Claire Hartsook Boyce, longtime riding instructor, show manager and judge, died on Aug. 25. She was 96 years old.
Mrs. Boyce graduated from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro in 1933 with a bachelor’s degree in physical education. She taught in local schools and the P.E. department of the college before opening Little Bit Pony Farm, where she taught young riders for the next 40 years.
She also partnered with her second husband, Bill Dailey, to manage shows including Roanoke Valley (Va.), Blowing Rock (N.C.), and the North Carolina State Horse Show. She was also a U.S. Equestrian Federation R-rated judge and steward.
Mrs. Boyce was awarded the North Carolina Hunter/Jumper Association Lifetime Achievement Award, the Sportsmanship Award at the Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show and the USEF Pegasus Medal of Honor. She was known for her complete dedication to the horsemanship of her students and the health of her horses.
“The most valuable thing she taught us was complete respect for her school horses,” said former student, Joy Farlow.
Mrs. Boyce is survived by: her three children, Lynn Boyce Brennen, Joan Carlton Boyce and Barry Russell Boyce; seven grandchildren; and nine great-grand children. She was taken to her final resting place by horse and carriage on Sept. 2.
Memorial donations may be made to the St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.