The Morgan Division of MHSA may be small, but what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in quality. MHSA was well represented at the Morgan Grand Nationals last week in Oklahoma City, both in performance and equitation classes. Over half of our nominated horses showed in performance classes in Oklahoma. Cathy McKinley showed LPV Center Stage GCH (Patch) to a Grand National Championship in Classic Pleasure AOTS, and was reserve in Hunter Pleasure AOTS. They also placed top five in Grand National Classic Pleasure Saddle Masters, and top ten in the World Championship of that class. Cathy is an amateur trainer and rider out of Quincy, Illinois. Congratulations to Cathy as Patch received his Grand Champion Status at the show!
Our Missouri horses dominated the Grand National Road Hack Saddle Seat Finals, with Anna Ehlen’s horse Ultra’s Play It Again CH (Sam) winning the Championship and Cathy’s horse Patch being named Reserve. Sam is trained by Nancy and Richard Allen of Equilink Stables in Marthasville. This was Anna and Sam’s first Championship at Nationals, and it was especially sweet as it was their last time showing together in the foreseeable future as Anna will graduate from college next April and get married next July. (In case you are interested, Sam may be available for show lease through Equliink Stables for the 2018 show season.) Stacey Swalla of Glendale Stables showed Judgement Day (JD) to a 3rd place finish in the Grand National Classic Pleasure Driving and a 6th place in the World Championship. Dawson Archibald’s Cabot on the Edge CH took Reserve honors in both the Grand National and World Championship Classic Pleasure Saddle 13 and under division, and placed 4th in the Grand Nationals Classic Pleasure Driving 13 and under in their only appearance driving. Dawson is instructed by Cheryl Manahan of Wichita Riding Academy of Wichita, Kansas. MHSA member Anna Marie Knipp also showed her Morgan Playmor’s I’m a Star Too to victories in the Grand National Park Harness Ladies Gelding and the World Championship Park Harness Ladies. Her trainer is Jim Lowry of High Spirits Farm.
Equitation Riders were also well represented. Gabriella Snyder showed her Morgan CBMF Duplicity (Waldo) to victories in both the Grand National and World Championship classes of Saddle Seat Classic Equitation 14-17. She also placed 6th in both the AMHA Gold Medal Finals and the UPHA Morgan Senior Challenge Cup, quite an accomplishment for a rider in her second year of senior equitation. Gabbi is instucted by Kent Swalla of Glendale Stables in Columbia. Isabella Privitera also had a great show, placing 2nd in Grand National Saddle Seat Equitation 14-15, 8th in World Championship Saddle Seat Equitation 14-17, top ten in the AMHA Gold Medal Finals, and top five in the UPHA Morgan Senior Challenge Cup in just her first year of senior equitation. She is instructed by Phil Fountain of Fire Stables of Lenexa, Kansas. In the 13 and under division, Dawson Archibald showed both Saddle Seat and Western Equitation. In the Saddle Seat Division, she was 3rd in both the Grand National and World Championship classes in the 13 and under age group, and was Reserve in the UPHA Morgan Junior Challenge Cup. In the Western Division, she was 4th in the Grand National class and top ten in the World Championship.
Although he is no longer nominated in MHSA, Anna Ehlen’s older horse Ashdon’s Commando’s Topic (Orion) is familiar to most, having won multiple English Pleasure and Hunter Pleasure High Point Awards and being named Versatile Morgan in his last year of MHSA competition. He is now competing in the Carriage Driving Division with Emily Frazier and had a great showing for his first trip to Nationals, getting four top five and one top ten finish in his Grand Nationals classes and a 4th place finish in the World Championships. (He may also be available for a show lease through Equilink Stables in 2018 if you are interested in trying your hand at carriage driving.)