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Hill), that Anne says has won several lifetime achieve- ment awards from the Connemara Pony Society. “There is no pony better to learn on than that one,” says Anne.

While Matthew prefers mountain biking to horses, Max has become an avid equestrian. “Max is ADHD and does not participate in group activities well, but he is very comfortable with the horses,” Tory explains. “He also loves his pet ferrets!”

Life can be frustrating with limited sight, and Tory says that it can be especially frustrating when she can't take her children somewhere, since she can't drive, (she does have someone to help around the house and drive her during the week, but not 24/7).

“My kids take great care of me,” she comments. “They help me at the airport, and going into darker rooms. They are very conscious about people.”

Jumping for Mickey

As a cancer survivor herself, when Tory's friend Mickey McDonald-Welker passed away in November 2007 after a battle with brain cancer, Tory wanted to do something in her friend's name. With a strong passion for her cause, Tory raised an impressive $118,000 in only four months based around an event called “Jumping for Mickey.”

“Through my success as a rider people know I was a brain tumor survivor, so it was really personal,” she says. “Being the survivor, I didn't have a problem asking for things.”

The outpouring of support was impressive: for instance fashion designer Badgley Mischka donated a $17,000 couture dress. She sold tables during the jumping event, had a silent auction and asked for donations. “People's generosity was over the top,” she remarks.

The proceeds were donated to the National Brain Tumor Society, and Tory traveled to Boston to meet the recipient of the grant, Alex Schoenthal, PhD, Associate Professor of Macular Microbiology and Immunology at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. “It was intimidating walking into a room full of geniuses but he was a great guy,” she remembers, “The coolest guy in the room.”


She also has her share of embarrassing moments, such as not being able to read the menu at McDonald's. “It's easier to tell an employee I don't have my contacts in and ask them to read it for me than it is to explain,” she continues. “There are constant challenges, from A to Z.”

But Tory also embraces challenges. For example, she took up foxhunting a year ago. She always rides with the first field and goes along with someone that she trusts, who can tell her when a jump is coming up, for instance. Her hunt horse is a Thoroughbred gelding named Sam who was formerly ridden by a Master of Foxhounds in Kentucky.

“I just love to ride, so it's a different aspect of riding,” she says. “If you find yourself in trouble, just look up and kick on! I once came to a jump and there was a tree my horse had to twist to avoid - I ended up hanging off his neck, and he just stopped and let me climb back on. Having a horse like Sam makes it safer for me.”

It's that attitude that keeps Tory in the saddle and in the headlines, winning ribbons and doing what she loves.


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