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AMHA Club Newsletter Dec 2015

Published on 12/3/2015

AMHA News       

AMHA Introduces Breed Promotion Grant Program

AMHA is pleased to introduce a new Breed Promotion Grant offered to Morgan enthusiasts for their promotional efforts.

The grant, which replaces the former Trade Show Funding that was offered to AMHA clubs, is open to any AMHA club, organized Morgan group, Morgan barn, or AMHA-affiliated organization. AMHA will award up to $10,000 each year and will consider requests of all sizes. Applicants may request funding for any Morgan breed promotion purpose.

The applicant needs to make a compelling grant request and include information regarding the size of the audience or reach of the program. Applications must include a full proposal of the idea, budget details, proof of any advertising collateral or materials that will be used to promote the event and/or program. If you are requesting a grant to run an ad in a magazine, a proof of the ad must accompany the grant request. Or if you plan to hold an open barn, any fliers or other materials to be used must be submitted with the grant request. 

AMHA reserves the right to award as many or as few grants as deemed appropriate based upon the grant requests received.

The grant application opens on Thursday, October 1, 2015 and closes at 5 p.m. Friday, January 15, 2016. Grant recipients are required to file a written summary of the activities the grant funded within 45 days of expending the funds.

Inquiries about grant applications and the grant process are handled only by email. Email Julie Broadway, AMHA executive director at with any questions or comments.

Proposed AMHA Governance Changes

The AMHA membership will be voting in the February 2016 AMHA election on a proposed change to regional representation on the AMHA Board of Directors. If the changes are approved by a vote of the membership, they will become effective with the 2017 election of directors.

The changes are two-fold:

1. Change from ten to three regions with three directors per region for a total of nine directors. This will provide for more balanced representation across the country and fewer directors means cost savings to the Association.

2. Change the Board from "house of representatives" to "senatorial" style. Director numbers remain the same in a region regardless of fluctuation of membership numbers. This will be consistent representation for a region and again, balanced representation across the country.

The Board also plans to reinstate term limits; no director shall serve more than three terms consecutively. This is not an overall limit, but a consecutive term limit; that is, after being out for at least one term, a person may choose to run again. This is being done to encourage more people to run for the Board, bring in new people and new ideas for the Association and the Morgan horse.

Please note, these changes are related to AMHA governance only.  A task force is currently looking at regional shows, but no changes have been recommended at this time. 

If you would like to learn more about these changes, please contact your regional director or any director-at-large,


Will you be Competing or Using the Registry in 2016?

Did you receive your AMHA membership application in the mail? If you plan on using the registry or showing at Morgan shows in 2016, note that you need to renew at the Standard or Premium levels.

Renewing at the $40 Associate membership level gives you voting privileges in AMHA's election, retail discounts, and program participation, but it does not give you reduced registry rates and competition privileges.       

The Standard membership level at $70 gives you: AMHA registry discounts, competition privileges, free online registry access all year, and free enrollment in the Ranch Horse Network™.

The Premium membership level at $125 gives you all of the above plus a one-year subscription to The Morgan Horse magazine, expedited registry processing, a special free gift, plus a reduced participation fee for the Open Competition and Pathways programs.

If you renew at the Associate level and need to upgrade to either the Standard or Premium level, the fee will be the difference in price plus $5 service fee.

Make sure you receive registry discounts! Make sure you're on the membership list at your first show! Renew at a Standard or Premium membership for 2016! Call AMHA at (802) 985-4944 to renew or upgrade, or go to to renew online.


Register Your Morgan for a Chance to Win!

If you have an unregistered Morgan under 18 months old, now is the time to register it because you can earn money! The AMHA Registry is offering an incentive to breeders to register their Morgan foals from November 1 to December 31, 2015.

Send in your registration application for a Morgan under 18 months old and you will be entered into a drawing for a grand prize of a $100 registry services coupon good in 2016.

Have more than one Morgan to register? If you submit three or more Registration Applications at the same time, you will receive a $50 registry services coupon good in 2016.

The drawing will be held on January 18, 2016. Coupons must be used in 2016, no cash refunds will be provided.

For more information, contact the AMHA Registry Department at, (802) 985-4944.

AMHA Announces 2016 Regional Shows

The following shows were approved by the AMHA Board of Directors at its fourth quarter meeting as the 2016 AMHA Regional shows.


Region 1: New England Morgan Horse Show, July 25-30, 2016; Northampton, Massachusetts

Region 2: New York Regional Morgan Horse Show, September 14-17, 2016; Syracuse, New York

Region 3: Morgan Gold Cup, June 15-18, 2015; Columbus, Ohio

Region 4: Citrus Cup Regional Morgan Horse Show, April 6-9, 2015; Newberry, Florida

Region 5: Jubilee Regional Morgan Horse Show, August 31-September 3, 2016; Springfield, IL

Region 6: Summer Daze Regional Morgan Horse Show, July 7-9, 2016; Kansas City, MO (*Note, this show was given a one-year waiver by the AMHA Board of Directors to hold their show outside of its region.)

Region 7: Morgan Medallion Classic Horse Show, July 27-30, 2016; Santa Barbara, California

Region 8: Far West Championship and Region 8 Morgan Championship, June 15-18; Redmond, Oregon

Region 9: Circle J Regional Morgan Horse Show, June 30-July 3, 2016; Denver, Colorado

Region 10: Southern State Regional Morgan Horse Show, May 25-28, 2015; Raleigh, North Carolina


For more information on the AMHA Regional Shows, go to


Meet the Candidates

The Annual Meeting of Members of the American Morgan Morgan Horse Association Inc. will be held at the Westin Waterfront Hotel in Boston, MA, on Thursday, February 11, 2016 at 3 p.m. Eastern Time to elect:


Two Regional Directors for a term of 3 years from Region 1

One Regional Director for a term of 3 years from Region 2

One Regional Director for a term of 2 years from Region 3 (filling a vacancy)

One Regional Director for a term of 3 years from Region 9

One Regional Director for a term of 2 years from Region 10 (filling a vacancy)

One Director-at-Large for a term of 3 years

One Director-at-Large for a term of 2 years (filling a vacancy)


The candidates running for the AMHA Board of Directors to be elected in February are:


Region 1 (two positions):

Karen Marlin-Maine

Holly Scribner-Maine


Region 2 (one position):

Kathryn Kirsch-New York


Region 3 (one position):

Sherry Cole-Indiana


Region 9 (one position):

Linnea Sidi (incumbent)-Colorado


Region 10 (one position):

Betsy Buchanan-North Carolina


Director at Large (two positions)

Ling Fu Wylie (incumbent)

Harlan Grunden-Nebraska


Each candidate was asked to give members a short biography and reasons why he or she was running for the Board of Directors. Their answers are below.


Region 1

Karen A. Marlin

Brunswick, Maine


I am running for the AMHA Board from Region 1 because I want to work to strengthen the AMHA, promote the Morgan horse, and provide value to our members. I have owned Morgan horses for more than 30 years, both show horses and sport horses. As a carriage driver and trail rider I believe I have a sense of what is important to Morgan owners who do not show their horses. On the other hand I have extensive experience with riding and carriage competitions and know what it takes to show horses at a local, regional and national level.

I have business experience as the manager of a medical practice for many years and as the Director of a university graduate program. I will use this experience to find ways to make our organization more efficient and member-centered.

We need to be responsive to the needs of our members if we want to maintain and grow our organization. We must continue to develop the programs and activities that our members want. It is critical that we enhance our public outreach so that owners of other breeds and non-horse-owners in the general public see how wonderful our Morgan horses are.


Region 1

Holly Scribner, EMS

Cushing, Maine


It is with great pleasure to have the opportunity to run for the AMHA Board of Directors to represent Region I.

I live in Cushing, Maine where I have my Morgan mare at a nearby stable. My education includes degrees in Animal Science/Equine Management, Paramedicine, Behavioral Science, and an MSEd in Educational Leadership. I am a teacher at our area Career & Technical Center.

I had the privilege of growing up in the Morgan community under the direction and guidance of Cindy Mugnier. I was a member of our local AMHA Youth Club, competed throughout New England and in Oklahoma in the Youth of the Year Contests, and served as AMHAY Region I Vice-President for two terms. Cindy has continued to serve as a role model for my ongoing involvement in the Morgan world where I have worked with the Belleweather and Berkshire Morgan Youth clubs, designed and organized clinics, and served on horse show and club committees. I hold judging licenses with OHSA (Open Horse Show Association) as well as USEF, and this year I was the Western Dressage Coordinator at the New England Regional and am the NEMHA’s Equine Affaire Youth Chairperson.

I have been involved in various disciplines, including saddle seat, pleasure driving, carriage, Western pleasure and dressage, classical dressage, and working hunters. This diverse experience has been possible only because of my involvement with the Morgan horse. Now I would like to give back to the Morgan community as an AMHA Director providing assistance to owners, trainers, riders/drivers, and admirers of our versatile breed.


Region 2

Kate Kirsch

Clarence, New York


I have been actively involved in owning and showing Morgan horses since I was 12 years old, when the OTTB I was leasing became too pregnant to ride and my instructor offered me a Morgan to ride in the interim. I quickly learned saddle seat and shortly thereafter entered the show ring in a 20 horse class with a 6 horse work out. I won the class. Needless to say, I was smitten. I have owned Morgan horses ever since. Currently, my husband and I, together with our two adult children, own three Morgans who live on our family farm in Clarence, NY. We do everything with our horses, from showing Hunt Seat, Classic Pleasure, English Pleasure, Pleasure Driving, and Carriage, to trail riding and attending local and regional general horse events to get people introduced to the Morgan horse. This breed is my passion and I never miss an opportunity to spread the word to others about what our Morgan horses can and will do. I hope to work in collaboration with others on the AMHA Board, who share my passion of this breed, to ensure the growth of the breed among all aspects of the equine industry, from the small, one horse owner who hopes to trail ride to the large farm engaged in breeding and showing, while respecting the legacy that has been left to us by past ambassadors of the breed, both equine and non-equine.


Region 5

Sherry Cole

Sheridan, Indiana


Sherry and her family purchased their first Morgan in 1975 and had a family breeding, training, and instruction program. She was first elected to the AMHA Board in 1996 serving 15 years. During her terms, Sherry served three years as president, chair of registry, bylaws, and several years as chair of finance and on the executive committee. She has been a member of the Morgan Grand National Show Committee for 15 years, serving as Chair in 2013 and currently is treasurer elect. She has served as trustee of both American Morgan Horse Institute and American Morgan Horse Educational Charitable Trust. Sherry and her husband Dave have been married 50 years, have three children and five grandchildren.


Region 9

Linnea Sidi


Loveland, Colorado


I am running again for the board to represent this region. I am doing this for a number of reasons, mostly because many of you have asked that I continue to represent you. The next year will be a year of transition and I plan to use my skill set to make this as smooth as possible. I am committed to cutting costs for the organization and have been actively working on election process changes in order to save the Association money. I have also been actively involved in the recommended Board reorganization; with the downsizing we expect to see efficiency and the ability to focus on our core strategic plan goals.

We have had a lot of changes and will continue to see change as we keep pace with the equine world. AMHA is not unique; all other breed associations are having to do some “remodeling” in order to insure growth. This is a challenging time as well as a fulfilling time. I have taken great pride in representing this region and will continue to do so with your support. I am also going to be heading up a new project: Volunteer Opportunity Center. While it is only in the planning stages, it will be a clearing house for anyone that would like to get involved in the association and will allow us to match your skills with needs. This can span opportunities starting at the local level, all the way up to sitting on the board. My goal is to create a network and system to help build the strongest board possible. Please let me know your thoughts on this or any other topics pertinent to the association.


Region 10

Betsy Buchanan

Chapel Hill, North Carolina


Horses have been my passion since I was old enough to almost pronounce the word! I began riding when I was seven. At that time Meredith College in Raleigh had a riding program which included town students. I did not own my own horse. In my teens I was introduced to Morgans when Fran Pugh got her second Morgan and needed a rider. When Phil and I married in 1968, the Pughs gave us the choice of the foal crop that year as a wedding present—Tara’s Dowry became one of the best amateur and ladies park horses in the East. I was a charter member of the Virginia-Carolinas Morgan Club and have served as newsletter editor, secretary and president of that organization.

Our region does not currently have a resident representative, and as I am now retired with time and interest available, I would like to serve as your Region 10 AMHA representative. The Morgan horse, owners, breeders and trainers have become very important to me over the years. I really would like to share my enthusiasm and contribute to this organization which promotes my favorite breed!



Ling Fu Wylie


Saint Peters, Missouri


My family has been involved with Morgans since the early 1970s. I started out with weekly lessons and it grew from there. My passion is shared with my family. Our shared interest in Morgans grew because this was something we could all enjoy doing together and we still do. The hours spent on the road with my Mom and sister going to shows all over the country are still some of the sweetest memories I have.

I am running for the Board of Directors so I can continue to serve the Morgan horse. I feel this is the least I can do for all the pleasure this breed has given me. I feel this is how I can repay the breed. I want this Association to be strong and I feel that by being a voting member of the Board, I can help the Association continue. I hope to bring a positive voice to the issues that will stand before us. We have a diverse Board that always has the Morgan and its future in mind. The Board has done many positive things and we need to encourage the members who believe in this Association to speak up and let the world know that there are so many great things about this breed.



Harlan Grunden

Curtis, Nebraska


I have been active with Morgans since 1969 when Dad bought his first Morgan. At Grunden Ranch Morgans, we currently have 71 head of Morgans roaming the hills of Nebraska. We stand seven stallions and have 15 foals each year. The bloodlines that we concentrate on are Flyhawk and Funquest. We operate a cattle ranch and use our Morgans for ranch work.

I often tell folks that the Morgan has many breeds within the breed depending upon which discipline you are following. There are the Park type Morgans and there are the Reining types of Morgan with many different disciplines in between. The important part is that these are all Morgans and need to be recognized as such. We need representation among all the different disciplines but open-mindedness to realize that our discipline is not the only one that matters.

I served on the strategic planning committee for AMHA and was our local club president in 2015.

To serve on the AMHA Board has always been a lifelong dream. The Morgan horse has been an important part of my life and I wish to give back to the breed and the friends that I have made along the way.

Changes to AMHA's Open Competition Program

The 2016 Open Competition Program Guidelines are now available by going to Please note, several updates have been made to the program and are outlined below:

The new registration fee is $50, with an annual renewal fee of $40. We still offer a lifetime fee, which is now $200. If you paid a lifetime fee prior to 2016, you are grandfathered into the program.

We also are offering the opportunity for retroactive points from up to ten years previous to those submitted in the current competition year for a fee of $100/year to be applied toward a Morgan Medallion Award.

Since AMHA Open Competition Silver and Gold Medallion recipients qualify for CH and GCH status, respectively (enrollment and fees apply) in the Champion Title program, your retroactive points could apply toward a CH or GCH title.  

Registration and entry blanks are Adobe pdf forms that can be downloaded using Adobe Reader or Acrobat, filled out on your computer, saved, and submitted by email to the office.

We are also looking into the possibility of offering complete online submissions and results. We hope to have good news in the near future!

We have eliminated the need to submit prize lists or other forms of proof of the show; instead, entry forms will require additional information to help identify the show.

The Carriage category now offers only two award divisions: singles and multiples. Multiples includes pairs and other multiple arrangements. And Driving Derbies have been added to the Carriage (combined driving division) category.

The Beginner Dressage division has been expanded and renamed Beginner/Schooling, permitting the submission of results from shows with unlicensed judges.

For questions about this program or to enroll, contact Katie Hodges at (802) 985-4944 ext. 401,


Applications Now Open to Join YAA Leadership Council

The AMHA Young Adult Alliance (YAA), the leading group of 18-40 year old amateurs and professionals working to strengthen the Morgan breed, today announced the opening of applications for positions on their leadership council. Interested parties should submit a brief paragraph outlining their interest, experience, and qualifications to Julie Broadway at by December 30.

The AMHA YAA Leadership Council meets every three to four weeks via conference calls, traditionally in the evening at 9 p.m. Eastern, to discuss group initiatives. Potential members should be able to regularly make the teleconference calls, with advanced notice. Members of the leadership council are expected to join two sub-committees and actively participate on the council. Council members shall serve two-year terms with the option of reapplying to the committee.  

"The Young Adult Alliance has really come into its own this past year, but there is so much more that we can do to help the Morgan breed," said Steven Handy, YAA co-chair. "Expanding our leadership council will enable us to take on larger projects and make an even bigger impact within the Morgan breed."

Throughout 2015, members of the YAA leadership council have planned and hosted events at five major horse shows across the country and a finals at the Morgan Grand National & World Championship Horse Show. They have awarded a Judging School Scholarship, produced and promoted educational videos and are currently working on plans for 2016 including a party at the UPHA Super Convention, a Lesson Program in a Box and a new event series for horse shows.

Interested applicants can learn more at or by reaching out to YAA Leadership Council via email at AMHA membership is required to serve on the YAA leadership council.


Industry News   


Eight Judges Announced for the 2016 Grand National

The Grand National & World Championship Morgan Horse Show® is pleased to announce verbal agreements with the following judges for 2016:


Richard Harris of Somers, CT
Rodney Hicks of Pittsfield, MA
Conky Price of Lady Lake, FL
Scott Thacker of Whitsett, NC

John Bennett of Putnam, CT
Chris Bickford of Sherwood, OR
Lawrence Thurber of East Concord, NY
Garn Walker of Auburn, CA

The entire slate of judges will be announced soon. Plans are underway for another great show in Oklahoma City showcasing some of the greatest Morgans in the world. Competition begins Saturday, October 8 with three shows daily through Saturday, October 15. Show times will be at 9 a.m., 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. each day. For more information on the 2016 horse show, you can log on to

New Book Focuses on the Western Morgan

Janet Gingold recently published the book, The LaVonne Houlton Compendium: Ponies, Poetry and Prose, which is a compilation of Houlton's articles and poetry, much of which appeared in the pages of The Morgan Horse magazine. Houlton was one of the foremost authorities on the Western Morgan and she was widely acclaimed for her well-respected historical articles. Her own breeding program was based on the Sellman/Hill/Hearst working stock in California. She passed away in 2009.

The compendium collects Morgan and non-Morgan articles, poetry, and remembrances. It would make a perfect holiday gift for Morgan and non-Morgan readers who are interested in Western history.

The book is being sold at the National Museum of the Morgan Horse, (802) 388-1639, or through the author. Discounted price through December 31, 2015, limited quantity available: $33, includes archival Morgan CD plus shipping and handling. Contact Jan Gingold, Checks or PayPal only. After January 1, 2016, the book will be available through


Morgan Weanling Gala Announces New Performance Incentive Award

The Morgan Weanling Gala, in partnership with Saddle Horse Report, will debut a new Performance Incentive Award at the 2016 Morgan Grand National.

"We will payout money to the first foal sired by a Gala nominated stallion from each class year to win a World’s Championship in ANY performance division beginning their two-year-old year," said Gala President Mark Staehnke. "Saddle Horse Report has donated $2,500 that will be added to 100 percent of the nomination fees for that class year beginning with the foals born in 2014. These foals are much more than pretty babies and it is our mission to promote them in their performance careers as well."

If more than one horse wins a World Championship, then the purse will be split evenly or if there is no winner, the money will roll forward to the following year until there is a World Champion.

This will give nominated foals a chance to shine in the performance arena even if they were unable to show in the Gala class as a weanling. "We want to continue to recognize the offspring of Nominated Sires and this Incentive Award will extend those opportunities in both notoriety and payout," said Staehnke.

Nominations will work as follows: If a foal shows in the Gala Weanling Class, they are automatically nominated for this award.

If the eligible foal does not compete as a weanling, then they must be nominated by April 30 of their Yearling year, and the nomination fee is $170. They can also be nominated as Two-Year-Olds by paying $320 by April 30 of that year. In order to jumpstart the program with the Class of 2014, those foals will need to be nominated by April 30, 2016 and pay the introductory fee of $170.

The Gala website and Facebook page will be updated with this information and nomination form along a list of that year’s Nominated Stallions. "All offspring by a Nominated Stallion for that year, is eligible for this award, if they are nominated on the official form, or showed in the Gala as a weanling," Staehnke reminded.

"We are very excited to be able to offer what we feel is a very inclusive award that promotes each year’s 'pretty babies' as the future 'performance powerhouses' that they are. An award like this would not be possible without the continued support of Saddle Horse Report and all of our sponsors. We have them all to thank," Staehnke said.

Look for updated stallion nominations and Incentive award nomination forms on the website


Roberts Named Reserve USEF Youth Award Winner

Nick Roberts of Granby, Massachusetts, was named the reserve winner of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Youth Sportsman's Award. The USEF Youth Sportsman's Award is designed to identify potential future leaders in the equine industry and provides an opportunity for the USEF to recognize outstanding youth members for their achievements. Roberts, 17, was nominated for this award by AMHA and was selected by a committee from a field of six other applicants.

Roberts is a youth member of USEF, a youth life member of AMHA, a junior member of the United Professional Horsemen's Association (UPHA), and a junior member of the Massachusetts Morgan Horse Association. He was honored to receive the Junior Exhibitor of the Year Award from both UPHA Chapter 14 and the Massachusetts Morgan Horse Association.  

For extra-curricular activities, Roberts is a member of the varsity wrestling and lacrosse teams, and volunteers at the Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society. As a participant of the UPHA's Ribbons of Service Program, Nick raised more than $2,000 for the shelter.

Courtney Ball was named the winner of the 2015 USEF Youth Sportsman's Award. She was nominated by the American Saddlebred Horse Association. As reserve, Roberts earns a $500 grant.


USEF Equine Vaccination Rule

From the USEF Communications Department

In January, the USEF Board of Directors approved an addition to the rule book, which outlines equine vaccination requirements at licensed competitions. Beginning December 1, 2015, all horses entering the grounds of a Federation-licensed competition must be accompanied by documentation of Equine Influenza Virus and Equine Herpes Virus (Rhinopneumonitis) vaccinations within six months prior to entering the stables.

Due to several high profile Equine Herpes (EHV) outbreaks in recent years that have involved the neuropathic strain of the virus (equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy-EHM), some competitions have placed vaccination requirements on their competitors that go beyond most accepted medical opinions and raise concern that unnecessary requirements can potentially put a horse at risk. The intent of this rule is to ensure that all licensed competitions comply with the vaccination guidelines for Equine Influenza and Equine Herpes (Rhinopneumonitis) published by the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP). These guidelines are reviewed by infectious disease experts regularly, and recommend vaccinating competition horses at six-month intervals for both equine influenza (flu) and rhinopneumonitis (EHV-1 and EHV-4). There is not a vaccine that protects against EHM.

Intended to promote proper vaccination protocols, this rule does not anticipate an increased workload for competition management. The flu vaccination information can be added to the documentation already required by most competitions: a horse's health certificate and a negative coggins test.

Read GR845 here,

If you have questions regarding GR845, please contact the USEF Drugs & Medications department at or (800) 633-2472.




Christina Koliander
Communications Specialist/Clubs Liaison
American Morgan Horse Association
(802) 985-4944 ext. 402

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