I could write a book. In fact I always was going to write a book but I waited to long.

I shared everything with Pistol. My problems, my wins, my loses. We had a bond like no other and it spilled out and overflowed into my life and my work with both clubs. Well, now I've made myself cry and crying is not good. It makes my incision hurt. It has to be remembered that without Pistol I would never have become involved with QSER or AERC. Pistol was the glue that put it altogether.

I know Pistol was her first horse and when he died, I don't think she ever rode again. His saddle and her boots were at the services.

Julie Suhr

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