Breda Dean-Kennedy Becomes an Inspiration with Inspirado
This past year, Amateur halter competitor, Breda Dean-Kennedy of Ocala, Florida has become an inspiration to many people in the horse industry. The year has been full of incredible highs and unbearable lows for Breda including the surprise from her husband, Scott, who purchased the halter stallion, Inspirado, for her in January. However, less than a month later, this excitement quickly turned to tragedy when her husband took his own life on February 20th.
While nothing can ever bring her husband back, Breda had some happiness come her way this past week when her stallion, Inspirado, won the Open Performance Halter Stallions with Todd Grant. On Monday afternoon, Breda was Reserve Amateur World Champion in the Amateur Aged Stallions.
We talked to Breda about what she has been through this past year, and how she has overcome her heartbreaking loss.
GoHorseShow: Hi Breda, thank you so much for talking to us. We know this is a difficult time for you and we are honored you were willing to talk to us about your life this past year. To start on a happy note, can you tell us what it was like to see Todd and Inspirado win the Open Performance Halter Stallion earlier in the show?
Breda: Watching my horse win gold was surreal. I will never forget watching him show that day. It was emotionally overwhelming. I think he truly is a special horse, as I have never known a better minded stallion. I have followed his career and was stunned when my husband surprised me with the purchase. He was my dream horse, and my wish came true.
GoHorseShow: Can you tell us what it’s like working with Todd Grant?
Breda: My trainer, Todd is the utmost professional. Not only is he an amazing horse trainer, but he is also a wonderful person. Whether it is me or a complete stranger attending their first AQHA show, he always has words of encouragement. It’s refreshing to see such kindness.
GoHorseShow: Can you tell us what happened and how your husband passed away in February?
Breda: On February 20th, my husband committed suicide. It was unbearable. In the blink of an eye, he was gone and I thought my life was over. His death has affected so many people, in so many different ways. Suicide is almost impossible to understand, and heavily weighs on the loved ones left living. I had to make a list for the first few weeks; “take a deep breath, get dressed, keep going.” The simplest tasks were overwhelming, not to mention a farm full of horses. The best advice I got the day after his death was to see a counselor. Getting professional grief counseling from someone who specialized in suicide was paramount in my healing process.
GoHorseShow: Do you have any advice for people who are hurting that may be considering taking their own lives?
Breda: My best advice to anyone feeling depressed or contemplating suicide is simple. Stop and think. Think about your family, friends, customers…even your pets. Pick up the phone. Someone is always willing to listen. For those people who know of someone going through emotional distress, be kind. Be compassionate. Help save a life.
Breda: My family and friends have held me up this year. My faith in God has given me strength. My AQHA “family” has kept me looking to the future. Horse show friends who live 1,200 miles away have been so supportive. It may be cliche, but you do find out who your friends are after a tragedy.
GoHorseShow: What are you future plans and goals?
Breda: As far as future plans, I’m looking forward to promoting Inspirado for breeding season, as well as showing him next year. When he decides he is finished showing, he has a forever home. I’m starting to purchase horses in other disciplines, and I look forward to building a new life doing what I love.
GoHorseShow: Thank you for sharing your thoughts. You are certainly an inspiration to many people.
Breda: You are welcome and thank you.