The Cyndi Brown Experience
Published 02/05/2011 - 9:53 p.m. CDT
Going over 'The Edge' with Cyndi Brown at the Eureka Tower in Melbourne, Australia. Left to right--Brendan Brown, Trish Wettenhall, Brian Horsefield and of course being held is Miss Cyndi Brown

There's a good chance you have never heard of AQHA judge and horse trainer Cyndi Brown of Gainesville, Texas. Let me tell you--she is one of the best kept secrets in the industry. If you have never met this multi-talented lady, the first time you ever grace her presence you will never forget her.

Cyndi and her husband of 20 years, AQHA judge and trainer Brendan Brown, run Brown Training Center in Gainesville, Texas where they specialize in all around, english and western events. This couple also has a son, Carter, who is 19 and currently studying anthropology in college in New Mexico. 

Recently, due to the economy, her husband, Brendan has decided to relocate to Cave Creek, Arizona where this couple first started dating. After Brendan and Cyndi sell their place in Gainesville, Cyndi will also be moving to be with her husband in Arizona.

Brown's long time client, Kevin Dee, says that Cyndi is one of the most exceptional coaches and trainers he has ever had the opportunity to meet.

"She is the kind of trainer that I swear has eyes behind her head. Because she can be giving a lesson to three different people and still correct you behind her back," Dee explains. "She is genuine and a wealth of knowledge and charm."

Well respected horseman Pete Kyle, who both Cyndi and Brendan worked for at different times in their career, says that Cyndi is an extremely hard worker. "She has a lot of energy and go about her."

That is definitely an understatement. Brown is one of those people that judge all day and then asks you if you want to go work out in the gym. Yes, go work out after judging all day. Cyndi will burst out in song and dance a few steps just for the fun of it--in the most random places and times. Some people get embarrassed; some people think she is a hoot; and some people think she may be a little crazy (in a good way). Brown has boundless energy that never seems to wane and spending a day with her is like running a mental and physical marathon. Brown is one of the few individuals that doesn't seem to care what other people think, and she tries to have fun in all aspects of her personal and professional life. Brown keeps everything in perspective and always tries to get the exhibitors to loosen up and have fun at the shows.

APHA judge and halter trainer, Michael Ochetto of Longview, Texas remembers several past funny stories involving his good friend Cyndi. 

"I have to say when you mention her name to me I automatically chuckle. Do I talk about the time she sang to Fain Yearty (AQHA/APHA judge) from the upstairs announcers booth at a show in Washington just after Fain judged the first go-round of a pleasure futurity, and he turned several shades of red and shook his head (but he loved every minute of it)."

Ochetto continues,"Or do I mention the time when we were in the airport waiting for our flight back to Dallas and Cyndi had called her son to check in on things. Needless to say Cyndi had a cold and took cold medicine. I think you are all getting were this is going--Cyndi on speed. Do you know how loud Cyndi gets and hyped up Cyndi gets on cold medicine? She is talking at the top of her lungs at the gate area to her son asking him if he had done this and that and if the dog had gonna 'poo poo.' People were looking at her like .....well you can all figure it out. Well like a good friend, I slid slowly away so no one would associate me with her. After she got off the phone, she came over and said, 'hey where are you sitting (on the plane) we need to get our seats together.' Oddly enough I cannot remember if we sat together or not. There are more stories to tell but those are not for publication."

When you first meet Brown, it is doubtful that many minutes will go by before she starts singing. Cyndi is determined to audition for "America's Got Talent", and she has performed the National Anthem in several venues including the APHA World Show. Her husband, Brendan, who she calls her hero, also bought her a karaoke machine about ten years ago. Cyndi also goes into the town of Gainesville to sing at the local karaoke bar. Brown also enjoys watching American Idol, but says the new judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez are way too nice. She explains that she misses Simon because, "he tells it like it is."

So, who is Cyndi Brown? Well, she was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, and says she tried to run away as fast as she could to Colorado--where her aunt and uncle worked on a cattle ranch. She would spend summers on their ranch and during high school she was involved in swimming--where she held the back stroke record for five straight years on the Varsity team after graduating in 1975 and also qualified for the Olympic Trials.

When she graduated from high school, she hitchhiked to Colorado and eventually was a race jockey for six years riding thoroughbreds, quarter horses, and mules in races at places like Ruidoso Downs in New Mexico, Turf Paradise in Arizona and Durango in Colorado. However in 1984, her destiny changed when a horse she was riding slammed her into a pipe fence going 40 mph--shattering her right femur, right ankle, three ribs, dislocated her right shoulder, and tore her left knee up. That was pretty much the end of her racing career. To this day, she still limps due to her damaged knee that still needs replaced.

In 1986, Brown attended Laramie County College in Cheyenne, Wyoming--better known as "Last Chance Cowboy College" and during her last semester she interned for Casey and Marty Hinton in Cave Creek, Arizona. Eventually around the quarter shows, Brown met her husband Brendan Brown, who is also a multi-carded judge and mind you, the complete opposite of his wife---a bit more quiet and reserved. Brendan is also seven years younger than his wife--but she says, "He still has more grey hairs than me."

At one point she and her husband worked and trained horses for Jim and Gloria Syfan in Gainesville Georgia, and Cyndi got involved in another interesting world of competition--body building.

"My knee got stuck (from jockey injury) when I was getting ready to show in a Hunter Under Saddle Futurity, so the next day I was doing a tour of Golds Gym with a bodybuilding girl," Cyndi recalls. "I told her I wanted to look like her and a year later..voila..I won my first contest under the guidance of Richard Butler."

Brown started in 1994 and competed for about six years. She won Miss Georgia Lightweight Division, was second at Ronnie Coleman's show in Fort Worth in the Lightweight and won the Masters, and also won the Southwest Naturals Bodybuilding contest in Fort Worth.

Besides singing and bodybuilding, the multi-talented Brown has judged horse shows all over the world in places like Australia, Germany, and Austria. Cyndi is passionate about the reining--loves to judge, and simply enjoys being around horses.

Her passion for horses started at an early age. Brown recalls that she fell in love with horses when she was six and saw a pony with a halter and lead rope just standing in a pasture. "I took him out of the pasture and led him back to my house," Cyndi remembers. Her mom, Margie Hershey asked, 'Where did you get that?' I told my mom that I couldn't help it--'that he followed me home.'"

Brown says she loves this industry because she is excited to see people develop and become better riders. "I love the horses and the people. I have been blessed to have been able to stay in the business for so long. I think this industry accepts all different types of people and doesn't try to change them. There is a place for everyone--someone with different viewpoints and personalities can be best friends in the horse world because we all bond and come together due to our common love of horses."