VIP Laura Brest

By Juli S. Thorson

A member of the ApHC Hall of Fame since 1995, Laura Boggio Sordahl Brest has a well-earned reputation as a breed trailblazer. She became involved with Appaloosas in 1954, when she co-founded the Double A Ranch in Clyde Park, Montana. Her mare, Dark Shadow, produced two of the early great Appaloosa mares, Fire Opal of AA and Navajo Turquoise of AA – horses whose own produce included Fire Darter, a 1962 National Show reining champion with legendary trainer Bill Horn, and Little Navajo Joe, a stellar sire.

Along with her prowess as a breeder, Laura enjoyed great success in the show arena, winning many national championships. Her first was in ladies’ Western pleasure, at the ’54 National Show in Deer Lodge, Montana. It was at her urging that the ApHC added English classes to its shows; when she started, only Western classes were available.

Laura was one of the first women to become an approved ApHC judge, and she continued to judge for three decades. She helped launch several regional clubs, including the Montana, Center of the Nation, West River, Mon-Dak, and Southern Oklahoma groups.

She also passed her love of Appaloosas to her two daughters, Day and Stacey. Bother served on the Appaloosa Youth Association boards of directors. Stacey was 1985’s Miss Appaloosa America, and now serves on the ApHC board. Today, Laura makes her home in Texas where she’s surrounded by memorabilia from over half a century’s worth of Appaloosa involvement.

Be sure to greet this 60th National Show VIP as the ApHC thanks her for her contributions.

1 Comment

  1. Edward Sala Said,

    July 6, 2007 @ 1:54 pm

    It’s good to see Juli Thorson back at the Appaloosa National Show! I’m also glad to see that she is taking time to recognize breed leadership who are attending this important event. We need to hear more about the individuals who support advancement of the Appaloosa horse and all of the activities associated with it. Go Juli!

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