Skip to content

AMHA Mabel Owen Media Award: Laura Behning




Today the Morgan horse world is filled with color. One of the reasons for that is the skillful use of media on the subject of colorful Morgans by author and researcher Laura Behning. It is for her body of work that AMHA is pleased to honor her with the 2020 Mabel Owen Media Award.

Sensing a revival in interest in the more exotic coat colors in the Morgan breed and to answer the many questions she was fielding on the subject, Laura created the website morgancolors.com. It is an encyclopedia of genetic information, illustrations of colorful Morgans and their ancestors, and specific descriptions of coat colors and their variations. When it was founded in 1995, morgancolors.com was among the earliest websites on the internet devoted to our breed.

Another website, silverdapplemorgansproject.com was a call to attention. Laura developed a suspicion that the 1955 mare Orcland Youlenda may have carried this rare silver gene. The 2002 confirmation of the gene’s existence in Morgans using the Red Factor test proved that the color had not died out. This website represents Laura’s mission to assure the unique color not only persists but is documented in our breed.

Today we can illustrate representatives of the colors known which exist in the breed with photos shot and catalogued by Laura. One result of this compilation of photographs is that Morgans are now pictured in three authoritative books: Equine Color Genetics, The Equine Tapestry, and Horse Color Explored. 

Laura’s articles for The Morgan Horse magazine on colorful Morgan horses began in 1998. She remains a devoted author for the official breed journal to this day with two to three articles a year celebrating these special horses. Her articles on Morgan colors are archived at morganhorse.com.  Laura has been featured in many other magazines and she edited the Rainbow Morgan Horse Association Newsletter through 2016.

Finally, you probably have visited Morgan breeder websites that are created and maintained by Laura; she provides this service for Warner Angus Ranch, Aljak Acres, Atwood Farm, Ortawn Morgans and Mountain Home Morgans, to name only a few.

The Morgan breed benefits when knowledge of our breed is shared in today’s media driven culture. Laura, we honor you today with the Mabel Owen Media Award for the creative service you have provided in painting a picture of the colors of our breed for all to see.

More Stories

  • **Updated Event Cancellations

    Saddle Horse Report will provide daily updates to the list of canceled and postponed horse events. Read More
  • American Saddlebred Museum Gift Shop Sidewalk Sale

    The American Saddlebred Museum and Gift Shop is pleased to announce a special Sidewalk Sale on October 1 & 2.  Deals galore will be happening on the sidewalk of the Museum.  Stop by to shop for equestrian gifts, apparel and much more.  Hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Read More
  • Latest Issue 9 21 20

    Read More
  • From the Desk of Marty Schaffel: Change Is Not Easy

    Robert Samuelson is a well-respected columnist on topics of economics and human behavior. He has been writing since the early ’70s.  He wrote his farewell column this week, and I excerpted the above quotation from him... Read More
  • CH Fiasco Succumbs to Heart Failure

    CH Fiasco, the first ever Western Country Pleasure World’s Champion of Champions died of heart failure September 13th at Michael Craghead Stables in Fresno, California. The big, beautiful bay gelding set the standard for the Western country pleasure division with Doug Glick. Read More
  • UPHA Update

    COVID-19 has caused many changes in our world and has had a significant impact on our sport. We have all learned to wear our face coverings, practice social distancing and elbow bump instead of shaking hands or giving hugs. It has been a steep learning curve, but our equine industry has risen to the challenge and prevailed when many other sports have faltered. Read More
  • UPHA/American Royal National Championship Horse Show Update

    With concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the health and safety of our guests, community members, volunteers, and our employees is our top priority. We are working to make sure our operations will run smoothly and safely for all our attendees at the 2020 UPHA/American Royal National Championship Horse Show in November.  Read More
  • Osteen Captures the All American Action

    Rick Osteen, official photographer at the All American Horse Classic, has proofs available online at www.rickosteen.com and despite not being able to set up his viewing table he and wife Joni are fulfilling orders as quickly as possible. Read More
  • Rock Creek Cancelled

    The Board of Directors of the Rock Creek Riding Club regret to announce that they have made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s show.  We had high hopes that rescheduling the traditional June show for October would allow us to do justice to the Rock Creek tradition even in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Read More
  • American Saddlebred Museum Accepting Consignments

    The American Saddlebred Museum is pleased to accept consignments for the next Equine Art, Antique, and Rare Book Auction taking place in July 2021. To prepare for this much loved event, the Museum is accepting consignments until February 1, 2021. Read More