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BCHC Mid Valley Unit

Vickie Kardell


We have three tributes for Vickie. The first is her obituary, from the Mariposa Gazette.

Vickie Kardell With heartfelt sadness, Vicki’s family announces her passing on July 15, 2014 from complications of a rattlesnake bite the previous day.

She was born Victoria Lehman on Jan. 16, 1940 in New London, Wisconsin.

She was a mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, horsewoman, horse trainer, rancher, farmer and mentor.

Vicki lived a full life from the gateway of her ranch and beyond to her field of dreams - riding and competing on her horses and training and mentoring scores of other riders aspiring to be like her.

Vicki was chairman for the CSHA Region 4 Trail Trials. She participated in many special events including the Madera Posse, endurance rides, Death Valley rides, the annual Mariposa County Wagon Train ride, and the Sesquicentennial Wagon Train Ride. The list seems endless. You would most likely find her on a horse at any given time of the day.

She had so many hopes and dreams that we watched her fulfill over the years. Truly, her life epitomized the American pioneer spirit.

Vicki leaves behind her precious daughters Dawn, Cindy (Ron), and Kim (Jordon). She is also survived by her grandchildren Aaron (Marie), Jenna (Tyson), and Zoe. And due this September are her twin great-grandchildren, whom she already loved dearly.

In lieu of flowers, friends and family can donate to one of the organizations Vicki supported, including Mariposa Mountain Riders, Mariposa Friends of the Fairgrounds Foundation, the Las Mariposas Civil War group, Backcountry Horsemen of California - Mid-Valley Unit, SPCA of Mariposa County, Habitat for Humanity of Mariposa County, American Cancer Society, United Methodist Church of Mariposa, St. Joseph’s Catholic Church or The Barrier–Sweetwater Youth Camp of Mariposa.

Evie Wilson, Vicki's close friend and riding pal:

The tragic death of Vicki Kardell is still resonating among the horse world. Those who knew Vicki are in shock and disbelief at her sudden and unexpected loss. We are still in mourning, and our collective sadness won't end soon. Just the weekend before the Monday (7/14/14) she was bitten by a rattlesnake at her home, she had led the Trail Trials competition (65 riders from all over California and even Nevada) at our local Circle 9 Ranch!

Vicki was bitten on her hand, so it's speculated that she probably didn't see the snake that was hidden in her haystack. (Horse owners, please use heavy leather gloves, or poke around with a stick before feeding, because snakes are coming in closer for water this year.) Vicki had an extreme reaction to the snakebite, and may have been allergic to its venom. Despite frantic efforts by medical staff to help her, it was to no avail.

There was a new man in Vicki's life, and she was happily planning her new house and large hay barn on her property just adjacent to her home place. She told me she was tired of taking care of both properties, and when I commented that I couldn't understand why she didn't sell the vacant property, instead of her home place, she indicated that it was fun and a challenge that she was looking forward to. I suspected, she was ready to leave the past behind for a new man, a new home place, and a new phase in her life.

Vicki's loss will leave a great void in so many areas, not only in the lives of her family and many friends. She was such a beloved, positive and vibrant person, a leader in Trail Trials, the Civil War Reenactment, etc., and she was an active 4-H teacher as well. She leaves behind her beloved little riding companion and sidekick granddaughter, plus her 4-H students, devastated by her sudden loss.

Ah, Vicki, our hearts are broken, and we will all miss you so very much! And we're so sad that we and your family, and especially your beloved little granddaughter, must now adjust to your loss, but at least we know that you are with your beloved Dennis in Heaven. Rest in peace Vicki, until we meet again . . . your friend, Evie.

Kathy Zumbrunn: I am having a hard time trying to wrap my mind around the loss of my friend, Vicki Kardell. Her death was so tragic; a rattlesnake bite should not have taken her life. I didn't know Vicki real well, but I got to know her better over the past few years as she was a great help with our Calendar Fundraising Project. She invited us up to the Mother Lode Ranch to one of the Trail Trials and personally took Michael King and me to each campsite. She introduced us and explained what we were doing, and asked them to listen to our little sales pitch. We sold twenty calendars that day!

Vicki also took many calendars back with her to Mariposa and sold them all. The weekend before her death, she and Carlena Kellogg took and sold 20 calendars at another Trail Trials event. As Evie said in an email to me, Vicki was a little dynamo, always willing to help, and the energy of three or four people. Vicki had been a member of Mid Valley for many years, always willing to help where and when she could. She was a big supporter of BCHC, but most of her time was spent in her Mariposa area, helping with various kids' activities and assorted projects there. Vicki has three daughters: Dawn Maria Proeber, Cindy Lea Hinshaw and Kimberly Ann Bittner, and three grandchildren: Aaron, Jenna and Zoe. She will be missed by all who knew her, and that is a long, long list.

Rest in peace, Vicki. I will miss that big smile of yours and all that energy you projected whenever you were around.

Backcountry Horsemen of California - Mid Valley Unit
PO Box 1709
Modesto CA 95353-1709

Questions about the Mid Valley Unit? Ask Doug Dollarhide, bootsandspur@att.net
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