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Northampton Horsemen’s Hall Of Fame

Through the course of its 68 years, this event has gone by many names – the National Morgan Horse Show, then the Eastern National, and most recently New England Morgan. After more than 50 years here at the Three County Fairgrounds, however, it’s small wonder that the name “Northampton” has become synonymous with this show. The grandstand ring has hosted more than its fair share of the breed’s greats, both horse and human, and continues to do so today. There’s no doubt that the tradition of this show – the opportunity to watch Morgan history in the making – is part of the allure that keeps us coming back to Northampton year after year. 


The Northampton Horsemen’s Hall of Fame has been established by the New England Morgan Horse Show to honor the contributions of the amazing men and women who have given freely of their time and talent in support of the Northampton tradition. Beginning 2006, one or more individuals will be selected for induction into the Hall of Fame. The 2006 Hall Of Fame inductees were Dr. S. Robert Orcutt, Patricia Tataronis Orcutt, Anna Ela, John Lydon, Lyman Orcutt and Joe Parker. This year Dr. Stewart K. Harvey and W. Dayton Sumner added their names to this illustrious group.


The names of Dr. Stewart K. Harvey and W. Dayton Sumner will be added to the Hall Of Fame plaques on the box seat roofs around the grandstand ring. The inscription on the plaques reads: “In recognition of dedication, sportsmanship and support of the Northampton Tradition and the New England Morgan Horse Show.”


Peter Fenton read the induction speech for his good friend the late Dr. Stewart K. Harvey into the Hall Of Fame, while Fred Nava added his predecessor as show manager the late W. Dayton Sumner to the esteemed group.


Dr. Stewart K. Harvey


Jackie Harvey was on hand for the induction
of her late husband
Dr. Stewart K. Harvey
 into the
Northampton Horsemen’s Hall Of Fame.

(photo by Shane Shiflet)


“The Hall of Fame is quite simply the highest honor that you can bestow upon an individual. It is the recognition that sets you apart from all others.


“In the Equestrian world we have set the standard of excellence in regards to the Hall of Fame. Our world is filled with many wonderful and talented people but only the chosen few possess the unique qualities and unwavering dedication worthy of the Hall of Fame Induction.


“I am very honored tonight to present our latest inductee. My personal relationship with Dr. Harvey dates back decades, he was someone I respected, admired and treasured. I was proud to call him my friend but in writing this I realized that I was one of hundreds or perhaps thousands that felt the same way.


“Dr. Harvey never met a stranger- he had an incredible knack of making you feel important. He was a man who loved veterinary medicine, the animal he loved the most was the Morgan horse and the people who loved Morgan horses.


“He was a friend to the biggest and best our business has to offer, owners, breeders, trainers and exhibitors. Just as important to Doc were the grooms and caretakers, the people that often get overlooked or perhaps under appreciated.


“Dr. Stewart K. Harvey was a very special man. He was a man with a strong desire to make everything equine well again.


“There is not a person in this ring tonight that does not have a special memory of Doc. Most I am sure have a very funny story as well.


“I was asked tonight to tell a story or two about my friend Doc. There are many stories that I could tell you, a few that I would be hesitant to tell you and a whole bunch that I swore to God I would never tell.


“I never thought anyone could replace Dr. Harvey here at New England Morgan but I believe that Doc himself would give his approval and blessing to Dr. Jay Merriam. A man and a veterinarian cut from the same cloth as Doc.


“Dr. Harvey will be remembered forever here at New England as his name will be ever present in the Grandstand ring with his induction tonight.


“I believe we have done the right thing tonight, we have selected a man of integrity and class, a caring protector of the horse and an ambassador of the Morgan breed.


Ladies and Gentlemen, take a moment to reflect on your favorite Dr. Harvey memory. Be proud that Dr. Stewart K. Harvey was apart of your life and know that he will always be apart of our New England Morgan tradition with his presence in the Northampton Hall of Fame.”


       W. Dayton Sumner


The late W. Dayton Sumner was inducted

 into the Northampton Horsemen’s Hall Of Fame.


“When I first became a part of this horse show, 16 or so years ago, I met Dayton Sumner. He seemed to be a very quiet, reserved, staunch man and I worried that I would ever be able to form a good relationship with him. It didn’t take long, however, to realize that I had misjudged him. Not only was he a warm and caring man, he was brilliant, and generous in the horse show industry. Dayton became a best friend and mentor. Through him I learned how to articulate with a show committee, and to deal with all the frustrations this horse show can create.


Dayton had many other talents. He was a concert pianist, great horseman, author, and computer guru. He wrote a computer program 20 years ago that way surpasses the ones we have today.


“Dayton, like me, had a wonderful wife by his side. Diane was an integral part of the New England Morgan Horse Show for all those years. She is at home tonight, but I’m sure her heart is here with us.

“Dayton taught me everything and I salute him tonight. I truly miss him and his mastery of one-liners. When I would see him looking so serious and ask what was wrong, he would reply, ‘I’m just an old man and if I smile I might loose my false teeth.’ When I thanked him for having the trust in me to make changes in the show, he would reply ‘My grand-daddy always said never hire a dog and do your own barking.’ When I would ask him how things were going the last day of the show, his standard reply was ‘Any dam fool can run a one day horse show.’ So this dam fool says thanks for being here tonight and thank you, Dayton Sumner.”

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