Oklahoma City, OK - The best of the best in the Morgan breed is being celebrated in Oklahoma City for the 37th edition of the Grand National & World Championship Morgan Horse Show®. 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, Austria, and Great Britain are in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, to compete in over 250 classes for $250,000-plus in prize money.
For the fourth year in a row, Fred Nava of Kingston, Massachusetts, was the show's manager, and this year, Dr. Frederick Dills of Indiana, Pennsylvania, served in the capacity of show chairman.
"The staff and management of the show are making a special effort this year to say thank you to all the people it takes to make the Grand National a world-class event," said Dills. "Oklahoma City should be proud of this show and of their city."
Nava, along with a dedicated and hard-working show committee and staff, joins an impressive list of sponsors, officials, and volunteers to make this year's show the best ever.
A new mare on the scene, Flawless, owned by Sarah Lee, was crowned World Champion Mare at this year's show. Shown by trainer Keith Nelsen, Flawless is in her second year of showing, and took Grand Champion Mare honors at the Far West Regional Morgan Horse Show in June. This year's World Champion Stallion was Dragonsmeade Icon, shown by Tim Roesink for the Fu family of Dragonsmeade Farm. Taking reserve was the reigning two-time champion, Mastroianni, owned by Sheryl Bartolucci. For three years in a row, CBMF Ruling Class took top honors as World Champion Gelding for Tara Farm. Sadly, Ruling Class passed away last year, but the farm returned with a new gelding to land in the world champion spot. CBMF Avenger was led to victory by trainer Ken Swanson.
Wednesday evening's performances were dedicated to military veterans and soldiers.
"It was an honor to recognize veterans from both our Morgan family and in the Oklahoma City area," said Dills. "Wednesday evening featured a variety of Morgan show classes that we hope entertained the men and women who have given so much for all of us."
The Youth of the Year Contest began on Thursday and had nearly 20 contestants this year. The winner of this prestigious contest will be announced Saturday evening and she will receive a unique custom-designed prize package valuing $2,500. The winner's award is generously sponsored by the Cynthia Elaine Epperson Trust.
Motivated by the desire to give back to the Morgan community and to bring AMHA youth together under a common cause, the national Morgan charity mission named Justin Time For a Cure was established in 2009 by the AMHA Youth Council. Monies raised throughout the show season and at the Grand National benefit the Shirley Bowman Nutrition Clinic, located in Oklahoma City.
Competition continues through Saturday, October 16. Show times are 9 a.m., 1 p.m., and 7 p.m. each day. Admission is free throughout the week.
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 www.morgangrandnational.com.