Maryanna Haymon, Warmblood Breeder

When Maryanna Haymon was a child, all she wanted for Christmas was a pony. Year after year she was disappointed until finally her grandfather gave her one hundred dollars to buy a pony. She found a horse that she was told was twelve years old, but that was actually over thirty -- but didn't know it. She learned how to ride by the seat of her pants, building a barn and putting up fencing herself.

Her determination and interest kept her nose in the horse books until she understood more. Eventually she would ride fourth level dressage, but a twice-broken back -- from skiing, not riding -- finally grounded her, and she focused her still burning enthusiasm for horses to breeding.

Now she has nineteen horses, but every Christmas when her husband Wendell asks her what she would like, Haymon's answer is the same: "A horse, of course!"

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