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The World of Susan Eoff

By Maia Sapp, Staff Writer

Sue Eoff brings her love of horses and experience as a world traveler to Adair County. Photos by Maia Sapp

In the corner of a field, underneath a beautiful, majestic maple tree, stood beasts of power and prestige. Their strong necks bent down to graze at the grass that lay at the trunk, leisurely enjoying the simple pleasure of a shady tree and a convenient meal. A young Sue Eoff is struck by the scene, in awe by the way the animals move. She has never felt more compelled by anything or anyone in her life. Immediately, she senses her connection to them, she understands their personalities, how they are feeling, who they are. She runs to her parents and begs for one.

This moment marked the beginning of a lifetime of love for Susan Eoff dedicated to the art of horses, and that love has come to Adair county to be shared with the world. At the tender age of three years old, Eoff’s mother would constantly find her sitting underneath that big maple tree surrounded by her equine friends, all of whom belonged to their neighbor. Her mother was initially horrified at the sight, because her daughter had grown up in the city and knew nothing about horses.

At the age of ten, after relentless and passionate begging, Eoff was finally able to convince her parents to get her a horse. In the Bay area of San Francisco, she began her journey. Starting from absolutely no knowledge or interactions with horses, Eoff climbed the ranks and effectively dominated the equestrian scene around the country. Her dedication and training came to fruition, when at seventeen, she won the 1982 President’s Cup with her half-Arabian horse Bezarue.

Even in the face of such success and glory, there comes a time in any athlete’s life when they must bid their beloved sport goodbye. Whether their farewell is expedited by an injury or a loss of passion, eventually every athlete must endure the effects of time. For Eoff, the end of her jockey career came from the knowledge that she could not get any better at her craft than she was. When her instructors told her “there is nothing else I can teach you,” Eoff’s response was to move on to other endeavors.

Suddenly, her life went in a new direction, leading her to the University of California where she received a bachelors in Genetics. Though she thought about a graduate program to pursue her doctorate, in the end, at the advice of a professor, Eoff decided to head to Hungary for an internship on a horse breeding farm. This decision led her toward a lifelong love of international travel. At this time in her life, Eoff said she would go back and forth from the U.S. to different parts of Europe.

After studying horse starting techniques and classical dressage, Eoff set up a business in

Southern California where she trained and sold horses. But unfortunately, she reached a point where she couldn’t continue. She could not understand why humans treated horses as though they were sports equipment, and subsequently, she decided she needed to take a hiatus from understanding horses and instead “understand humanity.“

The first place she found herself during this quest was in South Africa where she worked on a

safari. She believed that by going to an ancient country she would be able to study animals in their natural life and observe how the people there interacted with them. But she would not find answers, as she witnessed the constant exploitation of the animals. Finally, her chance at a more satisfying life came when she had the opportunity to meet with some friends at an Ashram in Jaipur, India.

Having never been religious, Eoff was ignorant of a lifestyle of spirituality. She always knew

there was some divine power but never sought it. Her experience at the Ashram convinced her that this way of life would be how she would find the answers she was seeking.

At this point, Eoff decided to abandon her life in America in search for the ever elusive “truth” of the world, and for the religion, that is not about a God, but about the way everything in the world is bound to each other. Every small blade of grass that grows is a part of her, of everyone.

Every small blade of grass that grows is a part of her, of everyone...

After three years in India, Eoff’s master at the monastery informed her that she had reached the end of her spiritual journey. With no explanation, he told her she was ready and instructed her to leave. So Eoff went back to America and began working with horses again, but she took with her a newly acquired understanding of what she calls “the depth of humanity.”

After a truly nomadic lifestyle, Eoff finally decided to settle down, to cement herself in a

community where she can take time to, as she put it, understand the earth. Eventually, she found the ideal place on an 88-acre farm in Columbia, Kentucky. A beautiful property with an idyllic forest, an indoor riding arena, and a quaint farmhouse that Eoff says suits her perfectly. She noted that it is the first property that she had ever owned.

“In coming here I have fallen in love with the earth," Eoff said. "It’s like taking care of a giant horse.”

“In coming here I have fallen in love with the earth... It’s like taking care of a giant horse...”

When thinking of her future in Kentucky, Eoff has high ambitions. She intends to invite a wide range of people and provide a plethora of experiences. One idea that is currently in the works, is caring for retired race horses to provide them with a comfortable and fulfilling life after they have given their best years to their owners on the track. She is also excited about the prospect of providing a type of retreat, for people to come to her land and distance themselves from their screens and other stressful aspects of their lives.

Eoff recently invited Lindsey Wilson art students to share in the bounty of her fortune,

encouraging them to walk the grounds, see the horses, and paint the view.

Photo of Susan Eoff standing in pasture.
Sue Eoff brings a diverse set of skills and experiences to Adair County and Kentucky.

The life of Susan Eoff is one of traveling, of self discovery, and hard work. It is a life that

allowed her to forge strong connections with people from all around the globe. It is a life that led her towards a deep appreciation and love for the world and every entity on it. It is a life that led her to the beautiful country of the bluegrass state. Her warm and inviting nature allows her to connect with every person that she meets and there is no doubt that soon she will soon be an irreplaceable pillar in her community.


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