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In Memoriam: Evie Tumlin


Mrs. Evie Tumlin, owner and trainer at Cedarwind Farm in Oxford, MS, passed away on Monday June 22, 2015 after a lengthy battle with cancer. The Mid-South Horse Review, along with her legion of fans, mourns the loss of Evie Tumlim – an icon in the mid-south dressage, eventing, and Pony Club world. Many have posted tributes to Evie and here are a few, along with some highlights of her life.

Russell Tumlim wrote: “It is with great sorrow that I announce the passing of the wonderful Mrs. Evie Tumlin. She fought a tremendous battle with ovarian cancer. We are ever so grateful that she was able to spend her last week at home with us, her dogs, and horses. You are well loved Mrs. Evie, and I will miss you greatly.”

Peggy Gaboury wrote: “I met Evie early in 1993, just a couple of months after I moved here.  Desperate for some connection with dressage, I drove to Greenwood, Mississippi, where there was a recognized show, and there, surrounded by cotton fields, was Evie, with two dressage rings and a full two- day show. From that time on, I never knew Evie to turn down a challenge.  If Mississippi needed a dressage club, she would create one.  If her girls needed a Pony Club so they could practice and compete, a Pony Club they would have.  There was no horse, no matter how green, klutzy, or poorly trained, that she did not greet with enthusiasm and try her best.  No person interested in horses was ever turned away or discouraged. She leaves behind a legacy of people who know and love horses, and young people who matured under her instruction, both as riders and as human beings.  I will miss her greatly.”

“She was a tremendous woman who taught countless kids and adults all over the country,” wrote Meredith Wilkes Tipton of Southern Run Pony Club and River Run Eventing. “Such a tragic loss for our pony club.”

In 2010 Evie was named USDF Region 9 Horse Person of the Year. At that time, she had been a member of USDF for over 30 years. She founded the Mississippi Eventing & Dressage Association.

Just last September, 2014, Evie rode three horses to join The Century Club: Pegasus Flame, Armani, and Roemer Has It. The Century Club recognizes Dressage riders and horses whose combined age totals 100 years or more. Evie and her three horses amassed a total of 159 years!

“I was just six when I got my very first horse,” she wrote. “It was a pony that bucked, ran and jumped logs. I felt safe because bareback was the only way to go, and I hung on and ran wild and stuck like Velcro. Pegasus was the first ride, and represented my childhood just playing bareback on my pony. Pegasus Flame was a rescued Arabian.

“Armani, my Swedish Warmblood, was the next one, and it was a demonstration of learning. He was my opportunity to ride the big gaits and play with upper level training. We studied and trained to complete requirements for my USDF Bronze Medal. We were halfway there when Armani was injured. Out of the blue, my good friend Bess Bruton passed her Silver Medal mount, Roemer Has It, on to me and the work began again.

“The last one is Roemer, on whom I finished up my Silver [medal].”

Dressage wasn’t her only accomplishment. “I learned to fly airplanes and became a pro. I taught lessons, flew charters, and choppers. I also learned to SCUBA dive …and worked for NASA,” she wrote.
Ila Handy wrote:

“I was fortunate to know Evie Tumlin and her fun loving spirit, always ready with a laugh and a smile. She was an incredible ambassador for horses and kids. Godspeed dear Evie!”

Elizabeth Clifton of Mid-South Dressage Academy, wrote:

“Evie has been such a gift to our sport for so many years… She will be greatly missed.”

Perhaps Libby Ty Bauer said it best:

“Today I lost my best friend in the entire world. Mrs. Evie meant the world to me. She taught me kindness, to love with a big heart, to stand up for what I believe in, and many more things I will carry with me forever. She gave me the gift of horses, and the knowledge I have about them today. She loved any and all creatures, no matter what faults. She not only trained me through many horses, and bad habits, she was there for me for any problem that might arise. She taught me how to teach her wise words of wisdom to others. Mrs. Evie gave me the tremendous work ethic that’s one of the biggest parts of me. She is my mentor and I love her more than any person in the entire world. I will never forget the memories, and wisdom she gave me. She fought all the way to the end. And because of that, I will channel my inner Mrs. Evie and tell all of her beloved friends, instead of mourning a loss, celebrate a life. Because she lived a great one that will never be forgotten. Like so many before me, she shaped me into the person I am today, and the person I will be in the future. I love you Evie Tumlin. Ride fast in heaven!”

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