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Obituary - Marilyn Childs

Recipient of the cherished Audrey Gutridge Award at the Kentucky State Fair in 2008, Marilyn Carlson Childs began her career at the Eastern States Exposition in 1932 and made her final horse show ride at the Dixie Jubilee in Baton Rouge, LA, in 1992. The well-known horsewoman passed away December 16, 2016 at the age of 93. Except for her husband, Harold Childs, no trainer handled her horses other than Rick Wallen with whom she had her last two five-gaited horses, Cabaret Jazz and Worthy’s Not Enough.
After a start as a newspaper reporter she became associate editor of American Horseman under the well-known Susanne. In 1945 she became managing editor of Popular Horseman until marrying the respected trainer and judge, Harold Childs in 1952 when he took over management of George Huss’ Valley Farm in Ringtown, PA.

They later established Harolyn Hill in Vermont where she operated a small equestrian camp for girls during the summers while her husband trained horses sent from all over the U.S and Canada. Both judged shows from coast to coast, in addition to Canada and England.

Hers was the first book on saddle seat riding: Riding Show Horses. Training Your Colt To Ride and Drive was later revised and republished with Rick Wallen in 1993. Other books were Mandate For a Morgan Horse and The Men Behind the Morgan Horse.

From Harolyn Hill have come current exhibitors such as Ann MacMurray Cox and Cherie Ort as well as trainers Desiree DeVries and Richard Boule. Their three sons – David, Robert and Carl – all assisted their parents with training although only Carl continued to show horses. “Her world revolved around horses: training, showing, judging, breeding and instructing,” said Carl.


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