When Phyllis Brookshire isn’t selling homes and properties across the state, she’s in Asheboro, training world-class horses for competition.
Brookshire, 51, is the president of Allen Tate Realtors, where she supervises more than 1,000 realtors in North Carolina and upstate South Carolina. She’s also a world-class equestrian who has won several world championship titles in her 43 years of riding horses.
She will be traveling to the World’s Championship Horse Show at the Kentucky State Fair in Louisville on Aug. 23.
“I enjoy the competition,” Brookshire said. “I really enjoy figuring out my horse and figuring out how I can be the best partner I can be with my horse.”
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I’ll Bet You, Brookshire’s five-gaited American Saddlebred horse and Costa Nostra, a fine harness horse, will join her on the trip. I’ll Bet You is trained to show off five different kinds of walks, or gaits, and Costa Nostra competes by pulling Brookshire in a buggy.
Horse shows are similar to dog shows, Brookshire said. Judges evaluate horses based on breed specifications and how well they perform different gaits, or ways of walking.
She gets her horses ready by competing in smaller events and riding with her horses about once a month during the summer.
“I don’t do a lot of practice in the saddle,” she said.
Instead, she focuses on building core strength and watches videos of past shows to prepare.
Brookshire started riding horses when she was 8.
She wasn’t good at other sports, like basketball and soccer, which were popular for girls her age. When her father bought her a horse, she found something she was good at.
“It gave me an athletic endeavor which I enjoyed,” she said. “I think horses are one of those hobbies where you love it and you can’t live without it or you don’t get it.”
Brookshire rode at a farm in North Raleigh, and her family owned a farm in Clayton, where they kept several horses. Within a year of starting to ride, she was competing in horse shows.
Brookshire won her first world championship title at 16.
Her love of riding and horses lasted into adulthood. She won two world championships last year.
In addition to riding and competing, Brookshire and her husband, Don Brookshire, train and sell horses.
“Showing the same horse for five years is not my thing,” she said. “I’d rather share them.”
Don Brookshire spends most of his time scouting horses for his wife to compete with and after a few years of training and competing, the Brookshires sell the horses.
One of Phyllis Brookshire’s former horses now belongs to a 14-year-old rider who is showing it in other horse shows, she said.
“I love my horses and I enjoy being with them, but they have a long show cycle,” Brookshire said.
Watch the competition
The World’s Championship Horse Show at the Kentucky State Fair can be viewed online at www.kystatefair.org/wchs.