NSBA is saddened to report that Heidi Cecil lost her battle with cancer on Friday, March 20.

Heidi’s love for horses began when she was ten years old. She entered the show arena by the age of 12, and by 16 she was riding horses for trainers after school. After scouring newspapers and bulletin boards in local tack stores, she found AQHA mare Treasure Sail, and made a national and Congress champion with the ex-racehorse that she found in a field.

In her late teens, Heidi began galloping race horses for a private farm and later at Buelah Park in Columbus, where she ponied horses to the starting gate. Soon, she and her ex-husband, Rick Cecil, were training horses at their farm. Heidi would go on to win multiple Congress and AQHA world and reserve championships.

She had the distinction of winning the High Point Open Horse and reserve Open Horse in the same year at the All American Quarter Horse Congress. Heidi showed Distinctly Sweet, owned by Angel Slinkman to the top title and The Artraction, owned by Chantel Davenport, to the reserve award. Heidi also was part of the team that showed 1993 AQHA Superhorse Itchin Easy for the Kaplow family along with David Connors.

Heidi and Rick Cecil are forever linked to the AQHA stallion Artful Move, whom they stood at their Cecil Breeding Farm. Heidi was known for competing with many of Artful Move’s offspring in the show pen.

In recent years, Heidi had returned to her roots in the racing industry, working with thoroughbreds near her home in Florida.

NSBA will share arrangements once they are finalized.