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A Star Spangled Celebration at the North Star Morgan Americana

by Linda Hagan Kvanbeck

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Refreshing cool evening breezes and temperatures in the mid-70s encouraged high spirits and brought out the sparkle of exhibitors and horses alike at the North Star Morgan Americana, June 30 - July 3 at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. The 49th annual show celebrated July Fourth weekend with colorful red, white and blue decorations for center ring and exhibitors' parties. And the carriage division sported the
patriotic theme in the picnic class with all sorts of gizmos, whiz bangs, flowers and fancy hats adorning the entries.

Show chairperson Sarah Moses and the show committee were thrilled to have 221 horses from stables throughout the Midwest and Canada.

"This show is a labor of love and everyone on the show committee is dedicated to making it better every year," said Moses. "We are already planning our 50th anniversary show in 2006 and look forward to spending the July Fourth weekend with you, June 29 - July 2."

Judges Cindy Mugnier, Harry Sebring, and carriage judge Bill Long, selected their winners from classes with excellent quality and good numbers, especially in the hunter pleasure division. The hunter over fences division has renewed interest this year with a definite increase in the number of horses competing, and the carriage classes were nicely filled. Other officials included Pam Keeler (steward), John Frye (ringmaster), Randy Roberts (organist), Bill Carrington (announcer), Cheryl Rangel (show secretary), Casey McBride (photographer), Louise Miner (awards), Bill Sweeney (veterinarian), Jo Miller (paddock master), Carl Hartell (carriage coordinator), Louise Fahey (ring secretary), Tammy Frye (EMT), David Zolldan (stable manager), and Kirk Washburn (farrier).

Saturday night was the 5th Annual Benefit Performance for the Westen Wood Respiratory Fund at the Minneapolis Children's Hospital. Set up by VeeAnn and Jay Wood, this is a wonderful service to the hospital and a joyful way to remember Westen, who was the life of any exhibitor party at the shows. The Woods sponsor the Amateur High-Point Award in honor of Westen, with this year's presentation to Debra Davies of K-Lynn Stables, Alberta, Canada.

North Star features five $500 Jackpot Championship Classes. Winning the Raptor Ridge English Pleasure Jackpot was the impressive Formal Protest with Andy Marlett for Kristie Strom. Reserve went to Merriehill Color Guard with Whitney Bodnar for Merriehill. Andy and Kristie had a double win as he jogged her elegant Tracemark Tapestry to pick up the Arnette Lindeen Western Pleasure Jackpot. Reserve went to Jim and Peggy Boege's soft and supple Ramona Quimby under the direction of Jordy Johns.

The Kohler Stables' Pleasure Driving Jackpot was taken with a powerful drive by Walk This Way with none other than Andy Marlett at the lines for Sara Tesler.  Three must be the charm for Marlett. Stan Bodnar turned in the reserve drive with snappy Merriehill Liza Jane for Merriehill. Delossie Hanscom was thrilled when her gorgeous Smokin' Gun smoked the Hardwood Creek Hunter Pleasure Jackpot with Lyle Wick. Rock steady MB Virtually Marvelous took reserve with owner/rider Irene Doroff, who also won the Hunt Seat Equitation Championship and the hunt seat medal. Marlett Stables' Classic English Pleasure Jackpot went to Debra Davies' handsome Canalta Squire King, with reserve to Danica Alexander's sporty Troutbrook Tapdancer.

The Youth of the Year contest boasted many talented entries this year, thanks to encouragement and hard work throughout the year by youth leaders Michele Damrow and Lyn Tesler. The winner was Lauren Damrow of Minnetrista, Minn., who will go on to compete at Oklahoma. The Morgan Riders to the Extreme youth group had one or two events at area stables every month learning from the pros and having fun together. The youth sponsored a tack swap at the show to fund their events.

Thanks to the excellent EMT services at the show, two show-ring accidents were handled skillfully, with happy endings. Arlene Berzins came away with bruises and a colorful black eye after a driving mishap sent her to the emergency room. Gene Dietz suffered a heart attack during a class, fell off his horse and broke his pelvis. Fast action from the EMT personnel kept him stable until he could be taken to the hospital. He underwent successful triple bypass surgery the week following the show, and will have hip surgery when his heart is up to it. Dietz's progress may be checked at When it asks for the site, type "genedietz," and an update will appear.

Best wishes to the Berzins and Dietz families for speedy and full recoveries.

Exhibitors were treated to a Welcome BBQ on Wednesday evening from the show committee. Thursday evening's party after the show was hosted by Epona Morgans at the Merriehill Farm featuring fantastic food with a Latin flair. Purina Mills provided refreshments Friday evening, with mini cream puffs and chocolate éclairs, fresh fruit and hot hors d'oeuvres. Tara Lindeen's Thornwood provided a full-fledge country meal on Saturday night with fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans and ice cream. Morning coffee and donuts were compliments of Middlebrook Morgans, and Sara Moses's Michael's Pageant and Bridal tempted with cookies and cool drinks.

Stables at the show included: Aerie Meadow Morgans, Becks' Valley Farm, Brier Patch Morgans, Cadence Farm, Copper Leaf Stable, Deer Park Morgans, Epona Morgans, 5 O'Clock Farm, Hardwood Creek Stable, Hylee Farm, Ironstone Farm, JNJ Morgans, K-Lynn Stables, Lady Luck Ranch, Merriehill Farm, Marlett Stable, North Star Stables, Oklunn Equestrian, Oronoco Hills Morgans, Raptor Ridge Morgans, Rustic View Stables, Six Mile Creek Farm, StockRidge Stables, Stone House Stable (formerly Jordy Johns Stable), Stone Ledge Farm, Sumac Morgan Farm, Summit Morgans, Tartan Hill Equestrian, Troika Farm, T-Time Enterprises, Vary On Equitation Plus, and Westwood Farm, plus many talented, hardworking amateur owners.

Complete results can be seen on this web site by going to Statistics and clicking on Show Results.


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