Lots of Morgan fun and excitement took place at the 2019 American Morgan Horse Association (AMHA) Convention. This annual gathering of Morgan members and enthusiasts took place February 7-9 in San Antonio, Texas.
Some of the highlights of the three-day event included a visit to Dianne Lents' Twisted Rose Farm in Kerrville and lunch and a behind-the-scenes look at Sea World. Photographer Howard Schatzberg sponsored a golf tournament and popular seminars included leading makeup and hair stylist, Jeffrey Fetzer, a historical look at Richard Sellman by David Ladd, and show ring reminiscences with Cindy Mugnier, Tim Roesink, Jim Taylor, and Howard Schatzberg.
“I couldn’t be more pleased with the quality of this year’s convention," said AMHA Executive Director, Carrie J. Mortensen. "We had an amazing itinerary that did not disappoint anyone. The hotel was superb. The special outings to Twisted Rose Farm and Sea World were beyond spectacular, truly once in a lifetime events. The high level of participation by attendees at the many meetings and seminars was refreshing and a good indicator of the quality of offerings and the interest of the members to be truly involved. New endeavors like Howie’s golf tournament, the STAR awards, and top items going to live auction added new enthusiasm for this annual event."
At the AMHA Annual Meeting of Members, Kate Kirsch was re-elected to serve on the Board of Directors representing the Eastern Region; Harlan Grunden was re-elected to represent the Central Region; and Mari Sanderson was re-elected to represent the Western Region. Sanderson, of Norco, California, also was re-elected to serve as AMHA president for her third term.
More than $68,000 was earned at the annual AMHA/World Morgan Futurity Stallion Service Auction. The overall top-winning bid went to Dragonsmeade Axios for $5,600. This was the third year in a row this stallion has led the bidding. Net income following expenses from this auction will be distributed to the AMHA Marketing Program, World Morgan Futurity, AMHA regional shows, the AMHA Show Grant Program, and for marketing and promoting the breed.
Longtime Morgan supporters were recognized before the Morgan community on Saturday, February 9 for their dedication to the breed at the annual Awards Banquet. The Person of the Year Award honors an individual for his or her continued support of the breed and this year's honoree was John Lampropoulos. Mallory Mignot was awarded the Cecil Brown Memorial Sportsmanship Award, which is given to a Morgan exhibitor who has displayed outstanding sportsmanship. Inducted into AMHA's Hall of Fame was Stephen Davis. The Breeders' Hall of Fame honors breeders who have produced Morgans that have had a significant impact on the breed. This year's honorees were Couser Creek Ranch, HRH Morgans, and Whispering Hill Morgans. The Golden Reins Award is given to Morgan professionals who has had a 30-year career in training or instruction and this year Jeff Bessey, John Hufferd, Anne Judd, and Jim and Jenny Taylor were recognized. Bob Kellert and Mary Cockriel were selected by their peers as the recipients of the Professional Award. Andy Illes was the recipient of the Mabel Owen Media Award for her body of work photographing Morgan horses and people. Alicia Owens was honored for her breed promotion and outreach with the Young Person Award. Clear Springs Beausoleil received special recognition for his work with people with disabilities. Monica Hammond was selected as the recipient of the Morgan International Award for her Morgan breed promotion in Australia. Byron and Gayle Singer were honored with the Dr. Albert Lucine Promoter Award for going above and beyond in breed promotion. And finally inducted into the AMHA Show Horse Hall of Fame were Beamington, Dragonsmeade Icon, Equinox Bossanova GCH.
Plans currently are underway for a “light” year of hosting the AMHA Board and annual meetings in conjunction with the 2020 UPHA Convention in Lexington, Kentucky, January 21-25 before returning to the traditional convention format planned for Las Vegas in 2021.
Founded in 1909, the American Morgan Horse Association is a non-profit organization serving more than 50,000 Morgan horse owners, breeders, exhibitors, and enthusiasts throughout the United States. AMHA serves as a parent organization to more than 50 recognized Morgan horse clubs and national service organizations.
Contact: Christina Koliander
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