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Michigan Morgan Horse Breeders Futurity Gala Held

On a cold February evening, Morgan enthusiasts again turned out for the Michigan Morgan Horse Breeders’ Futurity annual gala fundraiser. The gala is the primary fundraising event that provides the bulk of the prize money for the Michigan Futurity Show. The Michigan Futurity is one of the most lucrative futurities in the country. Last year exhibitors at the show were offered almost $70,000 in prize mone.! The RaDon Weanling Spectacular alone gave out $30,000. The Amateur Yearling Sweepstakes, now sponsored by Uckele Health & Nutrition, gave $5,400 in prize money. An additional $32,000 was offered in futurity and other championship classes. This year’s show will be hosted with the Arabian Horse Association of Michigan at the Ingham County Fairgrounds in Mason, Mich., Aug. 19-22, 2010.

The event at the gala that generates the greatest amount of income is the annual stallion service auction. This year, as a result of Debbie LaMay’s efforts, there were 41 stallions available to bid on. Interested bidders had an opportunity to view the stallions and bid online at prior to the night of the gala. All stallions were open to bid on at the gala in the silent auction. The top 12 stallions then went into a live auction with lively bidding at the gala itself and with interested parties on the telephone. The highest selling service went to Astronomicallee with a bid of $3,650. The other stallions in the top 12 were Cartier, Roberto Cavalli, JDS Paladin Pazazz, Man In Motion, Town Assets, Sharp Dressed Gentleman, MEM Bacardi, De La Renta, PLS High Pine Da Vinci, Harlan’s Azurean and LVM The Black Ace. The live auction event also included some very nice items such as a weanling show halter and lead rope generously donated by LaSalle Harness, an adorable tricycle decked out in pony regalia with a pink saddle from Pony Pals Ranch, a gift certificate from Becker Brothers clothiers and a gift certificate from DeRegnaucourt clothiers. Among the most hotly bid on items at the live auction were a variety of homemade cookies which were baked by and brought to the gala by Verla Clapp, Craig Clapp’s mother.

In addition to the stallion service auction, there were a large number of items available to bid on in a silent auction. Local merchants and individuals donated everything from gift certificates to local feed stores, to jewelry, to gourmet food and restaurants. There was something at this auction for everyone, horse lovers or not.

Another evening event that generated excitement and bad taste was an ugly tie contest. People were encouraged to attend wearing the ugliest tie they could come up with. The competition was not only for bragging rights, but a $50 gift card to Macy’s was at stake. After much politicking, all in attendance were allowed to cast their votes, and the coveted award was taken by Bob Herrick. Perhaps having the sales tag from Salvation Army still attached might have been what turned the tide in his favor.

The MMHBF board of directors would like to thank all of their donators, volunteers, bidders and attendees for making this year’s event a huge success. For information about their show in August at the Ingham County Fairgrounds in Mason, Mich., contact Sara Ressler at

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