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AMHA Annual Convention Scheduled for Portland

The spring, summer, and fall months are wonderful for our Morgan family. We spend great moments with our friends and horses at competitions, out on the trail, and club events sharing our joys and frustrations. But what will you do during those long winter months when personal contact becomes rare?

Well, AMHA is planning the event of the winter season for all Morgan lovers at the DoubleTree Hotel Portland-Lloyd Center, February 27 through March 1. The DoubleTree is offering AMHA convention attendees a rate of $94 single/double, so you can have the comfort of your room close by for a quick change.

Maybe you’ve heard that Portland, Oregon, has been proclaimed as North America’s “Best Big City,” according to Money magazine. One visit will explain why. Come get a first-hand look at its natural beauty, bustling local scene, and sumptuous dining—all effortlessly accessed thanks to Portland’s famous light-rail system. Though it’s not easy being green, it’s exactly why so many visitors flock here year round. Set foot (or maybe just a toe) in the world’s smallest dedicated park, 24-inch Mill Ends Park. Find your favorite blossoms out of more than 560 to choose from at the International Rose Test Garden. Drown out the city noise in the new Classical Chinese Garden, an entire city block of tranquility. Visit the Oregon Zoo, where more Asian elephants have been born than in any other North American city. Gaze up at Portlandia, a 36-foot hammered-copper statue, second in size only to the Statue of Liberty. Get caught in an earthquake registering 5.5 on the Richter scale at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. Plan a pub crawl to some of the 40 microbreweries and brewpubs located in the Portland area.

This year’s convention theme is “Gaitway to the Future” and that is what AMHA intends to deliver. Back by popular demand is a new spin on the successful “Train the Trainer” program. Imagine learning great tips from your favorite trainers from all the various facets of Morgandom with an opportunity for round table discussions to get knee deep in it! On Thursday attendees will travel to two farms for a special educational event where you will be able to see first-hand how trainers do what they do with fabulous Morgans from the area.

Great marketing seminars are planned making your leap into the future more attainable. The sessions include Recognize the Real Market; Create Your Market, Catching the “Morgan Fever,” and Making the Deal. Of course, we will be bringing Morgan historians, veterinary experts, and other exciting seminars to your doorstep.

Networking and catching up with old friends is always a must and this convention will give you ample opportunities. Kicking off the festivities is a welcome reception Wednesday evening. After Thursday’s off-site educational clinic, plan to enjoy the annual auction of the AMHI and with items from the outrageous to the interesting.

The AMHA Stallion Service Auction has a new day and a new twist. In October, bidding will commence on for all stallions being offered. Only the top stallions will be offered for live bidding during the Stallion Service Auction on Friday night. This new format will allow for more horses to be offered to the Morgan community via this auction, which benefits the regional show program. If you have a horse you would like to donate, please contact Tony Lee or Ling Fu Wylie, auction co-chairs. The evening as we once knew it will change and partying and fun is the name of the game. If you have never experienced this auction, please do—it is quite an experience. In addition to the stallions, AMHA will have other sought-after items to bid on.

Saturday brings an awards luncheon and awards banquet honoring those who have contributed so much to the Morgan horse from competing on the open circuit, showing in Morgan shows, and volunteering their time and lives for our beautiful horse.

Commercial exhibitors and live horses in the hotel, yes, you read right, will give round out this fabulous event.

Don’t forget that the AMHA Convention is the place for the Annual Meeting of Members being held Friday, February 28. This is your chance to make your voice heard. A question and answer period is always held during this very important meeting for you, our members. Remember, you must have been a member on December 31, 2002 to be eligible to vote.

Each convention has its own uniqueness; each has plusses and minuses though all are a worthwhile excursion from home. This convention has something for everyone, no matter how or why you enjoy your Morgan horse. Hope to see you in Portland!

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