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2008 AMHA Annual Convention

by Diana Davidson


MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - For a group of dedicated AMHA members from the Upper Midwest, it all began four years ago with a presentation in Boston. They impressed the committee and the AMHA Board Of Directors voted to hold the 2008 AMHA Annual Convention in Minneapolis. The local convention committee worked from that day forward to make the 2008 convention a success.


The committee and volunteers went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure the AMHA members coming to Minneapolis from near and far enjoyed a week filled with outstanding clinics, seminars, meetings, auctions and banquets along with an all-around great time. They came through with everything they promised for this highly anticipated event, and as they say in Minnesota “You Betcha!”.


The Hyatt Regency Minneapolis was the central gathering place for the convention held on Feb. 13-16. The week of Valentine’s Day was a perfect time to focus on the passion that Morgan owners share for this amazing breed of horse. The AMHA membership of over 10,000 represents a group of people as diverse as the many facets of the truly versatile Morgan horse. The convention is a perfect time for members to come together and focus on the achievements of the breed and unite to help promote the Morgan horse that we all feel so passionately about.


Convention co-chairs Ling Fu Wylie and Terry Sanborn expressed what they hoped the convention would convey, “We trust the people you meet during your stay here will truly embody ‘Minnesota Nice’. Above all, we hope that your experiences will be positive and fulfilling, so that in the end, we celebrate the Morgan horse and keep it a passion that lasts a lifetime.”


AMHA Convention co-chairs Ling Fu Wylie and

Terry Sanborn along with the AMHA staff and a

group of hardworking volunteers organized a

great week for everyone in Minneapolis.


AMHA Director Of Membership/Information Technology Erica Richard commented, “This convention was a tremendous success and it was wonderful to be able to work with such a great club and its members. Without volunteers, AMHA would not be able to hold this type of event. A special thanks to all the volunteers who also include the professional community and AMHA members who came to Minneapolis to provide the exceptional seminars and clinics.”


The week was filled with many ways for all in attendance to share knowledge and information, generously donate time and/or resources, govern our breed and association, and help promote the Morgan breed to the public worldwide.




The AMHA Board Of Directors were first to tackle the business at hand with their full schedule of meetings, which were open to all beginning on Monday, and continuing throughout the week. Convention attendees started to arrive in earnest on Wednesday with a welcome reception hosted by Corcel Inc. at its headquarters held on Wednesday evening. Everyone enjoyed staying toasty inside while the Minneapolis area continued to have record-setting wind chills outside.


Corcel, Inc. welcomed everyone to
Minnesota with
a reception at their
headquarters in Minnetonka as
their sponsorship of the AMHI Gala
Auction. Mark Bodnar and David
Peteler were
pleased with great
turnouts for the events.


Linda Hall, Mark Staehnke, Ling Fu Wylie and

newly elected Region 3 AMHA Director Jack

Gatewood enjoyed their tour of Corcel, Inc.

(photo by Linda Hagan Kvanbeck)


As temperatures moderated on Thursday many convention attendees boarded buses for two separate farm tours. The first tour headed to Hardwood Creek Farm along with Arcola Farm. Attendees were treated to breakfast and a stallion presentation along with training sessions with Lyle and Colleen Wick, Jay Wood, Margaret McNulty and Blake Johnson at Hardwood Creek. The bus then departed to the Johnson family’s Arcola Farm for a scrumptious lunch followed by a presentation on breeding by Brian Dahms of Stillwater Veterinary. Kirsten Johnson then showed off Arcola Farm’s prized broodmare Purest Adrenaline and a trio of her offspring followed by a presentation of the HyLee Farm breeding program by Jackie Sweeney. The second tour brought visitors to Stone House Stables in Preston, Minn., for an in depth clinic on everything you wanted to know about western pleasure. Two of the breed’s most experienced western horsemen Garn Walker and Jordy Johns shared their knowledge and talents with the appreciative audience.


The crew at Stone House Stable of Preston, Minn.,

and special guest Garn Walker hosted a great western

clinic along with a scrumptious buffet on Thursday.

(Left to right) Jill Eide, McKenzie Brass, Garn Walker,

Dusty Freiheit, Jordy Johns and Kim Ann Hogan.

(photo by Linda Hagan Kvanbeck)

The schedule for Friday and Saturday featured many choices for convention attendees. There were a myriad of topics of interest presented depending on your focus and viewpoint within the Morgan breed and industry. While moving from meeting to meeting, attendees visited with the many commercial exhibitors in the Morgan marketplace.


Friday's meeting schedule included a daylong meeting of the AMHI trustees under the leadership of incoming President Robert Morgan that covered a variety of current AMHI projects and committee reports. The AMHI's excellent scholarship program continues full force, with over $15,000 in sponsorships awarded to Morgan youth each year. 


Outgoing AMHI President Dick Hawkins was thanked for his tremendous service and generosity to the Institute. Sherry Cole and Beth Fancsali are the new AMHI trustees and will be terrific additions to the Board. New AMHI Life Members Linda Hall, Tony Lee, Anne Morgan, Jean Morgan and Lisa Singer were welcomed and approved.


The 2008 AMHI officers are as follows: Robert Morgan, AMHI president; Susan Fu, vice-president; Mark Staehnke, treasurer; and Mona Skager, secretary. The following AMHI trustees were elected and appointed for three-year terms: Sherry Cole, Ellen DiBella, Beth Fancsali, Elaine Galatz, John Green, Barbara Rudicel, Mona Skager and Mark Staehnke. They join other AMHI trustees currently serving: Frederick Dills, Susan Fu, Jack Gatewood, Richard Hawkins, Kim Hildreth, Gaeton Lorino, Robert Morgan, Darwin Olson, Art Perry, Sally Plumley, Francis Pugh, Robin Rednor-Veghte, Meredith Sloan, Jill Smith, Jim Stewart and Ann Taylor.


The youth of the AMHA were also involved with a full schedule of events of their own under the direction of AMHAY President Caralee Conklin. AMHA Youth Steering Committee co-chairs Sara Foy and Leitha Stone conducted seminars on running a youth contest and starting a youth club. Other AMHA committee meetings/forums included archives, open shows, regional shows, memberships/clubs, media steering, education, marketing, eventing, dressage, hunter/jumper, carriage driving, working western, legislative, international and USEF Morgan rules.


The success of last year’s workshop on show management was so successful that Fred Nava, show manager of the Grand National and World Championship Morgan Horse Show, New England Regional and Jubilee Regional, along with his wife, Christine, who serves as New England co-chair, were asked to give another on “Customizing Your Horse Show For Success”. It covered the basics for having a successful show, facing economic challenges, organization and safety, as well as in depth information on USEF rules and regulations with Lori Nelson from USEF.


The seminars offered were very informative and wide-ranging. They were diverse yet several had topics that fed into one another. The most pre-convention discussion centered on Marilyn Childs’s topic of “Surviving My 65 Years of Morgan Turmoil”. And the large turnout for the Saturday afternoon seminar was not disappointed. In her own inimitable style, Mrs. Childs told it like she sees it with her keen insight and amazing memory of what she said has really been more like 70 years of Morgan turmoil within the breed she loves. Her stories were not to be missed along with her great praise of many horses and people in the Morgan breed now and in the past.


Marilyn Childs had a captivated audience to

relate some of her fond memories of “Sur-

viving 65 (or more) Years of Morgan Turmoil”.


The history of the Morgan horse is always a fascinating topic for convention attendees, particularly some of the newer members. Presentations on historical breeding along with stories and horses of the 1970s featured interesting and entertaining presentations and photos given by Jackie Sweeney, Paulette Bodnar, Mark Staehnke, Vee Ann Wood and Arlene Berzins. The history of the Morgan horse is well preserved by the National Morgan Horse Museum, and NMMH Council Chair Martha DuPont, along with NMMH Archivist Kathy Furr, gave a presentation about the museum and how all Morgan lovers can help ensure the future of the museum.



The bloodlines of the Midwest were on prominent display as Jackie

Sweeney (left) along with Paulette Bodnar, Arlene Berzins and Vee

Ann Wood (right) discussed some of the many horses they have bred
and shown. The presentations also included some priceless photos.


The versatility of the breed was also on display with seminars on parade with Art Perry and Vee Ann Wood, trail horses with Susan Motter, cowboy mounted shooting with Gary Jackson and lesson programs with Chris Cassenti, Sandy Sessink and Colleen Wick.


Art Perry was dressed for the occasion as he and

Vee Ann Wood gave a colorful presentation of the

art of parade. The tack, outfits and videos were

viewed with great appreciation from the audience.


The seminar on developing a lesson program presented

by Colleen Wick, Sandy Sessink and Chris Cassenti

imparted excellent advice to a large audience.


The topic of breeding started from the ground up with Drs. Kim Viker and Deb Thompson discussing mare and stallion evaluations, breeding problems and the health and care of breeding horses and foals. Ann Hailey of Copper Beech Morgan Farm and Iann Fu Longenecker of Dragonsmeade gave an informative presentation on their successful breeding programs and their insight into the Morgan breed. The next step was the topic of training, showing and marketing young horses with Harry Sebring, Stacy Hennessy and Garn Walker adding their expertise. The always-popular topic of marketing continued with Chris Cassenti and Stan Bodnar adding their insights and experiences. One of the newest vistas for marketing is through the Internet. Anne Judd introduced her new marketing technique called Railside Report to enhance the horse show experience for those at a show as well as those watching/listening on the Internet.



Fran Pugh was most excited to take part in the seminar

on Anne Judd’s new venture into event broadcasting

as Karen Homer-Brown interviewed Pugh on the world

championship performance of JW That Special Flaire.


The future in the equine industry was also discussed as conservationist Georgianna Hubbard McCabe spoke about the Equestrian Land Conservation Resource and where we will all be to ride and drive in the future. Heather Case also spoke on dual topics of “Government and the Horse Owner” as far as law making and “Emergency Equine Preparedness”. Dr. Tom Tweeten spoke on “Equine Care for Comfort and Collection”. Cordia Pearson presented a seminar on proper saddle fitting for the Morgan horse, while Stan Bodnar, Gerry Rushton and Jordy Johns enlightened audience members on bits and their uses.


The immensely popular Train The Trainer series returned with another series of discussions on all disciplines and areas of training. The audience listened to a fabulous group of knowledgeable professionals and asked some great questions as well. The panelists included Sandy Sessink, Cindy Mugnier, Bert Earehart, Colleen Wick, Whitney Bodnar, Jessica Cavanaugh, Garn Walker, Dwayne Knowles, Jordy Johns, Andy Marlett, Steve and Josie Davis, Elra Tonkin, Jonalyn Gwinup and Jeannie Arenholtz. The equine professionals in attendance also discussed some current issues and projects they are working on during Friday’s UPHA/AMHA Professionals Luncheon sponsored by Tara Good with Sandy Sessink presiding.




The 13th American Morgan Horse Institute (AMHI) Gala Auction, Reception and Dinner were the main attraction on Valentine’s Day evening. Corcel Inc. served as the evening’s corporate sponsor for the third year in a row. Susie Fu and Mona Skager served this year’s co-chairs with several other AMHI trustees on hand for the festivities along with a large turnout of convention attendees. Jim Brown, John Green, Darwin Olson and Art Perry took their places to spot the many bids in the well-filled room, while phone bids were also being fielded by Sally Plumley, Barb Rudicel and Sally Wadhams.


Ace announcer Bill Carrington worked the crowd for their bids on more than 45 fabulous auction items. It was another memorable night for AMHI along with the many successful bidders and generous donors as over $36,000 in net auction proceeds were raised to benefit the educational mission of AMHI, including its strong scholarship program.


The success of the evening was due in large part to the generous donors, many who have contributed to the auction in each of its 13 years. The other important part of the equation is the strong response of the enthusiastic bidders. The Yum Kee Fu family once again graciously donated two of their amazing properties to the delight of many bidders with the top bid of the night coming from David and Deborah Peteler as they purchased an exceptional vacation opportunity in Key West, Fla. The auction also featured happy winning bidders on advertising space, artwork, equipment, vacations, jewelry and other rare finds.


The AMHI works hand in hand with the AMHA to promote the Morgan breed through its fundraising activities. Beside the Grand National and World Championship Morgan Horse Show, this auction is AMHI's primary fundraiser for the year. The funds raised by AMHI over the last several years have sponsored activities including youth programs, educational materials, judging seminars, improvements and maintenance of the headquarters and grounds in Shelburne, and the retirement of the Morgan Horse Complex mortgage.




The annual AMHA membership meeting was held on Friday afternoon. AMHA President Mike Goebig called the meeting to order and introduced the Convention co-chairs, AMHA Board Members, AMHA staff, AMHA Youth Board Members, AMHA Directors Emeriti and AMHI board members to the large crowd in attendance. Barbara Hewitt then read the meeting notice and the minutes of the 2007 AMHA Annual Meeting were accepted.     


Following the declaration of a quorum in the elections being held in Regions 3, 4, 5, 10 and Director-At-Large, there was a call for any additional ballots. Following this, the election was declared closed.


President Goebig went on to welcome everyone and thank the past and present AMHA Boards and officers, staff and committee members. In his statement, Goebig went on to discuss the many accomplishments of the Morgan breed and AMHA in the past year. He welcomed the addition of Julie Broadway as AMHA executive director as well as the hard work of the AMHA staff to provide outstanding service to the membership.


Goebig thanked the members of Region 5, volunteers, staff and co-chairs Ling Fu Wylie and Terry Sanborn for all of their efforts and providing a great week in Minneapolis. He also announced that the 2009 AMHA Convention will be held in Sacramento, Calif.


Goebig went on to discuss the breed promotion, marketing and support of regional shows that AMHA has been able to do thanks to the proceeds of the Stallion Service Auction. The AMHA Registry went online with a great response in 2007. Goebig also mentioned the new secure election process.


Goebig spoke about the renewed solidarity between the AMHA and AMHI. The association will continue to be headquartered in Vermont with a gala planned in May to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the building, which has already seen many renovations thanks to the hard work of the building committee and many generous donations.


In spite of some unplanned expenses in 2007, Goebig expects the association to be back on solid footing in 2008. Goebig finished by saying that he is happy to end his tenure as president with the association in good shape going forward.


AMHA Vice President of Finance Harry Sebring was next on the podium to discuss AMHA's current financial status. Sebring stressed that prudent management practices continue to be the key to a strong financial position for AMHA. A handout was provided for all members with the preliminary and tentative audit as of Nov. 30, 2007. The complete 2007 audit will be available at the May AMHA Board meeting. Sebring noted the $93,000 operating loss due to some non-ordinary expenses such as the defense of multiple lawsuits as well as the executive director search and relocation.


Sebring noted that the association earned the highest rating from its new firm in a recent financial audit. The income is 92 percent of what was budgeted with the expenses at 97 percent of what was budgeted. The shortfalls came in the magazine and registry.


Sebring expects a return to stability with the continued discipline, diligence and foresight. He also praised the staff for maintaining the level of service despite decreased staffing. He added that we must all work hard, be vigilant and supportive for us to grow


In her report AMHA Bylaws Committee chair Linnea Sidi went over numerous changes to the bylaws that are available from AMHA.


President Goebig then took questions from the floor from the membership. At this time AMHA Director Emeriti and former President George Arnold thanked President Goebig for his outstanding leadership.


President Goebig then called on the AMHA Tabulating Agent from Amplitude Research to announce the results of the election. He announced that Sherry Cole and Jack Gatewood – Region 3, Patricia West – Region 4, Ling Fu Wylie and Kris Breyer – Region 5, Barbara Hewitt – Region 10 and Harry Sebring - Director-At-Large had been elected by the membership of AMHA. Following a strong ovation from the members in attendance, the meeting was then adjourned.


The AMHA Board of Directors Reorganization Meeting followed. The AMHA Board Of Directors then elected Cindy Mugnier as president.


Incoming AMHA President Cindy Mugnier accepted

the gavel from outgoing President Mike Goebig as

AMHA Executive Director Julie Broadway thanked

both for their dedicated service.


The Executive Committee was then named: Cindy Mugnier (president), Barbara Hewitt (eastern vice-president), Sherry Cole (central vice-president) Bill Pettis (western vice-president), Harry Sebring (vice-president of finance) and Mike Goebig (immediate past president). The Board also named Tony Lee as Director Emeriti.


The following standing committee chairs were named along with their committees; Finance Committee Chair Harry Sebring, Registry Committee Chair Kathy Newcomb, Bylaws Committee Chair Linnea Sidi and IT Committee Chair Sara Foy. Other working committees will be named, and all AMHA members interested on serving on any of the working committees are encouraged to contact AMHA.




The Grand National Show Committee followed up their most recent January meeting with a progress report on the 2008 show at the convention. 2008 Show Chair George Arnold and Show Manager Fred Nava were on hand to discuss the show with interested audience members. Also on hand were Grand National committee members Tony Lee, Barb Rudicel, Georgie Green, Iann Fu Longenecker, Sherry Cole and Sally Plumley along with AMHI Development Officer Sally Wadhams. The show will be held on Oct. 4-11, 2008.


George Arnold welcomed the audience and invited everyone to attend the show. He gave an update on some of the judges who have been hired as well as the fact that the new office in the super-barn will be ready and in use for the 2008 show.


Fred Nava thanked the show committee for their hard work and commented about the continuing fairgrounds renovations and construction, now progressing in barns 8 and 9. He addressed the warm-up rings and the need for places to work and for quiet time. Nava also discussed the ongoing changes and challenges in stabling and maintaining flow as well as the VIP motor home spots.


Fred Nava gave an update along with the
National committee on the 2008 Grand 
and World Championship Morgan
Horse Show as well as
another well-attended
workshop on
horse show management.


He turned the microphone over to Georgie Green who addressed the changes in this year's prize list. The newly added classes for 2008 are an Amateur Roadster To Bike World Championship, Gentlemen’s Western Pleasure World Championship and Walk-Trot Equitation World Championships in western, hunt, saddle seat and classic saddle seat. Some of the qualifications for the dressage division have changed. The Youth Of The Year presentations have been moved to Saturday night. The post entry fee is now a flat $150. All of the current fire regulations will be posted in the prize list.


Barb Rudicel, who has been the World Futurity chair of 20 years and earned a well-deserved round of applause, gave an update on the World Futurity. She spoke about the great results from partnering with the AMHA Stallion Service Auction with 40 percent of the profits going to the World Futurity. She also mentioned the $10,000 bonus that will be offered to resulting offspring of SSA/WF Auction purchased stallion services. Rudicel closed by congratulating and thanking everyone for their great support of the World Futurity.


Sally Plumley spoke about the record year for the Silver Possibility in 2007 and thanked donors and those who purchased tickets for their support. Tony Lee gave an update on the parties that are planned for 2008 as well as show updates on the web site, which includes the prize list as well as live feed audio and video coverage of the horse show. Iann Fu Longenecker and Sherry Cole discussed the always-popular banners, now being produced by Corcel Inc. They spoke about information for purchasing new banners, adding titles to existing banners and cleaning and maintenance. Sally Wadhams thanked all of the generous sponsors and added some information about corporate sponsorships.


Show Chair George Arnold and Manager Fred Nava discussed the camaraderie of everyone at the show and encouraged input from everyone. They stressed the importance of submitting the comment sheets each year following the show. Learning the likes and dislikes of exhibitors is the best way for the committee and management to make the show the best it can be.




The AMHA Annual Awards Banquet and Luncheon took place on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon respectively in the Nicollet Ballroom. The events were chaired by Carol Fletcher and featured large turnouts. Mark Bodnar served as master of ceremonies for Friday evening’s banquet.


The current AMHA Directors were introduced to a warm round of applause. Numerous recognition awards and special presentations were bestowed. The following each received a certificate of appreciation; Convention co-chairs Ling Fu Wylie and Terry Sanborn, 2007 Grand National Chair Tony Lee and the Convention committee of NCMA President Robin Becklin, Nan Wille, Kirsten Johnson, Vee Ann Wood, Lyle Wick, Mark Bodnar, Arlene Berzins, Janise Sanborn and Keri Sanborn in recognition of their contributions.


Each year, the AMHA Awards Committee has the difficult task of selecting the most deserving individuals in the Morgan breed to receive the most prestigious recognition AMHA can give. The individuals honored have been very successful in promoting Morgans and are very deserving of the awards they received. In addition to giving each individual the full recognition they deserve, memories of some great Morgan history and stories were heard along the way.


The evening continued with 21 prestigious award winners: Savenac’s Dixianna – Therapy Horse Of The Year; Shelly Temple - International Competition Award; Alex Mooney - Cecil Brown Sportsmanship Award; Stan Bodnar, Gene Brown, Ann and Brad Scussell, Lyle and Colleen Wick and Mary Woolverton - AMHA Golden Reins Award; Travis Filipek - AMHA Youth Person of the Year; Pete Jaeger - AMHA Man of the Year; Valerie Low - AMHA Woman of the Year; Marilyn Childs, Mike Goebig, John Green, Calvin Hanson and Vicki Linden - Hall of Fame; Merriehill Farm, Fred and Jeanne Herrick, Stonecroft Farm, Ann Hailey and Judy Whitney Harris - AMHA Breeder's Hall of Fame. (Please see the award speeches in their entirety in a separate news story.) In addition the following legendary breeding farms were honored for their impact on the breed; Tedwin Farm, Sugar Run Farm, Applevale Farm, Devan Farm, and Rapidan River Farm.


AMHA Man Of The Year Pete Jaeger was surrounded

by family and friends after receiving his award.

(Left to right) Gael and Pete Jaeger, Michael and

Jamie Fiocco and Rob Marsh.


Alex Mooney was a most deserving winner of the

Cecil Brown Sportsmanship Award. It was an

emotional presentation for Jim Brown, Sally

Plumley, Dee Gentry and Karen Homer-Brown.


The festivities continued on Saturday afternoon with Jordy Johns doing the honors as master of ceremonies. The awards ceremony featured many Morgan owners and enthusiasts from across the country who work very hard on behalf of the Morgan horse. These individuals have been very successful in promoting Morgans and are very deserving of these awards.


Numerous recognition awards and special presentations were bestowed. Members of the AMHA Board Of Directors were introduced to the audience. The AMHA Outgoing Directors Awards were presented to Tony Lee and Ed Creighton. Tony Lee who had been named Director Emeriti the previous day was on hand as he received a large ovation for his time, expertise and dedication in his years of service. Mike Goebig was honored as the outgoing president for his tireless leadership as he handed the gavel over to incoming President Cindy Mugnier as both earned a hearty round of applause.


Numerous club and club newsletter awards were also given out to the Florida Morgan Horse Association, Mississippi Valley Morgan Club, North Central Morgan Horse Association, North Dakota Morgan Horse Association, Georgia Morgan Horse Club, Rainbow Morgan Horse Association, Morgan Single-Footing Association, Ontario Morgan Horse Club and Morgan Horse Association of Australia. An AMHA Master's Certificate for devotion to the Morgan breed for individuals over the age of 60 was presented to a pair of tireless promoters from the state of Minnesota, Lee and Barb Lyons.


Les Conklin was proud to accept a club award
for the Florida Morgan Horse Association
AMHA President Cindy Mugnier.


Royal Heart, Rebecca Jones, LGM Challenger, Cindra’s Peek A Boo, Richwood Magic Man, Wesmore Jane Aire, Bethesda Horus, KAM Flash Fire, Lignite’s Emrys, Girl Friend, Kennebec Sasha, Triple S Dark Eagle and JMF Saratoga were all honored with AMHA Open Competition Awards. AMHA honored Cheri Barber and Conky Price with 25-year judges awards. AMHA also recognized Caralee Conklin as the AMHA Youth Achievement Award winner.


Caralee Conklin earned the AMHA Youth Achievement

Award for her many contributions. It was a family

celebration for Les, Caralee, Spencer and Debra Conklin.


The five 2007 AMHA Gold Medal Winners were recognized Western Seat – Jenna Britt, Saddle Seat – Alyssa Wick, Hunter Seat on the Flat – Alyssa Rumsey, Dressage Seat – Kara Norton, Reining Seat – Lauren Bruss and Hunter Seat Over Fences – Kate Brightwell. Region 3 once again earned the honor as the Grand National High Point Region and earned the trophy sponsored by the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. In closing, a video representing some of the winning moments from the 2007 Grand National and World Championship Morgan Horse Show was shown.




On Saturday evening, the AMHA/World Futurity Stallion Service Auction took center stage to close out the week on a high note. The bidding for the amazing lineup of 70 stallions kicked off online on Dec. 1, 2007, and concluded on Feb. 15, 2008. At that time the top 10 bids which due to ties resulted in 14 stallions went forward to the final round of live bidding on Feb. 16 in the Nicollet Ballroom at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis.


The room was filled with anticipation as the crowd enjoyed the pre-auction party as well as entertainment provided by “Jack Knife & The Sharps”. When the clock struck 7:30 p.m., it was lights, cameras and action! It was time for the eagerly anticipated AMHA/World Futurity Stallion Service Auction chaired by Tony Lee and Barb Rudicel. Auctioneer Bill Carrington presided over the fast-paced action with Mike Goebig reading pedigrees. Carrington explained the rules of the auction and began the live auction.


The AMHA/World Futurity Stallion Service Auction ended

the week on a high note by raising nearly $160,000.

The winning team of auctioneer Bill Carrington, Stallion

Service Auction co-chair and World Futurity chair Barb

Rudicel, pedigree-reader Mike Goebig, AMHA Director

Of Membership/Information Technology Erica Richard

and Stallion Service Auction co-chair Tony Lee

posed after the festivities.


The 14 stallions were auctioned off with live bids from those in attendance as well as the many cell phones that were pressed to the ears of those working the auction for AMHA and those bidding for others not in attendance. When the evening was finished, a record of nearly $160,000 was raised on the 14 services sold that night and those that had been sold online. This impressive total (less expenses) will go toward the AMHA Marketing Committee’s promotion of the Morgan horse (40 percent), the World Morgan Futurity (40 percent), and the 10 AMHA Regional shows (20 percent).


The level of excitement created by the record-setting stallion service to the legendary Noble Flaire certainly provided a grand finale to a great week in Minneapolis. It was Dawn Fire who placed the record-setting bid of $33,000 to acquire the breeding to Noble Flaire. “We are grateful to Mr. Kohler and Tom Caisse for making the Noble Flaire stallion service available through the AMHA/World Morgan Futurity Auction. As many suspect, we are going to use the breeding with Erotic Dancer. She has had two foals by HVK Bell Flaire via embryo transfer, and they are both amazing. I am ecstatic to see how she will cross with Noble Flaire,” Dawn Fire enthused.


Dawn Fire and Phil Fountain were delighted with

their winning bid on the top-selling service to the

legendary Noble Flaire. Their record-setting bid of

$33,000 created an exciting grand finale to the week.


The services of the top 14 bid stallions, winning bidders and bids were; Noble Flaire (Dawn Fire) $33,000, HVK Bell Flaire (Steve Kabel) $7,000, Stonecroft Trilogy (Ann Hailey) $6,000, Mizrahi (David Stevenson) $5,500, Astronomicallee (Beth Fancsali) $4,700, And The Beat Goes On (Ann Hailey) $4,025, CCR’s Outrajus Corajus (William Dodds) $3,700, Tug Hill Whamunition (Garry Glover) $3,600, Cartier (William Dodds) $3,525, Minion Millennium (William Haines) $3,500, Beethoven (Paulette Bodnar) $3,475, Stand And Deliver (Roger White) $3,025, Lamborghini In Black (Gael Jaeger) $2,800 and Man In Motion (Jeff Jackson) $2,625. In addition to the stallion services, bidding for a chance to be featured on the cover of the December 2008 Morgan Horse Magazine was spirited as always with Ann Hailey once again making the top bid of $3,700 for the great promotional opportunity.


As the curtain closed on the 2008 AMHA Annual Convention, we must look ahead and continue the many positive strides we have made to unify all facets of our diverse membership and work together on behalf of the Morgan horse. It is our duty to protect and promote the Morgan to ensure its future. It was a great week in Minneapolis, “You Betcha!”



North Central Morgan Assoc. Pres. Robin Becklin (left)

and the entire convention committee did a fabulous job

of hosting the 2008 AMHA Annual Convention.

It was a great week….”You Betcha!”

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