Corry Key was born in Omaha, NE and was adopted at 10 days of age by her parents, one a Catholic school teacher and the other a forester. She met her birth mother at age 25 when she reached out through the Internet and was able to locate her. Corry went to all Catholic grade school and high school so, as she says, “that meant 12 years of the most God-awful uniforms”. She was a band and theater geek and took ballet and piano until she got her first horse at 15. You can read all about it in her first book, Horses Who Eat Potatoes.
Corry is only 4’10” and has been horse crazy since birth. She thought she wanted to be a jockey early-on but then realized it wasn’t the thing for her. So, she decided to go to Veterinary school. Stephens College for women gave her a scholarship and she was thrilled to join their horsemanship program. Corry says, “these women were “real” horsewomen who had been born into horses and whom I idolized from the sidelines as if I could ever ride as well. That’s where I met one of my best friends who would mentor me in the horse world and drag me, kicking and screaming, into the world of endurance”. Corry went to Veterinary school in Missouri, where she lived most of her life, except for 2.5 years when her parents were in the Peace Corp in South America.
Four grueling years later, she took her first job in Arkansas, which her parents thought was akin to the end of the world. Corry showed at her first Class A Arabian show in 1997 with a mare she had had since birth and trained herself. She bought her first stallion in 1998 and showed in Hunter Pleasure. She acquired her stallion, Zalil, in 2004 and he started a career in Working Cow Horse and then hurtled her into the endurance world. But after all her experience in these disciplines, she found what she really loved were horses with TROT. She was finally able to show (Country) English Pleasure in 2019.
Corry became an Arabian horse judge in 2010 and published her first book in 2011. Her second book, a reference book for the American Bully dog breed, which she also shows, came out in 2013. This was the same year her veterinary clinic burned to the ground. Corry also became a part of the American Horsemen Challenge Association (think Extreme Cowboy Racing without the yee-hawing) around 2012 and became a judge for them as well as their permanent National Anthem soloist. After Zalil sustained an almost life-threatening injury, she wasn’t able to show at the 2012 Nationals. Corry has judged the National show twice since then and shown the other years with Zalil almost every time. She says, “I have yet to win the first-place saddle but I’m not dead yet”. She published her third book, called Hedgehogs and Hand Grenades in 2018.
Corry is married and is mother to six children, although only two that she actually gave birth to. She says, “We have too many horses to count, Four dogs, two cats, a goat, possum, squirrel and a hawk”. Corry currently lives in Dardanelle, AR.