Reprinted from The Winchester Star, Frederick County Edition 
Wednesday, October 28, 1998

Horse Lover Is Galloping Her Way to Happiness
By Linda McCarty, Edition Staff Writer
Photos by Rick Foster

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Christine Bunker poses with a friend on her farm Christine Bunker works with one of the horses on her farm.  Horses show their power and speed.

   When Christine Bunker opened the gates six powerful horses came thundering from the south to the north pasture on her Stephens City area farm.
   After a few minutes the galloping thoroughbreds came to rest - one eating pears that had fallen to the ground and the others drinking from a water trough.
   With obvious pride for her award-winning horses, Bunker walked from the pasture, latched the gates, and continued to talk about her passion for horses, and in particular, the Selle Francais (the French saddle horse).  The horses were developed primarily for jumping, and Bunker breeds, raises, shows, and sells the horses.
   Although the 36-year-old Bunker, who's also a United Airlines flight attendant, has only been a horse owner for a decade, she's been around horses since she was 4 years old.
   "My aunt took me on a trail ride in California, where we lived, and I was hooked," Bunker said.  "I couldn't get enough.  The bigger the horse, the better."
   "When you're on a horse, you can go anywhere and do anything.  They are my little piece of magic, and my passion in life."
   Before moving to Frederick County in 1990, with her [late] husband, Christopher, a Stephens City attorney, Bunker worked on a cattle ranch in Texas, as well as for a company shipping horses overseas and in the United States by air from New York.
   Bunker, describing herself as a professional handler and trainer, not a rider, raises Selle Francais 

at her farm, Wildest Expectations on Canterburg Road, east of Stephens City.
   "I named the farm Wildest Expectations because it's been beyond my wildest expectations that I could do this and be this successful," she said.
   Bunker's success with the Selle Francais began when she was working with the New York shipping company and became the owner of Nelly Des Ongrais, a Selle Francais.
   "Nelly was supposed to be shipped to England, but she had a blood disorder and an injury and couldn't go.  The owners asked if I knew anyone who wanted a horse."
   Of course Bunker knew someone - that someone was her.
   Agreeing to take the horse was a good decision, she said, relating that Nelly, who is well and healthy, is the mother of three award- winning foals, and she's expecting again.
   Breeding Nelly was Bunker's father's idea, and it was he who loaned her the money for breeding fees.
   "My father suggested that we breed Nelly twice and keep one foal and sell the other to pay for the breeding fees."
   Nelly's first foal, Haricot Du Glenn, who is for sale [this horse has since been sold], is a very nice sport horse, Bunker said.  The horse won a third place in 1996 at the prestigious Dressage at Devon (Pa.).
   This year, as well as the two previous years, Nelly's second foal, I'dbedelighted, won best 

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young horse, best filly or mare, and best Selle Francais overall at Devon, beating a horse at the recent event that had sold for a large sum of money.
   "The horse that I'dbedelighted beat had been bought to send to the Olympics," Bunker said.
   In 1996, I'dbedelighted, who's won first place honors at other large breeding shows, was also named the highest scoring foal in the U.S. and Canada for the Selle Francais foal evaluation.
   Nelly's third foal, Justa Kid's Dream, won a second- place at PVDA breeding show in Upper Marlboro, Md.
   I'm expecting Nelly's next foal to do as well, because she was bred to an Olympic horse, Olisco."
   Along with training and working with her horses, Bunker also boards and trains two of her sister's horses - Jonchere and Halftone, who's also with foal.
   "Halftone's dad is an Olympic horse, and she was bred with an Olympic horse.  She's due in early May.  It will be an awesome foal."
   Bunker describes these last few years as "amazing.  I'm breeding Selle Francais because that was the breed of horse given to me.
   "I knew Nelly was nice, but I had no idea what I really had when I got her."
   Bunker said she's given up a lot to do what she's doing now.  "Everything I have goes to my horses.  Basically I work, take care of our home and farm, and everything else goes to my horses."
   For more information about Wildest Expectations Farm, call 540-869-9078.