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June 23, 1989 - Image 50

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-06-23

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Michelle says her take-charge attitude helps in her riding.

Showing Off

Horse-show champion Michelle Friedman
won't leave home without her Mastercard.


Special to The Jewish News


ichelle Fried-
man's introduc-
tion to horseback
riding at age 8
made a major im-
pact on her life: nine years
later, her best friend is
nicknamed Billy.
That may not sound
unusual, except that Billy's
proper name is Mastercard —
and he's her horse.
"If I'm going to college,"
says Friedman, "he's staying
with me." Presumably, this
does not mean the horse will
share her dorm. But she in-
sists on finding a school with
proper on-campus facilities
for Billy.
At a recent college fair, she
says, "My first question was,
`Do you have a place where I
can keep my horse?' If they
said no, I kept on walking."
Friedman got Billy when
she was 13. He was already
trained but "as I progressed,


FRIDAY, JUNE 23, 1989

I trained him even more. He
basically taught me every-
thing I know."
She also trains and rides a
second horse, Formal Attire,
owned by her father, Fred,
who's also the owner of Bir-
mingham Auto Sound. For-
mal Attire is known informal-
ly as President. Each horse is
jealous when she shows affec-
tion to the other.
The cost of keeping and
showing a horse is $5,000 a
year and up, depending on
how many shows it enters.
Friedman, of West Bloom-
field, has won many cham-
pionships at the junior level,
including 1988 Best All-
Around Junior Rider in
Michigan. She recently took
blue ribbons in meets at
Stoney Ridge and Metamora
Hunt Club to qualify for her
first-ever trip to the American
Horse Show Association
junior finals, to be held in Oc-
tober in Harrisburg, Pa.
She will be competing in
Class A Juniors at Waterloo,
Mich., June 27-July 2.

Horse showing success re-
quires teamwork between
horse and rider. It is a test of
the rider's training ability as
well as her riding skills.
Riders are judged on how well
the horse runs, jumps and
Friedman rides her horses
every day, whether it's after
school, after work or on
weekends. She shows a horse
every weekend during the
spring and summer season.
That means getting up
around 6 a.m. and working
until 11 p.m. every Thursday
through Sunday.
"I'm just the type of person
who likes to compete all the
time," Friedman says. "I like
going (riding) on trails, but I
like to compete and prove

She also likes being in
charge. At Walled Lake
Western High School last
winter, she was captain of the
pompon squad for basketball.
And she has been leader or
president of several youth

groups, both at school and at
her synagogues.
Friedman wants a career as
a television director or pro-
ducer. Again, she wants to
call the shots. Already, she
has produced several shows
and videos at her high
school's TV studio for broad-
cast on Greater Media Cable.
Recently, a music video she
produced won a national PTA
award. The video, "DWI,"
featured rap music and dealt
with the effects of drinking
and driving.
"I like to tell people what to
do," Friedman explains. "I've
always been good with that
. . . I can't stand being a

The take-charge attitude
helps her riding.
"I think I figured out why
I like riding so much," she
says. "It's because I have to
make the decisions. It's all up
to me and if I make the wrong
decisions, I pay for it. It's just
like TV. I make my decisions
and if I make the right deci-
sions, it turns out to be a good
Training horses taught
Friedman there is more to be-
ing in charge than just issu-
ing orders.
"You've got to have a lot of
patience because it's a real
frustrating sport, working
with another animal that has
the intelligence of a 2-year-

One of the two horses Friedman trains is owned by her father Fred.


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