Libbie turns over the reins

Published 7:03 pm Tuesday, February 20, 2018

TRYON — Officially starting March 1, Libbie Johnson will hand over the online newsletter, “This Week in Tryon Horse Country.”  

Johnson started the newsletter 10 years ago simply as an experiment.  

Editor and journalist Judy Heinrich is taking over the newsletter, and said she hopes she can do it justice.  

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“She’ll [Johnson] be a hard act to follow,” said Heinrich, who does not plan to make any immediate changes. “The whole point of the newsletter is to meet the needs of the people in horse community. I hope they will tell me if there are things they would like to see [in the newsletter].” 

The newsletter, which reaches thousands across the country, focuses on personalities and current events happening in the Foothills Equestrian community. It includes stories about awards, successes of the local horsemen and women, and well-known horses.  

Johnson said one reason she started the newsletter was because she thought this area had a vibrant, historic horse community and that it could use some promoting. She referred to herself as a “shameless promoter and cheerleader,” and felt the community could also use a common, unifying source for communication.  

“My opening line that March Monday morning was, ‘I thought we’d try something a little different…’ and we did,” Johnson said. “At times, I’ve come to question that decision.”     

Johnson chose Heinrich to take over the newsletter partly because Heinrich has helped edit it for the last four years. Heinrich is also an experienced editor and writer for magazines such as “The Carolinas Equestrians” and “Foothills Magazine” as well as working as a regular feature writer and editor for non-equestrian magazines.  

She has always loved horses and first became a horse owner in the 1990s. Though Heinrich does not compete in the show ring, she has competed successfully in limited distance endurance rides.  

During January and February, Heinrich has worked directly on the newsletter under Johnson’s supervision. She will officially take over the entire work on March 1, 10 years and 520 issues after it first began. 

“She’ll [Johnson] be available to help or advise,” Heinrich said. “I hope to live up to what Libbie’s done.” 

Anyone interested in receiving a copy of This Week in Tryon Horse Country” can email Heinrich at