Bev Cathcard began training horses in a small establishment which she named Hidden Valley Stables in New Orleans, LA, in 1946. She moved to the Kansas City area in 1951. She re-opened Hidden Valley Farm with ten stalls in 1957 in South Kansas City; that number of stalls would soon grow to 52. In the late 1960’s, Bev and Ted joined forces as trainers at Hidden Valley. Bev was known far and wide throughout the Midwest as an expect horsewoman and trainer of Saddlebreds, Morgans, Arabians, and Quarter Horses. In 1978 she became the first Missouri woman to win the World Championship in Pleasure Driving at the Quarter Horse Congress. She was one of the few women to have studied at both the prestigious Spanish Riding School in Vienna, Austria, and the Royal School of Horsemanship and Bullfighting in Madrid, Spain. For many years she was known as the Queen of the Parade Horse Division because of her many wins nationwide. She won World Champion Parade Horse honors at the American Royal on the great Sam Houston in 1967, 1968, 1969, and 1972, a record never to be broken.
Not only expert with the horses, she has taught three generations of riders as well, all of whom remember her fondly and credit her with guiding them through their show careers and even in their later lives.
Bev was one of the founding members of the Longview Horse Park Assn. in 1982. She has remained on the Board of Directors as a constant support ever since. Before her retirement, at least three of the famous black and white rigs of Hidden Valley Farm were parked on the hill, having brought a full load of beautifully turned out horses and riders to participate in nearly every discipline. She was also a long-time member of the American Saddlebred Breeders Futurity of Missouri, Missouri Horse Shows Assn., American Horse Show Assn., Pony Express Horse Show Circuit, Golden Circle Horse Show Circuit, Greater Kansas City Arabian Horse Assn., Carriage and Driving Society of Greater Kansas City, Morgan Horse Assn., and the United Professional Horsemen’s Assn.-Chapter 5.
For 25 years, Bev was active in the 4-H Shows at the American Royal, as well as planning the Kids’ Program for 17 years.
Even after her formal retirement from training and the show ring, Bev slowed down only slightly. In 2007, Bev, a long-time friend of Kansas City legends Loula Long Combs, participated in PBS documentary on the Long family. She has been very active as a resident of John Knox Village, working in volunteer programs such as the Thrift store, JKV Theater Group, Independent Living Committee, and the Village View. She became very much the “face” of John Knox Village due to her participation in TV and print advertising.
In January 2011, a Hidden Valley Farm Reunion Party was held in Bev’s honor at the Village, which was attended by nearly 300 of her former clients, students, and close friends, a gathering which brought her great joy.
Bev Cathcard was a woman of strong character and great talent, with love and compassion for “all things great and small.” To paraphrase Will Rogers, there are many people, but few giants. And like Mr. Sinatra’s song, until 5:13 P.M. July 21, 2011, she did it her way. One of Bev’s favorite sayings came from another of her heroes, John Wayne: “Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway.”
Memorial Services for Bev Cathcard will be held at D.W. Newcomer’s Longview Funeral Home (across from the Longview Horse Park) on Wednesday, July 27, 2011 at 5:00 P.M. A Celebration of Bev’s Life will be held at John Knox Village Pavilion on Wednesday following the Memorial Service. Private inurnment. In Lieu of flowers, please make contributions to the Longview Horse Park Association, c/o Sarah Ring, P.O. Box 171 Greenwood, MO. 64034.
Arr: Newcomer’s Longview Funeral, 12700 S. Raytown Rd. KC, MO. 64149