Making a Comeback After Losing Everything in the Colorado Fires

Colorado Wild Fires Didn’t Stop Lisa Young from Becoming a Champion

As longtime equestrian Lisa Young geared up for a new year and another show season with her horse, everything changed. On December 30th, 2021, a fire broke out in Boulder, Colorado that quickly spread to become one of the largest and most devastating wildfires in the state’s history. Unfortunately, like thousands of others, Lisa and her home were in the path of the Marshall Fire.

“When we evacuated, we thought it was just a little grass fire,” said Lisa. “No one knew how massive the fire would end up becoming.”

Read More: Disaster Preparedness for Horse Owners

Leaving It All Behind

Lisa had to leave behind her home, cats, and years of horse show memorabilia. She never thought that would be the last time she saw any of it. Along with everything she owned, Lisa lost all of her trophies, buckles, and awards from years of showing Quarter Horses. She even lost her very first saddle that she had as a child, which is truly irreplaceable.

fire
Lisa lost her home completely during the fire. Photo courtesy of Lisa Young.

The Marshall Fire spread across Boulder County uncontrollably and took Lisa’s entire home, plus the lives of her two cats. Luckily, Lisa’s show horse Foxy, aka My Money Is Good, was evacuated from his boarding barn which is not far from Lisa’s house. Foxy is a 20-year-old Quarter Horse and Pinto gelding that Lisa has owned for over 15 years. Because he is getting older, Lisa knew 2021 might be one of her last years showing Foxy, and she wasn’t going to let the fire stop her from going big.

Read More: Trailering in an Emergency

Making a Comeback

Although Lisa lost her show saddle, English saddle, and other tack in the fire, she managed to make it to the 2022 Pinto World Championship Show just a few months later in June. Lisa and Foxy loaded up their trailer with borrowed saddles from friends and made the 11-hour drive from Colorado to Tulsa, Oklahoma. And it ended up being well worth the trip.

trailer fire horse show
Lisa drove herself and Foxy to Oklahoma. Photo courtesy of Lisa Young.

Without a trainer or outside help, Lisa and Foxy worked hard to get back on their feet and back in the show pen just a few months after losing everything. Lisa planned on having the months leading up to the world show to prepare, but the fire threw a wrench in her plan.

“Now we have to rebuild. All we have left is our soil. It’s going to take at least two or three years before we are done and back in a house,” said Lisa.

Coming Home Champions

Even though she didn’t have as much time to prepare as she would have liked, the two came home champions. Lisa and Foxy were world champions in the Amateur Solid Horse Western Riding and placed in the top five of the English and Western Trail.

Lisa wild fire horse show
Lisa was World Champion in the Western riding and won numerous top-five and top-ten placings. Photo Credit: Jeff Kirkbride Photography courtesy of Lisa Young.

Lisa has continued to show Foxy this year and says these are his golden years of showing. She doesn’t have a specific retirement date in sight yet, but Lisa is making sure to live every moment to its fullest and is enjoying this time with her special horse.

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