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Photo caption: RMC business faculty Ann Adair poses on her world champion, Sleepy, with her coach, RMC equestrian faculty Chris Brown (r), Adair’s daughter Molly (l), and dogs Oaken (l) and Bentley (r).

Ann AdairEcon professor joins daughter with world championships in riding

BILLINGS, July 14, 2014 – Assistant Professor of Business Ann Adair specializes in macroeconomic theory, but she has enjoyed riding and horses since childhood. Buoyed by her equestrian daughter Molly (’16) and by coach Christi Brown, RMC assistant professor of equestrian studies, Adair took a world championship alongside Molly at the Pinto World show in Tulsa, Okla., in June. 

Growing up in Colorado Springs, Colo., Adair rode in a mounted drill team and showed at Little Britches rodeos and local horse shows until she went to college. Then, she says, “I was out of horses until my daughter, Molly, was bitten by the horse bug in about 2001.” 

Adair spent 10 years accompanying Molly to local and national horse shows. In 2011-2012, Molly represented Rocky Mountain College at the IHSA national semi-finals in Kentucky. Molly received coaching from Brown through most of her showing career.  

“After years of watching Molly’s lessons, I decided that I might as well give showing a try again,” said Adair. She started taking lessons from Brown about three years ago, using her daughter’s older show horse, Sleepy Clover Dale, who turns 21 this year. Riding in the novice class, she has had lots of success. 

“Through hard work and lots of great coaching, Sleepy and I have been lucky enough to earn AQHA Region 2 championships in trail and horsemanship the past three years,” she said. In 2011, they took 7th of 145 riders in horsemanship at the AQHA Novice Championships. 

At the Pinto World show last month, she received the World Champion buckle in novice amateur trail and Reserve World Champion in novice amateur and amateur elite horsemanship. Simultaneously, her daughter Molly earned a World Champion title in amateur horsemanship and Reserve Champion in amateur trail.  

“Chris Brown’s excellent coaching paid big benefits. We had a great time,” said Adair. “I am thankful to show at the national level and grateful for the excellent coaching by Chris. I joke sometimes that I have had the same lesson 30 times: ‘pull your legs back, stop looking down, square up your shoulders.’”   

Sleepy lives at Intermountain Equestrian Center where Rocky’s equestrian program is housed. “I am frequently up there riding in the afternoon or evening and interact with students outside of class,” Adair said. 

Teaching economics, Adair’s preference is macroeconomics, which focuses “on the big picture of what is happening at the national or world level. I tell my students that economics isn’t something that you are going to be able to get away from, so you might as well try to use it to your advantage. The job market, interest rates, inflation, and growth in the economy affect us all. At heart, I am a number cruncher,” she said. 

She likes to undertake economic modeling and see effects that will occur from changing policies. She has worked on large-scale macroeconomic models for the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  

In order to support her horse showing, Adair provides economic analysis for attorneys and serves as an expert witness in court cases. “I tell my students that decisions are all about weighing the benefits and the costs of alternatives,” she said. “For me, the fun that I have showing horses (or just being around them) far outweighs the costs (which are not insignificant).” 

Adair rides with Jacqueline Dundas, RMC associate professor of English. She says, “Jacquee and I have an ongoing argument over who has the best horse. She has Buckwheat (Good Good Mister) who she shows successfully at AQHA shows. Best is defined as the horse that best takes care of us not-so-young riders and cooperates at least part of the time with what they are asked to do. Summers find us at some horse show, sweating in the heat, trying to remember the pattern for the next class, laughing at each other’s mistakes, and glad that we have the opportunity to do this.”