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AMHA Hall of Fame: Judy Nason

The AMHA Hall of Fame Award annually recognizes people who have given long-term support to the breed through the activities of the AMHA.

Judy Nason will tell you she learned horsemanship from the gelding her parents bought her in her teens, Orcland Bellendon. “He taught me to ride and teach,” Judy says.

Bellendon was a formidable park saddle horse in his day. While still a youth rider, Judy rode him against the big name trainers of the time in deep classes at Northampton. 

She then used the gelding to pass on her knowledge to students she mentored, many of whom became trainers or pursued lifelong involvement with the Morgan breed—among them Jeff White, Rick Lane, David Sproul, and Karen Homer Brown. The first winner of the AMHA Gold Medal in Saddle Seat Equitation was Judy’s student Darlene Kay (now Darlene White). She won the award riding Bellendon.

Judy’s professional career would see her working around New England at Orcland Farm, the Kay family’s Birchwood Farm, and the White family’s Green Acres, eventually establishing herself as Bellewether, named in honor of Orcland Bellendon. In all these venues, she demonstrated she could train horses and instruct riders to succeed at the highest levels of Morgan competition, regardless of the seat. Judy’s enviable show string in that period included the likes of Highview Treasure, UNH Campus Kid, Evenmist Magicmoment, Med E Oka Blue Chip, and Bery Banke Toot Toot.

In the late 1980s and forward, Judy became known as a specialist, due to her special knack for western pleasure which Judy calls “dressage one-handed.” Melanie Small’s beautiful, black homebred Pond View Portrait set a style winning Open, Amateur, and Ladies Western Pleasure World Championships. 

The mounts who followed would help make the word “fancy” an adjective describing Morgan Western Pleasure. They would include the world titled ER Treble My Command, Wisperwin Highflight, Marin Royal Command, Corrick, Burkland Nicholas, FCF Montego Bay, and, of course, the amazing Treble’s Tanqueray GCH; Open and Amateur World Champion in the division. Jenna Britt and DFM Poetic Justice, were nearly unbeatable as a junior exhibitor and equitation western team.

Today she continues to teach and train at Northern Belle Stables, a partnership with the Lampropoulos family, in Newton, New Hampshire.

Judy, you have mentored horsemen, given Morgans long and successful careers, and, let’s not forget, inspired many with your animal portraiture and works of art. Welcome to the AMHA Hall Of Fame.

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