enthusiasts and art-conscious sports fans Harry Weber is known as
a gifted artist. But in certain circles, particularly among show
jumpers and fox hunting equestrians, the artist may be better known
as Anne Weber’s
Weber jumps her horse “Red Roof” during practice
at Bridlespur Hunt Club. Anne earns her living developing horses
for show jumping.
When Harry and
Anne met she was the “huntsman” for
Bridlespur Hunt, an upscale horse club near New Melle in St. Charles
County. Anne lived at the club, organizing fox hunts and caring
for the horses and grounds. Harry worked as a “whipper-in,” helping
the huntsman contol the hounds as they pursued foxes and coyotes
across thousands of acres of Missouri countryside.
relationship grew as they rode and worked together. Harry and
Anne were married in 1985. Since then the couple has grown two businesses — Harry’s
art and Anne’s horses. “When we were starting out Anne was basically
keeping us alive,” Harry says.
Now 49, Anne has
competed professionally at the grand prix level of show jumping,
the highest echelon of an arena sport that grew out of steeplechase.
Although she trained riders in the past, today Anne’s specialty
is finding promising horses and teaching them to jump.
Anne unload hay at the couple's home. The Webers recently sold
a 130-acre horse farm with indoor training facilities and bought
a home near Foristel.
the bushes. I hear about them through the grapevine. I read the
classified ads. I buy the inexpensive thoroughbreds off the racetrack
that are still sound and remake them into show jumping horses,” Anne
and what I do best is to recognize which ones have talent and which
ones don’t. Hopefully I sell them to
the right people.”
Harry and Anne lived on a 130-acre horse farm near Bowling Green.
There, Anne raised as many as 18 horses at a time and worked them
in an indoor arena. Three months ago they moved into a new home,
with smaller horse facilities, near Foristell.
There, closer to
the Bridlespur Hunt club and, more importantly nearer to aging parents,
Harry and Anne have begun to downsize their horse operation, concentrating
on just one or two horses at a time. Currently, Anne is training “Red
horse she hopes develop and sell to a rider who can take him to
the grand prix level.
“I have to
hope that if I keep him for three years he’ll be worth
$50,000,” she says. “That’s what I hope he’s
worth. He hasn’t told me he’s not.”
Anne share a love of horses. Both participate in fox hunts and
she trains horses for show jumping.
her sights are set higher. “My dream is to someday start
one that goes onto the Olympics,” she says.
riding offers a taste of the immortality he brings to his
“I do sculptures
of people who have done things. Most of the time physical things,” Harry
says. “This is the
physical thing that I do.
“They’re obviously two different
activities,” he says. “My
work is the legacy and the quiet part of my life. The horses
are the excitement, the thing that doesn’t endure except
in my memory.”