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News

Father Watches Daughter Show for First Time at Congress from Afghanistan

October 7th, 2016

By: Barbara Aitken

Showing horses, by nature, is a family sport. Children grow up traveling across county and country lines with their parents to compete in arenas near and far.  No matter the outcome of the ride, when you’re with family, the experience is priceless.

Elizabeth Slusher, a 21-year-old medical biller, from Middlefield, Ohio, competed in Green Reiner Level 2 yesterday afternoon with her mom, Kellie and her 6 ½-year-old sister, Emma, cheering in the stands. Her dad was also watching. Lynn Slusher was watching his daughter show via the live stream from Afghanistan.

Lynn is a government contracted jet engine mechanic who is currently teaching Afghani soldiers how to maintain and operate jet engines.

According to Kellie, Lynn works on a 90 day/30 day schedule. “He’s in Afghanistan 90 days and will come home for 30. He’ll be here again in January.”

Elizabeth talks to her dad as often as possible. “I can’t just call him at any time, but we chat on Facebook, Skype and we send him YouTube videos of me riding. He’s a big reason why I wanted to show at the Congress this year.”

Lynn grew up with pulling horses in northern Ohio and shared his love for horses with his children.  “He encouraged me to start showing two years ago when we purchased my 11-year-old gelding, Sly San Lena,” recalled Elizabeth.

Elizabeth decided to pursue Reining because of the challenging elements of the pattern work. She currently trains with Casey Pierce.

“My dad started his contract 5 years ago when I was still in high school so it’s been difficult at times with him being so far away. However, he has seen me show before and we’re hoping he can come to the Congress next year. We’ve even talked about the idea of him riding too!”

Kellie added, “This experience was extra special for us since it was Elizabeth’s first time to ride here, on the Golden Anniversary of the Congress, and that Lynn was able to tune into the live feed and experience the ride with us.”

As the announcer read out Elizabeth’s score yesterday and mentioned her dad—the crowd erupted in applause. 

Horse showing is a family sport. Despite the time, distance or competition, this sport, and this show will always allow us to connect with the people we love and cherish.