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Sue Bush
More articles from Sue Bush

Trail Ride For Torres Scholarship

By Susan Bush
12:00AM / Sunday, September 11, 2005

Nancy Torres and her horse "Keczar"
View Slide Show
Readsboro, Vt. – The Sept. 10 morning was just about perfect.

A warm sun tempered cool air and a clear sky provided a brilliant blue canvas for the already-changing foliage.

At Phyllis Desautels’ hillside home, about 15 horses waited for riders to mount up and embark on a trail ride organized to benefit the Heather Torres Memorial Scholarship fund. The ride generated about $200 that will be added to a class gift given to the fund by the Charles H. McCann Technical School Class of 2005.

Heather Torres was a member of the Class of 2005 at the time of her death in February. She died from injuries sustained during a one-car crash in North Adams. Heather was a passenger in the vehicle. She was 17 years old and enrolled as a student of the school’s culinary arts curriculum.


Donna Duschain astride "Katy," owned by Jane Sullivan.
The route brought the riders to the Whitingham Lake, a place that holds warm and wonderful memories for Heather’s mother Nancy Torres. The destination was selected more because of its’ beauty rather than its’ personal significance, said Nancy Torres. Visiting the site in the company of friends, family, and horses brought memories of time spent with Heather and her older sister Adrienne.

“I’ve taken my kids camping there [at the lake] for 10 years,” Nancy Torres said. “There was special meaning to going there and camping on horseback. Heather was a pretty good horseback rider; it wasn’t a passion for her like it is for me, but she enjoyed it. And when we went camping, it was guaranteed to rain. Little things would happen, and at the end of every day I would say ‘boy, I had a good time.’ The lake holds very special memories of Heather and my daughter Adrienne.”

The ride began at 11 a.m. and riders shared conversation and quiet times as the horses carried them along Freezing Hole Road to a Vermont Association of Snowmobilers trail to the lake and a small beach area. Riders planned to travel a New England Power Association service trail.

There were minor glitches; on two occasions, the horses stirred up nests of ground bees. Although the bees were apparently unhappy at being disturbed, no horse or rider sustained serious injury.

Desautel, who is Nancy Torres’ sister, hosted a cookout that followed the ride.

Jessie Tiegtens and "Smoothie"


Terry Mattimore was among the riders.

“It was just beautiful, just a great ride,” she said. “It was a beautiful day.”

Whether the ride will continue as an annual event hasn’t been decided, Nancy Torres said.

“All I can say right now is I don’t know,” she said.

Thoughts of Heather are constant, said Nancy Torres, who acknowledged that since Heather’s death, “every day is hard.”


Missy Fierro and "Zeb"
Emotions can be overwhelming, she said.
“If I keep myself busy, it’s more comforting,” she said. “But when I stop, that’s when it happens.”

She paused, and then added an insight.

“I think it’s that way with moms.”

A multi-photograph horse-and-rider slideshow will be posted on the www.iberkshires.com Internet web site during the upcoming week.

Susan Bush may be reached via e-mail at suebush123@adelphia.net or at 802-823-9367.

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