Bulletin welcomes two new staff members

Published 2:32 pm Friday, August 25, 2017

The Tryon Daily Bulletin’s new journalist brings a lifetime of equestrian experience and more than 20 years experience as a reporter and a writer.

Catherine Hunter studied Forward Riding with well-known trainers such as Olympic Coach and US Cavalry instructor, Gordon Wright, ANRC National Judge and author, Jane Marshall Dillon, and Olympian Lendon Gray.

Catherine Hunter

Hunter used her riding skills in the hunt field as a recognized member of the Mooreland Hunt for more than 20 years and Whipped in for George and Peggy Carter of the Early Grove Hounds. She has also ridden and shown hunter/jumpers, galloped racehorses, raced over timbre and has experience in dressage, saddle seat, western and driving.

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At age 19 she received a rating with the Affiliated National Riding Commission and went on to become a licensed racehorse trainer in her early thirties. She taught riding and trained horses for more than 40 years and has served as trainer for the Atlanta Police Mounted Patrol, coached Pony Club and 4H teams and served as Equine Consultant and Wrangler for feature films and cable TV shows.

Hunter said one of the most fun equine related activities she has experienced was historical reenacting. For 20 years, Hunter rode her Thoroughbred, Count of War, in civil war and Middle Ages reenactments.

“People talk about their horses being bomb proof,” she said. “I’m talking cannons.”

Hunter’s journalism career spans 20 years of writing for newspapers and magazines, including The Chronicle of the Horse, The Western Horseman and the Tryon Daily Bulletin. In 2000, Hunter received a South Carolina Press Association award for reporting in depth. She is the author of Sacred Connections Horsemanship: Empowering Horse and Rider through Chakra Energy, Grateful Steps Foundation Publishing House, 2017.

In the fall of 2003, she left the Bulletin to start a 900-mile cross-country ride for the cause of world peace. Hunter mounted her Thoroughbred, Count of War, in Gowensville and rode to Ground Zero in New York City. She spent the winter in Asheville, teaching riding and completed the ride to New York in July 2004.

Hunter said she was always too busy with the horses to become a big activist. However, when the Iraqi war broke out, she felt inspired to do something.

“It wasn’t a political protest,” she said. “For me it was more spiritually motivated. I wanted to inspire people to find peace inside themselves.”

Hunter is excited to return to the Bulletin because it gives her the opportunity to combine the two things she loves most—writing and horses.

Email Catherine at Catherine.Hunter@tryondailybulletin.com or call 828-505-9221.

Courtney Pickett

Courtney Pickett is now the first person to greet you when coming into the Tryon Daily Bulletin. She has been at the Bulletin handling customer service duties for a month now and is enjoying the local hometown feel that the readers and visitors bring into the office.

While originally from Lumberton, N.C., Courtney moved through different parts of North Carolina and Southwest Virginia as she is the daughter of a pastor. Her family is still serving in Wilson, N.C. at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church.

After college, where she graduated with a degree in police science, she worked with victims of domestic and sexual abuse and later on began teaching criminal justice and other related courses.

Courtney, her husband Clint and children, relocated to Tryon two years ago from Lillington, N.C. Before coming to the Bulletin she worked for Rutherford County DSS.

Her son Sedrick will graduate from Polk County High School in 2019, stepson Cole is starting his freshman year at Galax High School in Virginia, and daughter Chloe is a 4th grader at Tryon Elementary School. They are looking forward to another school year and having their mother closer to home.

Courtney and her family joined Midway Baptist Church in Columbus after moving to Polk County. Keeping Matthew 28:18-20 in mind, Courtney and her family love to serve and share the good news of the Gospel whether it be church activities or with mission opportunities.

Reach Courtney at Courtney.Pickett@tryondailybulletin.com or call the main office number at 828-859-9151.

Please join me in welcoming them to the community and to the Bulletin.