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Michelle Dvoracek and Jen Torsney: Sisters’ Passion for Horses Runs Deep vAimee Huntley As soon as I stepped out of my car onto Michelle Dvoracek’s gravel driveway, I was immediately greeted by Dallas, the family’s Aussie welcome wagon. It was another crisp Dakota spring morning, and Michelle was already outside by the barn, doing chores. Excited to meet her horses, Jake and Big Sam, I headed toward the barn. Jake is an eight year old Gypsy Vanner from Minnesota who stands about fifteen hands tall. Sam is seven, and a Gypsy Vanner/Shire cross. Initially, Michelle had purchased Jake for riding, but due to his wider-than-average girth and his love of pulling, she found that he was perfect for carriage driving. The Gypsy Vanner breed hails from the British Isles, and it was first exported to the United States in 1996. The name originates from the nomadic Roma peoples that used this breed to pull their caravans. These domestic draft horses were renowned for their strength, intelligence, reliability, and gentle temperament, which makes them ideal for families. Some of Gypsy Vanners’ traditional features are their long, flowing manes and tails, and long hair on the legs, which is called feathering. Jake and Sam are both piebald in coloring, meaning they have a mix of black and white pigmentation on their coats. Michelle resides with her husband of thirty years, Gary Dvoracek, in Springfield, South Dakota. She works at the Springfield post office, and has been training in basic carriage driving and competed in eighteen shows with her sister, Jen Torsney, and Jake for the past six years. She utilizes both two and four wheel carriages, but actually prefers the two wheeled one, because it’s more challenging and has fancier attributes. Jen lives in Tyndall with her husband Dr. James Torsney and their three children, Elyse, Tarynn, and Ian. When not working with her husband in their optometry office in town or helping Michelle, Jen works with the volunteer horse project. She has been the leader for the Tyndall, SD 4-H Club the past three years. Sharing her knowledge of horse training with the group of ten youths has been a great source of pride, and a lot of fun. In addition to her 4-H work, Jen also trains and participates in dressage and jumping competitions as a solo competitor. The sisters had their first experience with equines as children, when their oldest sister Deb wanted a small white pony named King. Michelle recalled, “That pony was kind of ornery, and we all learned to ride him. It was hang on or you’re going off.” When I asked Michelle Prescriptions Filled. Expectations Exceeded. We go the extra mile to ensure you receive the friendly service, fair prices and pharmacy expertise you deserve for your entire family. Michelle Lamberty, R.Ph. We can help make taking your medications easier by synchronizing your refills so you can make less visits to the pharmacy. We offer free in-town delivery. Visit our website at www.rogersfamilypharmacy.com or sign up for our convenient mobile app and you can simplify your life by refilling or transferring your prescriptions to us online. 218 W. 4th Street, Yankton, SD • 605.665.8042 • www.rogersfamilypharmacy.com 6vHERVOICEvMAY/JUNE 2018

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