Mini & Pony
Alexis Close may only be seven-years-old, but she has big dreams when it comes to her American Miniature Horses. Alexis, who was born with a heart defect and had a heart transplant when she was only 16 months old, asked the Make-A-Wish Foundation and The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto for a trip to the 2010 annual American Miniature Horse Registry (AMHR) National Championship Show in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
“Her doctors and the transplant team keep asking her is she wanted to go to Disney World, but she doesn’t want to do that. Her dream is to go to the Nationals with her minis,” said Tammy Close, Alexis’s mom. “We have never been to the Nationals but I can see Alexis making it a yearly adventure with a trailer full of minis.”
Close described Alexis, who will enter the third grade in the fall, as a “miracle baby” who is obsessed with horses. “Alexis went into heart failure for the second time on January 5, 2004. She was listed on the transplant list on January 9 and she got a new heart two days later on January 11. We came home from the hospital in April and got our first mini for her.”
The mini, Pen Dales Amanda (Mandy), is Alexis’s best friend and the two are inseparable. “She will take Mandy and her two other minis, Pretty and Pie, to the Nationals. Alexis is so excited about it, she tells everyone she meets that she is going to the Nationals,” Close said.
Alexis is now in excellent health and spends all of her free time with her minis and Shetland Ponies at the family’s Long Lane Miniatures Farm in Princeton, Ontario. “Alexis loves to ride and drive and show the minis. At home she pretends to have her own horse show and loads her minis in the trailer,” Close said, adding that they do not have a trainer but have had help from many friends. “Alexis would like to meet a trainer at Nationals, someone who could guide her and make this a wonderful event and help her understand the best and proper way to show.”
Alexis and her minis have already found success in Canada, where Alexis shows in halter, jumping, costume, obstacle and driving classes. With 12 All-Star titles to her name, including National Top Ten All Star and Canadian Top Ten All Star, Alexis was only five when she and Mandy won their first title. Last year, Alexis and Mandy won championships in driving youth and showmanship.
“We are so thankful to everyone who has been part of Alexis’s life and helped make her wish come true,” Close said. “The transplant team keeps joking with her that she really wants to go to Disney World, but she just laughs at them and says she wants to be with her horses. She really does love her minis.”
The AMHR National Championship Show will be held at the Expo Square Arena in Tulsa, Oklahoma, September 9-19. For more information about the show, or about American Miniature Horses, visit www.shetlandminiature.com or call 309-263-4044.
The American Shetland Pony Club, the American Show Pony Registry and The American Miniature Horse Registry are non-profit organizations established to preserve and refine the bloodlines of these small equines and promote the enjoyment of small equines. Recognized as the oldest and most versatile registry in the United States, the American Shetland Pony Club offer a variety of programs for Shetland Pony and Miniature Horse enthusiasts of all ages. Visit their website at www.shetlandminiature.com or 81-B East Queenwood Road, Morton, IL 61550.
Top of Page