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The Morgan Community Bands Together At New York Morgan

Posted October 2, 2001

by Diana Davidson

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - When exhibitors at the New York Morgan Horse Show arrived at the New York State Fairgrounds on Monday, September 10, they could not have had any idea what their week in Syracuse would be like. Most exhibitors were preparing for the show which would begin a day later when terror struck on that fateful Tuesday, September 11. Everyone scrambled to follow the news on radios and televisions.

Show management and exhibitors were in agreement that the show would go on. However, it was not life as usual. Everyone’s thought and prayers were with those affected by the tragedies.

The Morgan community banded together to show their patriotism and support in many ways during the show. Many displayed American flags on their stall decorations and box seats in the coliseum. Red, white and blue ribbons were pinned to the lapels of many riders and drivers. While the country held a candle lighting ceremony on Friday evening, candles flickered in many of the ringside boxes while the show continued.

This was a week when blue ribbons seemed somewhat less significant. Exhibitors carried on with the spirit of showing for the love of the sport. In spite of being away from home, exhibitors felt somewhat more secure surrounded by their friends and extended horse show family.

Some of the show officials including the judges were supposed to fly into Syracuse on Tuesday. Since this was not possible, show manager Linda Burke put out a call to nearby members of the Morgan community who were within driving distance to Syracuse. Calvin Hanson came to the rescue and was in center ring to mark the card for the first scheduled class on Wednesday morning. He was joined later that day by Tim Morrell, and the show ran on schedule for the four days of September 12-15.

The 41st New York Morgan Horse Show attracted approximately 300 horses from the eastern United States and Canada. The show has become a final tune-up or qualification for some horses headed to Oklahoma. For many others it marked the end of show season.

One of the continuing highlights of this show is the NYSMHS Breeder’s Sweepstakes classes where this year nearly $20,000 was awarded. Offspring of the stallions whose services are auctioned off at the annual NYSMHS Stallion Service Auction were eligible to participate in the three classes. The classes for Weanlings In Hand, Four-Year-Old Pleasure Saddle and Four-Year-Old Park Saddle were all well filled with some outstanding quality and entertaining competition.

The show also featured numerous special awards and presentations in the coliseum on Saturday evening. The annual presentation of the Mike Hens Sportsmanship Award was made to Joanne Celecki by last year’s recipient Ginny Wickham Brown. The Youth Of The Year Contest featured Walk-Trot Champion Rachel Hamlin, Junior Champion Jillian Zick, and Senior Champion Marcie Palmer, who is qualified for the 2002 finals in Oklahoma City. High point awards went to Walk-Trot Champion Erica Strickfaden; AOTR Champion Aquarian Fantasy with Bob and Roberta Marshall; Sport Horse, Regular Hunter and Hunter Hack Champion Marle Hills Majority and Susan Cochran; Beginner Hunter Champion Delaware Filigree and Sandra Zygmunt; Pro-Am Champion Bonnie Poyer; Training Level Dressage Champion Lakewind Home Run and Alyson Waring; and First Level and Above Dressage Champion WBM’s Commodore and Susan Joyal.

Show chair Jo Ann Squier and her hard working group of show committee members and volunteers did their best to put on a nice show for exhibitors. The list of show officials was headed by show manager Linda Burke and show secretary Rose Tolbert. Marilyn Ackerman worked hard to keep everything by the rules as AHSA Steward. Bob Dunham kept the music flowing as organist while Kenn Marash again served as announcer. Al Celecki did a fine job as he stepped in as ringmaster. Bob Moseder and wife Jean made the return trip to Syracuse to take the award winning photos.

For the complete show story see the printed edition of Saddle Horse Report dated October 1, 2001.

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