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Schramm shows and helps horses

Susie Schramm’s impressive career as an equestrian was described when she was inducted into the Mid-Ohio Valley Sports Hall of Fame last month in Vienna.

Schramm, a 1975 graduate of Parkersburg High School who grew up in Vienna, won her first U.S. National title at the Arabian Horse Nationals in Oklahoma City at the age of 15. She was the only youth rider showing against adult professionals.

Since the Oklahoma City event in 1972, Schramm, who lives in Shepherdstown, W.Va., has won over 28 national titles in seven disciplines in the United States and Canada, showing three breeds of horses.

As the late radio broadcaster Paul Harvey used to say … and now for the rest of the story.

Not only has Schramm demonstrated excellence in showing horses, she also has proven to be invaluable in helping horses in need or distress.

Schramm is founder and president of Equine Encore Performance, a nonprofit organization in Jefferson County that provides homes for horses that no longer can compete at the Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races racetrack. The group educates horse owners and trainers on the options available for their horses.

Schramm said her group of five people has placed 120 “retired” race horses from the Charles Town track in homes during the past two-and-a-half years. The West Virginia group pays the transportation costs of moving the horses to an equine rescue center in Aiken, S.C., and the adoption fees.

There the horses are evaluated and may become companion horses, show horses, horses for fox hunters, polo horses or a “Saratoga WarHorse,” a program that pairs horses with veterans struggling after military service.

“The horses always have a home at the Aiken center,” Schramm said, describing the facility as fantastic.

The program helps to get horses to the next phase of their lives, using the best of their abilities, she said.

In 2015, Schramm, owner of Matilda Bay Farm in Shepherdstown, was awarded the national Bill Lehman Memorial Award for her work in helping abused, neglected or unwanted horses. She was recognized for donating her time and resources to assist Jefferson County Animal Control on equine cruelty cases.

Schramm cares for these horses on her horse farm until suitable homes can be found. She owns 18 horses; she adopted some of the horses when the owners abandoned them.

“I get as much out of helping horses as I do winning championships,” Schramm said. She said she wants to give back to horses, which have given her so much as an equestrian.

“When people ask me about my horses, I just simply explain that they are my oxygen,” she said.

Schramm is the daughter of Ann Bailey of Vienna and the late John S. “Jack” Bailey Jr.

***

Nancy Boyce believes God led her to a house fire in Wood County where two people were asleep inside.

Boyce awakened the occupants, who escaped from the house just before it was engulfed in flames.

Boyce of Wirt County called me Thursday to talk about her actions and God’s intervention in last Saturday’s fire in Pettyville. A story about Boyce being credited with saving Shianne Tucker, 18, and Drake Mills, 22, from the house fire appeared in Tuesday’s News and Sentinel.

Boyce was out of town and unavailable for comment when the newspaper story was written Monday.

Boyce told me she is normally off from work at the Parkersburg Wal-Mart on Saturdays. But on Saturday, July 8, she decided to report to work to finish duties from the day before.

She was running early on July 8, having stopped in Jackson County to put her daughter’s chickens outside, Boyce said.

Around 5:30 a.m. while driving on West Virginia 14 at Pettyville she noticed what she thought at first was either fog or smoke in the distance. Looking again, Boyce said, she saw flames at the corner of a house at 50 Sharon St.

Boyce drove up to the house. No one was around, she said. She knocked on the front door. No one answered. She noticed a light inside.

“I knew people were in there,” Boyce said, adding that God was guiding her.

Boyce said she then pounded on the front door. “God was speaking to me … someone was in there.”

Then Boyce heard a “girl” yelling inside the house for “Drake.” Tucker came to the door. Boyce remembered telling her, “Honey, your house is on fire. We need to get you out of there.”

Boyce tried to stay calm. She is thankful that Tucker and Mills got out of the house in time.

Something the assistant pastor at Drift Run Church in Sandyville, Jamie Burton, has said resonated with Boyce the past few days: “There are no coincidences” in life.

Boyce is certain that everything fell in place that day as God intended.

Contact Paul LaPann at plapann@newsandsentinel.com

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