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American Morgan Horse Association Honorees

The following speeches were read by Helen Herold on Saturday, February 26, 2011, during the AMHA Convention in Boston, Massachusetts.

Cecil Brown Sportsmanship Award

Jonalyn Gwinup

"Quiet humility" is how one can best describe Jonalyn Gwinup, who has a fierce and compassionate heart for her sport and her peers. She goes out of her way to help fellow competitors, even if this means getting beat by them. She is a professional, in and out of the ring.

Every year Jonalyn helps a youth in one way or another, sometimes at her own expense, so they are able to show. For many years, she has volunteered her time and horses to help a youth during the Youth of the Year Contest at the Grand National. Across the country, you will hear stories of how Jonalyn at one point or another stepped in to "help them out."

In Jonalyn's barn, good sportsmanship is taught every day, and this is evident in her kids as they exit the ring; they always are smiling despite their placings. Jonalyn teaches them how to be gracious no matter what and to be a good role model for other youth competitors.

The best example of Jonalyn's professionalism and dedication was at last year's Grand National. As she was facing her mother's death during Nationals, Jonalyn put aside her personal pain and anguish to carry on for her kids and clients, as well as her fellow competitors by offering advice when asked, exemplifying strength and determination, and taking time to help ringside. She was still worrying about how her kids would go on and made sure that absolutely everything to the smallest detail (such as where a curb chain was to be placed) was taken care of and instructions given.

We are pleased to honor Jonalyn Gwinup as the 2010 Cecil Brown Sportsmanship Award winner this evening for her continuous sportsmanship and professionalism in the Morgan show ring.

Youth Achievement Award

Connor Chaffin-Farley

The AMHA Annual Youth Achievement Award is an annual award presented to a deserving youth member and recognizes those who have demonstrated a commitment to AMHA, AMHA Youth programs, the Morgan horse, and their community.

At just barely 12 years old, Connor Chaffin-Farley has participated and achieved more than some youth double his age! Among the activities Connor took part in last year were volunteering at six Morgan horse shows; attending the USEF and AMHA Youth Conventions; attending the American Horse Youth Leadership Council convention and clinics; volunteering at Equine Affaire; competing in three Youth of the Year contests; working for Howie at the Grand National; serving as a regional representative for the AMHA Youth Council; attending several horse clinics; and working the booth at the Kentucky Youth Horse Festival, passing out 8,000 Morgan horse tattoos! He even found time to volunteer on Thanksgiving Day to feed dinner to those less fortunate at his local Salvation Army!

Connor says his Morgans have taught him that everyone needs a best friend; to open up and be nice to all; to share your Morgans with everyone; and that Morgans can take you anywhere. Thank you, Connor, for the dedication you have given to the breed in the past year, you certainly have gone everywhere! We look forward to even more achievements as a youth breed representative for many more years to come! Congratulations!

Youth Person of the Year

Katharine Thompson

Kay Thompson has been involved with Morgan youth for as long as she has been involved with Morgans! Her recent youth history began with the Hooked on Morgans Youth Club, which she helped found in 1993 and which she was the leader of until 2001. In 1998 she helped Selina Cloutier win the national Youth of the Year Contest and in 2001 she coached her granddaughter, Sarah Miner, to the champion title. She also has had Angela Tuttle, Melissa Gagne, Rebecca Cooper, Emma Nobles, Lesley Wendt, and Madison Cromwell ride at her Highover Morgans and compete in the national contest.

For many years, Hooked on Morgans has been a Blue Ribbon Club, winning the Youth Club of the Year Contest and participating many times in the Educational Display Contest as well. In 2010, the club was the Reserve Youth Club of the Year. Kay also has had countless youth complete many of the badges in the Horsemanship program. Selina completed all the way through Black Hawk and Sarah through Justin Morgan. Kay also has encouraged kids to stay active with the AMHA youth council.

One youth Kay has influenced through the years is Tory Valway. At last year's national Youth of the Year Contest, the topic for the speech section of the contest was to select a Morgan person who has had an impact on your experience with the Morgan breed. Tory selected Kay. She said, "Kay helped me develop 'horse sense' and I learned many practical skills that carry over into other parts of my life. She taught me how to work hard, be patient, ride, drive, handle youngsters and stallions, assist in breeding, recognize quality in a horse, enjoy the versatility of the Morgan, hammer a nail, assemble a round pen, compete in a youth contest, garden, catch a chicken, fix a fence, teach others how to groom and ride, and find humor in everyday chores." Tory concluded her speech by saying, "If it weren't for Mrs. Thompson, I may never have become so involved in the Morgan breed and gained so many life skills. I hope to give back some of what I've received by being a role model to other youth."

Kay is and always has been an active supporter of all things Morgan youth and we know this involvement will continue for many more years. We applaud and thank her for her efforts and are pleased to honor her tonight as the 2010 AMHA Youth Person of the Year.

AMHA Golden Reins Award

Christine Cassenti

Our first Golden Reins recipient has had decades of exemplary personal and professional involvement with the Morgan breed. Chris Cassenti enjoys a good working relationship with Morgan trainers, instructors, breeders, and owners both nationally and internationally. She is always eager to share her knowledge about marketing, sales, and trends in the Morgan industry.

Chris has trained Morgan horses for 32 years and has more than 40 years in the industry. Her involvement with Morgan horses and showing began as a teenager. She trained horses and gave lessons in the Woburn, Massachusetts, area in the 1960s and 1970s and began training professionally in 1968.

In 1978, Chris and her husband, Larry, founded Chrislar Farm, which stands today as a 40-stall training, boarding, instruction, breeding, and sales business. She has introduced many people to the Morgan breed and has influenced and touched a long list of horses and owners who have come into her life. Chris never compromises on quality and always is there with the right tip or words of encouragement. She is ready to help when her students need it, but is careful to stand far enough back to give them room to grow as well.

Chris continues to instruct, advise, and support Morgan owners and has made a long-term commitment to our breed. A good teacher never lets her pupils think they have failed, but helps them find the courage to reach for success and to stretch the bounds of their own limits. We are pleased to honor tonight this quintessential professional, teacher, role model, and mentor to so many in the Morgan breed. Please join me in welcoming Chris Cassenti as a 2010 Golden Reins Award recipient!

AMHA Golden Reins Award

Robert Kellert

Bob Kellert was born to be a Morgan trainer. His quiet way with the horses and ability to communicate with them, particularly the in-hand and harness horses, has set him apart in the industry. His very first memories were that of living on his parents' farm, Stardom Farm, with dairy cows and eventually Morgans. In Connecticut, Bob showed and was part of 4-H activities every weekend originally at home, but then at Bob Brooks' and eventually at Jim and Annie Anderson's.

It was Jim who was a second father to Bob; Jim, who showed Bob how to train and how to listen to the horses. Bob worked as Jim and Annie's groom for a few years and is still friends with them to this day. Jim was not Bob's only mentor in his youth, however, he had the opportunity to learn and be molded by Rodney Root, a Hackney Pony trainer, who was the man to teach Bob many of the in-hand techniques he still uses today. Bob also had the opportunity to train under HVK's own Tom Caisse.

Bob took a break from horses for a few years to work with his father, but it wasn't long until Bob was back with the Morgans in California with Roy Wear. During this time, Bob trained Wear High Spirit and Stardom's Sensation. After Roy's death, Bob worked for Valleyfield, training such notables as Applevale Don Juan, Valliant Minuteman, and Saddleback Senator. Bob's time with Valleyfield ended when he decided to branch out on his own.

Bob opened Bob Kellert Stables in California and while there again was able to work with some big name horses of their day: Stoneholm Talieson, Arrowhill Adonis, Festival Pride N Joy, Darien, and Overlook Porche to name a few.

Bob was made an offer he could not refuse and in the late 1980s he went to work with Meadowland Farms. Irish Entertainment, Fox Creek Samantha, UVM Nappi, Cedar Creek Giselle, Charlestown Eclipse, and a young Born To Boogie all at some point had a home in Meadowland's stalls under Bob's training.

Bob decided to combine forces with a notable trainer in her own right and in 1992 Bob and Mary Cockriel designed and opened the barn at The River's Edge. Bob and Mary excelled in the training of amateur and junior exhibitor horses and do to this day. Bob and Mary worked and won with Yellow Iris Jaybe, Oakcreek Double Take, Highland Acres Command, TRE Master Of Disguise, Cedar Creek Pazazz, Brief Encounter, MEM No Inhibitions, RWF Over The Rainbow, AMHF Mr Courageous, Chandel Absolut, Glacier Dreamin, Delusions Of Grandeur, MSH Phantom, Plum Haven Minuet, Highover To The Nines, AMHF Mata Hari, and RRG Windsor to name a few. During this time, Bob's proudest, and most nerve wracking, moment was coaching his own daughter, Jennifer Kellert, to the Youth Pleasure Driving World Championship with Noteworthy's Nobel Heir. Bob and Mary continue to run The River's Edge with the same ideals that they started with 18 years ago and look forward to many more years in the future.

We are pleased to honor Bob tonight for his many years of dedication to the Morgan breed. Congratulations, Bob!

AMHA Golden Reins Award

Harry and Carolyn Sebring

Horses have been a part of Harry Sebring's life since he was a child growing up in Pennsylvania. At the age of 13, Harry Sebring was introduced to Morgans and it was love at first sight. It was a Morgan mare named Townshend Vigilita. By the time he was 16, he owned his first Morgan, a chestnut Lippitt-bred mare named Dark Ruffles. After receiving his B.S. in Animal Science at Penn State, Harry made the decision to become a professional horseman.

Carolyn Downie became interested in Morgans as a young girl, who Barbara Irvine remembers standing on the fences at Bridle Vale Farm in New Jersey watching the Morgan horses she would one day come to show. In 1973, Carolyn qualified for the Good Hands Finals in Madison Square Garden. Barbara said she has never had a student who worked as diligently and was more determined. These solid values have served her well as she has came to be a major force in one of the most successful Morgan stables in the country.

In 1976, Harry was running a public training stable at Icestone Farm in Sciota, Pennsylvania, and in 1979 he met Carolyn, who recently had graduated from college with a degree in elementary education. In 1980, Carolyn found a job not at a school, but at a barn and went to work for Harry and they moved the training operation to Mike Goebig's in Cooperstown, Pennsylvania. She has been Harry's right-hand "girl" ever since and always has been the mover and shaker behind the scenes at Sebring Stables. The couple was married in 1983 and in 1989 they settled in Richmond, Massachusetts.

Sebring Stables does it all, training, breeding, as well as managing Ann Hailey's Copper Beech program. The list of champions that have graced center ring on the local, regional, national, and world stage that have been at the hands of Harry and Carolyn is staggering. Just a short list of champions include R Bar B Lord Spence, Petalbrook Nicholas, Rapidan Georgian, Laurelledge Renegade, Savage Arms, Matter Of Time, Comoshun's Avante, Millbrook Spellcaster, Morningdance, Contagious, Tara' Brind'Amour, Whitemud Dixie Danceking, NDT French Impressionist, and IndianCreek American Girl. Just some with the CBMF prefix include Ruling Class, Cutting Edge, Mozambique, Strike Zone, Art Of War, Inside Out, Momentarily Moving Man, Restless, and Moment In The Sun.

Carolyn is the "wind beneath the wings" of Sebring Stable. She is not only a trainer, she is an instructor, coordinator of events, social director, and very importantly, the mother of three involved children. She is a member of the New England Morgan Horse Show Committee and can always be counted on to "get the job done." She is a natural ambassador for the Morgan community with her gracious hospitality to all who visit the farm, from youth groups, to AMHA Essay Contest winners, to potential horse buyers. Carolyn always makes everyone feel welcome. Her "can do" attitude is contagious and inspiring, while her pragmatics ensure that all the little details of a challenging farm operation are efficiently completed.

Harry and Carolyn define professionalism, service, and volunteerism within the Morgan industry, while adding their own style and joie de vivre. AMHA is pleased to honor Harry and Carolyn Sebring for their years of dedication to the Morgan breed with the 2010 Golden Reins Award.

AMHA Professional Award

John McDonald

John McDonald is considered by many to be one of the most talented and hard working horsemen in the Morgan world. From the very beginning of his career, John as been a great supporter of the Morgan breed and although retired as a trainer, he is still a shining face in the industry, both as a well respected judge and a pick-up trainer at major horse shows.

John grew up in Saranac Lake, New York, and always has been interested in horses. It wasn't until John was 14 that he got his first taste of Morgans as a breed. Once he got his chance to work with them, he never looked back and after graduating from SUNY Delhi in 1972, John moved to Massachusetts as a trainer at Elm Hill Farm. During this time, he had the opportunity to meet and fall in love with someone who would become his greatest supporter and friend, Wanda. Some mentors John had in the early years were Jim Borden, Jim Anderson, Johnny Lydon, Bob Baker, and Dick Jeffrey.

Wanda helped encourage John to reach for more and in 1988 they opened their own stable, McDonald Stables. Under this banner, John trained some of the famous horses of the time. John and Wanda were also lucky enough to have two children, Jeffrey and Ashley.

From 1995 to 2001, John moved out west to Colorado to work at J&J Stables. The Colorado mountains were the backdrop as well for John's own Greyrock Stables from 2001 until his retirement. During his career John had the privilege of training and showing many top horses such as Elm Hill Maria, Elm Hill Baystater, Tedwin Top This, Tug Hill Celebrity, Hye Eire Figurine, Waseeka's Bold Ruler, Waseeka's Gifted Lady, Hyland Acres Desiree, JMF Wild Card, Love's Masterpiece, and top equitation riders, such as Bianca Tonetti and Erin Hittesdorf.

John elected to retire from professional horse training in 2005 when he and Wanda moved back to upstate New York. Not forgotten from the Morgan industry, since 2005 John as maintained a successful judging career at the regional and national level as well as being instrumental during the show season for many other horse trainers including Lynn Peeples, David Rand, Bob Kellert and Mary Cockriel. John's talent and love for the show horse will keep his name synonymous with the Morgan breed for years to come. We are pleased to present John McDonald, who has been selected by his peers, as the 2010 AMHA Professional Horseman.

Man and Woman of the Year Award

Yum Kee Fu and Susan Fu

This year's AMHA Man and Woman of the Year are a team in their personal lives and family, be it their daughters, their horses, or their Morgan family. Family has been an important part of what they do. Yum Kee and Susan Fu will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary later this year. They have worked side by side on countless projects benefiting the Morgan horse world, and their generosity to many in the Morgan breed has been in evidence often and lovingly.

Kee and Susie Fu are owners of Dragonsmeade Farm in Winchester, Kentucky. Along with their two daughters, Ling Fu Wylie and Iann Fu Longenecker, the Fu family was inducted into the AMHA Breeders Hall of Fame in 2008. They have raised more than 120 Morgans with the Dragonsmeade prefix, many of who have won world and national championship titles.

Kee Fu is an award-winning, internationally-recognized architect, and he graciously donated his architectural design of the Morgan Pavilion at the Kentucky Horse Park. He also worked tirelessly to develop the models and perspectives introduced at a convention reception, sponsored by the Pavilion Committee. Once the ground-breaking ceremony for the Morgan Pavilion was finished, Kee was on site each and every day overseeing the actual construction of the Pavilion. Kee and Susie have been actively involved with the KHP Pavilion Committee since its inception, and have helped in the selection of the finishing details.

Before she became an avid horse show mom, Susie was an active breeder and exhibitor of dogs. But once her daughters started riding Morgans and showing, her focus shifted to the world of the Morgan horse, though they continue to breed German Shepherd Dogs at their Drach Feld Kennel.

Both Kee and Susie have been supporters of their daughters' love of showing and enjoying their Morgan horses. It became a family activity, and finding Kee railside videotaping his daughters' classes, as well as their trainers' showing Dragonsmeade-owned horses, was not unusual. Before long, Susie was an active member of the Grand National Morgan Horse Show Committee. Susie also has served as a trustee of the American Morgan Horse Institute, and currently is AMHI's vice president.

Kee and Susie's generosity to the Morgan breed is endless. For more than 30 years, they have supported Morgan and open shows, at the local, regional, and national level. They have opened their homes and farm to meetings and demonstrations. Their vacation homes, as well as breedings to their stallions, have been donated for countless Morgan fund-raising activities. And much of their selfless generosities have happened behind the scenes, such as giving a young rider a Morgan horse to show or providing a rider with much needed show ring attire.

Throughout the Morgan world, we are grateful for the support offered so freely by Kee and Susie Fu. It seems only right that we open our hearts just as freely, and honor them with this year's AMHA Man and Woman of the Year. Please welcome Ling Fu Wylie and Iann Fu Longenecker, who are with us tonight, to accept this award on behalf of their parents.

AMHA Breeder's Hall of Fame

Kathy and Vincent DeFazio

For nearly 40 years, Kathy and Vincent DeFazio have been quietly breeding and raising their Scandia Morgan horses. These Morgans are the result of a lifetime of love, intelligent selection, and a lot of hard work. Vincent and Kathy have stayed the course, weathering fads and fashions, and through the years have produced a lovely product with pride, the Morgan horse.

Their journey began in 1972 in Alabama with the registration of the "Scandia" prefix and the purchase of the stallion that started it all, Gra-Vand Cornell. Kathy's Scandinavian theme originated from her affection for her Norwegian grandparents.

Besides Alabama, Kathy and Vincent have resided in Georgia, Ohio, Washington, and now Oregon. Living in multiple locations allowed Kathy to personally inspect breeding stock at Serenity, Whippoorwill, UVM, Kennebec, and Triple Creek Morgan farms, to name a few. Multiple farm visits validated the relationship between lineage and the resulting type and personality characteristics likely to surface. These observations made her breeding decisions more predictive and less speculative. Farm visits factored heavily into future mating decisions and led to the purchase of Scandia broodmares from TVM, Lyonhil, Townshend, Garwood, Treble, Tara, Equinox, Futurity, and other farms.

Careful selections from distinguished breeders added new bloodlines, complementing the stallion selections and kept pace with market appeal. Kathy's degree in fine arts enabled her to see the three-dimensional Morgan with an artistic eye. Her consideration did not stop with physical attributes, but also characteristics bred easily and true and were not the result of trends or fads. Today, Scandia-bred mares and herd sires can be found from California to New England and from Canada to Holland.

Scandia-bred stallions include Scandias Bobby McGee, Scandias Trademark, Scandias Caribbean Blue, The Scandinavian, Scandias Simply The Best, and Scandias Cassanova, most with double digit foals on the ground. Purchased stallions produced 50-plus foals include Gra-Vand Cornell, Townshend Norseman, and UVM Coming Attraction. Scandia has heavily influenced several breeding programs across the country. Sales of herd sires and broodmares were not merely monetary exchanges, but long-term commitments from Kathy.

Nearly 100 Morgans carry the Scandia prefix, and the DeFazio's horses have successfully competed on the state, regional, and national stages in a variety of disciplines. They also have become family friends to many Morgan owners. Multi-generation breeding stock is the exception these days and Scandia now boasts third generation Morgans that promise to be significant future producers. Kathy's intelligent breeding and culling decisions based on rating scales, pedigree analysis, and keen insight yielded a timeless, consistent Morgan type true to the breed standards. Some call it the "Scandia Look." Their dedication to the breed, the quality of their breeding program, and their support of other breeders greatly contribute to the integrity of the Morgan horse and to the future of the breed. AMHA is pleased to honor Kathy and Vincent DeFazio this evening for their long-term commitment to the Morgan breed by inducting them into the Breeders' Hall of Fame.

AMHA Breeder's Hall of Fame

Mary Jean Vasiloff

Few people have had as lasting an impact on the Morgan breed and its promotion than Mary Jean Vasiloff. In 2010, Mary Jean marked 65 years of breeding horses (meaning, she began in 1945, probably before some of you were born!). Hundreds of exceptional Morgans have carried her Whippoorwill prefix and each and every one of them has been the result of a careful selection of sire and dam. Through these many years, the Whippoorwill breeding program has had the unwavering goal of producing good tempered and versatile horses of true Morgan type. And they've succeeded.

Mary Jean decided her life's ambition was to breed horses at an age most youngsters are only beginning to take riding lessons. The first horse she called her own was a Morgan-Welsh mare given to her when she was ten. That mare sparked her interest in Morgans. Through the years, Mary Jean has tenaciously stayed with her original goals: to breed the most sound, sane, and versatile Morgans she can with the bloodlines available to her, and to breed as closely to the historical type of the original Morgans as possible.

She began breeding her part-Morgan mare in 1941, experimenting with different crosses and selling the foals. In 1947 she purchased her first purebred Morgan mares: Vivian La Sorciere by Highview King, and Morgana La Fee by Senator Graham. Although neither of these mares produced any offspring with the Whippoorwill prefix, they started the process of sorting and winnowing genotypes and phenotypes that Mary Jean is still doing today.

Jubilee King was Mary Jean's strongest influence on her breeding program. Her cross of the Brunk-bred Jubilee King line on horses tracing to old Government lines proved fortuitous, with the birth of Whippoorwill Duke, who set the image of what Mary Jean bred from then on. Duke became McCulloch Farm's senior sire, producing 82 registered offspring. He proved to be a prepotent broodmare sire and Mary Jean gradually built up a band of his best daughters.

Deciding on the right cross is an art born of experience and careful study. With Duke's daughters forming the core of her broodmare band, Mary Jean sought good sires to cross with the Duke blood. She has used both outcrossing to unrelated by compatible bloodlines as well as linebreeding to further concentrate the gene pool.

Mary Jean has dedicated as much hard work to breeding as she has to Morgan promotion, most prominently with her Versatility Days. For 50 years, she held these events twice a year, in the spring and fall. These were not a mere "field day," these were full-scale productions with audiences of 300-500 attendees. Demonstrations were held in everything from broodmares and foals in hand to Dressage. The primary goal is breed promotion, not sales. She doesn't mind if a visitor buys a Morgan from another breeder, as long as they buy a Morgan! Some visitors who attend the event year after year are horse owners, but mostly they are people with a fondness for horses. Through the years, Mary Jean introduced and educated countless people about the breed who have in turn become Morgan horse owners. The very last Versatility Day was held last September to a worthy celebration of Mary Jean's promotion of the breed she loves.

Mary Jean once said, "To me, there has never been a better breed because Morgans are the only horses I ever met that are so mentally flexible and such eager partners. Morgans and promoting them to others through education about understanding horses, communication, and care have been my life's work. I am satisfied that I have succeeded in putting good Morgans in the hands of intelligent breeders who will carry the breed forward."

Mary Jean, thank you for devoting your life to the Morgan breed. Your Whippoorwill Morgans have been wonderful breed ambassadors and show how a Morgan horse can "do it all." AMHA is pleased to induct Mary Jean Vasiloff into its Breeders' Hall of Fame.

AMHA Breeder's Hall of Fame

Orcland Farm

For six generations, or for more than 100 years, Orcland Farm and the Orcutt family have been synonymous with the Morgan horse. A two-legged and four-legged dynasty, this family, with Dr. Wallace Orcutt at its helm, has bred some of the most famous Morgans to ever live on in Morgan history.

Dr. Wallace Orcutt was born in 1883, and instead of choosing the family business of farming, went to medical school, earning his degree from Yale University in 1911. Following his marriage to Ora Drake, the couple had two children, W. L. Orcutt, Jr., or Lyman as he was known to us, and Joyce.

While Dr. Orcutt was by all accounts devoted to the field of medicine, his passion was the Morgan horse. Using his brother Frank as a source of sound stock, particularly mares, he set about building his own breeding program and by the mid-1920s showing became a regular activity. Dr. Orcutt had an admiration for the Government Morgans and regularly acquired horses from them by either purchase or lease. Ulysses was leased from the Government farm and Lyman showed him to Grand Champion Stallion at the first National Morgan Show in 1939. Ulysses left an indelible mark on the Orcutt Morgan, not to mention the breed as a whole. He went on to sire several Government horses whose influence spread far and wide, and Ulysses also sired Ulendon in 1933, Orcland Farm's foundation stallion.

In Volume 6 of the American Morgan Horse Registry, the first appearance of the now famous "Orcland" prefix appeared. Up until that time, Dr. Orcutt had a habit of naming his Morgans by combining parts of the names found in the close-up pedigrees of the foal, sometimes resulting in unpronounceable names! Lyman was the one who came up with the idea of Orcland, when it became apparent the family needed a signature name under which to register and show their Morgans. The importance of this decision is found with the very first horse found in Registry Volume 6: Orcland Leader.

Lyman and his wife, Ruth, set out in earnest to develop their own Morgan herd using Orcland mares. Their success in the Morgan breeding and show circles soon became evident. Championship after championship came their way in breeding and performance classes. A tragic barn fire in 1958 destroyed 13 from their farm, but three were saved: Anna Darling, Orcland Gaylass, and Ulendon. These three served as a base to both build a new and to continue the Orcland program.

Since 1944, more than 200 Orcland prefixed Morgans have been registered by the Orcutt family. And their list of accomplishments is stunning. They can be seen in the show ring, on the trail, and as faithful family friends.

With the Orcutts breeding Morgans during much of the nineteenth century, starting with Samuel Harrison Orcutt, then his sons, Franklin and Wallace, who provided the next link with children of the twentieth century, and who in turn are now represented by three more generations, the Orcutt family continues the tradition of breeding and training Morgan horses, a tradition that has spanned three centuries. AMHA is pleased to induct Orcland Farm into its Breeders' Hall of Fame.

AMHA Hall of Fame

Beverley Olson

From the time she was a young girl growing up in Kansas, Beverley Olson has loved the Morgan breed. More than 65 years later, that love she had for the Morgan horse has never wavered. She is the ultimate supporter of the Morgan breed. When it comes to Morgans, Beverley has done it all—literally!

In 1950, at the age of 18, Beverley showed her favorite Morgan mare, Red Feather, at the Kansas National Horse Show, winning the Open Bridle Path class, which would now be known as English pleasure. Upon her marriage to Richard Olson and a move to the Pacific Northwest, the couple began to breed Morgans with their Shiloh prefix. Together they bred more than 30 horses, many of which have gone on to see success in and out of the show ring. Included in that list is their foundation stallion Flight Commander, who went on to sire such greats as Beaver State Fantasy, the 1987 World Champion Ladies English Pleasure.

Beverley also was there in the beginning of three Morgan clubs: Morgan Horse Club of Washington State and Evergreen Morgan Friends. She also helped start the Wheat State Morgan Horse Club before she moved from Kansas, whose beginnings started in her family's rec room! All of these clubs had horse shows, which she participated in behind the scenes. A breed historian and writer, Beverley was a frequent contributor to The Morgan Horse magazine for many years and wrote the "Young Enthusiasts" column. Beverley's activity and support of the breed never slowed down; she did all these things and much more all while raising five children! Beverley's enthusiasm and love she has for the breed was passed on to her children, 11 grandchildren, and now her four great grandchildren!

Six years ago, when she was in her mid-70s, Beverley decided she wanted to show again. This time she was in the buggy at many local shows and the Grand National competing and winning against amateur exhibitors half or more than half her age!

Last October, Beverley received her very first Grand National title when her mare, Tracemark Touch Of Gold, won the Grand National Western Pleasure Gentlemen's Championship with Daryl Hobson. Touch Of Gold had been Beverley's classic horse, but she believed her strength would be the Western division. After winning at the Morgan Medallion, Beverley asked Daryl to take her to the Grand National. Daryl explained he had previous commitments, so he could show the mare in only one class, and suggested they wait until next year. At almost 80 years of age, Beverley said she didn't know what next year would bring, so she wanted the mare to go, even if it was for that one class! With the help of her longtime friend, Kurt Rumens, Beverley was thrilled to be able to make it to the winner's circle for the presentation when Tracemark Touch Of Gold was named Grand National Western Pleasure Gentlemen's Finals Champion!

AMHA is proud to induct Beverley Olson into its Hall of Fame for her lifetime of faithful devotion and boundless energy she has given to the Morgan breed.

AMHA Hall of Fame

Eitan Beth-Halachmy

In 1994, Debbie Beth-Halachmy was asked about future goals she shared with her husband, Eitan. She said they wanted "to endure." "Winning is momentary, but a reputation lasts forever," Debbie said. "We want respect and we want to make an enduring contribution to the breed. Winning is nice, but if you have the admiration and respect of your peers, that is real success. There comes a point that instead of taking, you must give back." Seventeen years after those words, we can say that Eitan Beth-Halachmy has earned the admiration and respect of his peers and has given back to the breed he loves. From a world champion Morgan trainer to a breed promoter throughout the world, Eitan has devoted his life and career to the Morgan horse.

A native of Israel, Eitan was more or less "born on a horse," but it was in 1986 when he had his first experience with Morgans. "I was working in a training barn in Sonoma, and a lady came and wanted to board a 'funny horse,'" Eitan once said. "Not long after I bought myself my own 'funny horse.'"

It didn't take long following his introduction to the breed for Eitan to take the Oklahoma western ring by storm with not one, but two multiple world champion Morgans, Holiday Compadre and Santa Fe Renegade. Who can forget Eitan's signature victory pass from the show ring, which always brought the crowd to their feet in appreciation?

As the creator of "Cowboy Dressage," "8" has brought his teachings and discipline to many who are seeking better relationships with their horses. The new Western Dressage division, which is directly attributed to Eitan, offers not only new challenges to the experienced rider, but provides opportunities to those who are new or returning to riding and the show ring. 8 and Debbie also were instrumental in the creation of the "Masters" division for Morgan horse shows, a division open to amateurs age 50 and older.

Eitan can say his goal of giving back has been met; from his breed promotion at two World Equestrian Games to his Light Hands Horsemanship clinics to his clinician work across the country, the Morgan breed could not have a finer individual and horseman as one of its representatives.

Eitan's knowledge is unparalleled, yet he continues to search for new methods to improve both horse and rider, with the welfare of the horse paramount. His ability to impart his knowledge to all levels of riders and recognize the differences in breeds has served to enhance the stature of the Morgan horse.

At the World Equestrian Games in September, Eitan collapsed following his opening ceremonies performance. The paramedics who were just feet away from him saved his life. Eitan set his birthday, November 24, as the day he would ride again. Atop Santa Fe Renegade, he was back in the saddle two week before that date. Eitan is on the road to recovery and will continue to share his teachings on all levels—to backyard horsemen to those who compete at the world champion level. We are pleased tonight to recognize Eitan Beth-Halachmy's significant achievements and contributions to the Morgan world and beyond by inducting him into AMHA's Hall of Fame.

Show Horse Hall of Fame

In 2008, AMHA created a Show Horse Hall of Fame that inducts registered Morgans with three or more world champion titles, or if shown prior to 1973, registered Morgans with three or more Grand Champion titles. Morgan show horses of outstanding caliber also are eligible. These horse names will be embossed on a plaque that will reside at the AMHA headquarters in Vermont.

Inducted in the hall of fame this year are Carmen Miranda, Ladys Enticement, and Merriehill Hooligan.

Carmen Miranda was a large mare, not just in stature, but also in exhibiting all the wonderful qualities of a Morgan. She had a big heart, a kind and willing disposition, and true star charisma—she thrived in the spotlight.

Jamie Jaeger asked trainer Krista Dent to "find a hunter" and Carmen was located in a pasture at Lynn Peeples' Waterford Farm. Carmen moved to Flintlock Farm in North Carolina, where Krista broke her to saddle and harness and showed her until 2002. At the 1996 Grand National in a big three-year-old mare qualifier, Carmen pinned fifth, despite acting like a typical junior horse. Judge Claude Morrette told Krista in the lineup, "Take her back to the barn, fix her, and bring her back." Krista injured herself so Larry Bonnell catch-rode Carmen to reserve world three-year-old, her fifth time in the ring!

All told, Carmen won four world championships in Oklahoma City as well as numerous USEF Horse of the Year awards. Not only was she a champion in the ring, she was a great ambassador for the breed. Ever present at open barns, horse expos, and all-breed clinics, Carmen also enabled many a new rider as a great lesson horse.

Carmen Miranda's star will never diminish. We remember her eagerness, desire to please, and her embodiment of the great Morgan spirit. We are pleased to remember her accomplishments by inducting her into AMHA's Show Horse Hall of Fame.

The grand mare, Ladys Enticement, is a legend in the Morgan Park Saddle division, bringing excitement to the breed and to the show ring. Lady was a dynamo in the show ring, with a huge fan base and support group that couldn't wait to be ringside just to watch her trot. She proved that Morgans are pretty, have stamina and talent, and are athletic, sound, and entertaining. She won the Junior Exhibitor Park Saddle and Ladies Park Saddle classes at the New England Morgan Horse Show more times than any other horse in the history of the show. She has won world, reserve world, and Grand National park saddle champion titles six times and she went on to enjoy a brilliant career in the show ring spanning 17 years. With Ann Anderson in the irons, Lady was the third mare in Morgan history to win the World Park Saddle Championship. Her banner continues to fly high in the OKC coliseum each year.

Although she never officially retired from the show ring, Lady enjoyed her last ten years at Chrislar Farm with Chris Cassenti, who loved taking her out for trail rides, and continued to be an ambassador for the breed, performing whenever visitors asked to see her.

Lady passed away last May, and the outpouring of love from trainers, breeders, judges, and spectators from across the country flooded into Chrislar Farm. Many grand stories about her career continue to be enjoyed and shared by many; she truly was a "once in a lifetime horse." Thank you to Ann Anderson, Katie Moynihan, and Chris Cassenti for giving us memories of many unforgettable victory passes with this great mare.

His name is synonymous with the pleasure arena. A horse that seemed to get better with age, Merriehill Hooligan's show ring career began in 1990 at the age of three and concluded in 2006 at the age of 19. During that time, blue ribbons were won across the country, from Illinois to New England, to Michigan and New York, and of course, the Oklahoma coliseum.

Born in 1987, "Hoolie" was exactly the type of foal Stan and Paulette Bodnar of Merriehill Farm had hoped to get. His formal training began when he was three; he took to it quickly, and it wasn't long before he hit the show ring. At first, people didn't know what to make of the "orange" horse, but it wasn't long before his bright color became a non-issue!

Hoolie's first few years of showing at the Grand National saw him placing high in the ribbons, but it was when he was partnered with a young Mark Bodnar that his true value was realized. Together the pair racked up an impressive array of wins, including multi world and reserve world championships, and in 1997 was World English Pleasure Champion with Stan in the irons. When it was time for Mark to leave for college, a decision had to be made about Hoolie. With too much life to retire, the chestnut gelding enjoyed more show seasons under the showmanship of Peggy Alderman and David Rand, with more world championships, including a phenomenal 2001, where he was World Junior Exhibitor English Pleasure 14-17 Champion and World English Pleasure Champion.

All told, Hooligan has seven world championships, six reserve world championships, and ten Grand National championships. AMHA is pleased to honor the ultimate show horse, Merriehill Hooligan, this evening.

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