This is one of those six-degrees-of-separation stories. Maureen Hanley was my assistant at WAVA in the late ’80s. In 2000, her family bought Fox Chase Farm in Middleburg. Around that same time, I worked with Susan Olsen at the Comedy World Radio Network in Los Angeles. I’ve kept in touch with Susan over the years and interviewed her a few times too.
In 2009, Maureen asked me to help with a charity horse show. I asked Jimmy Kimmel, Susan Olsen and Richard Cheese to donate autographed items for the silent auction. At the event, I served as announcer. The successful fundraiser caught the attention of actor Robert Duvall, who owns a farm nearby. Since then, Maureen has supported the Robert Duvall Children’s Fund by hosting benefit horse shows at her farm.
While preparing for a role as Don Quixote, Duvall has been riding one of Maureen’s horses, a beauty named Montana. Duvall’s own horse, Manu, is being evaluated for a possible role in the film. Jill Rappaport of the “Today” show did a story about Duvall and his horse. In the footage, Jesus Morales is riding Manu alongside Duvall, who is riding Montana.
When they finished shooting the Duvall piece, Jill and Maureen got to talking about Rappaport’s other animal stories. Maureen mentioned that Susan Olsen works with Precious Paws in L.A. Maureen sent Susan a quick Facebook message, reminding her that I was their mutual friend and asking for contact information to share with Jill. The “Today” show liked the idea of a story about Susan, which should be on the air before too long.