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COLUMBIA BELLE

Adoptive family: Kitte and Pat Robins

My story: As the lead horse for Missoula’s Carousel, Columbia Belle is the most embellished, with gold hooves and mane; an American flag unfurled under her oversized saddle buckle; two 100-year-old jewels given by carousel historian Fred Fried; and shamrocks and Irish green saddle blankets in recognition of the family’s immigrant grandparents. An angel behind the saddle is a tribute to Mary Robins and Mary Keane, mothers of Pat and Kitte, who died the year the family designed the horse. The pony’s name is in honor of the carousel at Butte’s Columbia Gardens amusement park, which burned in 1973.