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UVM Valcour Inducted Into The CT Morgan Hall Of Fame


WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -The Connecticut Morgan Hall of Fame welcomed its 20th member on Friday, June 9, 2006. The grand gelding UVM Valcour joined the elite group in a ceremony held during Friday evening's championship session.

UVM Valcour and trainer Chris Cassenti put on a crowd-pleasing show under saddle followed by a presentation of honors. Valcour and owners Chris and Rob McDermott then led their wonderful ambassador to the Morgan breed around the ring to the delight of his legion of fans. Valcour, the McDermotts and everyone at Chrislar Farm joined together for this memorable performance as well as a party in honor of UVM Valcour at the conclusion of Friday night's classes.

The following speech was read by Kevin Solimine during the induction ceremony;

“Good evening ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the 2006 Connecticut Morgan Hall Of Fame Presentation.

“It is a great honor for us to be here tonight to celebrate the induction of UVM Valcour into the Connecticut Morgan Horse Hall Of Fame. Let us all join in welcoming UVM Valcour!

“In 1993, Chris McDermott decided she wanted a Morgan as her trail horse and the search began. Her brother, a graduate of the University of Vermont, referred them to the UVM Morgan Horse Farm. Chris and husband Rob viewed several prospects and chose UVM Valcour; or rather he chose them! There was a special bond the first time they saw this handsome three-year-old by UVM Elite. Valcour let them know right away that they should take him home. Chris and Rob remember Steve Davis saying, ‘You know he might just make a good show horse.’ Well, he was right!

“Valcour’s training continued at Chrislar Farm with Chris and Rob spending every free minute at Chrislar watching his progress; people thought they lived there. Under the direction of Chrislar Farm staff, it was apparent that they had made a great find.

“Chrislar Farm owners Chris and Larry Cassenti introduced the McDermotts to the world of Morgans and the horse show circuit. As a five-year-old, Valcour won his first world championship in Open Hunter Pleasure with Chris Cassenti and a reserve world championship that same year in Junior Exhibitor Hunter Pleasure with 13-year-old Candice Toleos. Within two years, Valcour won A-rated, regional, national and world championships with his three girls.

“During his show career, he won more than 50 championships in open, amateur and junior exhibitor classes including hunter pleasure, classic pleasure saddle and driving and western pleasure, once again demonstrating the diversification of our great Morgan breed. He was presented with People’s Choice and Judge’s Choice awards, USEF year end awards, appeared in horse insurance ads in all-breed publications, made a guest appearance on the History Channel, and has been on the cover of three major equine publications. As a true ambassador of the Morgan breed, Valcour was the ‘guest of honor’ at the annual Breyer Brunch and has even had his own Peter Stone Limited Edition model released in 1997.

“Valcour now resides at ASCO Farms in Chatham, N.Y., only minutes away from Chris and Rob’s new home in W. Stockbridge, Mass. He and Chris continue to enjoy that ‘once in a lifetime’ bond between horse and human. They are seen trail riding through the hills of New York and last year in Acadia National Park. Occasionally, Valcour makes a special public appearance to continue to promote the Morgan breed such as the 50th anniversary of the UVM Morgan Horse Farm.

“Chris, Rob and the Chrislar Farm family have been extremely fortunate to have this magnificent horse in their lives.

“The McDermotts wish to invite everyone to a celebration reception to meet Valcour after the last class this evening.”

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