Brandy and Zac

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How We Met

Zac and I met in 5th grade after I moved to Ohio from Pennsylvania. It was a big school so we knew of each other but were never really friends: I was a quiet, flute playing nerd who loved to read and usually only talked about horses. Zac played just about every sport offered, had tons of friends and was Mr. Popular. To be honest, I didn’t particularly like him because he was a “jock” and I didn’t like that group of people (I was a bit judgmental…). Our freshman year of high school we happened to have a spring communications class together and sat near each other. I’ll never forget him doing his first speech on the Olympics. Small talk in class soon turned into Facebook messaging and then texting; I realized I had been wrong about him all that time and we really liked each other so Zac eventually asked me out on a date. I was convinced I wasn’t ready for a boyfriend at the time because I had a busy summer of horse shows planned. Being my stubborn self and thinking that horses were the superior priority, I turned him down and we went our separate ways. Later I realized I had made a huge mistake but was too stubborn and embarrassed to do anything about it. In November of our sophomore year, when my show season was over, we surprisingly reconnected and the spark was still there.

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He asked me to go see The Blind Side with him on November 18, 2009 and despite his nervous twitching the whole movie and it being my first date ever and I was scared to death, the conversation flowed easily and we just seemed to fit together… especially at the end of the movie when he finally plucked up the courage and asked “so are you going to hold my hand or not?”. I left the date with butterflies in my stomach and we began dating a few weeks later. The rest is history. I told him I loved him on New Year’s Day 2010 and though we were young, we just knew it felt right. I never thought I would be the kind of girl who fell in love with her first boyfriend but when you find your soulmate at fifteen years old, you better hold on tight. We dated all through high school and went off to college together; I pursued a Pre-Law degree aiming for Law School and he pursued Biology and Chemistry. We are jokingly referred to as the “old married couple” for our endless bickering yet strong, never failing relationship. He was my first boyfriend, my first kiss and he will be last. They always say high school sweethearts never last… I beg to differ!

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how they asked

knew that Zac and I were going to get married, it was just a matter of time. We had talked about engagements and I wanted a long engagement for ample planning time while he wanted a short engagement. We planned to marry the summer after college graduation so I expected a proposal somewhere throughout our senior year of college. I have always showed horses; it is a huge part of my life. Since we started dating, Zac quickly caught on and began riding and showing alongside me. I always joked that horses should be involved in my marriage proposal and subsequent wedding. Zac always laughed at me and said I was crazy. The Pinto World Show is our biggest show of the year and in 2014 Zac and I were both showing my gelding Charlie. My parents are horse trainers and always go to the horse shows but this year Zac’s parents and grandmother wanted to come down and watch to find out what horse shows were all about. My sister and grandmother also decided this was the best year to make the trip and visit the world show. I thought nothing of this; we both have supportive families and I figured they just wanted to cheer us on. My mom told me last minute that they were looking for extra entries in the Charity Walk-Trot class; I rarely do this class but we decided why not since it was for a good cause and all the entry fees go to a charity of the winners choosing. Zac wanted to participate also so he rode my horse Charlie and I showed our younger horse Milton. Well before the class, my best friend Kaity took my phone and said she was going to video Milton and I so I could watch later. She also insisted on doing my makeup and straightening my hair. I again thought nothing of this because that’s just what best friends do.

The class was uneventful and both horses were very well behaved. Zac and I lined up next to each other in the center to await awards. The winner was announced, a friend of ours, and we clapped and congratulated him and figured it was done. I was looking forward to a relaxed evening, steak dinner and skyping a friend at home. Then the announcer said there was a special presentation and asked all exhibitors to stay in the arena. Much to my surprise, the announcer called out my number to step forward for the special presentation. I had no idea what was going on and stepped forward bewildered. To my greater surprise, Zac rode out beside me with this smug look on his face. At this point the announcer said “Zac, do you have something to ask Brandy?” I think my jaw literally dropped.

Zac proceeded to dismount from Charlie, get down on one knee, pulled out a glittering ring and ask me to spend the rest of my life with him. I was in complete shock but managed to jump off my horse and say YES… actually I am not sure if I said yes or if I just kissed him and watched in disbelief as he slid a gorgeous ring onto my finger.

Not only were both our families and friends there to witness the proposal, Zac had posted something on Facebook and our extended families and friends around the country were able to watch the online webcast to see it happen in real time over the internet! (this is why Kaity had taken my phone). It is estimated that a few thousand people watched the proposal in person or over the internet. It turns out Zac had been planning the proposal for almost 6 months and literally everyone knew about it. He had gotten the show staff involved to make sure he could propose during the class, he had asked my best friend to okay the ring before he bought it, he bought me a dozen roses, a custom painted star with our engagement date and a blanket for our horse Charlie to commemorate this important day and gave them to me after.

He also made sure that I had gotten my nails done the day before, that a photographer ad videographer were both present and captured the whole event and of course, he made sure that my precious horses were involved. We did eventually make it out for a steak dinner after the class, pictures, a champagne toast and lots of congratulations from our friends. Our proposal went viral in the horse industry: articles were written about it and I think every horse girls expectations for their future proposals just got a little bit higher. Not only did Zac make me the happiest girl in the world by asking me to be his wife, he also made sure that I had my long, 2 year engagement to plan our dream wedding. I truly cannot believe how much time and energy he put into planning this perfect proposal. To have both our families there, friends and family watching online and my precious horses involved was beyond my wildest dreams and the most perfect proposal I could imagine from my high school sweetheart and soulmate.

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Our Video

Special Thanks

Jeff Kirkbride/Pinto Horse Association Staff
 | Photography
Gary Reynolds Media
 | Video
Pinto Horse Association
 | Venue Location