Beverly Brooks Solter, 56, owned and trained champion horses in Md.

October 13, 2001|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF

Beverly Brooks Solter, a Baltimore County equestrienne who owned a Grand National winner, died Tuesday of cancer at her Upperco farm in Baltimore County. She was 56.

Mrs. Solter owned and trained top show ponies, hunters and steeplechase jumpers. Sea Speed, a horse she owned with family members and investors, won the John Rush Streett Memorial Race at My Lady's Manor in 1992 and the Maryland Grand National in 1993. Sea Speed raced under the Old Line Racing Stable.

She also owned Sea Wasp, a horse that won many awards, including the American Horse Show Association's championship as a confirmation hunter.

The former Beverly Brooks, born in Richmond and raised in Falls Church, Va., attended Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, Va.

She began riding at age 9 and hunted foxes with the Bull Run Hunt, based in Prince William County, Va., at age 11.

Mrs. Solter moved to Maryland in 1969. To earn extra money, she gave riding lessons on a pony named Willie to Brooklandville children.

After she and her family moved to the 18-acre Amberley Farm in Upperco in 1983, the hobby became a sizable business. Amberley's 15-stall barn was soon filled with horses she trained.

"She could take children from beginner rider to top show ring," said Glenn Reynolds Martin, a friend who lives in Glyndon. "She brought a friendship and imparted confidence to her students. She was a kind person who never needed a payback."

"She had high standards," said her brother, John Robert Brooks, who lives in Marietta, Ga. "When she sold a horse, people came to see it. She was honest and full of integrity. If a horse was not right for someone, she wouldn't sell it to them."

She often accompanied her riding students and the horses they rode along the East Coast show-horse circuit. She appeared at the Palm Beach, Fla., Devon, Pa., and Upperville, Va., horse shows, and at the Pennsylvania National in Harrisburg and the National Horse Show at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan.

Family members said she was an accomplished entertainer who liked to have 40 guests at her home for Christmas dinner, often serving dishes she prepared -- beef tenderloin and goose.

She is survived by her husband of 32 years, J. Ritchie Solter; two sons, Thomas Wagner Solter of Pomfret, Conn., and John Ritchie Solter Jr. of Upperco; two daughters, Elizabeth Monell Solter of Upperco and Kristin Solter Edmunds of Berlin; and three grandsons.

Funeral services will be held at noon today at St. John's Episcopal Church, 3738 Butler Road in Glyndon.

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