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The Circle J Futurity Sets The Pace For 2008

By Diana Davidson


The Circle J Futurity continues to set the standard for the Morgan industry. The Denver area served as home base once again for a well-planned weekend of festivities centered on the Circle J Futurity Stallion Service Auction. The Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend brought the area’s loyal and dedicated Morgan owners, breeders and trainers as well as a few strong supporters from out of the area together. Since the first auction in 1994, there have been many records set and trends started here. The 2008 edition was no exception.


Kathy Shorten took over the reins from

John Aranda as the Circle J club president

prior to the auction.


Cindy and David Vogels were the exceptionally gracious hosts on Friday evening, January 18. They once again opened their fabulous Greenwood Village home to start off the weekend as a few inches of snow blanketed the area. The guests were treated to marvelous culinary creations Cindy prepared in the kitchen which were accompanied by cocktails, wine and great conversation. Those in attendance from Colorado and around the country certainly enjoyed a great start to the weekend at Andover Morgan Horse Farm thanks to the Vogels.


Saturday’s activities started off with a trip to Elizabeth, CO for a well-attended open barn and presentation at The River’s Edge. With the sun glistening on the freshly fallen snow, Mary Cockriel and Bob Kellert welcomed everyone to the The River’s Edge. The immaculate barn was warmed up nicely, the buffet kept everyone well fed, and the best was yet come.


Mary Cockriel and Bob Kellert welcomed everyone to

The River’s Edge for their annual open barn and

presentation on Saturday.


Fire Mountain Designs were in charge of the wonderful

catering and display at The River’s Edge. (Left to right)

Wendy Cibis, Austin Taylor and Ric Poston.


Bill Carrington took his familiar place on the microphone to introduce 20 present and future champions presented by The River’s Edge. The presentation began with a pair of multi-titled stallions earning cheers from the enthusiastic audience at the sight of Deborah Phelan’s TRE Master Of Disguise and Monty Kugeler’s Queen’s Johnny Angel posed nose to nose. The stallion parade continued with Basic Black owned by Deborah Phelan and the introduction of French Grand Design for Monty Kugeler. A trio of two-year-olds who enjoyed 2007 successes in the Circle J Futurity and at the national level were next to entertain. ECP Anchor Man (owned by Fortress Crest Morgans), RWF Paganini (recently purchased by Monty Kugeler from Ridgewood Farm) and RRG Windsor (bred and owned by Judith Caldwell) each took center stage.


Queen’s Johnny Angel and TRE Master Of Disguise

kicked off The River’s Edge presentation with crowd-

pleasing poses for the appreciative audience.


A pair of dynamic yearlings enjoyed showing off for the big crowd as RWF Peaceful Warrior, a Centerpiece colt owned by Debra Hurst-Walters, and a filly sired by LPS The Boogie Man owned Andover Farm prepared for future stardom. Marilyn Esteb was delighted with her promising mare TRE My Gift To You as she marched around the arena. Cindy Vogels was at the lines of her dynamic new mare Highover To The Nines for a bold performance.


The string of tricolor champions from The River’s Edge continued with Deborah Phelan enjoying a great ride aboard her grand performer No Doubt and a fine drive on the lines of Whispering Masqued Man. Charles and Martine Buller were on hand to cheer on their world titled Dragonsmeade Divine Miss M. The award winning combination of Plum Haven Minuet and Kristen Wade were in top form for their ride. ECP Scandalous and Kate Jensen displayed a great new look in their harness performance.


Debra Hurst-Walters and Man In Command put on a great ride, and later Tayler Walters paired up with the sporty gelding for a sneak preview. Monty Kugeler and AMHF Missiplicity showed off their versatile talents in hunter tack. Alison Bendele had a great time speeding around the arena aboard her Grand National Champion partner MEM No Inhabitions to the cheers of the audience. Bob Kellert and Deborah Phelan’s dazzling Belle Escada capped the presentation with a brilliant performance.


Debra Hurst Walters enjoyed a fun weekend

with daughter Tayler while making the top bid

on four stallions on Saturday night.


Following the presentation many other clients and visitors enjoyed watching some other exciting prospects and catching up on the winter happenings in the Morgan industry.


The weekend concluded with the main attraction as a large and enthusiastic crowd gathered at the fabulously appointed Inverness Hotel in Englewood, CO for the Circle J Futurity Stallion Service Auction. The Circle J Futurity began as a way to promote the breeding and marketing of top Morgans within and outside of the region. 2008 Futurity co-chairs Marilyn Esteb and Julie Ouska have worked tirelessly to attract many of the Morgan breed’s top breeding stallions to the auction and continue the success of this program that has attracted the attention and admiration of this industry.


John Aranda presented AMHA Youth Of The Year
Lisa Wermuth
with a special award from Circle J
in honor of her accomplishments.


After everyone mingled and enjoyed a delicious dinner buffet, it was time for the main attraction. Bill Carrington once again served as the evening’s master of ceremonies and auctioneer. Several fine products and services donated by members of the Morgan industry were first up for bid. The excitement continued to build as 2008 breeding services to 26 of the nation’s top Morgan breeding stallions were up for bid. With a room filled with eager bidders and a large number of phone bids as well, the evening concluded with over $85,000 raised by The Circle J Futurity for the prize fund of the resulting yearlings eligible for the 2010 Circle J Futurity.


Circle J Futurity co-chairs Julie Ouska (left)

and Marilyn Esteb (right) flanked auctioneer

Bill Carrington as they celebrated another

great night with over $85,000 raised for

the 2010 Circle J Futurity.


For the third year in a row the top bid of the evening came from Charles Buller of Fortress Crest Morgans. This year it was 2007 Park Saddle World Champion Lamborghini In Black who earned the distinction with a bid of $7,000. David Rand was on hand to congratulate Buller as well as Ridgewood Farm who placed the second highest bid of the night on the service of Queen’s Romeo at $6,500. Minion Millennium rounded out the top three at $5,200 as one of was six services as well as a “Name Your Own Mare” slot purchased by Charles Buller. Debra Hurst Walters enjoyed a fun evening with a quartet of winning bids as she added a service to TRE Master Of Disguise as well as the late Futurity French Command and two of his sons, Queen’s Johnny Angel and SPR French Twist.


David Rand congratulated Charles Buller along with

trainer Bob Kellert on the auction-topping bid of

$7,000 for the breeding to Lamborghini In Black.

The winning bidders for each of the 26 stallion services as well as the “Name Your Own Mare” slots look forward to the prospects of winning the top prize at the Circle J Futurity in 2010. Thanks to the generosity of the stallion owners and other donors as well as the evening’s bidders the Circle J Futurity looks to continue to set records and trends in the Morgan industry for years to come.

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