Amanda Altheimer Spirit Award

About Amanda Altheimer

Amanda Altheimer and her horse.

Amanda Altheimer faced great challenges in her life, and responded to all of them with an unmatched resilience. She was born in China and abandoned shortly after birth. Her first 18 months were in an orphanage where she was named Le Xu, which translates to ‘Happy Rising Sun’. She was adopted by the Altheimers and worked hard to adjust to life in America.

Her great passion became horses, and her love for her ponies was legendary. Around the age of 10 Amanda started showing symptoms of an illness that was never diagnosed. She grew weaker every year but continued to ride, and win, even when her legs were so weak her boots had to be magnetically attached to her stirrups. Eventually she could no longer ride, and lost the use of her legs entirely.

She was hospitalized 7 times, the last one for the final 14 months of her life, and was a quadriplegic as well as blind when she passed away at the age of 21.

Everyone who knew Amanda understood that no matter what she faced in life, she dealt with it with a huge smile and an indomitable will to overcome. The winner of the Amanda Altheimer Spirit Award can be proud to be a part of her legacy.

The Amanda Altheimer Spirit Award

Do you know a rider who shares Amanda’s resilient spirit? You can nominate him or her for the Amanda Altheimer Spirit Award at our next horse show.