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2007 Jubilee Hall Of Fame

With a long history of achievements at the Jubilee, the fourth Jubilee Hall Of Fame inductions were held on Saturday, Aug. 1, 2007, at the Jubilee Regional in Springfield, Ill. The late Orwin and Noreen Osmon were this year’s outstanding choices to be inducted following Doris Ryan, Doris Norton and Jane Steffenhagen. The grand show ring performer Medomak King Cobra became the fourth equine inducted.


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




Jubilee Show Manager Fred Nava presented

the Hall Of Fame plaque for Medomak King Cobra

 to Whitney, Paulette, Stan and Mark Bodnar

along with Renee Page (third from right) and

Mark Staehnke (second from right).


Tonight we are inviting you to join us as we induct the many time World Champion Medomak King Cobra into the Jubilee Hall of Fame. It is entirely fitting that “Bucky,” as he was popularly known, receive this honor as he follows in the hoof prints of his equally great grandsire, Mr. Breezy Cobra who was inducted into the Hall of Fame three years ago. 


Bucky took command of all he surveyed from the moment he was born on an April morning in 1979. Medomak King Cobra was the culmination of very select breeding of World Champions The Buckeye and Big Oak Mylady Cobra. His breeder was Muriel Burnheimer of Medomak Farm in Maine. Successful breeder Renee Page liked the idea of this cross from the start and told Muriel that if the resulting foal was a colt she wanted to buy him, and she did.


Soon after the young stallion arrived at Renee’s Silver Maple Stables in Missouri she started him in harness, showing him lightly and successfully in the park harness division. Recognizing the potential of her young dream horse she knew he needed further saddle training and sent him to Stan Bodnar and Merriehill Farm in Marengo, Ill. For the next couple of years he was shown in Open English Pleasure by Stan Bodnar, Amateur English Pleasure with Mark Staehnke (Paulette’s brother) and in harness by Renee Page. All three showed him to numerous victory passes, several in this very ring.   


In 1988 Stan and Paulette allowed their son, Mark to ride him at home occasionally, and it became clear the horse and young boy seemed made for each other. One day “Uncle Mark” Staehnke visited the farm and watched the young team work and bought him on the spot for “Little Mark” to show as a junior exhibitor horse.  The junior exhibitor pleasure division changed that day. 


No one at that point could have possibly anticipated the impact “Bucky” and the Bodnar brothers would have upon the division. Mark showed Bucky throughout the 1988 season, showing at Gold Cup and North Star before making their Jubilee debut. At the Jubilee, Mark and Bucky had a bad go in their junior exhibitor qualifier so they rode in the open English pleasure class for additional practice before Oklahoma. They won the class, making Mark the youngest rider to win an open class at Jubilee at that point. Bucky and Mark then went on to win each of their first world titles, winning in the Junior Exhibitor 13 and Under English Pleasure World Championship. 


Bucky and Mark showed for several more years winning the world 14-17 English pleasure in 1990 and the reserve world 14-17 pleasure driving in 1991 before being turned over to younger brother Whitney to show.  Whitney won the Junior Exhibitor English Pleasure Championship with Bucky in this ring at the 1992 and 1994 Jubilee Regional Show as well as taking world and national titles at the Grand National in 1992, 1993 and 1994.  Bucky was retired here at the Jubilee in 1995. 


The love and respect between Bucky and Mark, then later between Bucky and Whitney, was plain to see as each brother had his own special bond with the horse that will never be matched.



Medomak King Cobra changed the junior

exhibitor division as he is fondly remembered

with both Mark (left) and Whitney (right) Bodnar.


Incredulous as it seems, not only did Bucky carry the Bodnar brothers to undreamed heights in the show ring, he also left behind a legacy to progeny who would do even more. Breeders agree that the mark of a great sire is one who can reproduce himself . . . only better. Bucky did just that.  Before being gelded Bucky sired nine foals, two of which being out the mare Curtain Call. The first foal was another who would change Morgan history and the Bodnar family’s life . . . Merriehill Hooligan. Following in his father’s footsteps, Hooligan and Mark Bodnar won several world titles together in the junior exhibitor and amateur division and open world titles with Stan Bodnar and later David Rand and the Ramsey family. In turn Hooligan produced one foal before being gelded himself, Merriehill Its My Day, who is the dam of Merriehill Dusk To Dawn who was reserve in the Sweepstakes here at the Jubilee in 2005 and just one month ago took two victory passes at the New England Regional in Northampton. The next foal was Merriehill Ruthless Ruth, a Jubilee Champion in her own right who in turn produced Baby Ruth MHF and Merriehill Times Square both of whom have been world and Jubilee champions.


The legacy Medomak King Cobra has left behind is huge, both through his progeny in the show ring and through the brothers Mark and Whitney Bodnar who both point to the this magnificent horse as the one who taught them the most. So much of  Bucky’s life centered around the Jubilee that it was no surprise that just one year ago today, he passed away at Merriehill Farm, as his grandchildren, Baby Ruth and Times Square  were continuing his legacy at the Jubilee Regional Horse Show, both taking victory passes. 


Medomak King Cobra changed the way we look at the junior exhibitor pleasure division forever, and many of his greatest shows were in this very ring and the Jubilee could be considered his home show, it is only fitting he be included in the Jubilee Hall of Fame. Ladies and gentlemen one of the greats to ever grace this ring . . . Medomak King Cobra.


Here accepting the induction of Medomak King Cobra into the Jubilee Hall of Fame are Stan, Paulette, Mark and Whitney Bodnar, Mark Staehnke and Renee Page. 






Norine and Orwin Osman were inducted

into the Jubilee Hall Of Fame.


Norine and Orwin Osman were owners of the Emerald Acres Morgan Horse Farm. Norine was born and raised on her family farm where her uncle, Charles O’Neil, bred some of the finest Morgan horses of that time, including well known Archie O, Archie’s Duplicate and Sue’s Temptation. Stories are still told by the very old timers about how Norine and her threes sisters rode and herded their Morgan horses along the county roads to get them to the Will County Fair. It was said that they were finally banded from the fair because no other horse had a chance to win against the O’Neil Morgans.


Norine continued to breed, raise and purchase the best Morgan horse during her lifetime. With her husband, Orwin Osman, who she married in 1950, they soon established Emerald Acres Morgan Horse Farm in Manteno, Ill., just a few miles from the O’Neil homestead. While Orwin did the training and breeding of the horses, Norine was lining up the show schedule for the year, organizing local, state and regional Morgan Horse Club meeting, promotions and field days, which they often hosted at their farm.          


Norine and Orwin were always the first to support a new horse show or get a new Morgan Horse Club started or keep one going. Both have been charter members and on the Board Directors of the Mississippi Valley Morgan Horse Club and the Mid-States Morgan Horse Club as well as joining the Morgan Horse Organizations of adjacent states. Norine and Orwin were involved showing at the Jubilee Regional Horse Show and served on the Board of Directors during the early years and many years thereafter.  Both Norine and Orwin have been recipient of the American Morgan Horse Association Masters Certificate for their contributions to the Morgan horse industry, especially for their participation in the starting of Jubilee Show.


Emerald’s Skychief, Emerald’s First Date and Emerald’s King John were a few of the Osman’s favorites. However, Orwin and Norine’s most remembered horse was their beloved Big John. This big, bold moving park horse was shown under saddle and harness at every show, and he was the stallion to challenge for the win for over 10 years. He was shown from New York to Colorado and won quite a reputation as a fantastic horse. Big John was retired at the Jubilee Horse Show in 1974. Many will remember that party held in old Barn 17. Norine’s love was for the western pleasure horse. Her favorite was Emerald’s Cochise, a black stallion she showed in the early 60s. Yet it was Emerald’s Pecora, ridden by Debbie Clemens, which would win them the National Championship at Oklahoma in 1977. This outstanding show mare prescribed the brilliance and style for the years to come in the Morgan western division.


Although Norine and Orwin will be remembered for their contributions to the Morgan horse industry, it is their generosity and kindnesses that they shared with all the people they met. Mark Staehnke recalls that it was Norine who introduced him to Helen Greenwalt, the woman who became the most influential force in his future as a breeder and exhibitor. Mark’s first stallion was Emerald’s Irish Lad, a gift from his family on his 12th birthday.


The Morrell family from New England was also influenced by the Osmans when they purchased Emerald’s Cochise who soon became a treasured member of the family.


Orwin and Norine were fierce competitors in the show in the show ring, friendly and happy on the rail and always ready to lend a helping hand to anyone at a show with a horse. 


The Jubilee is extremely proud to add Orwin and Norine Osman into the Hall of Fame for 2007.  

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