Memorial horse ride held for ABC7 Executive Producer Anne Swaney

Michelle Gallardo Image
Sunday, January 24, 2016
Memorial horse ride held for Anne
Anne Swaney loved horses and spent much of her spare time at Sarah's Stables in Willow Springs.

WILLOW SPRINGS, Ill. (WLS) -- Snow covered the trails of suburban Willow Springs on Saturday where a memorial ride in honor of ABC7 Executive Producer Anne Swaney, 39, who was found killed Jan. 15 while she vacationed in Belize.

The ride was held on the same day that Anne's funeral was held in her hometown of Platte City, Mo., outside Kansas City.

Eighteen riders saddled up for the 45-minute ride. Anne was passionate about horses and spent much of her spare time at Sarah's stables.

"We're going to share our memories. We're going to listen. We're going to ride. We're going to walk. We're going to hug and we're going to cry," friend Carol Waynauskas told the group before the ride.

She added: "OK trail. Look out, here we come. Until we see you again, Anne. We love you and we miss you."

Riders were led by Anne's horse, Sequoia.

"She loved him. She loved that he was high spirited and lots of energy ... He knows something is going on. People are upset and people cry by him," said Sarah Halladay, owner of Sarah's Stables, of Sequoia.

Riders remembered the friendship bonds they formed with Anne while on the horse trails.

"We were investigating some new trails," friend Michelle Gonzalez recalled. "It was just me and Anne. Five hours later we went on maps on our iPhones and kind of figured it out. It was like eenie-meenie-miney-mo which way do we go? ...We just laughed. It was us being us with the horses and enjoying our friendship and our love for each other and the horses.

It's been more than a week since Anne was found murdered in Belize while vacationing at a horseback riding eco-resort. The search for her killer continues.