VIENNA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- There's a VIP horse back rider who practices at Windswept Acres Arabians in Vienna, Maine who's considered a VIP. Louis Fox is a very important person, but in this case the acronym stands for visually impaired person.
Fox bought his 10-year-old Arabian mare, Juliette, six years ago. He lives in Connecticut, but keeps his horse at Windswept Acres where she's known for being calm, pretty and extremely reliable under saddle. Especially when Fox is in the stirrups because she knows her rider can't see the course in front of them.
"I have no vision in my left eye and I have just a little bit in my right eye," said Fox. "The world is basically dark to me."
It would be too dangerous for Fox to try to get through a trail course by himself. He has Trisha Davis, Windswept Acres trainer and owner, communicate to him while he rides with a walkie talkie in her hand and headphone in his ear.
"Just to feel the horse bend, feel if her head is going off to the side. For us it's easy, we can see it and he has to totally base it on feel," said Davis.
The VIP set certain goals for Juliette and himself. Qualifying for the National Arabian Championship Horse Show in Tulsa, Oklahoma being the most difficult. He was able to check that accomplishment off this year and made the trip south in October to compete in a select trail class.
"I got top ten. It was just fabulous," said Fox.
The entire show arena recognized how special Fox's placing was. It took him years to prepare for his debut at nationals with plenty of stumbles along the way, but never a moment of defeat. Just a chance to stop, take a breath, gather his reins and try again.
"It would be nice if everyone had his determination," said Davis. "I think sometimes a lot of people are like, I can't do that and I can't do that and they can."
Fox is spending the winter months in Florida while Juliette enjoys some much deserved time off in Vienna. He'll be back in the spring, so that the pair can start practicing for next year's show season.
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