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Report Conversation - Hedi McWilliams




(Editor’s Note: The following Q&A took place between Walking Horse Report’s Sadie Fowler and Heidi McWilliams, an owner, exhibitor and supporter of the breed for more than 30 years.)

Fowler: Tell us about your journey from Germany to the world of horses? How did you get started?

McWilliams:
I was born and raised in Munich, Germany, finishing professional school by age 18. I worked as a legal secretary for a movie producer until I met my late husband Jim in 1958. We moved to the United States and I began to learn the language. Military moved us from country to country with three children to include Okinawa. We settled in Cookeville in 1972 and started in real estate sales; opened our own real estate auction company in 1978. Upon Jim’s lengthy illness, we closed it and I continued in same business with a large company. When Jim passed away I continued with all that we did together for 57 years to include our farm, which I still live at. 

Fowler: What is something that stands out from an early Celebration you attended?

McWilliams
: Oh my! I had just started showing in smaller shows and dreamed about showing in world competition. I had heard so much. I had a special coat made, shiny, bright silver. As I entered the ring with Generator’s Black Ace my son was filming it. At home we viewed the film and I heard my son in the movie yelling, “Good grief — Mom looks like a lit-up Christmas tree! I laughed through the whole movie. Little did I know then.

Fowler: Who is your favorite WGC, one you have not owned, and why?

McWilliams: José José. I got chills on his victory ride. He sired so many talented world champions; offspring sill production world champions.

Fowler:
How often do you come to Shelbyville and what do you enjoy most besides the horse aspect?

McWilliams: I visit almost every month with numerous agendas. I visit with friends and celebrate different occasions, shop in unique stores and catch up on horse news … It’s a prosperous little city.

Fowler:
What’s something you tell your non-horse friends about Shelbyville that they find interesting?

McWilliams:
The scenery and vintage shops, beautiful farms with horse barns, and it has the friendliest people in Tennessee.

Fowler: What is your favorite food at the show?

McWilliams: Those delicious, glazed doughnuts, funnel cakes and ice cream and hot dogs.

Fowler: What’s your favorite book and why?

McWilliams: The Bible; it is a continued learning of the past history, present living, and future outcome.

Fowler:
What’s your favorite motto for approaching life? 

McWilliams:
Live, love, laugh. Together, all three are stimulant to succeed in most anything we strive to do in life and makes people around us also happy. 

Fowler:
What are your overall thoughts going into this year’s Celebration?

McWilliams: Happy, happy, happy! I feel privileged to be a part in such an adventure, and the greatest event in America!

Fowler: Anything else you’d like to share with the readers of the Walking Horse Report dailies?

McWilliams: I’m so grateful to God for allowing me to have had many years with my late Jim to enjoy the Celebration together and now I continue to be part of this awesome event. A first class act organization that comes together, down to one thought: Excellent Leadership.

 

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