Brought together by a mutual love of horses 60 years ago, two Cazenovia, New York, icons are about to celebrate their 50th anniversary. They stopped traffic, literally, on their wedding day and still do so every fall when they ride in the annual Limestone Creek Hunt Parade of Hounds.
Barb and John Anderson, longtime members, benefactors, and Master of Hounds for LCH, will enjoy their 50th anniversary on October 25th. Due to COVID restrictions and a work/travel schedule that would exhaust most people decades younger than they are, the Andersons are postponing their celebration until next summer when they return from their winter business in Florida.
Over the years, the two have made valuable contributions to the Cazenovia community through the hunt club and their hands-on maintenance of horse/hiking trails around the area.
Horses have always been part of their life together...
Barb and John met at the Cazenovia Sesquicentennial Celebration, held 60 years ago. A superb – and passionate -- horsewoman, Barb naturally gravitated to the site where John and his family were giving pony rides. Although Barb moved from Caz to Long Island soon after, the two kept in touch and were able to see each other every summer in the Adirondacks, where John’s family ran a horse trail ride program and Barb’s father owned a restaurant.
It was a 10-year courtship, but they were finally able to marry in 1970 before John graduated from Cornell and became a farrier. Little did they know how far his avocation and her love of horses would take them.
The first time they stopped traffic on Albany Street was right after their wedding in the Presbyterian Church. Of course, they rode to the reception at the then-Lake Meadows Inn by carriage. Their horse and antique buggy stopped traffic while making a u-turn in front of the church.
Barb and John, whose support and truly tireless efforts over the years are credited with keeping the Limestone Creek Hunt Club alive and thriving, have for years played a key role in any and all hunt club activities. They first became members of LCH in 1995. John accepted the role of Master of Foxhounds, with Barb as Joint Master, in 2006.
For the past several years, John has traditionally given a speech after the blessing of the hounds at Lorenzo.
But it’s not at all uncommon to see them mowing trails or cutting back branches. And Barb, who says she hates to cook, still supplies tasty food (and beverages) for riders who participate in the twice-weekly hunts.
"Organizing fox hunts and events that pass through private properties; mobilizing people, horses, hounds, and support services is not an easy task,” notes Jenny Coughlin, LCH President. "Yet the Andersons make it seem deceptively simple.
"They are generous to a fault – and most always on the same page. Barb and John’s dedication, commitment, and enthusiasm for LCH is remarkably contagious. They definitely have the ability to make things happen, solving problems in person — by picking up the phone or knocking on the door.
"Many of LCH's most memorable events have been hosted by the Andersons, and any event is just not the same without them. They are LCH,” she adds.
The couple’s life and successful career has evolved around the horses they love
The Andersons are role models for those who want to work at something they love. And it shows. Although John’s creaky knees and Barb’s painful hands can attest to the physical challenges of their life with horses, anyone who meets them sees their warmth, vitality, and happiness.
John’s farrier business started out small, but today employs his two sons and others who routinely travel up and down the East Coast from Vermont to Florida and to Europe to shoe some of America’s most prestigious horses for international events and shows. John also does farrier work at the Kentucky International show and the Tryon, NC, show every fall.
During the summers in upstate NY, although he travels most of the week to his far-flung clients, and to the annual Lake Placid Horse Show, John still manages to hunt most fall weekends and enjoy a few sips of his favorite single-malt scotch. One of his favorite pastimes is his lifetime membership in the Scotch Tasting Club at the Brae Loch Inn, a long-time beloved restaurant where they held their rehearsal dinner and whose owners have supported LCH for many years.
In the winter, the Andersons move their horses and entourage to Palm Beach, where they board other people’s horses and John is on duty at the famous Palm Beach Masters Series.
As Barb sometimes opines, “it’s never a dull moment.” But the couple agrees they’d do it again … in a heartbeat.