Loula Long Combs

Loula Long Combs
Loula Long Combs, 1939. Courtesy of the Missouri Valley Special Collections.

According to her father, R. A. Long, Loula Long Combs’ first sentence was, "Please buy me a pony." Breeding and training horses became Loula's life-long passion. She entered her first horse show in 1896 at a fair in Kansas City’s Fairmount Park. For almost 65 years, her horses won blue ribbons in shows throughout this country, Canada, and England. She won the most ribbons at Kansas City’s American Royal, where she made a yearly appearance well into her 80s. To audiences’ delight, Loula always wore a spectacular hat as she drove her carriage around the show ring.

Long was born in the small town of Columbus, Kansas, where her father had a lumber business. By the age of four she had figured out how to climb up into the horse stall in her backyard stable and was soon riding the horse as it cantered around the backyard.

The Long family moved to Kansas City when Loula was 10. Mr. Long’s successful lumber business was making him a millionaire, and their big house on Independence Avenue had a large stable for a growing number of horses. In 1911 the family went to England so Loula could enter her horse in London’s Olympia horse show.

While the family was away, construction was finished on a 72-room French Renaissance mansion named Corinthian Hall, located on Gladstone Boulevard. (It is now home of the Kansas City Museum.) The mansion had a large stable, but was soon overcrowded with Loula’s equine purchases. R. A. Long purchased land in eastern Jackson County to build Longview Farm where he had 42 buildings constructed, giving Loula plenty of room to keep and train her horses.

On July 30, 1917, Loula married Robert Pryor Combs, also a horse lover. The couple took up residence at Longview Farm. Before she died in 1971, Loula Long Combs and her older sister, Sally America Long Ellis, gave 146 acres of Longview Farm for the building of Longview Community College.


A previous version of this article appears on kchistory.org: http://kchistory.org/content/biography-loula-long-combs-1881-1971-equest...