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Calvin Hanson retires from judging



After 30 years as an international Morgan horse judge, Calvin D. Hanson of Lunenburg, Ontario has announced his retirement at the 2003 Grand National & World Championship Morgan Horse Show in Oklahoma City where he was judging the show for the fourth time. Hanson has been a man of many unique talents. For several decades his volunteer service, expertise and constant direction have set an exceptional standard far beyond the norm for the good of the equestrian sport. The industry has benefited significantly by his long-standing contributions that have made a better environment for the horse in the USA, Canada and elsewhere in the world. Hanson has judged shows from coast to coast in the USA, Canada and South Africa. For a record number of years he held 24 judges cards in various breeds and disciplines in USA Equestrian and Equine Canada, as well as additional cards in other associations. He was the only judge holding Registered status in all three Equitation seats. He attained Senior National Canadian judge status in Arabian, Western and Western Seat Equitation. Hanson earned the highest Arabian judges level with the International Arabian Horse Association. He was known for his computerized equitation workout designs and judges scorecards. At the request of many judges he put his workouts into an Equitation manual and it is used internationally. Hanson served on the AMHA Morgan Horse Judging Standards Committee. He was also a mentor for many aspiring learner judges. For almost 40 years Calvin Hanson was the major force behind his family's well-established Big Oak Morgan Farm. His multi-titled Champion stallion was Waseeka's Serenade (Waseeka's Nocturne x Mannequin by Mansfield). Offspring either won and/or produced Champions at the World, Grand National, Regional, State and Provincial levels. Particular favorites were Big Oak Mylady Cobra, Big Oak Lovely Aire, Big Oak Black Tie, and Big Oak Lovely Cobra. Much attention came to the Morgan breed when Hanson showed in open shows against other breeds in the Three-Gaited Saddle and Pleasure Hack classes. Hanson also participated successfully in the competitive New England all-Morgan shows. On the Canadian circuit he won everything there was to win. A pioneer in the industry Hanson delved into things that nobody else would, starting at the grass roots stage of any subject and making it flourish. He helped revive the Canadian Morgan Horse Association. He was Recorder for the initial 1969 Ontario Morgan Horse Club High Point Awards. He founded the Canadian Morgan Horse Association (CMHA) Zonal High Score Awards System. He was CMHA Horse Show Committee Chairman for six years. He created the CMHA Morgan Equitation Medal class rules. In Equine Canada, Hanson served on the Board of Directors for six years. He chaired the Morgan Rules Committee for eleven years. He served three years on the National Rules Committee governing all disciplines and breeds and he originated the judges rules for the Morgan, Arabian, Saddlebred, Saddle Seat Equitation and Pleasure Hack divisions. For two years he served on the Pleasure Hack Rules Committee. He was responsible for the creation of the National Saddle Seat Equitation Rules Committee and was Chairman for the initial three years. When Canada was formally invited to participate in the 1996 Saddle Seat Equitation World Cup, he spearheaded the process to select Canada's first team. He originated many judges clinics, served as clinician for many divisions, and authored educational brochures for seminar attendees. He was Ringmaster and Whipper-in at several Canadian recognized shows. Officials and members regularly consulted him on the interpretation of the rules. As a creative historian Hanson computerized the foundation of the Morgan breed, a massive seven-year project between 1993-1999. During that process he identified, correlated and fixed the pedigree of Justin Morgan #1 and any ancestry generating from him which revealed thousands of historical facts and horses never before factored into the breed's genealogy, and he transposed unregistered horses into fully registered Morgans. Hanson uncovered more than 6,000 discoveries and preserved a multitude of valuable family lines that would have been lost. As a result, every Morgan now has an enlarged pedigree with an abundance of new lines connecting to Justin Morgan #1. On November 29, 1999, Hanson donated a copy of his CD pedigree database to the American Morgan Horse Association and they reproduced the CD for public distribution in April 2001. Continuing with his research, Hanson computerized a multi-breed database linking together several horse breeds. He also supplied historical data to the Standardbred and Saddlebred Museums to update their pedigree histories. As an author Hanson has written four books. The first was The Morgan Horse Foundation-A Computerized Analysis, and he donated all copies of the book to the National Museum of the Morgan Horse so the breed could benefit financially. The other books were: A Gallery of 29 Years of World Champion Morgan Horses; Equitation Workouts-Practice Makes Perfect For Equestrian Judges, Coaches, Trainers and Riders-First Edition; and Historical Hall Of Fame Honoring The Great Mares In The Morgan Breed And Their Breeders Prior To 1900. Hanson has been a show reporter and author of equine articles appearing in various publications around the world on breeding, showing, judging, judges seminars, bloodlines, breed standards, genealogy, history and equitation. He was guest editor of The Morgan Horse magazine for one year authoring the series Morgan Foundations. In the years 1998-2000 Hanson was the Secretary of the International Saddle Seat Equitation Association, an organization that governs the Saddle Seat Equitation World Cup and he produced the first newsletter for that association. In 1968 Hanson became a member of The Morgan Horse Club (now AMHA) and in 1967 he joined the Canadian Horse Shows Association (now Equine Canada). Currently he also belongs to the American Saddlebred and United Professional Horsemens Associations. Hanson originated several local all-Morgan, all-Arabian and open horse shows; and worked diligently to get Morgan classes at many recognized shows. He was a farrier for twenty-five years. He was a clinician for many clubs and youth groups. He has been a successful equine photographer. He made videotapes for his own judges clinics and the AMHA judges seminar. Hanson also trained and exhibited many Arabians to countless Championships. In 1983 he established his own Arabian prefix "Sahbiel" and bred three Champions including the stallion Sahbiel Superstar, who under his training won over 100 Championships and firsts. He served for two years on the Arabian Rules Committee of USA Equestrian and worked hard to improve the terminology and harmony of the rules in all divisions. In the Seaway Valley Arabian Association he was President and for a two-year period he was the IAHA Region 18 club delegate. In that club he was founder, Chairman and Recorder of the High Point Award System. In the Ottawa Valley Arabian Association he was a member of the High Point Award System Committee and Recorder of the points.

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