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Elizabeth Shatner: Multi-Breed Horsewoman & Philanthropist PART TWO by Jane E. B. Simmons (c) 2011 William and Elizabeth Shatner in Cannes, France in 2010. Photo by Zachary Maxwell Stertz In Part One, published in the January 2011 issue of Saddle & Bridle Magazine, Elizabeth Shatner shared her efforts and goals for helping others through her activities in the horse world: supporting the Western Pleasure and Reining competitions at the Hollywood Charity Horse Show and its contributions to benefit kids in need; contributing to the Horses for Heroes riding program for disabled veterans through sales of her art pieces; joining her husband, William Shatner, in his fundraising for Israeli Riding Centers for children of different cultures; furthering her Flowrosophy digital art techniques, and her Flowrschach interactive art event concept; being part of Breyer’s 2010 Breyerfest; unveiling her Unbridled Collection of equine art, and ceaselessly giving of her time and skills to highlight the beauty and joy horses can bring into people’s lives through various other projects/events — like the recent World Equestrian Games held last fall in Lexington at the Kentucky Horse Park. Before age five, Elizabeth Joyce Anderson enjoyed the world of horses coming into her life, and she maintains that joyful focus to this day, riding and working with horses of many breeds. “My father started me with weekly bridle path rides on rental horses before my fifth birthday. I learned to post when he would say: Up. Down. Up. Down,” Elizabeth told me during our January interview. As a horse-loving child, Elizabeth “played with Breyer model horses. I could not have dreamed that someday I would be involved in the company’s collection.” Breyer “selected our 12-time World’s Champion Standardbred, All Glory, as the 2010 Celebration Model.” All Glory, she pointed out, “was the first ever to win these Championships under saddle and also to bike.” The All Glory collectible model “was only available to BreyerFest February 2011 2010 attendees last July, but I have some that I negotiated for liveauction charity work and for Target House in Memphis, Tennessee.” Friend and star “Brad Paisley just helped build a Family Room” in 2009 in the fully-equipped 98-apartment section of St. Jude Children’s Hospital. “Everything at Target House is provided free for the long-term treatment of these ill kids, and their families. It even has a school for them.” Elizabeth “arranged for the kids currently at Target House to receive an All Glory model.” As part of BreyerFest last year, Elizabeth “created a three-act entertainment performance honoring the History of the American Standardbred. I wrote the script and then collaborated with celebrity announcer and TV producer Wayne Williams to put the production to music for the event. My show was tied into BreyerFest 2010’s Horses in Hollywood theme and it played to a crowd of 5,000 each of the three days in July,” she said. Elizabeth’s program first highlighted “the training required to move a horse from the race track to the show ring. It was like a clinic. Then, we portrayed a doctor and his buggy as the ambulance of the past. We then paid homage to Frances Dodge and her famous gelding Greyhound performing at Lexington’s Red Mile track, with my gelding All Glory and me filling those roles these many decades later in a performance at the Kentucky Horse Park.” She said thanks goes to “those helping with the performances, including: Dena Lopez, Jimmy Robertson, Steve Wheeler, Raymond Shively riding Rose Run Gretchen, Tiffany Wheeler driving Rocket Man, and Bill Knight driving Raising The Bar” as they portrayed the doctor and ambulance. “After we all left the ring, we staged a Match Race. It is unusual to see the novelty of American Standardbreds race side by side, with one under saddle and one driven to bike,” she said. “The Match Race was between Hall of Fame horseman Raymond Shively who piloted World’s Champion Thunderbolt, while I rode All Glory. It was exciting. Glory was trotting next to Thunderbolt harnessed to his bike. With no blinders. Glory still never broke his trot. All Glory and Elizabeth Shatner at BreyerFest 2010 in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Shatner The end result was the Match Race paid off for charity, which greatly pleased me.” For the final performance, Elizabeth’s husband “Bill drove in the Match Race.” Elizabeth said: “At the end of the program, all participants returned to the arena in a parade. Bill Knight drove his ambulance like a chariot ... cheering our troops as the veteran he is himself. We all loved promoting the theme: Horses of history, making history, still serving 69 Elizabeth Anderson, in her late teens, astride her family’s Arabian stallion, Count Raki, at the Kentucky All-Arabian Annual Bluegrass show at the State Fairgrounds in Louisville Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Shatner those in need.” Elizabeth, who is passionate about promoting Saddlebreds, has also produced several performances for the American Saddlebred Horse. “Kentucky’s Equine Affaire people asked me to bring this show to their Mane Event. I enjoyed producing the equine entertainment acts for The Celebration of the Horse in Santa Barbara, California, Equine Affaire’s Mane Event in Louisville, Kentucky, and Equitana West in Del Mar, California and for breed promotion, fundraising and education at Martin Stables in Montecito, California.” Elizabeth also has “produced and conducted educational clinics and breed demonstrations for the United Professional Horsemen’s Association (UPHA), Equitana West, and Equine Affaire” which holds annual expositions across the country for horse industry people to network and learn in various workshops. The Anderson’s youngest daughter “was born with a love of horses. I was born on December 30, 1958 in Hinsdale, Illinois — the last of Daniel Leith Anderson and Dorothy Jaehne’s five children. Horses were part of my family for generations.” Elizabeth revealed this family history: “My great grandfather Stalford’s stables in Chicago kept horses to rent for pulling carriages and wagons, and he serviced the vehicles. His stables offered nightly boarding. It was like a parking garage of his day.” When “my great grandfather and his daughter, my maternal grandmother Ruby, became mortally ill, that left her husband Axel Anderson with their seven surviving children and some 20 head of horses. My grandfather Axel worked full time as a printer foreman at Donnelly Press in Chicago. Becoming a widower, he put his seven strong kids to work in the Stalford Stables, which was in their mother’s name. I have a Stalford Stables newsletter dated 1941,” she said. “At age eight, I got my very own pony, Poquito, that means ‘Little Bit.’ She was a Dunn-colored Galaceno Pony that was almost a buckskin, with no dorsal stripe. This breed was first introduced to the Americas by the Spanish conquistadores in the 1500s. The name also is spelled Galiceno,” Elizabeth noted. “While attending Madison Public Elementary School” in Hinsdale, Illinois, young Elizabeth “took lessons in Hunt Seat.” She “then 70 attended Avery Coonley, a private elementary school for gifted children in nearby Donnars Grove.” Then “my father was promoted and transferred to Indianapolis, Indiana by the Allen Bradley Company. It was an electronics firm. There, I went to Fall Creek Elementary School.” During “the summer of my sixth grade year, my parents moved us to a farm north of Indianapolis in Lebanon. I attended the Lebanon Elementary School there.” Her father owned “a Quarter Horse named Sam and my pony. They were stabled at a barn on 56th Street in Indianapolis during the early to mid-1970s. He bought a Saddlebred and then a half-Arab and then an Arab stallion.” To ride “protected from the cold Indiana winters, I worked out a deal to break colts in exchange for boarding my Arabian stallion so I could ride him inside. I set this up with Red Koontz who was the trainer and manager at a barn in nearby Zionsville. I worked Quarter Horses there from age 12 to 14. I showed my stallion and Half Arabs.” When “I was 16 years old, I began teaching riding at the Village Farm Club that had a barn and arena,” Elizabeth told me. “I taught using Helen Crabtree’s book on Saddle Seat Equitation. I studied a chapter at a time. The program involved local folks, and I covered everything from putting on a halter, to grooming, to properly feeding” the horses. “I won a title for my youth judging for the Indiana Arabian Club. I won National Arabian Legion of Honor awards and regional championships at shows such as the Indiana All Arabian show, the Ohio Buckeye Sweepstakes, the Kentucky Arabian Bluegrass show, and others on the Indiana Saddle Horse Association circuit in the 1970s.” Growing up, Elizabeth weaved her horse life into her academic life. She “attended Lebanon High School,” from which she was “graduated in 1977.” In school, “I most enjoyed science, Spanish, creative writing, and art,” she said. “My siblings all rode growing up but none ever competed. I had two brothers, Scott and Leith, and two sisters, Christie and Gayle. Last October, my brother Scott died suddenly. It was right after the 2010 World Equestrian Games. I last saw him at the Kentucky State Fair that August in Louisville,” Elizabeth told me. In 1978, “I left home for college in Indianapolis where I attended Purdue University, studying Animal Science until 1980. I had received an Arabian Youth Judging award and that money provided school funds. I then went briefly to Butler University where I switched majors to Liberal Arts and Telecommunications. Its beautiful campus was on nearly 300 acres.” The world of horses, however, “drew me to a job at Stachowski Farms in Mantua, Ohio. I left the University in 1980 and became an assistant trainer to Anthony, Peter, and Jim Stachowski,” she said. “I helped with everything including grooming.” Thus, Elizabeth Anderson at age 22 “became a professional horsewoman in 1980.” Elizabeth quickly moved on from there. She accepted a job in Kentucky at the Lasma East Arabian farm. In between the Stachowski job and the Lasma job, Elizabeth “went home to Indiana to visit.” There she met a young horseman named Mike Martin “who was working at Blue and White Stables, owned by Hap Cloud. I got to show Hap’s horse, Sea Of Wonders. This was the first time I showed a Saddlebred.” She then “went to work in Prospect, Kentucky at Lasma East Arabians. I was the transportation director. My job entailed photographing all of the incoming horses, setting up their files and documenting their breeding activity, and doing their photographs when they left, to show they were in good health. I also gave tours of the farm. I was commuting every day from Lexington to Prospect.” After “Mike began working in Lexington, Kentucky at the Castle Hill Stables,” they continued to date. Horseman “Don Harris suggested us Saddle & Bridle Shown here (left to right) are: Liz and Mike Martin, Carter Ragsdale, Christine E. Shaw, televangelist Dr. Gene Scott, and Roy Tuttle, holding blue ribbons won at the Kansas City (Missouri) American Royal Horse Show circa 1989. “We all were part of the Silver Oaks University Network Equestrian Team,” Elizabeth said. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Shatner for a job up north.” The young couple “accepted the opportunity and moved” to Michigan. “From 1981 to 1984, we worked Saddlebred show horses in Goodrich, Michigan at Diamond Hill Farm that was owned by Barry and Nancy Greenberg. I personally worked up to 12 horses a day and continued competing, training, and judging.” In 1983, horse trainer Elizabeth Anderson took on a new role: wife. She and fellow trainer Mike Martin “married on November 19, 1983 in my hometown of Lebanon, Indiana. We had a small church wedding.” The next year, Mike and Elizabeth Martin moved back to Kentucky where they worked for Jim B. Robertson and his son Jimmy. (You can read my Word Portrait on the Robertson horse family through the story of Walter Scott Robertson, son of Jim Blount and brother to Jim Blount Robertson II, in the August 2007 issue of Saddle & Bridle Magazine.) “Jim B. told us: ‘I am not hiring you, I am drafting you.’ We learned not only from him and Jimmy but from Margaret Ann. She mentored us in the sales operation. In addition to our work, I helped with the sales catalogues and Mike helped with driving the horse trucks.” Of their nearly four years at the Robertson’s stables, Elizabeth said “it was a perfect stepping stone of learning toward having our own stables. We learned so much there.” It was Jim B. who “set up the next job” for Elizabeth and Mike. “He helped us in 1985 go part of the year to California to work with a stables that had purchased horses from him. So, Mike and I were training by dividing our time each year between Kentucky and California. Then, the California horse owner offered for us to work full time,” she said. “From 1987 to 1991, we worked in California at the Silver Oaks Farm of televangelist Dr. Gene Scott. During our four years, we trained and showed his horses most of the time. Our grooms were church members. Our work was filmed nearly 24-7 so the footage could be used on his TV channel. When we showed, church members, like a fan club, held signs and cheered. We were starring in a true horse reality show on his University Network.” Elizabeth said “Dr. Scott accepted donations from his followers to buy horses, among other things.” For three decades, Scott “was pastor of Los Angeles University Cathedral,” a Protestant congregation of more than 15,000 members housed in a landmark downtown building. In the mid-1970s, according to news stories, Scott began February 2011 hosting a nightly live television broadcast of Bible teaching. His nightly talk show and Sunday morning church services were aired on radio and television stations to about 180 countries around the world by his University Network. Dr. Scott’s horse-buying approach helped him to off-set the changes in tax laws in 1986 that hit horse owners hard. “Before 1986, horse owners could quickly depreciate their horses and receive a 10 percent investment tax credit.” This ultimately played a role in their getting their own stables at the famous Stalloreggi Ranch. In 1991, “Mike and I rented the barn that was part of the estate of oil heiress Cynthia Wood who got out of the business and sold her Stalloreggi Ranch in 1983 to a developer,” Elizabeth noted. The fabulous facility, when not sold, eventually “became available to rent. Nick and Barbara Thomas, who had Arabs and Saddlebreds, introduced us to the developer.” So, “we moved to Montecito in Santa Barbara County where we opened our Martin Stables, a public training facility, and the Montecito Riding Academy.” Originally, the Saddlebred and Hackney Pony main barn was air-conditioned. But “the beautifully crafted 27-stall barn was not air conditioned when we got it. It had a 300-foot long hallway. Our offer was to clean up the place — that had fallen into disrepair — for a reduced lease price. We lived there in an apartment over the barn.” “We started out with five horses and a lesson horse. With hard work, Mike Martin and wife Elizabeth in the hallway of Silver Oaks Farm’s stables in California circa the late1980s. Photo by courtesy of Elizabeth Shatner we filled the barn, and the lesson program, and had a limited number of boarders. We had a show string that included Beau Ollie, Super Serenade, and Wild-Eyed And Wicked.” During this time, Elizabeth said she was “introduced to Andalusians and Lucitanos by Diandra Douglas. I had the opportunity to ride high school and dressage. This led to my interest in getting my Andalusian judge’s card with the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF). I judged many regional shows and have continued since to do this, as well as also to judge National Championships,” she mentioned. “Before Mike became ill in 1995,” Elizabeth said, “he was training the-yet-to-be-famous Saddlebred named Wild-Eyed And Wicked. Mike had gaited him and I finished him. We borrowed $15,000 from my dad and mom, to go with what money we had, to purchase him. That was the last horse Mike and I shared as a training project, and was the last horse Mike put his leg over. He was later bought by Dena Lopez who took him to his first championship.” (See my Word Portrait on Sally Jackson, and her ownership of Wild-Eyed And Wicked at his death, in 71 Bill Shatner and Donna Moore visit Arthur Simmons Stables in Mexico, Missouri in 1987 (from left to right front row): Donna Moore, Jennifer Simmons (Jim and Mary’s daughter) and Jane Simmons; (back row): William Shatner, Art Simmons, Elizabeth O’Keefe (Jane’s daughter), Ollie Simmons, Jim Simmons, Mary Jane Gridley Simmons, and Scott Simmons (Jim and Mary’s son). Photo courtesy of Jane E. B. Simmons the Saddle & Bridle Magazine issues of November and December 2008. Sally is the just-announced recipient of the Meritorious Service Award at the February 2011 American Saddlebred Horse Association (ASHA) annual meeting in Lexington.) Then, Elizabeth’s life took another major turn. “Mike passed in August 1997 from lymphoma of the bone. He battled the bone cancer for a year and a half.” In his memory, Elizabeth “produced three memorials: at Mike’s boyhood fishing place in Talahoochie, Georgia, we spread some of his ashes with only close family attending. I carried some of his ashes to Stalloreggi, where we did a sage burning ritual to say goodbye to the smoke/soul. I was unaware I needed paperwork to carry Mike’s ashes in my backpack across the country but the airport officials finally cleared the openable urn. That summer, at the Santa Barbara horse show, we had a free-style horse performance done to the song entitled Free Bird.” She noted that “Douwe Blumberg did a sculpture depicting Mike on Wild-Eyed And Wicked.” Elizabeth Anderson Martin, a widow at age 38, “carried on” with her Martin Stables. Eventually, though, she “moved her horse business operation out of the Stalloreggi property when it was purchased by Diandra Douglas before her divorce,” from actor husband Michael Douglas. “I moved my horse operation in 1998 to the El Capitan farm in Goleta, California. It had 30 stalls but the place was an outdoor facility with no place to work the horses inside” she pointed out. “I continued to show, and ride, and judge, and keep the Martin Stables open, and deal with my grief,” Elizabeth continued. (See Part One of this Word Portrait in the January 2011 issue of Saddle & Bridle Magazine.) “When I learned in the summer of 1999 that William Shatner had lost his wife Nerine, I decided to write a condolence note to this grieving fellow horseman. I knew how hard losing a spouse could be when the death is expected for a long while but I felt losing a spouse in a quick moment must be so much more difficult. Over the years, I had known Bill from competing at some of the same horse shows.” The “hearts of so many of us in the horse industry went out to Bill. Later, in memory of his deceased third wife, Bill founded the nonprofit Nerine Shatner Friendly House, which is one of America’s first residential homes for women recovering from alcohol and substance abuse.” 72 So how did Elizabeth and Bill get together? “My note led Bill to get my phone number from his business manager whose wife had horses in training with me. Bill pursued me with phone calls, invitations, and long conversations. He made the effort to drive to Santa Barbara where I was. Through all of this, we grew to know that we didn’t want to spend time apart,” Elizabeth told me. “Our love of horses brought us together,” she summarized. “After we got together, I sold my stables in Goleta.” On February 13, 2001, Elizabeth and Bill married. She “went back home” to have another wedding ceremony in Lebanon, Indiana. This time, “Bill and I were on the run from paparazzi to protect my dad, who had Alzheimer’s, from feeling threatened. So, we had our small wedding at the home of one of my sisters, with family and a few friends. After the fact, the paparazzi found the house.” Elizabeth revealed she and Bill Shatner married twice. In California, “we had another wedding ceremony again in Malibu for our family there and a few close friends.” Actor William Shatner is known to us Star Trek fans as Captain Kirk of the Starship Enterprise from 1966 to 1969. Upon marrying Bill, Elizabeth “became an instant stepmother and step grandmother. Bill and his first wife Gloria had three daughters: Leslie Carol born in 1958, Lisabeth Mary born in 1960, and Melanie born in 1964. “I was there for the birth of the last two of Bill’s grandchildren because they were born after Bill and I were married. Interacting with my three granddaughters and two grandsons is such a joy.” The Shatners, who live primarily in California, also have “a house in Kentucky in one of the small developments in the horse country west of Lexington. Often we eat on the run grabbing something from a grocery deli and just eat in our Ford Explorer pick up.” Bill “sold his own 360-acre Belle Reve Farm near Versailles, Kentucky in 1999.” Now they stable their horses “in various training facilities” in several states. Elizabeth “became non-pro in 2000 and since then, I’ve had the honor to ride and drive All Glory to numerous World’s Championship titles in the Roadster Division both under saddle and to bike. I also have ridden The Full Monty to win the 2002 World’s Grand Championship in the Amateur Five-Gaited class.” In 2007, Elizabeth gathered “three wins with six-year-old World’s Champion three-gaited gelding Boston Legal, trained by Prospect Lane Farm in Versailles.” Currently, she is learning to rein horses. Her “teachers are husband Bill and their Quarter Horse trainer Danny Gerardi. Bill is so proud of winning a silver buckle for adult amateur reining skills on the West Coast.” She is in her “fourth year competing with the Quarter Horse reiners as a non-pro” and has won several classes “riding the mare Dr. Cassie, under the training of Danny. We also have CF Fatal Powder, and Powder River Gunsmoke, among others,” Elizabeth said. Elizabeth currently is “working on another initiative for this Spring of 2011 in Kentucky, promoting raised gardening boxes for disabled veterans. Working with flowers and plants from a wheelchair is difficult. Creating raised boxes helps.” This is a continuation of Elizabeth’s All Glory Project, which includes raising funds for therapeutic riding — especially for the Horses for Heroes Program (as covered in Part One). Also this spring, “I am pleased my Flowosophy artwork will be soothing residents in the new wing of Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital in Lexington.” Elizabeth’s fundraising is ultra traditional compared to some ideas used by her husband Bill. He sold his kidney stone, passed in October 2005, for $25,000 which went toward the building of a Habitat for Humanity house. Elizabeth has yet to bring forth her own book but one can fully expect that is something this indomitable woman probably will do. Her Saddle & Bridle husband has set a strong pace. His autobiography, entitled Up Till Now, came out in May 2008; it was his sixth memoir. His readers know, for instance, that he is involved in the American Tinnitus Association because he suffers from tinnitus. Bill is well known for helping to start a new division within the Saddlebred industry. It was in 1986, William Thompson and William Shatner shared a vision of expanding the horizons of their beloved American Saddlebred and did so by forming the Saddle & Bridle William Shatner Western Pleasure division. As a result today, some 25 years later, every show from coast to coast features Western Pleasure classes. (See my threepart Word Portrait on Bill Thompson in the 2004 September, October, and November issues of Saddle & Bridle Magazine. Bill is the justannounced recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2011 February ASHA annual meeting.) I personally got to meet William Shatner in 1987 when he traveled to Mexico, Missouri to look at horses at my dad’s stables. Accompanying him was Kentucky horsewoman Donna Moore. All of the Art Simmons family, except my son John, were able to come by briefly to visit with him and Donna. Where does Elizabeth Anderson Martin Shatner get the energy for all she does? I asked slim 5’8” blue/green eyed Elizabeth for her secret of maintaining such a high-energy life. She told me: “partially from my Anderson and Jaehne blood, and my focus on healthy food and exercise, especially working with the horses. And partially, I think, from early on in my life by my trying to keep up with four older siblings and being five years younger than the youngest of them, and now trying to keep up with Bill.” He celebrated his 79th birthday in March of 2010 but he “is my Nurture inspiration.” She mused that “a little Espresso helps too.” February 2011 Another healthy habit, we both discussed, was cleaning produce. During one of our phone interviews, Elizabeth told me she cleans her organic fruits and vegetables “with grape seed oil.” I shared that I deparasite mine, straight home from the store, with organic apple cider vinegar. Elizabeth sums up how she and her husband view their passion for horses: “We explore the world through the eye of the equestrian because horse people are horse people the world over.” Elizabeth and Bill Shatner are known as ultimate horse-loving people the world over. William Shatner is the just-announced recipient of the C.J. “June” Cronan Sportsmanship Award at the 2011 February ASHA annual meeting in Lexington. And, Elizabeth’s commitment to the horses was acknowledged again last month. Elizabeth told me on January 13 she had “just accepted the invitation to be the Honorary Chair of this year’s 75th Lexington Junior League Horse Show and to be the Honorary Host of its Galloping Gaited Gala on July 9.” Since this news came after the online publication of Part One of her Word Portrait a week earlier, I am so happy to be able to include this news here in February’s Part Two! *** You may contact Elizabeth Shatner through her website: www.ElizabethShatner.com. She is on Facebook and Twitter. You may contact Jane through her book’s website: www.SimmonsBook.com and learn about America’s early horse industry history in her 328-page book — Arthur Simmons: American Icon Of The Horse World — that is fact-packed with information on the horses, people, and events that impacted his life and hers, as the daughter of this internationally known horseman. Jane’s book, which makes a great gift with its 700+ captioned photos, can be purchased for $35 with a credit card through PayPal on the website; it retails for $49.95. Watch the free short slide show on the website. Jane is on Facebook. 73