<P>Q-RACING JOURNAL SEPTEMBER 2013 81 S SHE WAS RAISED ON A FARM IN MANITOBA, GRADUATED FROM colleges in Alberta and Texas, taught English and spread the Gospel with her husband as missionaries in Sri Lanka, and trav- eled throughout Europe while living in the United Kingdom. Now shes back where shes always wanted to be. It was a dream of mine, said Valerie Sarah Val Clark, who in January became executive director of the Texas Quarter Horse Association. When I was a little girl, Id sit on my front porch at home in Manitoba and dream of Texas. I was a horse-crazy girl in love with horses. I always had that whole big dream of Texas and cowboys and horses. It took me a little while to get here, but hey, here I am. Im a Texan now. This is where I belong. Born in December 1966 to Bill and Betty Wileman, Val grew up with a sister and brother on the wind-swept prai- rie near Russell, Manitoba, about five hours north of Winnipeg, where her father will be 89 next spring but still farms. Her older sister, Colleen, lives in Winnipeg, while brother Richard farms his own land about four miles from the family farm. The family operation is what Canadians refer to as a mixed farm – wheat, barley, that kind of stuff, horses, cattle, pigs, chickens, the whole 9 yards, Clark said. The draft horses we used on the farm were the ones I started showing. … I showed the draft horse in classes under saddle, because thats the only horse I had at the time. He was a light draft horse but, nevertheless, still a big 17-hand horse for a little kid that was 10 years old. Taking on big was par for the course for the girl, who at age 17 graduated from high school and moved to Alberta to pur- sue an animal science degree at Lakeland College in Vermillion, just outside Edmonton. She majored in equine studies, and after getting her sheepskin, she worked for a year or so on a horse ranch near the Alberta capital. Then in 1987 came the break she was looking for. I went to a university in East Texas, Ambassador College in Big Sandy, near Tyler, she said of the church college that later changed its name to Ambassador University but no lon- ger exists. That was my way to get to Texas. Hat Couture CLARK HAD TO ENDURE SOME ADJUSTMENTS WHEN SHE GOT TO the Lone Star State. Oh my yes! exclaimed the woman who has grown to love everything Texas, from the climate and native dress to Tex- Mex fare. You come from Northern Alberta down to East Texas and, well, its a culture shock for anybody whos not from there. I say that in fun, because I have a lot of fabulous memories and there are a lot of super people there who were involved in my life. I wouldnt be where I am today if I hadnt gotten to know those people. While at Ambassador College, Clark met and fell in love with Dave Clark, a student from Calgary. After graduating, they married in 1990 and moved to Sri Lanka, where they did missionary work and started a school where they taught basic English and business skills. But Sri Lanka was in the midst of a raging 28-year civil war. That pulled us out, she said. We saw some pretty horrid stuff there, and I also got really super sick over there. So it was back to the Americas, with the couple moving to Canada in 1991 and Texas four years later, when Dave (who now works for a computer networking firm) was transferred to Austin. Val went to work for the school district in Elgin, just east of the Texas capital, where she started as a substitute, teaching geography and agriculture in high school (Really cool, I loved it!) and then was registrar. As soon as they returned to Texas, Val borrowed some horses from the East Texas college, where she had run the horse program. Then she started buying them. I was into reining then, showed reining, won the Texas Reining Horse Association rookie award in 2001 – when it didnt matter if you had a good horse, she said. Today, it costs $40,000. Texas cowgirl Val Clark and her horse, Fames Shadow DAVE CLARK</p> <UL><LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/335/josgoiuzx/1/1/">Front-Cover</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/335/josgoiuzx/2/2/">Inside-Front-Cover</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/335/josgoiuzx/3/3/">Page-3</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/335/josgoiuzx/4/4/">Page-4</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/335/josgoiuzx/5/5/">Page-5</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/335/josgoiuzx/6/6/">Page-6</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/335/josgoiuzx/7/7/">Page-7</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/335/josgoiuzx/8/8/">Page-8</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/335/josgoiuzx/9/9/">Page-9</a></LI> <LI><a href="http://www.mzines.net/publication/335/josgoiuzx/10/10/">Page-10</a></LI> <LI><a 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