Written by: Intern Mackenzie Shuman, Photos by: Amy Coretz
From a very young age, Mindy Coretz, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, was begging her parents to let her ride a horse. They soon gave in to her persistence and let her take a few lessons. Little did they know, this was just the beginning.
Now, Coretz is 24 years old and has accomplished more than her seven year-old self could have imagined, including multiple top derby placings, WEF championships, and a win in the Junior/AO Hunter Classic at The Rolex Central Park Horse Show. Coretz established Eighteen Acres Farm LLC and has sold countless top-of-the-line show horses. The journey, however, was not always smooth.
Coretz grew up with an unrelenting passion for the sport, even when each green pony she acquired usually gave her more broken bones than ribbons. As she said, “My riding saga actually has quite humble beginnings; the classic story of the untalented kid on naughty ponies she couldn’t handle.” This did not stop her, though.
When she seemed at the point where she just could not break any more bones or have any more bad experiences, a pony by the name Passing Fancy came into her life. “She gave me a couple years of the utmost confidence and taught me how to really trust in an equine partner, and I think she might be the reason I am still riding today,” she said. From Passing Fancy she moved to horses, but Coretz barely got her feet wet before tragedy struck.
At age 14, Coretz took a tumble from one of her first horses and crushed her ankle. The injury resulted in several years of rehab and recovery. “The years that followed were really hard for me, but they also impacted and shaped who I am today in a tremendous way. While my peers were riding, showing, improving, and having fun, I felt left behind,” she said. Though her injury took away the greater part of her junior career, Coretz kept her passion alive by constantly being around the horses she loved. She could always be seen at the barn grooming, watching lessons, and simply enjoying being in the presence of such great animals.
She kept with it. Coretz’s spirits never dipped, and she soon found herself with the opportunity to ride again, even though most doctors had told her to give up on her dreams. Coretz dived into her first Amateur years with newfound confidence and passion. Starting in the 3’ adult hunters after several years of inactivity, she had her sights upon learning and improving and gaining every new experience she possibly could, and that she did.
Coretz learned everything one could conceivably learn. She took advantage of every opportunity and was a sponge to her surroundings. “I believe everyone has something to teach me,” she said, explaining that observing and being open to new things are essential to learning.
Recently, Coretz has made the decision to become a professional alongside Libby Barrow of Farewell Farm. As an amateur, she bought and sold her own mounts and learned valuable lessons about the equestrian business. “That experience has been absolutely pivotal for me…and prepared me for this step to becoming a professional. Now, I’m going to apply everything I’ve learned to my new focus of doing best by the clients at Farewell Farm and committing myself to continuous professional improvement,” she said.
As a new professional in the horse industry, Coretz still looks forward to constant growth. Her humble spirit and positive attitude toward the sport consistently shine. “The opportunity to engage in this sport at any level is truly an unspeakable privilege, and I don’t take lightly the privilege of being considered a professional.”
Though she is going to miss the easy nature of the amateur world, Coretz eagerly awaits the professional world with an open mind and heart. Look for Coretz and Farewell Farm in Texas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Colorado, New Mexico, and Kentucky. Her passion, dedication, and kindness are an example to us all.