Tragedy often strikes without warning and there
is little or no time to prepare. That is what happened to Jeremy and
Melissa Asher of Triple J and M Farm in Winchester, Kentucky, when
their house burned to the ground on April 17.
The modified mobile home with a built-on addition
caught fire when the couple and their children, Keaton, age 6, and
Justin, age 3, luckily were not at home. The structure was a mere
skeleton of charred wood and metal, burned up memories and rubble
that had once been the center of the young familyís existence. The
home, located on Jeremyís family farm, had not been insured. The
Asherís found themselves without any way to fund the building or the
purchase of a new home.
was devastating and heartbreaking," said Melissa. "We had put so
much of ourselves into the home. The trailer was older, so it was
uninsurable. We had worked on it for two years, and had added on an
addition, and a large bedroom. We put money into it whenever we
could sell a horse or earn a little extra. Now weíre just trying to
find a place to rent with a barn and a home on it."
The old adage that says "when one door closes and
another one opens" often works in mysterious ways. The Asherís were
taken by surprise when they received a phone call from KMSHA/SMHA
Director Dave Stefanic, and other KMSHA/SMHA members who offered an
out-pouring of condolences and help.
"It absolutely blew me out of the water," Melissa
continued. "The support from people has been amazing. When we got
the telephone call from Dave, we just couldnít believe what he
proposed. It was so generous, and so kind."
Stefanic told Melissa that the KMSHA/SMHA was
going to dedicate the KMSHA Spring Jubilee, held on May 12 in
Liberty, Kentucky, as a benefit show and auction to help raise money
for the family. (story on page 48)
"Horse people are different than other people,"
Melissa emphasized. "They really come to your aid when you most need
it, and we certainly do. So many people from the horse shows have
helped us out, and neighbors. You really have to believe in human
kindness. We just couldnít believe what Dave was doing; it really is
The Asherís are hoping to find a farm to rent or
purchase where they can continue their training business. Jeremy,
who rode Rick and Sharon Rogersís Tar Mack for trainer Keith Purdue,
has recently started training on his own. Melissa rode and trained
"the little red and white horse", Triple Jís Bocephus, to many
championships, including the 2005 SMHA International Amateur Classic
Pleasure Grand Championship and SMHA Classic Grand Championship.
Training, riding, and being a full-time mom are
not the only activities that keep Melissa busy. She is also pursuing
a Bachelorís degree in equine management.
we are so very blessed and lucky," she said. "Our lives have been
touched by so many wonderful people that we have met through this
organization (KMSHA/SMHA). Youíve got to be optimistic and move
ahead in life, and all our friends are helping us to do that."