Prominent Arabian horsewoman Shelley Groom Trevor shares her story in her memoir A Riding Life: Memories, Dreams, Art, and Love, co-authored by Arabian Horse Life contributing writer Tobi Lopez Taylor. In 1967, Trevor became the face of Scottsdale’s well-known Brusally Ranch. In her book, she recounts her journey -- from the incredible heights of show ring success to the challenges that stood in her way, and so much more.
The book blurb reads:
“Shelley Groom Trevor, a lifelong horsewoman, successfully showed Arabian horses throughout the U.S. and in Canada for her grandfather Ed Tweed’s Brusally Ranch in Scottsdale, Ariz. From the late 1960s to the early 1980s, she competed against the best Arabian riders of her generation, learned from Olympic medalists and dressage masters, met film director Mike Nichols, Black Stallion author Walter Farley and spy novelist Elleston Trevor (whom she later married) and even won a cross-country competition against members of the Mexican cavalry. But as the years passed, she realized the trophies and ribbons held little meaning for her; riding and life, she believes, are actually about the search for balance, rhythm, and love. In this memoir, she recalls the highs and lows, the gains and losses, of a life devoted to horses.”
“I was born crazy about horses but had no idea that Arabians would be my life until my grandfather invited me to live and work on his Arabian breeding ranch in 1967,” Ms. Trevor recounts. “After graduating from ASU in 1968, I showed his horses for 17 years. After my grandfather’s death, I continued with the Brusally Arabians I owned. The most special horses were *Orzel++ (pictured below), the first U.S. National Champion Racehorse, and a son and daughter of his, a full sister and brother -- Brusally Orzelyna+ and Brusally Orzetyn. Other very special horses described in the book are: Brusally Gwiazdor, Jo Lad, *Centaur, Ed-Mar-Michelle, Skorzah, *Zbrucz, SW Dawid, and Skorage. All were Arabians, of course. There were others that didn't make it into the spotlight, but were also very special: Brusally Oryna, Brually Orzyna and Brusally Flamenco. Actually, riding and knowing a horse over time just makes him or her very special to me.”
Like her love for horses, Ms. Trevor’s passion for writing is long lived, and uniquely inspired. “I've been writing about these horses, horsemanship and wanting to create a book ever since author Walter Farley encouraged me to do so about 40 years ago,” she says. “Tobi Taylor made the dream a reality.”
“I worked with other horses -- Quarter Horses, Thoroughbreds, and Warmbloods -- but Arabians have my heart,” she continues. “They have given my life meaning and direction. I was rather a lost soul until I began training and showing Arabians. I give them all the credit for making me the person and the rider that I am. Arabians have been, and still are, my whole life.”
Fans of A Riding Life will be pleased to know that Ms. Trevor has plenty more to share. “Writing about Arabians is such a joy,” she says, “I've begun a sequel.”
A Riding Life: Memories, Dreams, Art, and Love was Released on July 20th, 2019. It is now available to purchase on Amazon.