Deborah Copenhaver was born and raised on a cattle and Quarter Horse ranch in northern Idaho.
Her father, a World Champion Bronc Rider, supported the family with his winnings. She and her younger brother Jeff grew up on the ranch often alone with their mother. Work on the ranch was shared by all, and a life long passion for horses grew from those responsibilities. It was at this time that Deborah sold her first drawings of horses.
Competition was a way of life for the Copenhaver family. Deborah won barrel races before she was a teenager and was a member of the Girls Rodeo Association.
She had her first race horse at twelve. Her brother Jeff roped calves and won calf roping competitions at an equally young age.
Deborah spent her first year of College at Washington State University where she earned a full scholarship. That same year Deborah won the competition to become Miss Rodeo Washington and was Runner Up Miss Rodeo America.
Her second year of college she transferred to Fort Wright College of the Holy Names in Spokane Washington. Here she met a nun, Sister Paula Mary Turnbull, who taught sculpture. Deborah received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a Fine Art major following study in Italy where her passion for sculpture came alive and continues today.