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2006 J.D. Massey Classic Horse Show Hall of Fame Inductee Brenda Pulis


(Editor’s Note: The following presentation was made on Saturday night at the J.D. Massey Classic Horse Show.)


Ladies and gentlemen, tonight we are pleased to bestow this honor on one of our own. Brenda Pulis, our 2006 inductee, began her enjoyment of our wonderful breed right here in this part of South Carolina. The 2006 J.D. Massey Classic Horse Show is honoring Brenda, a person who would rather publicize the accomplishments of others, than accept awards for her own contributions.

Born in Georgia, Brenda’s childhood didn’t take her anywhere near the beloved horse, much less a Saddlebred. In the mid-1960s, Brenda moved to Atlanta to attend business school and in 1971, she married Ron, her husband of 35 years.

A short time after she was wed, Brenda became acquainted with the horse show world, which is proof positive that you never know what lies ahead on the road of life. For Brenda, it turned out that her future was about to change dramatically as a result of her husband taking a job in Greenville, S.C., in 1973.

Brenda had been working in the building industry. She interviewed with builders and architects in the Greenville area and was fortunate to find employment with the architect J. Harold Mack at his firm in downtown Greenville.

While in Harold’s employ, Brenda first witnessed the beauty of the American Saddlebred through Harold’s daughter, who was showing at the time. It was also through Harold that Brenda became, in 1974, the treasurer of the J.D. Massey Classic Horse Show, a position she held until 1981. Meanwhile, she had begun taking riding lessons at the historic Cleveland Park Stables, and “that first horse purchase” came shortly thereafter.

Suffering from an incurable case of “all things Saddlebred,” Brenda’s early experiences in the Greenville area carried over even after her husband was transferred to Virginia in 1981, at which time she rode with Camper Stables in Roanoke, Va. In 1982, the Pulis’ welcomed “the light of their lives,” a son, Kevin, and remained in Virginia until 1987.

After Kevin’s birth, Brenda was eager to return to the saddle, so off she trotted to the shows with Kevin in tow.

When Ron was again transferred for his employment to North Carolina, Brenda rode first at G&I Broodmare Farm, and later moved to Liz McBride-Jones’ Forever Farm, both located in Raeford, N.C., where she began a lengthy tenure as one of Liz’s customers and a friendship that she treasures to this day.

Simultaneous to Brenda’s move to North Carolina and her riding under Liz’s guidance, she began her 19-year career as Saddle & Bridle’s associate editor representing North and South Carolina and Virginia. Since 1987, Brenda has gone to as many as 20 shows per year and has worked to promote and publicize the happenings of everyone here and then some. “It’s been a great way to meet people and combine my vocation with my avocation,” says Brenda.

After riding with Liz and laughing, crying and learning along with her for 13 years as a customer at Forever Farm, Brenda now rides with Peter and Kim Cowart at their West Wind Farm in Statesville. The Cowarts train the five-gaited gelding Howling Wolf, who won a class here earlier in the week with Jacquie Ware, riding for Brenda. Trainer Kim Cowart says, “Brenda gives a good name to people who do what she does. We need more people like her who give to the breed as much as they take from it.”

For the last eight years, Brenda has been chairing a very well attended and organized ASAC Convention. As to how that all got started, Brenda says, “The gal who was doing it asked me to handle the food and reservations. Before long, I ended up practically running the whole shebang, and have continued in a similar capacity ever since.”

Some of the horses that Brenda has enjoyed over the years are her special five-gaited horses CH Jac Lu Mar’s Mountain Contract, CH Stuff & Nonsense, It’s The Berries, Callaway’s Capitol Beat and Shop Til You Drop, among others. She’s learned from all of her trainers, including Johnny Lucas Stables, where she was also a customer.

Please join us in giving kudos to a lady who began her career right here, who continues to love what she does, and who is a friend to so many.

Joining Brenda here tonight are her husband Ron, her son Kevin and his new bride, Stephanie.


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