Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse News

May/June 2007

Farm of the Month


Triple J & M Farm


by: Mary Marshall

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.

"It 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 great."

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.

"Really, 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."

Contributions can be made to the Asher Family Fire Fund at Central Bank in Winchester, Kentucky.