By Angel Kane
From a young age, Betty Freeman had a passion for horses. A passion passed down to her from her father, Lester Bradford, who raised Tennessee Walking Horses in Lewisburg, Tennessee. Almost from the time Betty could walk, her father had her riding and, in no time, she was competing in world-class riding events.
Years later, when she moved to Lebanon and married John Freeman, no one was surprised that her horses came with her. And in the 1970’s, Betty turned her passion for horses into a breeding business known as Freeman Foals.
Today, this tradition continues through her husband, John Freeman and their daughter, Delaine Freeman Smith. “Daddy didn’t have a passion for it, but he did it because he loved her and now, he helps me carry on her legacy in the Walking Horse world. When Daddy retired, my mother had some coveralls embroidered for him that said “CEO of Manure Management” and he continues the retirement job of mucking stalls that Mama gave him. I couldn’t do it without him. He’s really very good with the horses, maybe he likes them more than lets on,“ notes Delaine.
Betty bred and raised over 300 foals in her breeding career, many of which made it to showings and some were even sent overseas. This month Delaine carries on the international tradition, as four mares have been bred with Betty’s stallion, Watch Out Jose’, and will be delivered to Germany as soon as they are declared in foal. These foals will be the first, by Betty’s beloved stallion, to be born on international soil.
“My mother’s greatest accomplishment in breeding was raising the only World Grand Champion Tennessee Walking Horse from Wilson County. His name was Generator’s Santana.” Other well-known horses included Ironworks, Extra Ebony, Absolutely Armed, and I’m a Buzzsaw.
Betty Freeman passed away three years ago, but her memory lives on through her family and her love of horses. “The Wilson County Fair Board contacted us the year she died and wanted to name the Walking Horse Show in her honor. We were very humbled that they gave this honor to her memory. Years ago the Lebanon Democrat would host a Charity Horse Show and my mother was the Chairwoman of the event for years. I know my mother would want us to put on a world class affair, so we strive to give it a “Celebration” flair similar to the big show in Shelbyville.”
On August 13th, Betty’s family enthusiastically participated in the Third Annual Betty B. Freeman Memorial Walking Horse Show held at the 2010 Wilson County Fair. Walking Horses in various classes were presented to the public. Proceeds from the event benefited two of Betty’s favorite charities: Hearthside Retirement Center and the Youth Scholarship Fund of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders and Exhibitors Association.
To learn more about Freeman Foals you can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 444-1422.
E-mail Angel at email@example.com