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Morgans come home World Champions

From releases and special reports - November 1st, 2017 - Cover Story, Show & Event News
Eric Antman and Merriehill’s After Hours, owned by Theodore and Elaine Olsen, proved again this year to be at the top of the Morgan breed with multiple titles.

Eric Antman and Merriehill’s After Hours, owned by Theodore and Elaine Olsen, proved again this year to be at the top of the Morgan breed with multiple titles.

Howard Schatzberg photo

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — The best of the best in the Morgan breed was celebrated at the 2017 Grand National & World Championship Morgan Horse Show, held Oct. 7-14. Since 1973, this show has represented the pinnacle of achievement in the Morgan horse world, and this year more than 1,000 of the world’s finest Morgan horses from across the U.S. and Canada met to compete in over 300 classes for $400,000-plus in prize money.

Several West Coast Morgan stables were extremely successful, bringing home multiple World Grand Championships and Grand Championships.

Kate Ramsower of Alamo, won the highly competitive AMHA Youth of the Year Award after competing with other youth from all over the nation in four different areas, including written exams, oral presentation, judging contest, and horsemanship pattern. She is trained and instructed by Merin Maggi at Maggi Stables in San Martin.

California riders dominated the Equitation divisions.

Victoria Walz of Rancho Santa Fe received victories not only in the Saddle Seat division but also in the Western Seat division. In the Saddle Seat, she won the AMHA Saddle Seat Gold Medal Finals, the 16-17 year old age group and the Senior Saddle Seat Equitation World Grand Championship riding her Morgan, King Lehr’s Friar Tuck. Waltz and “Tuck” are trained and instructed at Majestic Farms in San Marcos by Eric Antman, Austin Eversman and Anne Speck. Waltz also was crowned not only AMHA Western Seat Gold Medal Finals Champion but also Senior Western Seat Equitation World Champion aboard Knolltop’s Heir Apparent. Waltz and “Goose” are trained and instructed at River Run Farm in Lakeside by Darcy Albino-Attig.

Amanda White, of Rancho Santa Fe won the Hunt Seat on the Flat Equitation World Championship for 14-year-olds. She is trained and instructed at Miller Equestrian in Escondido by Frank and Ann Miller.
Ayla Palos of Wildomar was crowned World Champion Walk Trot Hunt Seat Equitation for 10- and 11-year olds. She was Grand National Champion Walk Trot Hunt Seat Equitation for 10-year olds. She is trained and instructed at Wallen West Farms in Temecula by Robb Wallen.

Other young California riders that were also victorious were from the Rushton Stables in Perris, where they are trained and instructed by Gerry Rushton and Stacy Hennesey. Megan Renouf and SMS Beaconsfield were winners in the World Championship Walk Trot Classic Pleasure 9-and-under, and the Grand National Walk Trot Classic Pleasure 9-and-under. Mollie Tuten and AW Minutes to Midnight was first in the Grand National Walk Trot Equitation 9-and-under.

Majestic Farms, with Eric Antman’s and Austin Eversman’s training, won several other Morgan World Championships in addition to the Equitation World Championships. Eric Antman, showing Merriehill’s After Hours, was a repeat champion in the Grand National Stallion In Hand 5 & Over, World Champion Senior Champion Stallion and World Grand Champion Stallion In Hand. Tayler Walters from San Diego was a double-World Champion rider. She rode Meet George Jetson to victories in the Grand National and World Champion Ladies Park Saddle classes. She also was the winner in the Grand National Amateur Ladies English Pleasure Mares and World Champion Amateur Ladies English Pleasure on RWF On Display.

Rushton’s Stables, with Gerry Rushton’s and Stacy Hennesey’s training, won multiple Morgan Grand and World Championships as well. The Noblest and Paul Brisco won the Morgan World Championship Amateur Pleasure Driving for a record sixth year in a row. Other Rushton Stables World Champions included Merriehill Home Stretch and Kathy Papola in the Grand National Amateur Masters Park Saddle, KMR A Touch of Luck Grand National Amateur Gentlemen’s Classic Pleasure Driving, KMR A Kiss for Luck and Corey Kemp – World Champion Classic Pleasure Driving Junior Horse, Invitation Only and Libby Utecht – World Champion Classic Pleasure Driving Ladies.

It was a great Morgan World Championship week for the California Morgans, their owners, their trainers, their instructors and their riders. Many of these champions will be on display at the free Morgan Open Barn Day on Saturday, Nov. 4.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Anne Speck was a major contributor to this report.

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