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Heidi Cecil Passes after Battle with Cancer

From Heidi Cecil’s Daughter, Kara Jo Wietrzykowski

“My mother went home to Jesus on the morning of March 20, 2020, after her battle with cancer. She was surrounded by friends and family at home with a view of her favorite place on earth, the farm,” her daughter, Kara Jo Wietrzykowski, shared on her Facebook page. “There really is no way to describe the impact she has had on this world adequately. To the horse community, she is a legend.,” Kara shared. “To her friends, she was fiercely loyal, selfless, and sacrificial in her love. To her family, she was the pillar of strength and made the world turn. She loved her children, horses, and Jesus with unparalleled passion. There has never been someone quite like her, and she will not be forgotten.”

NSBA Memorial Article

NSBA is saddened to report that Heidi Cecil lost her battle with cancer on Friday, March 20.

Heidi’s love for horses began when she was ten years old. She entered the show arena by the age of 12, and by 16, she was riding horses for trainers after school. After scouring newspapers and bulletin boards in local tack stores, she found AQHA mare Treasure Sail and made a national and Congress champion with the ex-racehorse that she found in a field.

In her late teens, Heidi began galloping racehorses for a private farm and later at Buelah Park in Columbus, where she ponied horses to the starting gate. Soon, she and her ex-husband, Rick Cecil, were training horses at their farm. Heidi would go on to win multiple Congress and AQHA world and reserve championships.

She had the distinction of winning the High Point Open Horse and reserve Open Horse in the same year at the All American Quarter Horse Congress. Heidi showed Distinctly Sweet, owned by Angel Slinkman to the top title and The Artraction, owned by Chantel Davenport, to the reserve award. Heidi also was part of the team that showed 1993 AQHA Superhorse Itchin Easy for the Kaplow family along with David Connors.

Heidi and Rick Cecil are forever linked to the AQHA stallion Artful Move, whom they stood at their Cecil Breeding Farm. Heidi was known for competing with many of Artful Move’s offspring in the show pen.

In recent years, Heidi had returned to her roots in the racing industry, working with thoroughbreds near her home in Florida.

Heidi is predeceased by her mother, Jackie, and brother, Louie. She is survived by her father, RJ, sisters, Cassie, and Melissa, son, Justin and Caroline, daughter, Kara Jo and Alex, and granddaughter, Isla Jo Wietrzykowski.

In lieu of flowers, Heidi has requested memorial contributions be made to Place of Hope

We will share funeral arrangements once they are finalized.

CLICK HERE for more information from NSBA.