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AMHA Club Newsletter Feb 2016

Published on 2/29/2016

February 2016


Welcome to Leap Day!


Lots of goings on this month! Convention follow up and now we turn our attention to show season!


We sometimes get comments that the Morgan breed isn't promoted very much. Check out the list of groups that will be promoting the breed to thousands of people across the country this year, thanks to the breed promotion grant! The name of the grant is certainly fitting!


I have been asked by a club member of perhaps starting a Facebook page for AMHA clubs to share thoughts, projects, and ideas. Would this interest any of you? Please let me know if it is a yes!


Please remind your members, we're trying to get the word out on this: The USEF Board of Directors recently approved the change that all owners (lessees), exhibitors, and trainers of horses participating at Federation licensed competitions in all Morgan sections must be current members (Standard or Premium) in good standing AMHA. If you are not an AMHA member, a non-member fee of $45 will be imposed on the exhibitor.


As always, if you have any questions, please contact me.


All the best,


Christina Koliander

AMHA Communications Specialist and Clubs Liaison


AMHA News       

AMHA Announces 2015 Club Honorees

AMHA is pleased to announce the following AMHA members received honors at its Annual Members Meeting on Thursday, February 11 in Boston, Massachusetts, as part of The Super Convention.

A Master's Certificate is given to individuals older than 60 years of age who have been active with Morgan horses in a variety of ways through the years. Recognized clubs nominate members based on their involvement in breeding, showing, training, and just generally enjoying their Morgan horses.

Three AMHA members received a 2015 AMHA Master's Certificate: Carol Dombrowsky from the Morgan Horse Association of Oregon, Guy and Claire Wagner from The Lippitt Club, and Lance and Martha Wetmore of the Connecticut Morgan Horse Association.

The AMHA Club Promoter Award recognizes club members who are diligent supporters of the breed, working hard to bring the Morgan into public arenas. Recipients actively promote the breed at fairs, parades, open barns, equine expos, and other activities.

Five AMHA members received a 2015 AMHA Promoter Certificate:  Kathleen Bailey of the Maine Morgan Horse Club; Shelley Bullard from the Morgan Horse Association of Oregon; and from the Connecticut Morgan Horse Association: John Bennett Jr.; Patti Brooks; and Will Filosi.

Congratulations to all!

AMHA Announces 2015 Club Contest Results

The Wisconsin Morgan Horse Club has been awarded as the 2015 AMHA Club of the Year! The announcement was made at the Annual Meeting of Members, which took place February 11 in Boston, Massachusetts, as part of The Super Convention.

Two clubs from across the country competed in the Club of the Year contest and were judged on their yearbooks, which chronicle the club's activities throughout the year in eight separate categories. A prize of $600 will be awarded to the winning club for their achievement. Earning second-place honors and a prize of $400 is the Mississippi Valley Morgan Horse Club.

Club newsletters continue to play an important role in keeping members informed of activities, meetings, news, and more. The newsletter contest is divided into two categories: local clubs and national organizations. The entries are judged in five areas, including graphic design and quality, educational content, club activity coverage, and general excellence.

In a very close contest, for the second year in a row the Morgan Horse Association of Oregon took top honors with the Maine Morgan Horse Club being recognized for second place.

Among the National Organizations entries, the Cornerstone Morgan Horse Club's newsletter earned first place honors and placing second was the newsletter of The Lippitt Club.



AMHA Announces Election Results

The American Morgan Horse Association, Inc., held its annual meeting of members as noticed on February 11, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. The results of the election conducted in conjunction with that meeting are as follows:


The proposed bylaw changes presented for approval were approved.  The revisions are to become effective as of March 31, 2016.


Karen Marlin was elected as a Director representing Region 1.

Holly Scribner was elected as a Director representing Region 1.

Kate Kirsch was elected as a Director representing Region 2.

Sherry Cole was elected as a Director representing Region 3.

Linnea Sidi was elected as a Director representing Region 9.

Ling Fu Wylie was elected to a two-year term as Director-at-Large


Following the close of the February 11, 2016 election, it was learned (through the self-reporting of one of the candidates involved) that two candidates for election to the AMHA Board were not qualified to be elected or to hold that position because each had failed inadvertently to obtain an individual membership in AMHA. Article 4.3 of the AMHA’s bylaws provides that “All directors must be members of the corporation, holding an individual or Life type of membership…at the time of their election.”

Betsy Buchanan, who was nominated and stood for election (unopposed) as a director for Region 10, and Harlan Grunden, who was nominated and stood for election (unopposed) as a Director-at-Large for a two-year term, are each a designated representative of an AMHA household/business membership account, but as of the date of the election did not have an individual or individual Life membership. The AMHA Board of Directors has determined that Ms. Buchanan and Mr. Grunden were not eligible for election, and that the election results with respect to each of them are void. Neither Ms. Buchanan nor Mr. Grunden contests that determination.

Further, it was learned that Kris Breyer, most recently elected in 2014 as a Director representing Region 5, did not maintain an individual membership at the time of that election or since. The AMHA Board has determined that Ms. Breyer is not eligible to continue service as a director. Ms. Breyer does not contest that determination.

With the approval by the members of the proposed bylaw revisions, all Board positions are now scheduled to be voted on in February, 2017. Given the impending change in AMHA’s governance structure, and the proximity of that election, the AMHA Board does not anticipate taking any action to fill Board vacancies left by these determinations and resignation. Members of affected regions may continue to rely on directors-at-large (Jeff Gove, Ling Fu Wylie) to represent their interests and to present any concerns to the AMHA Board.

The AMHA Board and staff, and the candidates involved, deeply regret that the errors described here occurred, and are taking steps to see that such errors are not repeated.

Super Convention Follow-up

Thank you to everyone who made the effort to come to Boston and be a part of the solution at The Super Convention. The efforts of so many selfless volunteers and sponsors came together and paid off in a big way for the good of the horse, not just our individual breeds.

The sharing of ideas was both educational and inspiring and many came away with the feeling that we will head into the Future working more closely together. The conversation that came from the Past, Present and Future two-day forum had strong participation with great feedback, as it gave everyone the opportunity to ask questions of the professionals and share their views.

One topic discussed was "Technology: The Good and the Bad." We talked about the many great things that can happen with the Internet, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and we talked about the bad that comes with it. Unfortunately, one of those very things recently appeared on Facebook: Horse Show Confessionals with a headline of "The Super Convention: Super Successes and Unfortunate Failures." It was from an "anonymous blogger" who had many good things to say about the Super Convention and unfortunately some very unkind things to say as well. Moving forward we certainly hope that members of all of the above organizations will treat each other with respect and act in a professional manner.

At the end of the day, that’s why we all joined together as one at the 2016 Super Convention. It was not about individuals and it was not about associations, it was about coming together for The Horse.

AMHA Announces 2016 Breed Promotion Grant Awards

AMHA is pleased to announce the 2016 Breed Promotion Grant recipients. A total of 37 grant requests were received and selecting the recipients was a very difficult task stated committee chair, Mari Sanderson.  

            The selection committee held numerous meetings to thoroughly consider the requests and we applaud everyone’s hard work on their submission(s).


Approximately $10,000 will be awarded to the following:

•    Arizona Morgan Horse Club to conduct breed demonstration at Cave Creek Rodeo Parade with over 12,000 attendees

•    Cornerstone Morgan Club for promotional booth at the Old Threshers Reunion in Iowa with over 100,000 visitors

•    Indiana Morgan Horse Club for promotional booth at Hoosier Horse Fair with approximately 35,000 visitors

•    Lippitt Morgan Club for promotional event at Equine Affaire in Massachusetts with more than 100,000 visitors

•    Morgan County Georgia 4-H Club to hold a "Make Mine Morgan" Trail Ride for 100 participants

•    Morgan Horse of Oregon for promotional event at High Desert Horse Expo, approximately 1,000 visitors

•    Morgan SafetyNet for promotional booth at Maryland World Horse Expo with more than 10,000 attendees

•    Morgan Stock Horse Association to conduct ad campaign in Western Horseman magazine with circulation of more than 160,000 readers per month.

•    National Museum of the Morgan Horse for educational program series on Joseph Battell with 1,000 event visitors

•    New England Morgan Horse Club for promotional booth at Equine Affaire in Massachusetts with more than 100,000 visitors

•    North Central Morgan Club for promotional booth at Minnesota Horse Expo with 50,000 attendees

•    New York State Morgan Horse Society for event at Western New York Equifest with more than 3,000 visitors

•    Sacramento Valley Morgan Horse Club for promotion at Western States Horse Expo with over 40,000 attendees

•    Show Me Morgans for promotion at EquiFest in St Louis and Ozark Spring Round Up with approximately 8,500 participants

•    Virginia-Carolina’s Morgan Horse Club for breed promotion video to air on local TV station, Carolina Hoofbeats TV, with more than 4 million viewers

•    Washington Morgan Horse Club for promotion at Washington State Horse Expo with over 6,000 visitors

•    Almanzo and Laura Ingalls Wilder Association, The Wilder Homestead for Morgan Horse Day and Annual Children’s Art Event with more than 500 attendees

•    Wisconsin Morgan Horse Club for promotion at Midwest Horse Fair with more than 50,000 visitors

Congratulations to everyone and we encourage submissions for 2017. The grant period will open on October 1, 2016 and close on January 15, 2017.

AMHA Reduces SynchroGait® Test Fee

In response to requests by AMHA members, and because cost to AMHA was less than anticipated, the Board of Directors recently voted to reduce the SynchroGait® Test fee. Members will now pay $135 for both RAF and registered Morgans effective immediately. The non-member fee for this test remains at $235.

For Morgan horse owners, the information from the SynchroGait® Test can be used in different ways depending on the discipline the horse is used for. In general, the test can be used:

• To plan mating in order to maximize the chances of getting a horse with the pattern of locomotion that the owner prefers.

• To predict the gaits of foals and young horses (i.e. for buying/selling youngsters).

• To match the right discipline, training, and rider with the right horse.

• To avoid pressuring a CC horse in attempts to amble or pace.

• Keep a distinct part of the population as classical three-gaited horses or as gaited horses by taking informed breeding decisions.

Upon receipt of the application and the appropriate fee, the SynchroGait® Test will be sent directly to the owner unless otherwise requested below. The SynchroGait® Test report is the exclusive property of The American Morgan Horse Association and all new DNA records may be tested against DNA on record to affirm parentage. The results of this test may be verbally disclosed upon request; however the results will not be interpreted by AMHA. The results will not appear on the registration certificate for the subject horse nor any of its descendants.

For more information on the SynchroGait® Test or for an order form, please visit


Are You Competing in 2016? Have Your AMHA Membership Card Ready

The USEF Board of Directors recently approved the change that all owners (lessees), exhibitors, and trainers of horses participating at Federation licensed competitions in all Morgan sections must be current members (Standard or Premium) in good standing AMHA. If you are not an AMHA member, a non-member fee of $45 will be imposed on the exhibitor.

A copy of your membership card needs to be submitted with all show entries. Don't have a copy? It's easy to download one from our website. Go to to download it today.

If you plan on competing this show season, be sure you renew early! Go to to renew or call AMHA at (802) 985-4944.

Is Your Morgan a Champion?

Show season will be here before you know it! Wouldn't it be great to have your horse announced as a Champion or Grand Champion at your first show this season?

More than 200 horses are enrolled in AMHA's Champion Title program, which began in 2011.  The program enrollment fee is $75 and $15 for each year of competition that points are earned. The competition year runs November 2 of the previous year to November 1 of the current year. To become a Champion, a horse must earn 15 points at any USEF rated all Morgan show or in Morgan classes sanctioned by USEF or AMHA; to become a Grand Champion, a horse must earn 30 points. Eligible classes include performance, equitation, and sport horse.

To download the program guidelines or an application, please go to Champion Title Program. Contact Chris Koliander at or by calling (802) 985-4944 ext. 402 and she will be happy to help you tally your points!

AMHA Announces Van Schaik Scholarship Winner

In the fall of 2015, the administration of the Van Schaik Dressage Scholarship was transferred from AMHI to AMHA. This scholarship will be given annually to a Morgan individual wishing to further his or her skill, knowledge, or proficiency in classic ridden dressage. The intentions of the scholarship emphasize helping to move a rider from the beginning levels of dressage to fourth level or higher.

Accordingly, AMHA is pleased to announce the 2015 recipient is Sean Cunningham, who was the rider of GBR Devine Decadence (Santa Fe Renegade x Greentree Ever Reddi). Sean and GBR Devine Decadence are the Open Competition Level 1 Dressage High-Point Champions. Sean will receive a scholarship of $2,000 to further his education in classic dressage. Congratulations!


Time to Renew Youth Clubs!

Is Your Youth Club Recognized by AMHA?

**Deadline extended - The date for club renewals each year is May 1, 2016 **

Clubs that send their renewal information by this date are included in AMHA listings. Return your Annual Application soon to allow AMHA to share up-to-date Youth information with your club!

You can find the Youth Club Application on our website at

Don't miss out; return your renewal right away! And don’t forget your club news!

For more information please contact Katie Hodges, (802) 985-4944 ext. 401,

AMHA Visa Platinum Card Program Cancelled

UMB Bank has notified AMHA that its affiliate Visa platinum card program does not have enough participation to warrant continuation. On May 1, 2016, any cards with the AMHA logo will be replaced with UMB branded cards. AMHA will no longer receive any benefits from UMB.

AMHA would encourage card holders to carefully consider any changes to this program.


High-Scoring Morgan Award Available

The American Morgan Horse Association is pleased to be able to continue to offer the High-Scoring Morgan Award to open competitions across the country. This award is designed to recognize the highest-scoring Morgan at events and competitions open to all breeds. You are invited to include this award at your 2016 event.

The award is offered free of charge to open competition coordinators upon receipt of the application form. Participating events will be included in a calendar of events available to all who visit the AMHA website,

If you are interested in presenting this award in 2016, please contact Katie Hodges at, (802) 985-4944 ext. 401, or feel free to visit our website to print off the application,


Attention Morgan Competition Exhibitors

AMHA recently received some questions regarding the changes to USEF Rule MO101: Eligibility.

The original rule included the sentence "Horses must be entered under the names of the owner(s) or lessee of record with AMHA, CMHA, BMHS or SMHS."

This sentence was shortened in the rewrite to, “Horses must be entered under the names of the owner(s) or lessee of record." The reference to the Associations was removed as they are stated earlier in the paragraph and it was felt they did not need to be repeated.

Leases must be on record with AMHA or an organization having registry reciprocity.


Do You Use Your Morgans on a Ranch?

Join AMHA’s Ranch Horse Network to connect with other farms using their Morgans for western ranch work.  We want to promote your farm and your Morgans! Whether you’re using Morgans on cattle drives, riding the fence, sorting cattle, or just navigating the terrain, we want to hear from you.

Participating farms are listed on the American Morgan Horse Association’s website and may use the program's logo on their own website. Enrollment in the program is free for Standard, Premium and Life Members.  Enrollment for Associate level members is $20 per year.

Download an application at to enroll on our website today!


AMHECT Offers New Grant to Young Adults

The American Morgan Horse Educational Charitable Trust (AMHECT) is pleased to announce the establishment of the Harry Sebring Memorial Grant. Harry was a renowned Morgan horse trainer and the grant was created by his family in his memory, since he always wanted to see young adults excel personally and professionally in the show ring.

The grant is offered to young adults (under age 40) who are AMHA members and would like to further his or her equine education, skills, or proficiency and/or to provide equine-related experiences and education that will further the recipient's business endeavors. The application must be accompanied by a full proposal of the idea, budget details, and proof of any materials that will be used to promote the event and/or program.

AMHECT will award up to a total of $5,000 each year and will consider grants of all sizes. Checks may not be made payable to the individual, but to the clinician, institution, or business providing the services.

The grant application period opens Friday, January 1, 2016 and closes at 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 31, 2016.

Inquiries about grant applications or the grant process are handled only by emailing with any questions or comments.


Industry News   


New England Has a New Horse Show

Some very exciting news concerning the horse show scene is coming from New England! A fabulous new show has been created from the partnership of two clubs. The Vermont Morgan Horse Association and the Twin State Saddlebred Association are combining to introduce the Summer Kickoff Open Horse Show, to be held June 16-18 at the Tri County Fairgrounds in Northampton, Massachusetts.  

The Tri County Fairgrounds has been the longtime home of the New England Morgan Horse Show and is a first-class facility catering to the show horse. The famous outdoor ring, with its immense proportions and ringside box seating is ideal for large, competitive classes. There is a newly enlarged indoor ring with covered warm-up ring in case of inclement weather. The stabling is first-class and the grounds spacious with several work venues. Northampton is home to many fine restaurants and the area is very picturesque.

Judges for this year’s show include Chad Cole, Missy Hanover, and John Greenall. A full slate of classes will be held for Morgans, Saddlebreds, Hackneys, and Road Horses, with Open and Equitation riders represented as well. A lot of interesting activities and parties are planned which will enable The Summer Kickoff to grow into a must-attend annual event.

Mark your calendar now for what promises to be the show of the future! For more information, go to for prize list. Contact Hayes Sogoloff,, John Lampropoulos,


Trainer's Equitation Challenge Winners Announced

In 2015, in tandem with the American Saddlebred Horse Association (ASHA), Morgan trainers participated in the Trainers' Equitation Cup. These classes, held at Morgan shows across the country, pitted professional trainers against one another in an equitation class, all with the goal to have fun and raise monies for the Super Convention, Morgan promotion, and the host show. Participants earned a chance at top prizes awarded in a drawing at the 2016 Super Convention in Boston on February 11.

Raising the most money was Carolyn Sebring, who was given an AMHA Life Membership. Jenny Taylor will receive a one-year AMHA membership. And Nikki Rae Woodworth was the lucky winner of a trip to Key West!

Congratulations to all who participated in this fun, promotional challenge!



Limited Time Opportunity: Pre-Order NIGHTWATCH™ Today

After much anticipation, Morgan enthusiasts can now pre-order the revolutionary NIGHTWATCH™ smart halter/collar online ( at a special introductory price for a limited period of time.

It’s groundbreaking when an invention comes along that can impact survival and quality of life outcomes. Yet, that is exactly what NIGHTWATCH™ is poised to do. NIGHTWATCH™ is the world’s first equine distress and wellness monitor offered as a smart breakaway halter or safety collar that alerts you at the first signs of distress (ie, colic, casting). This biomedical device monitors real-time vital signs & behaviors, works across cellular & Wi-Fi networks, offers GPS tracking, and adapts to your horse over time to maximize precision and benefit.

For more information and to order go to