Life is full of surprises, and you never know how the smallest action can lead to something so huge and impactful as a wonderful friendship.
In May 2001, I made a post on Haynet-Exchange, the old hobby Yahoo group for buying and selling model horses, asking to trade my customizing skills for a Peter Stone pony called Sassy. The model had been released a few weeks earlier at Stone's Mayfest event in Shipshewana, IN, and I thought it was a really lovely piece. I was in grad school in Chicago at the time, so I hadn't really been aware of the event until after it was over. Not long after posting, I got a reply from Krista Corry, a hobbyist I didn't know, and she offered me her extra pony. She said it had a small flaw in the paint, but I told her I didn't mind, and she was just as happy to trade for my beginner level painting.
|The pony that started it all|
That one silly pony kicked off a 20+ year-long friendship and perpetual pony swap. Krista was glad to send me various OFs and resins of which I would keep a few and paint the rest for her. She even once traded me a window air-conditioning unit for my sweltering apartment in exchange for custom paint jobs. It makes me laugh every time I think of it.As time went on, we became fast friends and made a point to get together every chance we could. At the Great Lakes Congress in Chicago in 2004, we roomed together and had so much fun all weekend. Krista, who was a talented tack maker and performance shower, took me under her wing and helped me start showing performance. She was generous with her talent and time, and she was always happy to lend tack or advice to anyone who needed it. I learned so much from her.
|Krista tacking up her favorite breed|
|A beautiful Western saddle and bridle made by Krista|
|My favorite picture of us at GLC|
Krista grew up with real horses and earned an equine science degree in college. She was a serious competitor in Western speed events from a young age. As she was in all aspects of her life, Krista was bold and fearless on horseback.
|Krista barrel racing|
|Krista pole-bending with Trouble|
|Sea Deck Go aka Trouble|
|Trouble spinning towards the last fence in a timed jump off|
|Trouble pole-bending in tack Krista made to match their real gear|
|Krista feeding a mint to Speightstown at Winstar|
|Krista and I with Tiznow|
|Krista and baby Jack at BreyerFest|
|BF shenanigans with my sister, me, and Krista|
|Not even a twisted ankle could stop Krista at BF!|
It feels so unreal and wrong that we have lost such a vibrant, selfless, amazing force of nature like Krista. I'm devastated by the loss of my dear friend, and my heart is absolutely broken for her family, especially her kids. The outpouring of love from her friends has at least helped me bear my grief a little more easily. I hope Krista knew how many lives she touched and how many people loved her. She’ll always be remembered, and she’ll always be my best friend.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to a Gofundme set up for mark and the kids.