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Obituary – BJ Schafer

The show horse industry was truly saddened by the passing of BJ Schafer, an avid animal lover and former trainer of World and National Champion Morgans. A third generation horsewoman, she grew up on Long Island where she rode on the hunter/jumper circuit in the ‘50s and ‘60s.

In the ‘70s, one of her early wishes came true when she purchased an American Saddlebred, Stonewall’s Nancy G, and put it in training with Dick Kearney. After earning a BA in Animal Science and Pre-Veterinary Medicine she returned to horses, working for Dom and Babs Santarelli at Glen Oaks Farm in New Jersey. Among the horses there was the great Chief Of Greystone and clients included Isabel Robson, Dr. Helen Neave, Dr. Geraldine Meanor and Carol Hillenbrand.

During her time there she was introduced to Morgans and befriended the likes of Johnny Lydon, Bob Baker and her biggest mentor, Lyman Orcutt. In 1980,  she leased Judy Kingsford’s barn and filled it with Morgans. Seven years later the farm sold and BJ moved to Nevada and boarded at Matt and Dorothy Lopreore’s, where Bob Kellert was training and he too became a great friend and mentor. She had many top horses there, including the great Born To Boogie.

High Point Farm was BJ’s next home for nearly a decade before it was sold. Her last stop would be the Sturm family’s Rancho Tres Hermanas. One of the highlights of her career, BJ directed Terri Sturm and Faragamo to the 2011 and 2012 Amateur Masters Western Pleasure World Championships.

In addition to horses, BJ was synonymous with her work with Golden Retriever companion dogs, especially her beloved Stitch and Petey.

Arrangements will be posted as soon as they become available and an in-depth look into the life of one of Morgandom’s great characters will run in an upcoming issue of Saddle Horse Report.

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