BY PHIL CUSTODIO
Clarkston News Editor
As a news story, a missing Chincoteague pony named Dreamer’s Faith gained national attention for a month in 2015.
For Anna Beer of Clarkston, it was a turning point in her faith.
“God uses different things for different people. For me, it was horses,” said Beer, 17, a rising senior at Everest Collegiate High School. “It has been a crazy journey.”
She wrote a book to tell “A True Story of a Dreamer’s Faith,” about a little pony and the effect she had on the people around her in the short time they knew her.
Dreamer’s Faith was a young filly with cross-shaped markings on her flank when Anna and her sister Amanda visited the 2015 round up of wild horses at the Chincoteague and Assateague islands in Maryland and Virginia.
The islands are known for their herds of wild ponies, which are rounded up every year and auctioned off. Anna and Amanda were looking for a “buy back” pony, where the winning bidder donates the money to the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company, which takes care of the herds, and allows the horse to be released back onto the island.
She was a lifetime fan of the island horses, made famous by the children’s book “Misty of Chincoteague,” written in 1947 by Marguerite Henry.
“My grandma has a first edition,” Anna said. “One summer, we said, let’s go down to the round up and see what it is. We’ve been going back every year since.”
During the 2015 trip, they noticed the cross-shape on Dreamer’s Faith and set about making her theirs, a long and exciting process.
“That horse became huge big deal for me,” Amanda said. “We sponsored her to go back on the island.”
They succeeded, but the success was not to last long. Soon after, the pony disappeared and was thought to have been stolen.
Anna and her Girl Scout troop raised funds for a reward and security cameras at the horse pens. But on Oct. 15, 2015, they learned Dreamer’s Faith had not been kidnapped – she was found dead in some woods.
Most people reading the news see it as a sad story, but Anna wanted readers to see beyond that to a story of hope despite hardship, and how it helped restore her faith.
“To get the truth out,” she said. “I knew I was going to write this down, and maybe in 20 years someone might want to read about it.”
“I liked it. I cried,” said Shelly Beer, her mother. “She has a knack for story telling, the way she tells stories draws you in and you can’t put it down.”
Anna enjoys writing science fiction and historical stories, and has been riding horses since she was 4 years old.
“Animals, horses, it’s my life,” she said. “I’m always writing something. I love making story lines and creating characters.”
The author will be at at Arizona Saddlery of Clarkston, 6525 Dixie Highway, for a book signing 12-2 p.m., Aug. 17-18. Contact the author at email@example.com.
BY PHIL CUSTODIO