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  • Writer's pictureLiz Moorman

Legacy in the Arena: A Mother's Tribute to Her Daughter's Unyielding Passion

In the heart of the Illinois Paint Horse Club, a poignant take unfolds - a story of love, loss, and an enduring legacy.


Lauren Michelle Kelly, a vibrant soul and aspiring amateur in the show ring, faced a challenging journey due to cystic fibrosis. Her passion for hunter under saddle and excelling in the show ring were hindered by her illness, so Lauren purchased a western pleasure mare, A Good Roan N The Hay. Tragically, before her aspirations could take flight, Lauren left this world.


Debbie Kelly

However, from tragedy arose a remarkable narrative of resilience. Her mother, Debbie Kelly, at 69 years young, seized the reins. With unyielding determination and with her daughter's beloved horse - You Only Live Once and A Good Roan N The Hay - Debbie rekindled her presence in the show pen.


What followed was a testament to a mother's unwavering dedication and a daughter's cherished legacy. Breeding A Good Roan N The Hay, each foal bore a part of Lauren's memory in their name. LMK Design, the first colt, soared as the high point Junior Western Pleasure horse in Illinois while LMK Good Sugar claimed the title of high point 2 Year Old Longe Line. LMK Design was named after Lauren's graphic design business, and her emerged as a living tribute to her creative spirit and dedication.


Debbie Kelly

Whata LMK Legacy, another embodiment of Lauren's memory, earned the honor of Reserve Futurity Champion in the Snaffle Bit Western Pleasure.


This is a story of a mother's journey, echoing resilience and strength in the face of loss. It's a testament that even in tragedy, the indomitable spirit of a girl who cherished her paint horses can transcend time. A legacy woven into every victory, reflecting the passion and love that defined Lauren Michelle Kelly.


Debbie Kelly

Her name lives on, carried by these exceptional horses, a testament to the power of an unbreakable bond between mother and her cherished daughter.



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