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Thrills Without Chills Wrapped In Red, White and Blue At Massachusetts Morgan

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- It’s a fun show that gives trainers, exhibitors and all others involved a chance to relax, have a good time and compete -- what horse shows are supposed to be about. And the timing is perfect...this year it was held Aug. 13-17, 2002, which is just after the high intensity New England Morgan Horse Show and a couple of months before Oklahoma.

While serving the purpose of a great practice show before the October Grand National, the fun is never sacrificed at Mass Morgan. The show staff, led by Show Manager Sandra Adams, works incredibly hard to make this show a fulfilling one in every aspect. Most classes were filled with large numbers and quality horses coming from many areas in the Northeast. Also, there was a plethora of classes, making it easy for anyone to find a class of their liking. Finally, Mass Morgan has a theme each year, which adds to its reputation of being fun.

This year’s theme was patriotism. In addition to the very decorated show ring -- there was a huge American flag draped from the ceiling of center ring -- exhibitors got into the theme as well. From decorating there barn set ups in red, white, and blue to dressing up like Uncle Sam, everyone was into this very appropriate theme for the show’s entirety.

Although good times and show ring competition are the basis for the show, this year's Mass Morgan had a few not so enjoyable themes. The show was marked by more than its share of show ring mishaps. From a frightening accident in the Amateur Pleasure Driving Stallions and Geldings on Tuesday to several riders being unseated in saddle classes throughout the week, there were many unfortunate show ring moments. In at least two incidents the people involved required hospitalization and/or surgery. One of the potential causes of the accidents could most likely be the tremendous heaheat wave during the show. Temperatures hovered around 100 degrees with heat indexes even higher. The weather was quite unbearable for horses and humans, but the show did go on.

Mass Morgan was held from Tuesday through Saturday. Classes were held morning, afternoon and evening with the exception of Thursday evening. During that particular evening, instead of gathering inside the coliseum at the Eastern States Exhibition, exhibitors and their friends and family gathered outside the barns to celebrate the well-known exhibitor’s party which was included food, drinks and a whole lot of dancing.

By the time Friday rolled around, everyone was ready to get back into the ring and take part in some serious competition. With the exception of some light open classes, many were packed full of quality.

The judging panel for this large turnout included Ron Roesink (Geldings in Hand, Classic Pleasure, Hunt and Stock Seat Equitation, Western Pleasure, Hunter Pleasure, Beginners Pleasure, and Road Hack); Tom Caisse (Stallions & Mares In Hand, Pleasure Saddle, Park Saddle, Park Harness, Pleasure Driving, Saddle Seat Equitation, Beginners Pleasure, Roadsters and Miscellaneous); Ann Marie Gregoire (Dressage); and Kail Palmer (Carriage).

The officials at Massachusetts Morgan were headed by show manager Sandra Adams who puts this show together with an extremely enthusiastic and hardworking show committee. Linda Burke of Horse Show Management Services, Inc. served as show secretary. The division coordinators included Cindy Mugnier (Youth), Erin Collins (Dressage), Douglas Coursey (Carriage) and Jeanne French (Sport Horse). Ray Ferro served as operations manager, while Tony Ferro kept everyone in line as paddock master. Robb Platz made the trip from Mid-A to once again serve as show announcer. Helen Fenton kept everything by the rules as the USAE steward while Jay Merriam made the rounds as show veterinarian. Tim Keller maintained the helm as show farrier. Larry Wahl and Grace Yaglou handled the ringmaster duties this year. Bob and Jean Moseder wrapped up their two month northern photographing stay with this show while World Champion Video filmed all of the winning action as show videographer.

The Championship highlights of the 2002 Massachusetts Morgan Horse Show follow with complete results listed in this issue as well as on our website at The first champions of the week came from the in hand division where LIV Calla Lily was the first to wear the tricolor. The expressive Simply Maserati daughter posed as the Grand Champion Mare following the Two-Year-Old and Junior Champion Mare victories handled by Jaisen Von Ballmoos for Livingston Morgans. The Grand Champion Gelding tricolor also went back to the Hobby Knoll banner as Von Ballmoos gave Mikaela's The Overcomer a bold lead for the honors for Nancy Gravel. It was the sporty, chestnut Sagamore Courdova who stood at the head of the Grand Champion Stallion competition with Bill Parker leading for Laurie Johnson of Saga Morgans.

The Open Park Saddle Championship competition was the grand finale of Saturday night's show ring competition. It was Nikki Rae Woodworth guiding Mike Carpenter’s bold entry, Flaire Well to the tricolor victory following the youth blue. In the rough and tumble amateur division it was Lauren Fischer who aggressively rode JLC Terminator to take the win directed by Vicki Wirth. A pair of park champions hailed from Bittersweet Farm as Melissa Lambrecht rode Stonecroft Palladin to the junior tricolor while the bold duo of Heyday Special Vintage and Jennifer DeCusati topped the junior exhibitor competition.

The Open Park Harness Championship was taken by the ever so elegant Black Orchid Madame Jumel. Percy McDaniel was at the whip here for Linda Barber. Longtime competitor at the Mass Morgan Horse Show, Kathy Comeau made another fantastic show in the amateur division, this time at the lines behind Comoshun’s Avante.

The beautiful bay mare, FVF Irish Mist displayed attitude and strutted her stuff to capture the Open English Pleasure Championship Saturday night for Brad and Ann Scussell. Ann Scussell was up for this win as well as the ladies blue. It was Helen Herold and a fancy Cape’s Northern Figurine to take the victory in the Amateur English Pleasure Championship. Hylee's Dann Osgood and Kristi Evans continued their tricolor season with an impressive win in the Junior Exhibitor English Pleasure 14-17 Championship.

A trio of outstanding champions in the English pleasure division were prepared for their tricolors by David Rand. It was the amazing Merriehill Hooligan and Megan Ramsey who were again the stars of the 13 and under division as they earned the tricolor as well as the championship. Caitlynn Ramsey was reunited with the handsome Rowenda French Twist to capture the Youth English Pleasure Championship for Gail Ripa. David Rand introduced the fronty, bay Med-E-Oka French Morocco to the winner's circle as the Junior English Pleasure Champion in his premier show under saddle for owner/breeder Sharon Holmes.

Numbers were good and quality was exceptional in the pleasure driving division. Rumbrook Immortal Bliss and Sheri Lampropoulos took top honors in the open championship after a four-horse work at the conclusion of the regular rail work in an exciting class of nine performing for proud owner Jerry McLoud. The amateur championship featured Dan Kelley on the lines of the impressive Prindle’s Mere Mortal to capture the tricolor for Terry Titus under the direction of Mike Carpenter. Carpenter presented the Junior Pleasure Driving Champion in Shirley Haas' sleek bay Rare Obsession.

New England's Junior Champion Stallion, Pondview EZ Spirit enjoyed a tricolor performance debut as Ann Anderson was on the lines of the fronty bay for the Two-Year-Old Pleasure Driving Championship for Patti Anne Berthelette. Caitlin Harrison and Arboria Surefire turned in a smooth drive to capture top honors in the junior exhibitor division under the Woodlynd banner. Wintop's Mr. Pepper and Ken Delude continued their outstanding first season in winning top honors in the novice driver division representing Kornhugel Farm.

The hunter division was one which was marked for its quality and high numbers. The open championship was exciting and deep as several pairs trotted through the entrance gate in hopes to trot out as number one. The class ended with a very happy Melissa Morrell aboard the handsome BEF Elrond winning top honors for Rosemary Balfour. The beautiful A Sharper Image and Chris Thoma were the class of the amateur division as they starred in the winner's circle with the tricolor. Kate Brinser and Meadowair Yomen enjoyed a big win in the 13 and under championship directed by Sue Casper.

A trio of hunter pleasure champions hailed from Fox Meadow Farm. TJB Opinionated and Andrea Clark were the top entry over an impressive field in the 14-17 division. Kim Felch and Howe I Command were in command in the youth division for Gladys Felch and Rebecca Titcomb. Cindy Mugnier was in the irons of Raintree Val Jean to capture the Junior Hunter Pleasure Championship for the Castro Family.

Numbers were quite impressive in the western division as well. Not surprisingly, Judy Nason rode with class and expertise to take home the tricolor in the open championship aboard Pondview Picante. It was the beautifully matched team of Surf Pt Sally and Erika Ramsey who jogged away with the Amateur Western Pleasure Championship coached by David Rand. The junior exhibitor tricolor went back to the Bellewether banner as Jenna Britt and DFM Poetic Justice topped the competition.

The Classic Pleasure Saddle Championship was another big win for the always tough team of Riverside Buckingham and Robin Vergato who triumphed for the second year in a row. Bono In Command and Leigh Fitzgerald enjoyed a pair of well deserved tricolors as they topped the Junior Exhibitor Classic Pleasure Saddle Championship as well as the Classic Saddle Seat Equitation Championship.

Donna Nolan and Phantom Of The Opera continued their winning streak from Northampton as they again topped the Classic Pleasure Driving Championship directed by John and Sheri Lampropoulos. Mallory Anderson and Swanbrook Sam I Am trotted away with the Junior Classic Pleasure Driving Championship victory. Jill Chiecko and Southbrook Ultimatum enjoyed a trio of victories finishing off with the Junior Exhibitor Classic Pleasure Driving Championship coached by Cindy Mugnier.

The equitation division enjoyed a full range of classes. In the closely evaluated Senior Saddle Seat Equitation Championship Lindsey Gama turned in a well executed victory aboard Royal Crown Cavalier coached by Kristen Spann. The Junior Saddle Seat Equitation Championship was a crowning victory for Samantha Weinand under the direction of Jean DeGutis. Danielle Pfauve topped a competitive field of 13 for the Hunt Seat Equitation Championship victory.

The always well filled walk and trot division produced a group of outstanding winners. Three of the top teams from Fox Meadow Farm enjoyed dual championships as Alison Crone and Matter Of Time earned the tricolors in the classic pleasure and equitation divisions, while Ashley Mugnier and Greystone High Note did likewise in the hunt divisions, and Abby Raucher and Maple Corner Passion swept the tricolors in the 8 and under saddle seat and English pleasure.

The Walk-Jog division featured Whispering Sea Nymph and Shae Scanlon earning top honors in the pleasure while Molly McQuade jogged away with the tricolor in equitation. The 9-11 competition saw Meredith Becotte earn the equitation tricolor under the Woodlynd banner, while Burkland Legacy and Spencer Rowell triumphed in the English pleasure.

The always exciting duo of HVK Stradivarius and Dr. Grace Steer captured the tricolor in the Roadster To Bike Championship hailing from Sebring Stables. Highover Audacious and Melissa Grubbs carried the Road Hack Championship back to the CPM banner. RB Solitaire and Paul Doughtery continued their winning season with the Carriage Pleasure Driving Championship victory.

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