Noted horsewoman Donna Moore dies at age 82

kward1@herald-leader.comJanuary 25, 2014 

Noted horsewoman Donna Moore, 82, died Jan. 18 at Tanbark Health Care Center.

A member of the World's Championship Horse Show Hall of Fame, Moore was known as a trainer and judge of champion American Saddlebreds.

Longtime friend Josie Forbes said Moore was "an extremely charismatic horseperson."

"It was really her charm and her work ethic that made her excel," Forbes said.

Moore also developed several farms in the Woodford County area around Shannon Run, Dry Ridge and Huntertown roads. Among those properties was actor William Shatner's Belle Reve Farm, where she operated Donna Moore Stables.

"She had a keen eye for horses and real estate," Forbes said.

Marcy Lafferty was married to Shatner when he was first introduced to Saddlebreds and, soon after, to Moore, who became their manager.

Lafferty credited Moore with helping them realize the "dream of having a great breeding operation."

"Belle Reve means 'beautiful dream,'" Lafferty said Saturday. "She had the magic, the brilliance, to make the dream come true."

Lafferty said Moore loved life and took joy in "the smallest thing — art, how her tulips were growing ... she was a great Wildcat fan. She loved music. She loved Broadway." But most of all, Lafferty said, Moore loved horses.

"She always gave the horse credit for whatever she had in her life. She said, 'Everybody forgets. They think it's them,'" Lafferty said.

Moore grew up in Kansas City, Mo., riding a trick pony with the Rodeo Kids.

She apparently had a knack for training horses even as a child.

She told the Herald-Leader in a 1998 article that as a young girl, she would go to a biweekly horse sale near her home, buy an unbroken pony, get it accustomed to the saddle and resell the same horse for a small profit the next time the sale was held.

"I remember keeping that money in a sock in my drawer," she said, "and I'd get so mad if anybody would borrow it, to go to the grocery store or something. I'd count it every night."

Moore was married to the late show ring rider and trainer Thomas Mitchell Moore, but the pair divorced.

While she was best known for her work with show horses, Moore also was involved in harness racing and Thoroughbred racing.

Survivors include her daughters, Melissa Moore of Versailles and Melinda Moore of Lawrenceburg.

Clark Legacy Center is in charge of arrangements. Services are planned for a later date.

Karla Ward: (859) 231-3314. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety

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