Marilyn Carlson Childs passed away on Dec. 16, 2016.
Recipient of the cherished Audrey Gutridge Award at the Kentucky State Fair in 2008, Marilyn began her career at Eastern States Exposition in 1932 and made her final horse show ride at the Dixie Jubilee in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in 1992. 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." 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, Pennsylvania.
Marilyn and Harold 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 United States and Canada. Both judged shows coast to coast, and she in 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.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Ameican Saddlebred Museum, 4083 Iron Works Pkwy, Lexington, KY 40511.
-- via Carl Childs