Mary Harper Hutchins, 90 years old, passed away suddenly Friday, October 14, 2022 at Alice Peck Day Hospital. She was born in New York City to Harold Harper, a partner at Harper and Matthews Law firm and Elizabeth (Roop) Harper, a reader for the Lighthouse for the Blind. Mary attended the Brearly School in NYC and went on to Mount Holyoke College, majoring in Mathematics.
In her teens she learned to ride and care for horses at the Squadron "A" Amory, an historical cavalry unit located on a full city block. Mary attended Treetops Camp in the Adirondacks as a child, and eventually became their head of riding. She loved being out of the city teaching children to ride and care for the animals.
She married and moved to Germany with the Army where her eldest child, Molly, was born. The family then moved to Berlin, NH where Walter was born. From there it was on to Cornell where she taught math and her youngest son Jamie was born. The family then moved once again, this time to the Eaglebrook School in Deerfield, MA where Mary again held a teaching post and had her fourth child, Rebecca. It was at this point in her life, and with four young children, Mary’s husband left the family, leaving only fifty dollars for support.
While teaching full time and raising her family as a single mother, Mary attended Smith College Graduate School, earning her Master’s in Mathematics. Mary and her children moved to Norwich, VT in 1967 where she became the first woman in the Math department at Hanover High School, Hanover, NH. After developing a Computer Programming course, an Animal Science course and teaching hundreds of young folks along the way, she took early retirement from teaching to travel with her daughter, Rebecca, a jockey, in support of her budding thoroughbred racing career.
In Norwich, Mary created Pony Brook Farm where she gave riding lessons, tutored math students and raised her four children. She became a fantastic supporter of the equestrian sport of eventing, from the earliest years of the sport until her death. From running the local Upper Valley Pony Club to volunteering at two Olympic Games (1996 & 2000), countless regional, national, and international competitions, Mary had a true love of the sport. In 2016, the United States Eventing Association awarded her the Governor’s Cup and the Wofford Cup Memorial Trophy for tireless dedication to the organization and the sport. As one of the oldest, longest serving, and well-respected official judges in eventing, she officiated her last competition at Hitching Post Farm in South Royalton, VT just a few days prior to passing.
Additionally, Mary worked as a tax preparer for many years and was actively studying new rules for the upcoming tax season. She cared about her clients as people, seeing them for more than the numbers they brought to her. Mary also completed monthly reconciliations for the AVA Gallery and Art Center in Lebanon, NH.
She is survived by Molly Hutchins, Jamie Hutchins and Rebecca Hutchins. Walter predeceased her in 2013. Grandchildren include Sam (Taylor Faccio) and Ben Scheu, Shane (Allison) and Ellie Ratcliffe, Harper Hutchins, Herron (Andres Dazzo), Hazel and Marin Hutchins, and great granddaughter Lottie Ratcliffe.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations can be sent to the Green Mountain Horse Association, PO Box 8, 5491 South Road, South Woodstock, VT or the AVA Art Gallery, 11 Bank Street, Lebanon, NH.
Celebration of Life Event will take place at the Green Mountain Horse Association Youth Center, Saturday, November 5, 2022, at 3:30pm - 6:30pm. All are welcome.
An on-line guest book can be found at cabotfh.com
If you are on the fence about attending the 2022 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention this December 7-11 in Savannah, GA, the schedule of thought-provoking and insightful educational sessions planned for the event is sure to convince you to register today! To learn more about the various sessions and their hosts, click here.
This summer, five USEA Emerging Athlete 21 (EA21) Clinics took place across the country giving young riders the opportunity to hone in on their horsemanship skills, improve their consistency in the saddle and show ring, and create a pipeline for potential team riders by identifying and developing young talent. We caught up with many of the riders from the two West Coast sessions to hear their takes on the USEA’s newest program.
It’s about that time of year again when eventers across the country are packing their trunks and making arrangements to new locations for the winter months. While some owners might feel more comfortable transporting their own horses, time and resources make it more expedient for others to load their horses onto someone else’s rig for the potentially long journey to their winter quarters. For the safety and peace of mind of everyone involved – especially the equine passengers – two trusted shippers based on the east coast shared their tips for best practices when preparing horses for long trailer rides.
One of the most valuable awards at the Waredaca Classic Three-Day Event on October 21-23, 2022, were the prizes for the Road to the Three-Day Challenge. The Challenge started in July and ended at the Waredaca Classic in October. Novice and Training level riders had to compete in at least three of the events in the Challenge and Beginner Novice riders had to compete in at least two of the events, in addition to completing the Waredaca Classic.