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About the Author

This may be a website, but what's a good read without knowing what happened behind the pages? *G*

My name is Neena, and most of you know me from visiting this Grand Champion site. But besides loving and collection model horses, there are many, many other things I'm doing and involved in! If you ever wanted to know *why* the website doesn’t get as updated as often as you like, here's a little look at the world behind the horses ;)

*G* The big blond boy I'm pictured with is Dudley; one huge horse with absolutely no concept of his size! But he has a heart to match :) Dudley lives at Whinny Acres.

Where it all Began…

I grew up in the beautiful countryside outside of Guelph, Ontaio [Canada], where I seemed to be the only child in the neighbourhood who didn't have a horse of her own. We had a farm, and raised chickens, ducks, and dairy goats, but no horses. Since there was no hope in getting a horse for the conceivable future, I busied myself playing with all my toy horses instead.

I was a real tomboy, and yet, my favorite colour was pink! My favorite toys of youth were My Little Ponies, those cute, colourful plastic equines that took the 80's by storm. I was a child of the 80's, after all. However, having three little sisters tended to limit how many toys one's parents could afford to buy; my pony collection didn't truly take off until I left for university, and discovered the Internet. I now have about 400 MLP's, and have been involved in the online community since '97. My website devoted to ponies is Whimsy's Place. Take a visit!

Grand Champions were my second love. I received my first set – the original Sorrels – when I was about 12 years old. My mother decided to use Grand Champions as a way to wean me off My Little Ponies (as you can see, it back fired; now I collect both). I was a "closet collector" for many years – buying all horses I could afford with my meager allowance, and refusing to believe I was truly collecting, even as the horses began to spill over my shelves!

It was in '99 that this Grand Champion site actually began to take shape, albeit, in a very skeleton form. I wanted a place to display the beautiful horses I had, so I built them a simple photo gallery for them. However, as time went on, more and more people started asking about Grand Champions, or were trying to identify the Grand Champions they had. At the time, there were no other sites that offered this kind of information (yes, this was even before the Grand Champions had an Official Website!) That was when I realized there was a space to be filled, and I set about to fill it.

Early 2001 was when the site took on the present appearance, and with the help of many wonderful collectors, the information & pictures just keeps on coming! As I continue to add horses to my herd, and hear from collectors from all over the world, the site will continue to blossom and grow for many years to come. Looking back four years, did I ever expect to be hosting such a site? Not a chance! But I am so very glad I am so very glad I did, for now it's place for all to share and enjoy. Thank you.

Beyond the Horses…

As you already know, I am a lover of horses, and love to collect them – Grand Champions, My Little Ponies, Breyers, and Fashion Star Fillies, to name a few ;) But besides that, also I'm involved in lots of different activities and am almost always on the go. (My star sign is Gemini, if that helps explains anything, lol!)

I am foremost an artist and a writer. My house is decorated with the murals I've painted, and I've been commission for work on a number of occasions. I love drawing and painting, and most of my subjects are animals – mostly birds. My favorite artists are probably Monet and Renoir, as I tend to paint in a neo-impressionist style, too. I've always wondered why the GC Site doesn't have more of my artwork, but I think I'm just too busy to focus on little details! You can see some of my work in the old Galleries.

I went to University to study Film, but only finished three of the four years. By then end of that I knew I didn't want to be a director or a cinematographer! But I did love the ability to create "a whole world" on the screen; in essence, taking the stories I had written and breathing them to life. My favorite genre is fantasy/mythology, and more so, I love puppets! I grew up completely addicted to Jim Henson and the Muppet Show, and of course Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal remain two of my all-time favorite movies. (For those who are curious, also figuring prominently are the [original] Star Wars Trilogy, The Fifth Element, Willow (yay!), and Clash of the Titans).

I have made two short puppet films to date, and am currently working as a freelance puppet builder and puppeteer. You can see picture of some of my own puppets in the Puppet Gallery. I've also worked a couple television shows, and want to continue making films for the young, and young-at-heart. I think Jim Henson had a beautiful dream for the world, and I want to help keep that dream alive.

When I'm not painting murals or making puppets, I'm probably out with my pets (three cats, a dog, a gaggle of fish, plus everything on the farm – alas, no horses yet!) (but I am definitely working on that…) Or I might be hiking and taking pictures of the wilderness, or bird watching, or playing with the neighbourhood children (did I ever mention I love kids? ;)

I'm also keenly aware of the environment, and encourage other people to be as well (after all, we've only got one earth!) I'm proud to be Canadian (most of the time) and I don't believe in violence or war. I'm a modern-day grass roots kind of hippie girl, but I don't necessarily go around proclaiming flower power; I prefer the pacifist role. I believe that people are essentially good, and the world needs our time and patience to overcome injustice, ignorance, and prejudices. I believe that every person can make a difference. I believe that every person should try to make a difference, if only in themselves. No, I'm not going to go into a hippie rant about the cosmos and being one with the universe, but you must admit that life is wonderful, and you put into it what you get out, so make the best of it!

I hope everyone has enjoyed visiting this site, and as always, I look forward to seeing you all again soon!

Neena Bickram, 2002
Lady Whimsy of the MLP Community
Main Website: Raventyde's Isle
Questions? Comments?Email Me!