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Team #668 Mark Satterlee and Earl's Everest

Team #668: Mark Satterlee and Earl's Everest
From: Spokane, WA
Ages: 84 & 17
Combined Age: 101
Test: First Level Test 2
Date: July 15, 2023

Mark’s journey to the Century Club ride started with a horse trip into the Bob Marshall Wilderness with our older son, Scott, in 1989. They were celebrating Scott’s new status as an Army Ranger. Not to be left out, our younger son, Daniel, and I signed up for riding lessons at the Aqua Barn in Renton, Washington. Never a family to do things halfway, the next step was a horse of our own—one of many to follow.

We were spending so much time at the barn with Dan, Mark, in his early 50s, and I started taking lessons as well. Very soon Dan was introduced to dressage. Intrigued by the process and the art of dressage, he went straight into competition. Next came our first Warmblood, a Trakehner gelding, Arias. You can guess what comes next: a Trakehner mare, Freya, buying a small farm, more mares, and 25 years of breeding and selling young Warmbloods. Dan became a young adult; however, Mom and Dad continued with horses. Mark was still working as a computer analyst, and I was teaching. Time was tight; but, Mark persisted.  

Mark began competing with Freya. When she became our first broodmare, Mark continued to compete, on Mint Julep, a Trakehner mare by Martini. Mark retired from computers in 2003. Now, he could concentrate on caring for our small herd and riding.

Minty was to be Mark’s Century Club ride 10 years ago. However, concern for her arthritic back overruled his desire for an award. Mark switched to one of our homebred, ET, a Trakehner Swedish gelding born in 2005. An 18-hand youngster, ET was perfect for a tall man’s ride. He had a willing disposition, intelligence, and athleticism; but, no training other than walk, trot, and canter. Not a recipe for instant success.

By 2017, Minty had died, and our herd was down to one—ET.  We sold our small farm and moved to Spokane, Washington. It was a much better environment for us and ET. We were fortunate to be surrounded by a fantastic support network for Mark to continue his quest for a Century Club ride with Mary Brown, his instructor, Regina Agren, clinician, and Mike Edwards, farrier. As the magic century mark approached, the summer of 2022, we started to plan. Colic made those plans null and void. Washington State University did all they could to no avail. ET was humanly euthanized. Mark was devastated.

Enter Carissa Schmitz with the generous offer of a lease on her older gelding, Earl’s Everest, aka Eddie. He is a big chestnut, perfect for Mark. With Carissa’s and the rest of the team’s help, the Century Club ride happened. Who knew 58 years ago when we said “I do” that we would have such an interesting journey? Everyone should be so lucky.


Mark’s wife, Suzanne