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Hoosier Hospitality Highlights Indiana Morgan Classic

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The three H's are most often referred to when talking about hazy, hot and humid. This year's Indiana Morgan Classic featured a much more welcome three H's as the show was highlighted by Hoosier hospitality. This show has been a mainstay on the midwest Morgan show circuit for 34 years. The show committee, officials and exhibitors really showed the spirit of what Morgan horse shows should be all about. The show committee spearheaded by Manager Dave Hicks have worked hard to make the necessary changes to improve the show. They have changed the show dates, class schedule and made the show more exhibitor friendly. The addition of air-conditioning to the Pepsi Coliseum has also been an added bonus.

Although the numbers are still not where management had hoped, there seems to be a renewed enthusiasm for the show by exhibitors and show committee members. Nearly 150 horses gathered at the Indiana State Fairgrounds on June 27 - 29 for the Indiana Morgan Classic. Prior to the start of the show, the show committee learned that show photographer Casey McBride and his wife Elizabeth had been in an accident en route to the show. Thankfully the McBrides are fine, but were unable to get to Indiana. Despite calls to photographers around the country, no professional photographer was able to come to the show. It was time for magazine representatives to use their Morgan ingenuity, and step up to the plate. While we don't claim to be professional photographers, we gave it our best shot and we are able to give exhibitors show ring photos. The appreciation of the exhibitors and show committee certainly made our attempts worthwhile. This was just one of the ways in which this show truly triumphed in a great display of sportsmanship.

Everyone enjoyed Hoosier hospitality throughout the show starting every morning with coffee and doughnuts and ending each evening with a party. Everyone got together following the first evening of the show with the Subway station on Thursday night. What began three years ago as a party in honor of a Jimmy Buffett concert in Indianapolis has turned into a full fledged following of Parrot Heads. Friday night's Margaritaville party featured a Mexican theme along with a limbo contest and a piñata for all of the youngsters to enjoy. The show was capped off by a fruit and sherbet social following Saturday night's championship session. There were plenty of occasions for socializing and celebrating at the Indiana Morgan Classic.

The entire show ran extremely smoothly thanks to show manager Dave Hicks, show secretary Madeline Lyon, and everyone else who helped keep the ball rolling. Kathleen Peeples and Calvin Hanson were selected to officiate in all of the show ring competition. Announcer Dennis Rumsey, ringmaster Gene Holloway, organist June Brune, ring clerk Karen Shields, and trophy chairs Wilma White and Susan Brown rounded out the center ring team.

The Indiana Morgan Classic was once again held for the benefit of the Therapeutic Riding and Driving Centers of Indiana which are affiliated with the Indiana Horse Council and the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association Inc. During the past eight years the show has donated approximately $20,000 to this great program. Saturday evening's session featured a presentation of the precious miniature horse Rosie who represents the Agape Therapeutic Center of Cicero, Ind. and was named the Indiana Horse Council 2002 Therapy Horse Award Winner.

Many special awards were also presented in the show ring on Friday and Saturday nights. The Youth Of The Year awards were presented by former winners Whitney Singer-Porter and Sara Hicks who later were acknowledged for attaining the fifth and final level of the AMHA Horsemastership Program, the Justin Morgan. Singer-Porter also accepted a pair of awards for her horse Jax Noble Onyx, as they earned the Wright High Point Hunter Perpetual Trophy and the Triple Creek Farm High Point Horse Perpetual Trophy. Julie Christopher concluded her victorious show in the equitation and performance divisions by winning the Meadow Lane Youth Perpetual Trophy as high point junior exhibitor.

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