Heather McWilliams will be the first one to tell you that a passion for horses is “like a disease:” once bitten by the equine bug, there’s no going back. Heather’s appreciation for horses began at an early age as she frolicked about the hills of Evergreen, Colorado. She’d ask her neighbors to pet or help out with their horses and most were happy to oblige. Eventually, she learned to ride some of those same horses and her path to working in the equine industry was ablaze.
Heather knew she wanted to attend Colorado State University for Equine Science before she even entered high school. During her sophomore year at CSU, her tenacious work ethic was underway when she wrote and snail-mailed typed letters to 10 Thoroughbred breeding farms to ask to participate in a summer internship opportunity. She heard back from one and wound up working on a breeding farm owned by the King of Dubai outside of Lexington, Kentucky. The following two summers, she worked on that farm again and a few others, working the Keeneland horse sales, and learning foaling, breeding, stallion and farm management.
After her senior year at CSU, and with so much experience under her belt, Heather was offered to travel with 41 horses that were being flown to Ireland for training. A dream of a lifetime. She worked in Ireland for six months and took those skills back to her Colorado world where, for the next couple of decades, she worked in different areas of the equine industry, including veterinary medicine, farm management, insurance, and training.
Heather ultimately applied her business and equine skills to real estate. With her husband Andrew in the industry for over 20 years, and having grown up with a mother established in the Evergreen real estate market for 29 years, Heather was familiar with the industry: “I have always had a deep appreciation of the diverse land and homes of our mountain area,” Heather states. She and Andrew created The McWilliams Group Real Estate, specializing in fine homes, equestrian properties and land. A true blending of her worlds.
Heather has two boys, Asher, 19 and Shay, 11. Asher was born when they lived in Texas, with Heather running a mare and foal farm and Andrew helping clients with real estate needs. His birth prompted moving back closer to family in Evergreen. A passion for children without families was born and about eight years later, they fostered Shay as an infant and then adopted him into the family.
Heather currently competes in the sport of Eventing with her 9-year-old mare, Molly. Eventing combines the three disciplines of dressage, cross-country, and show jumping. She appreciates the bond that is created between horse and rider as Eventing takes lots of dedication and training.
If you know anything about owning horses, a business, and raising children, you know that it is all physically and emotionally demanding. Fortunately, Heather is a lifelong learner and views all parts of life, good and bad, as having a purpose to help one another. She strives to keep a positive mindset and perspective, using her faith, podcasts and books for support and growth.
It is worth mentioning, Heather has been writing Colorado Corral, aka the “horse column” in Serenity for about 17 years!
How would friends and family describe you?
I think they’d say I’m honest, encouraging, supportive, consistent, loyal and I have a strong faith.
What was the last book you read?
“Man’s Search for Meaning” by Victor Frankl.
What is the last TV show you binged? Or movie you watched?
What makes you smile?
Horses (of course), seeing family come into their own, flowers.
Greatest accomplishment to date?
When was the last time you danced?
In my car last week with my youngest son, Shay.
When was the last time you were moved to tears?
A recent podcast with John O’Leary whose body was 100 percent burned at the age of 9 and his success story.
What is a pet peeve of yours?
Lying, and mistreated children.
Describe a self-indulgent day for you.
A good breakfast with gooey cinnamon rolls, bacon and eggs. Riding and spending time with the horses. Come back in and take a nap, then have a great dinner with my family.
Share a talent you have.