The Froman Family: Three Generations Showing Together Again
At the Shamrock Shuffle, 72-year-old Diane Kliemchen made her debut at her first AQHA show with her daughter Vanessa and grandson, Collin Froman. The Froman Family is well-known at both the AQHA and APHA shows across the country. They have achieved great success in the show arena with both associations.
“I’m so proud of Diane for not letting her age or ailments keep her from what she loves,” her trainer Jenell Pogue shared on her Facebook page. “The best part is, she’s out here showing with her daughter and grandson. Being a part of making this possible is what I fell in love with almost 30 years ago and why I started my career as a horse trainer.”
Diane’s daughter Vanessa also posted the exciting news on her Facebook page, “My mom made her AQHA debut here on my favorite girl ‘Becky’ and got a gift for it. She got her name called in both her classes and was sixth overall in horsemanship. So proud of her and thankful Becky is taking care of her in the show pen. So happy to have three generations of family here showing together. Jenell Pogue Performance Horses is a saint for dealing with our three-ring circus,” Froman added.
According to Vanessa, her mother’s paint gelding, Dudley needed to be retired on the farm with the rest of their resident “retirees,” and Diane told her daughter that she was feeling like she needed to retire too.
“We all went to the Labor Day Paint show with her as a last hurrah, and she said, ‘I just want to show with my family’…after all that, my parents have given and sacrificed for my sister and me, and now for my boys, I was sure as heck going to make this happen for her.”
Diane told us, “It has been a learning process to teach me how to ride Becky. Jenell works with me constantly. What I love about Becky is her patience with me and the cuddles she loves. It’s fun and helpful showing with my grandson and daughter. Life is too short not to enjoy every moment. My first AQHA show was fun. The exhibitors are friendly and supportive. I’m looking forward to the next show.”
Vanessa added, “It’s really remarkable when I think of it to have three generations at the same show. And something I do not take for granted. Showing for my family has been different and difficult in some ways since my dad passed away at Congress in 2018, which was around the time we started to focus on more Quarter Horse shows, leaving my mom to show paints without us.”
Vanessa continues, “Being able to have a horse that will take care of my mom so she can be with us and watch us show is truly a gift from God. She was able to watch us show and videotape each time we showed.”
We asked Vanessa what her son Collin thinks about showing with his mother and now grandmother. If you know Collin, you know that he gives his family a very hard time. “He is ruthless! He does give his grandmother a lot more words of affirmation than he does me,” Vanessa laughed. “Except when it comes time for him to pick his Grammy’s stall or saddle her horse, then he jokes with her about she needs to get ‘ripped’ and start doing this stuff herself. If she complains to him about the cleaning or saddling, he will remind her that ‘you get what you pay for.’ It’s really hard not to laugh at his wit, and sarcasm is our family’s love language.”
According to Vanessa, her mother has been fighting battles with lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and a few other issues for decades. “Having our horses has always given her motivation to keep going. She is one of the toughest women I have ever known. She and my father sacrificed a lot for us,” Froman told us. “I’m not sure they ever thought we would take this horse showing thing so far.”
Vanessa continues, ”When Collin won his first APHA World Championship, she made a post on Facebook with his picture and the caption, ‘My Grandson is a World Champion!’ So, Jenell suggested that we have the jacket he won for that class embroidered with that quote and given to her for Christmas. We did, and she wore it at the Shamrock Shuffle. It still touches me deeply that she wears it with such pride. My mom is not big on ‘words of affirmation’ or overly exuberant on the exterior, but I’ve learned that she shows her happiness and pride in her own way. That jacket is the perfect example.”
Diane and Becky are currently working towards qualifying for the Level 1 East Championships. We wish this new team, and the rest of the Froman family the best of luck throughout the year.