Morgan Horse Breed Celebrated in Oklahoma City

Contact: Christina Koliander, (802) 985-4944 ext. 402

SHELBURNE, VT—The best of the best in the Morgan breed was celebrated in Oklahoma City for the 40th edition of the Grand National & World Championship Morgan Horse Show®, October 6-13. Since 1973, this show has represented the pinnacle of achievement in the Morgan horse world. More than 1,000 of the world’s finest Morgan horses from across the United States, Canada, and Europe met in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, to compete in over 300 classes for $400,000-plus in prize money.

WDAA & Morgan Grand NationalFor the sixth year in a row, Fred Nava of Kingston, Massachusetts, was the show’s manager, and this year, Sally Plumley of Monmouth, Oregon, served in the capacity of show chairman.

“Every year, Morgan enthusiasts from across the country look forward to these two weeks in Oklahoma City as a time to celebrate their love for this wonderful breed and this year is no exception,” Plumley said. “Our thanks go to Oklahoma City for being a wonderful host city for our world show for these many years.”

Nava, along with a dedicated and hard-working show committee and staff, joined an impressive list of sponsors, officials, and volunteers to make this year’s show the best ever. “It is with great excitement that I come to Oklahoma each year as the manager of the Grand National,” said Nava. “This horse show is where the best of the best in the Morgan breed compete and world champions are crowned. This week-long horse show is Morgan history in the making!”

The Youth of the Year Contest had ten competitors this year. Ellery Walker of Marshall, Michigan, was crowned the winner of this prestigious contest. Walker will receive a unique custom-designed prize package valuing $2,500. This award is generously sponsored by the Cynthia Elaine Epperson Trust. Earning reserve honors in the contest was Rebecca Jones of Birmingham, Alabama, who also has earned a custom-designed prize.

Local veterans and U.S. military men, women, and families were recognized and honored on Wednesday, October 10. Youth representatives from the American Morgan Horse Association presented stuffed animals, provided by the Vermont Teddy Bear Company, Shelburne, Vermont, to the children of military families to thank them for their support and sacrifice.

“The Morgan world is extremely proud and honored to recognize all of our military veterans and to give special recognition to the children of our military families,” said Plumley.

Photo © Stephen Kinney/AMHA

David and Cindy Vogels had a lot to celebrate Sunday evening when their homebred AMHF I’ve Got A Secret won both the World Champion Senior Gelding and World Champion Gelding honors with trainer Robert Kellert. The two-year-old FRF Supreme Judge was the World Champion Junior Gelding with John Hufferd showing for Fire Run Farm. In a switch, the World Champion Junior Mare, Causing Chaos, battled against the older mares to win the top honors of World Champion Mare. Chaos is owned and shown by Caprice Soltice Wilbur. World Champion Senior Mare was last year’s open winner, Jungle Love, owned by Frances Pugh and shown by Ken Swanson. Mastroianni returned to the Oklahoma stage to tie a breed record, winning the World Champion Stallion title a record four times. He was led to victory by trainer Mark Bodnar for owner Sheryl Bartolucci. LPS The Boogie Man is the only other stallion to win the World Champion Stallion title four times. The World Champion Junior Stallion was Merriehill After Hours, owned by Cingate Morgans and led to victory by Whitney Bodnar.

Photo © Stephen Kinney/AMHA

In the performance divisions, trainer Nikki Rae Woodworth rode Chloe Deeb’s As Predicted to claim the World English Pleasure Championship. Jessica Bodnar rode LLL Tzar Alexander, to top honors as the World Hunter Pleasure Champion for Dr. Boris and Emelia Tabakoff. Merriehill Home Stretch, with trainer David Rand in the buggy, claimed the World Park Harness Championship for Dantree Farm. Rick Gervasio rode his HollyBrook Touche to the World Western Pleasure Championship. Jim Taylor drove CBMF Victory Pass to the World Pleasure Driving Championship for Elizabeth and Tom Burick. Jim’s wife, Jenny, then rode PLS High Pine Picasso to win the very competitive World Park Saddle Championship for Donna Zimmerman. Peggy Alderman returned to the ring to win the World Roadster to Bike Championship with Flairetation for the second year in a row. Alderman set a record with this win, as she has driven to the world championship eight times.

The Grand National joined forces with four generous sponsors: Markel Insurance, Horse Show Wire, RaDon, and Premier Horse Video, to bring the show to online viewers for free. The video feed, which also was simulcast on USEF Network, had an incredible viewership response. These great sponsors have also made available for a limited time replays of this years show. Links can be found soon at

Plans already are underway for next year’s show, which will take place October 12-19 in, of course, Oklahoma City. Sherry Cole of Sheridan, Indiana, will be the show chairman.

Founded in 1909, the American Morgan Horse Association is a non-profit organization serving more than 50,000 Morgan horse owners, breeders, exhibitors, and enthusiasts throughout the United States. AMHA serves as a parent organization to more than 90 recognized Morgan horse clubs and national service organizations. It also provides an important link to foreign Morgan horse registries and clubs.

Working in conjunction with AMHA is the American Morgan Horse Institute (AMHI), a charitable organization dedicated to educations and historical Morgan activities. One of the activities of the AMHI is conducting the Grand National & World Championship Morgan Horse Show®, the breed’s premier show.

For more information and updates on the Morgan Grand National, go to


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