The 2013 Pioneer Horseman Award Recipient is Louise Miner

Louise “WeeZee” Miner
?? – July 15, 2013

Louise “WeeZee” Miner passed away on July 15, 2013.  She was young in spirit, had a heart of gold and talent to match.  Her network of friends is legendary and spans every show breed there is from Draft Horses, to Hunter and Jumpers, Quarter Horses, Arabians, Morgans, Saddlebreds, Minis, Walking Horses and every type in between.  Her friendships knew no age or social barriers.  She loved little kids, and was able to commiserate with teens about their concerns and angst.  She was equally at home with the baby boomers and the folks who have been in the industry more years then they would admit.  She was comfortable with the neophytes as well as the movers and shakers in the many varieties of disciplines.  They were all “her people.”  She was a gifted author, seamstress and designer.  She designed and made glamour dolls as well as character dolls of many of the Minnesota horse people.  She was a talented artist and worked in a variety of mediums including humorous cartoons featured in national horse industry publications. Her range was limited only by her wonderful and often “offbeat” imagination.  You may remember the colorfully dressed lady who handed out the ribbons at previous state fair horse shows. One look at her “presentation” wardrobe was a perfect example of her sometimes off the wall outfits.

 If Louise would have sold half as much of her art work as she gave away, she would have been a wealthy lady!  She chose instead to donate her projects to fundraisers, and charity events of all sorts or she simply gave them to people that she thought deserved them or who would simply give the project a “good home,” as each of her works took on a unique personality.  There was always courage doll to be given to riders that had the misfortune to take a tumble and bravery dolls to be given when a special obstacle had been conquered.

 When you know the “rest of the story,” her amazing works became even more meaningful. WeeZee was legally blind and did not enjoy the best of health.  She supported herself on a small pension and the commissions that she actually did sell and the books that she wrote, illustrated and sold usually at far less than the actual time and materials involved.

 WeeZee was also in charge of ribbons and trophies at most local shows – Hunter and Jumper, Quarter Horses, Draft Horses, Minis, Arabs, Saddlebreds, and Morgans – and for more years at the Minnesota State Fair than she would ever admit.

 She was up early and was there after the last class to organize and prepare for the next performance.  She corralled many of the exhibitors to present the blue ribbons, making sure that they were dressed properly, stood correctly for pictures, and always made sure the presenter stayed to applaud the winner’s victory pass.  It made little difference if they were a first-time horse show attendee, or one of local celebrities, or one of our former governors.  WeeZee had strict rules of presentation.  She herself, could usually be found awarding the “second on down” ribbons out of the spotlight congratulating or consoling as needed and making sure that everyone got the correct ribbon.  In a kid’s class of 7, there was always an extra 6th place ribbon awarded and the announcer was expected to announce the final placing so that no child left the ring embarrassed at being the only one without a ribbon.  She has been run over, stepped on, knocked down, dragged along and anything else that you can imagine happening in a ring full of excited winners and always ended up with a smile even if it was a bit bedraggled.

 Her passing leaves a big hole in all of our hearts that will never quite be filled.  She has instructed many others in the “much underrated,”, but oh so important, skill of being a “ribbon presenter,” and we know that they will take their knowledge into the center ring in her honor.  The Minnesota Horse Council takes great pride in honoring a legend, Louise WeeZee Miner as their 2013 Pioneer Award recipient.

Return to top »