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Minnesota Morgan Hosts Popular Competition

by Linda Hagan Kvanbeck


Exhibitors at the Minnesota All Morgan Show held on August 3 - 5 stayed comfortable and dry in the completely enclosed Jim Simon Arena while much-needed rain relieved the parched earth on Saturday and Sunday at Cannon Falls, Minn. This popular Midwest Morgan show has a long history of attracting high-quality horses, and exhibitors always enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and friendly conversations. Todd Trushel did the judging honors for show managers Bill and Wendy Couch, while Conrad Flemming of Creative Focus Photography captured the beautiful moments, and organist George Utphal's organ music set a beautiful tone for the show.


The show had exciting in-hand classes on Saturday night with a $2,000 English Yearling Sweepstakes, a $1,000 Sport/Western Yearling Sweepstakes and a $1,000 Weanling Sweepstakes. Winners, respectively, were NSS Lucado shown by Lyle and Colleen Wick for North Star Stables, Tammy Drovdal; Aerie Meadow Cool Hand Luke shown by Eileen O' Bradovich for William Dodds; and Troika's Brown Eyed Girl, shown by Jordy Johns for Troika Farm, Jim and Linda Kvanbeck.


A Calcutta preceding the sweepstakes classes got the spectators cheering enthusiastically for the horses on which they had the winning bid. Eac entry was "purchased" in the Calcutta, with heated bidding on the favorites. The Calcutta pot from each class was divided equally between the winning bidder and the NCMA Futurity prize money for 2008. Nan Wille Cecchittini of Raptor Ridge Morgans and Gayle Belden of Da Be Grand Morgans pooled their resources for the high bid of $450 on the winning weanling, with a payback of nearly $750. The NCMA Futurity was enhanced by nearly $1,600 through the Calcutta proceeds, hawked by the ever-persuasive Jordy Johns of Stone House Stables. During the sweepstakes, a wine and cheese party was provided by the clients of the Andy Marlett Stable.


Members of the North Central Morgan Breeders met during the show to continue planning for their weanling sweepstakes kick-off class to be held in 2008. With more than $16,000 in prize money for winners, it promises to be an exciting venue to showcase produce of stallion services purchased in the stallion auction held in January. Successful stallion service bidders will nominate their mares in December, but the "name your mare" buyer has until the show entry deadline to declare which mare bred to their stallion service has produced the best foal for the competition. For more information, e-mail


The North Central Morgan Association Futurity in-hand classes were held on Friday night for weanlings, yearlings and two-year-olds. Twelve weanlings, both sexes, competed individually then came back into the ring for group inspection. Troika's Brown Eyed Girl, led by Jordy Johns, caught the eye of Judge Trushel for first, with her white stockings and distinctive blaze setting off her liver chestnut color. Troika's Tony Soprano bounded to second, both sired by Century Nightmusic for Jim and Linda Kvanbeck.


It was a double double-header for Troika

Farm as Jordy Johns presented Troika’s

Brown Eyed Girl to the wins in the NCMA

Weanling Futurity and the $1,000 Weanling

Sweepstakes. Troika’s Tony Soprano took the

reserve in both classes with Linda Hagan

 Kvanbeck. (photo by Conrad Flemming)


In the Sport or Western Yearlings, winner Aerie Meadow Cool Hand Luke presented by Eileen O'Bradovich for Bill Dodds, is rich buckskin with a heavy frosting of white over the mane sired by TFM The Midas Touch. Second went to the colorful palomino PL Realms of Glory, sired by SFG Infinity and Beyond, shown by Katie Goodpastor for Charlotte Rydberg.


Bill Dodds enjoyed another win in the Yearling Stallions with the powerful, balanced colt Aerie Meadow Galileo, sired by Pondview Tres Bien. The luscious-necked NSS Lucado, sired by And the Beat Goes On, took second for Tammy Drovdal, then went on to win the English-Type Yearling $2,000 Sweepstakes on Saturday night. The Yearling Fillies were topped by the ultra feminine Arcola's True Love, sired by Ultra's Special Agent, with breeders Kirsten and Ron Johnson at the lead. They also owned the stretchy reserve filly, Arcola's Pepper Me Twice, sired by Cabot French Pepper and presented by Lyle Wick.


Bill Dodds was all smiles after Eileen O’Bradovich

 presented Aerie Meadows Galileo to win the

NCMA Futurity Yearling Colts and take Reserve

Champion in the $2,000 Yearling Sweepstakes.


In the Two-Year-Old Fillies, the high and free trot of Hylee's Hot Brown's helped claim first for Jackie Sweeney, who also owned the second place filly, Hylee's Maude S, both sired by Hylee's Galaxy Seven. Laine and Cherlyn Olson showed their classy brown LLR Legal Contender to first in Two-Year-Old Sport Horse, sired by LLR High Finance. Hylee's The Biggest Bang, a bay son of Born to Boogie, strutted his way to the winner's circle for Jackie Sweeney in Two-Year-Old Colts. Dale and Robin Becklin led their tall, ground covering Beck's Downtown Buster Brown, sired by NKS EXpress Mail, to first in the geldings.


Complete show results can be found by clicking here.



Hylee’s By George earned victories for

 Lyle Wick and daughter Alyssa.

(photo by Conrad Flemming)


Judge Todd Trushel was charmed by leadline

rider Gabriella Lee on Westwood Symphony.

(photo by Conrad Flemming)



Three generations of help prepare Joey's

 Little Heart Breaker before Ashley

 Winger won Walk/Trot Hunter Pleasure.


Hardwood Creek moms gather ringside to cheer

on their riders. (l. to r.) Kirsten Johnson, Cheryl

Mann, Lynette Erchul and Rebecca Shavlik.

Gretchen Olson shortly before
heading off to college.

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