What do a Grand Champion Angus Heifer and a world-class Dressage horse have in common?
It may sound like a trick question, but it’s not.
When both of those animals belong to Margaret Duprey, a Grand Prix level Dressage rider and owner of a Pennsylvania farm (along with her husband - Bob), the heifer and horse are a common element in her passion for livestock and a desire to fulfill childhood dreams.
“Basically, it’s all my passion,” said Duprey about working with both horses and cattle. “Since I was a child, I’ve always wanted to own a farm. So now I have it, and it works well.”
It works so well, Duprey is about to realize two dreams in a single year. She accomplished the first dream already by taking home the Grand Champion Angus Heifer title at the prestigious 2008 National Western Stock Show (NWSS) in Denver, Colorado. The other dream is in progress, with Todd Flettrich trying to qualify for the 2008 Olympics in Dressage aboard Amadeus, a nine-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding owned by the Dupreys.
If both dreams come to fruition this year, it’s safe to say she would be one happy camper.
“I mean to tell you, that would be just like - Oh my gosh,” enthused Duprey when posed the winning scenario. “That would be really, really exciting. Not that I would have accomplished all my goals, like that movie, The Bucket List,” she added in explanation. “That wouldn’t be it. But it would be something. It would be… Wow!”
Horse lovers understand the passion for horses; especially high-performance Dressage mounts. But cows, too? How does that work?
“I think you need a little diversity in one’s life,” stated Duprey. “This is my diversity. It’s nice to be able to enjoy both the cattle and the horses. Horses are hard work and raising cattle is hard work, as well. It’s the satisfaction of knowing you have done the best you can,” she continued in a sincere tone, before finishing with a smile. “And when you get the blue ribbon, that’s like really the big icing on the cake.”
So how is she so close to achieving dreams in two completely different worlds? First of all, she knows what she’s doing. Secondly, she finds good people and lets them do their job.
“Exactly,” agreed Duprey. “I leave all the training and decisions to Todd for Amadeus. Communication is the key word in any kind of a business or group effort. We communicate a lot. Tim Fitzgerald (Pennsylvania Farm Manager) and I communicate a lot regarding the cattle, too. When it comes time to make hard decisions, they’ll turn to me,” she added with a smile. “But in the long run, I leave a lot of that to them. I like to be hands-on, but I don’t want to crowd them.”
That is how she perceives her role. Do others see it the same way?
“That’s pretty close to how it works, yes,” said Tim Fitzgerald himself, sharing a laugh with Duprey at his answer to the question. “Working with Margaret is refreshing. It’s refreshing when people get along extremely well and when everybody listens to each other’s ideas. It makes it easy to get up in the morning.”
If all this success continues in the dual arenas of cattle and horses for Margaret Duprey, the problem won’t be getting up in the morning – it will be pinching herself just to make sure she’s really awake.
“I’m living my dream,” she said with conviction. “And working hard at it.”