Community Generosity Helps Piedmont Girl Compete In Pinto World Championship

Tuesday, June 7th 2011, 5:49 pm
By: News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Just about everything she had was swept away in seconds when a monster EF4 tornado ripped Grace Thionnet's town to shreds last month.

Grace, 11, and her family lost their Piedmont home, farm, horses, tack and show clothes.

Only her own horse, appropriately named Tuff, survived because he was boarded out of town.

With her life in ruins, it didn't look good for Grace to compete in this year's Pinto World Championship. But when word got out, generous Oklahomans and other good samaritans donated what Grace needed to get back in the saddle.

Grace said she's grateful for the opportunity to do something normal in the midst of all the chaos.

"I'm happy because all the people that helped me get ready and all the people that know about it, and they're so, I'm so thankful for people actually helping and not just blowing it off, and say 'oh, she lost her house,'" she said.

Grace is proving to be quite a young equestrian. Last year she won Reserve World Champion and English Showmanship.

The Pinto World Championship runs through June 18, 2011, at the Tulsa Fairgrounds.