Skip to content

Kathy Anderson: Following a Passion

(Editor's note: the following editorial was published in the August 24, 2014 issue of the Walking Horse Report)

By Sarah Smith

Kathy Anderson was born in western Pennsylvania, but grew up in Livingston, N.J. She is the oldest of three sisters and the daughter of a school teacher and coach. Anytime away from school was filled with sports activities, but Kathy dreamt of one day owning a horse. She recalls a picture of a horse in her childhood pediatrician’s office, “I thought it was the most beautiful horse I’d ever seen,” said Kathy. Looking back, that picture was one of a Tennessee Walking Horse and an image that filled her dreams into an adulthood passion.

Kathy did her undergraduate studies at the University of Maryland and then attended the University of Florida Law School. After her graduation, she moved to Miami and buried herself in her work with the Holland & Knight Law Firm. Hard work paid off and she soon made partner with the firm at a very young age and was the first woman to be named head of a practice area. Kathy worked for the firm until her retirement 10 years ago. Since then, she has continued to practice as an in-house counsel for the family business and investments.

During her time at Holland & Knight, Kathy met her husband of 31 years, John. The two have a daughter, Amanda, who recently moved to Maryville, Tenn., and is the Spa and Wellness Director for Blackberry Farm. Amanda enjoyed horses and showed with her mother as a child. John, while he loves and supports Kathy’s showing of horses, only participates from afar. John however, did purchase the couple’s Shelbyville Farm over 20 years ago while Kathy was at the barn riding! The farm is the Andersons’ getaway from their home in Winter Park, Fla.

Kathy’s first opportunity to ride a horse was while attending law school. Her friend gave her lessons on a horse named Jack. Jack was half walking horse and half saddlebred. Through the years, Kathy’s love for horses and dream of owning one was still alive. After years of hard work and burying herself in her law practice, John told Kathy she needed to follow her passion and enjoy herself. It was then that Kathy began her search for her own Tennessee Walking Horse. Her first purchase was a 17 hand racking mare from the Another Masterpiece bloodline. Being in Florida posed problems for owning a performance horse. Farriers are not as accessible in Florida as they are in “horse country” of Middle Tennessee, so she sold her mare and focused on flat-shod walking horses. The Andersons quickly added several horses to their line-up.

Kathy won her first World Championship in 1997 aboard Coin’s Lovely Lindy. She owned and loved the special mare her entire life. Coin’s Lovely Lindy passed at the grand age of 27 and is buried on the Andersons’ farm in Shelbyville. Since then, the Andersons have owned and shown many horses and continued their support of the industry financially and with their time and efforts.

When Hannah Pulvers moved her training facility to Shelbyville, Tenn., several years ago, Kathy was excited to finally have the chance to ride one of her horses, and bought a horse from Hannah that same week. Kathy is quick to express her admiration for Hannah. She says, “Hannah’s drive for excellence and her training talent are unmatched. I am learning from Hannah so much more about horsemanship and the partnership with my horses that it makes the whole effort incredibly rewarding and above all, fun! Hannah is straightforward, generous and puts the welfare of the horse above all. I think of her as family.”

At this point in Kathy’s “horse world” she has several young prospects, but her main attention is on her 2013 World Grand Champion, Bel Air. Hannah called Kathy early last season and told her, “This is the one!” Although Kathy didn’t have the time in her schedule, she quickly flew to Tennessee to try him out. As she says, “it was love at first sight.” After seeing Bel Air and taking a quick test ride, he was quickly added to the Anderson’s show string. Bel Air is by Jose’ Jose’ and out of a daughter of the great Ebony’s Belle. Bred and raised by Paige Edwards in Dawson, Ga., even Paige pushed Kathy to become the owner of her talented baby. Everyone involved knew there was something special about the young black gelding whose beauty and movement had the look of a champion.

In 2013, Bel Air carried Hannah Pulvers and Kathy Anderson to 12 blue ribbons and gave Kathy the ride of her dreams to claim the Owner-Amateur English Trail Pleasure World Grand Championship. Bel Air has a total of nine blues this season. As Kathy talks about acquiring Bel Air last year and enjoying all his success in his first show season she says, “It was very rewarding for all involved and a little overwhelming. He is the horse of a lifetime.”

Kathy feels so blessed to be able to share her life with these fabulous horses and is looking forward to showing her reigning World Grand Champion Bel Air at this year’s Celebration, with the guidance and expertise of her trainer and friend, Hannah Pulvers.

More Stories

  • Latest Issue 12 7 20

    Read More
  • Obituary – Rusty Hyneman

    The Report has recently learned of the passing of Rusty Hyneman, following a battle with cancer.A full obituary will be posted as it becomes available. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Hyneman family during this difficult time.  Read More
  • WHTA Board of Directors and General Membership Meeting

    The Walking Horse Trainers' Association Board of Directors and General Membership meeting will be held December 11, 2020 at the Blue Ribbon Circle Club on the Celebration Grounds... Read More
  • WHAA to host annual awards banquet

    The WHAA Annual Awards Banquet will be held on Saturday, January 30, at 5:00 pm at Stone Bridge Farms in the Browne Stone Centre, 281 County Road 717, Cullman, AL 35055. Read More
  • Happy Holidays!

    I don’t know about the rest of you but I am definitely ready for this year to end! What started as so normal couldn’t have ended any differently. I would venture to guess that for most of us this is the craziest time we have experienced in our lives... Read More
  • TWHBEA postpones election until February 6th

    The executive committee of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ & Exhibitors’ Association (TWHBEA) met yesterday and made the decision to postpone the elections for the new executive committee until February 6, 2021... Read More
  • Kentucky After Christmas Sale postpones until 2022

    Due to circumstances and restrictions around the Covid-19 pandemic, the Kentucky After Christmas Sale will cancel its 2021 sale and look forward to continuing its tradition in 2022. The sale will be on the weekend of Saturday February 5, 2022 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Read More
  • USDA declines use of new pad material

    Earlier this show season the Walking Horse Trainers’ Association (WHTA) petitioned the USDA to allow use of a new pad material.  The new material was a “compressed rubber” material and as such was thought to be allowed under current regulations. Read More
  • 2020 Readers' Choice Ballot

    You don't have to be a member of anything to vote for your favorite horses, exhibitors, trainers and shows in The 39th Annual Walking Horse Report Readers' Choice conducted by The Walking Horse Report... Read More
  • Celebration forms committee to help with class sheet

    The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration (TWHNC) hosted the first meeting of its newly formed class sheet committee on November 23, 2020. The committee consists of Nathan Clark, Justin Jenne, Jennifer Bingham, Laurie Toone, Howard Hamilton and Amy Trimble. Read More