Mitzi Lindsey retires from Tryon Riding & Hunt Club

Published 9:33 am Friday, April 22, 2011

65th Block House honors Lindsey for 38 years of service
When the horses round the bend at the 65th Block House Steeplechase Races Saturday, April 23, Mitzi Lindsey expects to feel somewhat out of place.
For the first time in 38 years, she’ll watch as a spectator instead of being the woman running things behind the scenes.
Miriam “Mitzi” Lindsey began working for the Tryon Riding & Hunt Club (TR&HC) in 1972, when the office was located in Oak Hall Hotel. When she retired from the job that was been her lifelong adventure, it was the end of an era for TR&HC.
TR&HC president Chuck Lingerfelt said he has considered it a pleasure to work with Mitzi for the last seven years.
“We feel a deep appreciation and affection for Mitzi that is difficult to put into words. She has been an unwavering constant with TR&HC, always being there for the club,” Lingerfelt said. “She has been the spirit and embodiment of the TR&HC for 38 years.”
Lindsey became involved with horses when she was under the care of her older sister, who would set her on one of the horses at Chagrin Valley Hunt Club in Ohio to keep her quietly out of the way. She has loved horses ever since.
From riding lessons at camp to riding at boarding school in Massachusetts to helping with the horses at her father’s camp, Lindsey was around horses during most of her youth.
Then during her spring vacation in 1961, she discovered Tryon.
“The leaves were out and everything was in bloom; it was absolutely gorgeous. I thought I’d gone to heaven,” Lindsey said.
Back in Kirtland, Ohio, she began to scrutinize the classified ads in her parents’ copy of the Tryon Daily Bulletin, where she found a whole new life: a job in Tryon teaching riding lessons and taking care of stables. She made the move to Tryon in November 1961 and never looked back.
She bought her first horse when she moved, getting a two-for-one deal: the horse was pregnant when she bought her. Lindsey belonged to Skyuka Saddle Club, where she would ride her horse in barrel races and pole bending. In the years that followed, she married and had two children, David and Laura.
It took several years to find the position with TR&HC, or for it to find her. Although she was working for Howard Greene, owner of G&K Furniture in Columbus, it was her experience as secretary for the Skyuka Saddle Club that brought her to the attention of TR&HC. Approached several times to become secretary, she always gave the same answer: “Wait until my kids are in school.”
Arthur Farwell and Dr. Jack Bradshaw came to her again in 1972, and the timing was finally right.
It started out as a part-time position, but the job has changed a great deal over the years. After five or six years, it grew to full-time responsibility and eventually, in 1995, required an assistant. In 2003, Laura Lindsey Weicker joined her mother at TR&HC as assistant director. In 2007, Lindsey and Weicker changed positions, with Weicker becoming the executive director.
“I loved my job. Other people just hate going to work. Not me. Every day was different,” Weicker said.
Lingerfelt said it’s impossible to know the real number of hours Lindsey spent in dedication to the local horse community.
“It’s impossible to tell all of the ways Mitzi has positively affected this area’s horse business and civic communities,” he said. “I have no idea how many hours she has spent volunteering for FENCE, Green Creek Hounds, Polk County Jaycees, Thermal Belt Rotary, chamber of commerce and countless other organizations in the past.”

– by Gloria Underwood

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