The other week I found out that we had lost my friend Debbie Devita. She was a great and fun person to be around. Creative and bright! She kept her horses at my favorite place in the world, Leatherwood Mountains. I met her years ago while riding up there and would email her when I was coming up to see if she had time to come and ride with us. She would join us usually on Sunday mornings with her horse Tyrone. A long time endurance horse of hers who is a beautiful Arabian. My friend Bev met Debbie on one of our rides and thought she recognized Tyrone, turns out she has known the horse her whole life. She is friends with the lady who bred him and was there when he foaled. (SMALL WORLD) After a while Debbie also got a new horse to train and ride. She named him A.J. after her fathers initials. She would sometimes ride Tyrone and pony A.J. to get him used to the trail and fit.
Debbie was also a VERY Talented photographer. She took portraits and wedding photos so beautiful. www.devitaphoto.com
Debbie made friends with everyone she met instantly. She loved her animals and always took great joy out of them.
They had a memorial service for her at Leatherwood on July 3rd. My parents and Molly were visiting but I felt I had to go. Molly went with me and we took off with the mules to attend. The plan was that several people would be on horse back for the service but once we got there and saw how many people had come I felt it would not be safe to ride in. Between 250 and 300 people attended. Many people, including many of my friends who work at Leatherwood got up and gave testimony to the great friend she was and how much she will be missed. It was a very nice service!
Afterward I visited with some of my friends and also talked to several of the people who were at the service. I met a childhood friend of Debbie's, some riding buddies and a nice couple with a young baby whom Debbie had befriended when she took wedding photos and then baby pictures for them.
Abbie and the whole Leatherwood crew did such a great job pulling off the event. We found out later that Abbie also had to coordinate a wedding later in the day. Strange but true to real life that some things end while others are just beginning.
Molly and I went to eat lunch at the Saddlebrook Grille with Carolyn and then took a ride for a few hours before heading home. It was a very long day but I felt I needed to be there to bid a friend farewell and hug some other friends that are hurting!