Western Horse Show legend to be immortalized with plaque at the
Illinois State Fairgrounds
Wilbur “Webb” Parlier’s legacy to be
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[July 12, 2014]
SPRINGFIELD - Wilbur L. “Webb” Parlier,
a true cowboy who influenced the lives of numerous people across
Illinois, passed away May 26, 2014. In honor the Arenzville native,
a special memorial recognition ceremony will be held in the Coliseum
on the Illinois State Fairgrounds during the Western Horse Show
Sunday, July 13.
“Webb was a part of the Illinois State Fair family for close to
50 years, and I am saddened by the loss of such an amazing
person," State Fair Manager Amy Bliefnick said. “He had a heart
of gold, was a true cowboy through and through and always was
present to lend a hand wherever needed.”
Born in 1938, Parlier went to Arenzville High School and was a
member of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church. In 1980, he married his
wife, Ruth Best, on July 17. Parlier’s cowboy spirit showed in
his passion for horse and rodeo competitions. He competed in
rodeos for a decade, riding bulls, and broncos. Parlier even had
a trick riding act. Eventually, his talent helped him become a
nationally-known horse trainer and show manager. Parlier used
his experience and knowledge to teach kids how to ride horses
and show. During his career, Parlier won numerous Appaloosa
Horse titles at the national and world level.
Over thirty years ago, Parlier worked and managed the Illinois
State Fair Western Horse Show. He conceived of and put together
two of the largest horse shows in the country, the Railsplitter
Appaloosa Show and the International Show in Springfield, Ill.
Though he retired in 2013, Parlier remained a lifetime member of
the Appaloosa Horse Club.
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“Webb was a shining example of the people who make the Illinois
State Fair so special,” Bliefnick said. “His legacy will live on and
he will truly be missed for decades.”
The memorial recognition ceremony will be held Sunday at noon during
the Illinois Western Show, in which Webb Parlier dedicated so much
of his life and love.
[Text received; JEFF SQUIBB, ILLINOIS
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE/ILLINOIS STATE FAIR]