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MJMHA Youth Classic Springs Into Action



by Erin Thomas

MASON, Mich. - The last weekend in April has always been reserved for the MJMHA Youth Classic Horse Show. Michigan Morgan horse owners know that the weather can be fickle and that Mother Nature doesn't always cooperate with the horse show staff. There have been instances in past years when barns have flooded and exhibitors have been confined to the arena or barn areas, but the 2003 MJMHA Youth Classic was a different story. The sun shone brightly for Morgan horse enthusiasts the weekend of April 25-27, and horse lovers experienced temperatures in the mid 60s. The evenings cooled down a bit causing exhibitors to bundle up into warmer clothing, but everyone was thankful for the lack of rain.

Bernard Parker came all the way from Amenia, N.Y., to judge this year's youth classic. He and learner judge Richard Weaver saw an eclectic group of Michigan Morgan horses showcased for the first time in 2003. Standing alongside to capture the winning shots was photographer Terry Young. Once again Sue Hall expertly ran the show.

Staying true to tradition, the show committee hosted a barbecue on Saturday afternoon between the afternoon and evening sessions. Exhibitors had a chance to mingle outside and rest between the two sessions and to enjoy the bright afternoon sun. Michigan based barns such as Old Orchard Farms, Sterling Training Center, Mike Wahl Performance horses and Morgan Valley Farm consistently ushered horse and rider teams in and out of the winner's circle all weekend.

Historically trainers have used this show as a starting off point for young riders and horses. That was true this year for trainers such as Katie Mair of Sterling Training Center, who used the show to debut her new hunter Night Out, and Sandy Sessink and Lori Marino, who used it as an opportunity to move a couple of their walk-trot riders gracefully up into the 13 and under age group.

The first Michigan Morgan horse show the of 2003 went off smoothly and opened the season nicely for this bunch of horse lovers. The MJMHA Youth Classic left everyone anxious for the rest of the horse show season to get underway.

The results of the MJMHA Youth Classic follow and can also be viewed on the Internet at www.saddlehorsereport.com.

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