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2006 Jubilee Hall Of Fame

With a long history of achievements at the Jubilee, the third Jubilee Hall Of Fame inductions were held on Friday, Sept. 1, 2006, at the Jubilee Regional in Springfield, Ill. Jane Steffenhagen was this year’s outstanding choice as the third person to be inducted following Doris Ryan and Doris Norton. Thunderbay, a great ambassador to the breed, became the third equine inducted.

The following speeches were read by announcer Peter Fenton during the induction ceremonies:

Torchfire (Senator Graham x Jubilee Joy)

posed with Bob Behling, Jane Behling-Steffenhagen

and Jackie Behling-Sweeney circa 1962.


Tonight we are pleased to induct Jane Steffenhagen of Columbus, Wisc., into the 2006 Jubilee Hall Of Fame and commemorate HyLee Farm’s contributions to the Jubilee Morgan Horse Show and the Morgan breed. Jane and her husband, Bob Behling, established HyLee Farm at Cambria, Wisc., in 1948. HyLee Farm is one of the oldest registered prefixes in the Morgan registry. Jane’s love and promotion of the Morgan horse began in 1947 with the purchase of the Captain Red daughter, Dolly Mae. Dolly Mae was in foal to the Squire Burger/Black Dee son Justin Dart. This cross produced HyLee’s Lady Justin, who was champion in four states for three years. Lady Justin was just the beginning of many champions bred, raised and shown by HyLee Farm.

Jane has supported the Jubilee for many years. She has always been a strong advocate of futurities and has continued to nominate all of her foals to the Jubilee Futurity every year. Jane has always said, “Blessed are the broodmares, for they are the future of our breed.”

The Illinois State Fairgrounds coliseum holds many wonderful memories for Jane. Torchfire (Senator Graham x Jubilee Joy), purchased from the Greenwalts as a weanling, won in this coliseum his weanling through five-year-old years. HyLee’s Top Brass and HyLee’s Lady Mel, who in 1959 were respectively Grand Champion Stallion and Grand Champion Mare, were both out of the foundation mare Dolly Mae. HyLee’s Justinfire won the Yearling Futurity Championship and was also Grand Champion Stallion in 1973. HyLee’s Galaxy Seven carried on the tradition as Grand Champion Stallion in 2000. Other of the numerous winners include; HyLee’s Torchsong, HyLee’s Sadie Hawkins and HyLee’s Dance On.

Jane was a correspondent for the Mid America Morgan Association to the Morgan Horse Magazine for several years. At a time when the East was known as “Morgan Country”, her newsy articles on what the Midwest Morgan breeders were doing gave an awareness and a wake-up call to the rest of the country that the Midwest had a lot of good stock to be recognized. During the late ‘50s and into the ‘60s, Jane was also the Point System Chairman for the Wisconsin Horse Association and Northern Illinois Horse Association.

Jane was extremely active in getting Morgan classes into the all-breed high point shows. She financially sponsored these classes and guaranteed the number of entries for each show for several years. Without people such as Jane, who have the love of the breed and wanted to give the Morgan breed exposure at the all breed shows, our regionals wouldn’t be what they are today.

As High Point Chairman, Jane was also responsible for helping rate and approve the shows that would be considered high point shows. It was her job to set up all aspects of each individual show and submit it to the board for approval. These aspects included, but were not limited to: the conditions of the stabling and how to improve it, explain what kind of footing was needed in the show ring, scheduling classes and regulating the number of times a judge could officiate in an area. This was long before ASHA, UPHA or USEF.

Jane is an enthusiastic supporter of HyLee Farm and an “Arm Chair General.” She evaluates all the foals, offers constructive advice on the development of the young horses, critiques how horses are presented and involves herself in the career of her horses who are being developed outside the HyLee Farm facility. Jane and her daughter Jackie Sweeney have developed a strong partnership over the years and share their love of the mares and foals.

Jane has been honored both in the United States and Germany with her Steffen-Haus Kennel of German Shepherds. She has received a Breeder of the Year and Master’s Certificate from the American Morgan Horse Association. Her greatest love is seeing one of her horses enter the ring with their head up, tail up, snorting and blowing, animated and hoping that the handler will be able to hold on to the stride and step of the horses they are leading. And if the horse gets loose . . . who cares, as long as they look good doing it!

Jane Steffenhagen is not here tonight in the coliseum. It is best said by Tom Caisse and Steve DeBolt, “That due to her ‘Falling’ health.” Jane has looked forward to coming to Jubilee this year to see her horses show and to receive this award. You might say she took a bad step and fell, and though nothing is broken, travel would be very difficult for her. Her daughter, Jackie, has been staying with her during her recovery time and is also unable to be here. Jane has asked Glenn Bouvier, Kenny Guell and Dan Lynch to accept this award on her behalf. These three trainers have been exhibiting her horses this year at the Jubilee. She wants to thank them for representing HyLee Farm and herself this evening.




The Jubilee Hall Of Fame is proud to honor Thunderbay this year as we induct him as our third equine member. He is the essence of Morgan excellence and the epitome of Morgan type with beauty, refinement, athletic ability combined with a competitive spirit second to none. Born to show, bred to win and descended from a long line of Jubilee Champions, Thunderbay has spent a lifetime spreading the Morgan word. His great grandsire, Mr. Breezy Cobra, was the first Jubilee Grand Champion Stallion. His grandsire, Beamington, was the Jubilee Grand Champion Stallion in 1970 and 1971, as well as the first Morgan Park Harness World Champion. His sire, Beamine, was the 1978 Jubilee Grand Champion Stallion. Thunderbay continued this legacy in 1989 when he also wore the tricolor of Grand Champion Stallion at Jubilee.

“Bobby,” as he is affectionately known to his legion of fans, was outstanding in a great class of weanlings in 1980. Judge Phil Morrison proclaimed him to be “the most beautiful weanling colt I have ever seen,” and pinned him Jubilee Futurity Champion Weanling. That was just the beginning of a long and successful career for this horse who defined Morgan for many people. He found his way to the winner’s circle time and again at major shows across the country. Illinois State Fair, UPHA Chapter 5, American Royal, Gold Cup Regional, Wheat State Regional, Michigan All Morgan, New England Regional and the Grand National were treated to his winning performances. At the conclusion of his 18-year career, his list of Grand National and World titles numbered 23. It is likely that he holds the record for having been shown by more individuals than any horse in Grand National history. Renee Page, Stacey Maxwell, Tami Johnson, Gina Green, Erica Harp, David Bramley, Jennifer Hazen, Tom Price, John Gerhardt, Elisabeth Goth, Patty Hewlett and Doris Ryan have all taken a turn around the ring in Oklahoma City with this gallant little horse. Certainly this is a testament to his wonderful tractability and willingness to perform.

Tricolor ribbons and championship trophies are wonderful tributes to his prowess as a show horse, but this is just one dimension of this dynamic Morgan stallion. He just knows he is the biggest and best Morgan horse alive. His winning personality gained him praise and eventually a fan club nationwide. One such admirer came to the Jubilee every year simply to see Bobby. She came back to the stall and said, “He makes me smile.”

Bobby’s career in the show ring was long-lived. Making his last competitive appearance in Oklahoma City in 1997 at the age of 17, he captured a reserve tricolor. But he was not finished wowing the crowds. At age 23, he was invited to return as one of the Legends of the Show Ring during the 25th Grand National & World Championship Morgan Horse Show. Proudly driven by his lifelong friend, Renee Page, he entered the ring once again sound and ready to perform like the World Champion he is.

An ambassador for his breed at every opportunity, he has performed with the Symphony at the American Royal on three occasions. During one of these performances, Tami Johnson rode this versatile stallion sidesaddle dressed in Period Costume. It was a first for both horse and rider. What a picture this little Morgan stallion left in the minds of all who saw him in the spotlight that night. He represented the Morgan horse in the Parade of Breeds at the St. Louis National where he received a standing ovation as he left the ring, upstaging all the others.

A grand performer indeed, Thunderbay is also the sire of exceptional offspring who also bring smiles to their owners: Multi-World Champion Amabayus, World Champion Fairhaven Federal Express, Regional Champion WRM We Be Jamin, Grand National Champion EBM Diamond Lady, TVT Bea My Thunder, World Champion Botany Bay, Regional Champion Orrwood’s Madison Bay, PBR Strelniov, Beami Baby and Regional Champion SMS Independence Bay are just a few who come to mind.

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