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AMHA Dr. Albert Lucine Promoter Award: Denny Emerson

Denny Emerson casts a long shadow over the equestrian sport. In 2000 The Chronicle of the Horse, the “bible of the international sport horse community”, named him one of the 50 most influential horseman of the 20th century. The same magazine refers to him as “a living legend” and calls him “the conscience of the sport.” He is the only rider ever to have won both an eventing gold medal (at the 1974 Three-Day Event World Championships) and a Tevis Cup buckle in endurance riding. 

Denny however, is not just one of theirs, he is one of ours. As a horse crazy young man, he started attending “The National” in Northampton, [Mass.] in 1953. Before long he owned his own Morgan gelding, Lippitt Sandy, which led to working, showing, and competing horses for Robert Lippitt Knight (who we all know as the founding father of the Lippitt family of Morgan horses). 

In 1959 Mr. Knight asked Denny, who was only 18 at the time, to ride Lippitt Rebecca in the Green Mountain 100 Mile Ride. 

His knowledge of the breed is the result of hands-on experience since his youth. Of course, the career that has made Denny such a staple of the horse world involved many breeds in the realm of International three-day eventing. 

Now in his 70s, he finds himself back where he started, firmly in the world of working with Morgans. Currently, he personally owns three Morgans, schooling them daily and competing with them from small local shows to endurance riding in the hills of Vermont. 

Denny is an author of several books on horsemanship, the most recent being Know Better to Do Better—Mistakes I Made With Horses So You Don’t Have To and he has a huge following on social media, frequently commenting on many topics that pertain to the Morgan breed. 

A tireless lifelong promoter of the Morgan horse as a great all-around mount, Denny can speak with authority because he’s been present at many important moments in our history. The Morgan breed is fortunate to call one of our nation’s great horsemen our own and we are honored to present Denny Emerson with the Dr. Lucine Promoter Award.  

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