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Update for Frances Neunuebel

Desert’s Supreme Cowboy and Frances Neunuebel

were picture perfect in the MO/KS Junior Exhibitor

Three-Gaited Show Pleasure qualifier. Lisa Hillmer

and Sarah Track congratulate the winning pair.


Frances Neunuebel was all smiles on Tuesday at the American Royal after winning the Missouri/Kansas Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Show Pleasure riding her beloved Desert’s Supreme Cowboy under the direction of Lisa Hillmer of Linden Hills Stables. Just a week before 12-year-old Neunuebel had gone in for tests on her pituitary gland, including a MRI. The tests showed her pituitary gland was working fine but they unexpectedly found a small mass around her brain stem and spine. The doctors determined that it needed to be removed as soon as possible before any complications started, and the recommendation was to go to Children’s Hospital in Boston, Mass.


The decision was made not to tell Neunuebel about the tumor and upcoming surgery until after she showed the following week in Kansas City, so she could show without the added stress of what was in her future. However, during the Royal it was determined she would have to go back for a second MRI on Friday to make sure there were no more tumors. On Thursday, Neunuebel was told her condition. With all that she had to take in, her attitude never changed. She focused on the positive and also of her upcoming classes.


That night she had a great performance with Madison Pope’s Little Cindy Lou Who in the AHHS Youth Medallion Road Pony Under Saddle National Championship. The second MRI was performed on Friday, and no other tumors were found. Determined to be part of the horse show, Neunuebel returned to Kemper Arena on Friday to participate in the junior judging. On Saturday she showed back in the Missouri/Kansas Junior Exhibitor Three-Gaited Show Pleasure Championship, capturing the reserve tricolor. This completed a successful season with wins and reserves from shows including Illinois State Fair, St. Louis, Central States and Oklahoma in her first year in the 13 and under show pleasure division with “Cowboy.”


The following week on Nov. 20, Neunuebel and her mom, Jill, left for Boston to prepare for the surgery and meet the staff at the Children’s Hospital. Her dad, Jim, made the trip later in the week on Sunday. On Monday, Nov. 26, Neuneubel underwent surgery. The tumor was removed and she did very well. She recovered in the ICU at Children’s Hospital on Monday and Tuesday and on Wednesday (today) she was moved to the Neuro Recovery Floor. The doctors’ report to her parents is that she is recovering very well. Neunuebel is an amazing 12-year-old and throughout this process she has been positive and brave. You can read more about her journey and sign her guestbook at 


On a personal note, Frances, the entire staff at Saddle Horse Report and Horse World, wish you a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing you back in the show ring aboard “Cowboy” very soon.

Update – December 3, 2007


Frances is now home.  She got home late Friday night, November 30.  The results from the post-op tests were not exactly the news they had hoped for. The tumor was cancerous. Frances will have to undergo treatments to make sure the tumor does not come back. She will undergo six weeks of radiation and 9-11 months of chemotherapy at the Pediatric Brain Tumor Program in St. Louis.  The doctors are very optimistic of the outcome.  


Frances is happy to have visitors at home, but her family requests that visitors call first before stopping by. She and her family are extremely grateful for everyone’s prayers and support.



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