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Circle J Morgan Horse Show Update

Over the past several years due to economic conditions and life changes, the number of Morgan barn in Colorado and adjacent other western states has decreased to one barn. As a result, the Circle J show became increasingly dependent on out of state trainers and exhibitors. And for a number of years this worked well with trainers and exhibitors coming from a number of western states including Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Texas and California. Circle J was known for its competitive western and hunter classes and world champions competed with one another.

Those of us who live in the West know that the geography and population density is not the same as the East Coast or Midwest. Unfortunately, another Morgan show was approved within days of the Circle J show’s long established dates and 600 miles away. This location meant that trainers who used to travel to Circle J could stay closer to home and show. Circle j understands that. However, with better information and planning, probably both shows could have been successful, just not so close together in dates. Circle J members would have gladly supported a show 600 miles away – if not in conflict with their own show. Circle J tried to adapt, adjusting its show dates and combining forces with the Queen City show hoping to build upon trainers who had both Morgans and Saddlebreds. But to no avail. A show can’t be held with just one Morgan barn competing. That isn’t fair to the exhibitors and trainers and doesn’t make for a competitive or fun show.

So, the hard decision has been made. We sincerely hope that AMHA and others will learn from the demise of the Circle J show. Geography, population, numbers of trainers, breeders and exhibitors is important especially in the far flung west. The horse industry is fragile these days, especially in Morgans, especially in the west. Decisions that may be good for one club and one region, may be bad for another club and region. “Do no harm” should be a significant part of the decision-making process whether in determining regions, show dates or show locations.

The Circle J show had a lifespan of over 50 years. We certainly hoped it would go on, but it just doesn’t make sense any longer. Perhaps in a few years there will be more trainers in Colorado and nearby states or other shows will come and go, but for now the show is on indefinite hiatus. To those who supported Circle J the last couple of years, our most sincere thanks and appreciation.

Submitted by the Board of Directors, Circle J Regional Morgan Horse Show and Circle J Morgan
Horse Association

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