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A hotbed for horses: Meet Carbon Copy, another champ



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July 21, 2010 | 08:47 AM
Lyons — While Kapparah is a champion in her own right, she isn't the only horse in Lyons with a world-class resume.

In fact, another champion lives literally a quarter mile up the road from Kapparah.

Bethesda's Carbon Copy is a retired male breeding stallion. But thanks to the efforts of Gordon and Betty Weyrauch and Connie White, he has won multiple championships over the years.

He hasn't competed since 2004, but since 1997 "Carbon," as his breeders call him, has won 10 national titles in dressage and dressage musical freestyle.

In 2003, he was a world champion in third-level dressage in Oklahoma City.

Dressage is a discipline where horses are judged on obedience, their ability to obey their rider, their stride and basically the total communication between horse and rider.

White said it's referred to as "Dancing with Horses."

Also, back in 1999, Carbon was named the American Saddlebred Horse Association (ASHA) horse of the year.

White added that the competitions are like weight lifting, with quiet, controlled movements. Horses simply go from station to station and don't rely on speed.

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"We have given him plenty of discipline," White said. "It's something you must do 365 days a year. Also, you need a trainer on the ground to make sure everything looks right."

Nowadays, Carbon still gets ridden every once in a while.

"He's a wonderful horse that's very quiet and easy to ride," White said. "I've had my 78-year-old grandmother ride him."

Carbon came to the Weyrauchs in 1992 from a farm in Waukesha.

He was named Carbon Copy because he is a carbon copy of his father. Now 20 years old, Carbon still likes to run around the Weyrauch farm.

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"He's still used for breeding," Gordon said. "He's semi-retired."

"It's a lot of work and we're getting old," Betty joked.

The Weyrauchs have been in Lyons for 33 years, and they'd do it all again if they had a chance to go back. Their love for horses is strong.

"We don't drink and we don't smoke," Betty said. "We just spend our money on horses."

Gordon has turned down offers to purchase his beloved horse.

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"I once turned down $75,000 for Carbon," he said. "It's like someone with a cat or dog. You wouldn't just give your pet away to anybody for the right price."

White owned a horse several years ago she called her soul-mate. She sold it to a couple who had stallions and seemed like a perfect fit.

However, the couple divorced and her beloved horse eventually found its way to a killer pen, which holds horses that are crippled, sick, or just not wanted.

When she received the call informing her where her horse was, her and a friend went straight to Kenosha to save the horse.

"He was only 400 pounds when we picked him up, which is way too low," White said. "We were crying when we put him in the trailer. He lived to be 29."

Along with owning horses, the Weyrauchs showed dogs, including Rhodesian Ridgebacks for 18 years, before now showing Cuban Havanese.

Gordon is a lifelong Lyons resident, and Betty is from Crystal Lake, Ill. Horses have been a way of life for them, but all the love is thrown out when it comes time to compete.

"It's all about winning," Gordon said. "That's the most important part."

White enjoys the intimidation factor.

"I like when you get to a competition, and people are like, 'Oh no, Carbon Copy is here,'" she said.

Most big competitions were in Oklahoma City.

The money spent on traveling to each show proved the Weyrauchs' dedication to Carbon.

"We'd easily spend $2,000 a weekend," Gordon said. "You really have to be dedicated because people just can't afford it. A Western saddle alone is $5,000."

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