maybe a solution??

hello all,

Many of us have concerned ourselves with the survival of some of our smaller shows as well as our regionals and the also the market for a Morgan that might not be competitive at OKC, but could do just fine on a local or even regional level.

  As a solution, we were wondering if some qualifying changes could be helpful. If we contstructed our Grand National qualifying system differently we could maybe support more shows and some more local shows. If we required a horse/rider to qualify (same guidelines as far as which ribbons qualify you) by getting a qualifying ribbon (I think it’s 1-8th place) in two (instead of the current one) classes at regional shows (as opposed to regional OR non-regional shows as it is now) then we’d at least have horses that go to either 2 regionals, or they show back in their championship at the one they go to. However, in order to support the smaller shows, we could require that a horse show in and complete a class (or 2…not sure ) at a non-regional show in order to qualify for the regional. SO…in order for a horse to go to OKC and become a world champion, they’d have to have been to 2 shows…one to qualify for regionals and a regional to qualify for OKC.  How would everyone feel about this idea?? I’m mostly curious because it came up on another list and we wondered how people would feel. Personally, I have no issue with it. What are everyone else’s thoughts??


39 Responses to maybe a solution??

  1. Carley says:

    one of the problems with this is that not all regionals are held after the local class A shows. Our regional show (gold cup) is held prior to some of the class A shows in MI. in order for this idea to become a reality, it would take an entire revamping of the morgan show season schedule and dates.

  2. RaeOfLight says:

    Yes, early Regionals could be problematic. One solution could be any A rated show that occurs after the Regional counts toward the next year’s Regional. Or, any A rated show after GN could count. OR (and this could be true either way) qualification could happen at any A rated show, it wouldn’t have to be local… not necessarily the most economical solution for some folks, but it’s an idea.

  3. Carley says:

    i really like the idea however, its very logical.

  4. wayzata says:

    I love the idea of needing more than one class to qualify for OKC. However, for some people going to regionals is very expensive because it is a longer show and then it would be impossible to go to OKC. For example, when I was a jr. ex, I knew several people that couldn’t go to Jubilee (our closest regional) because then they couldn’t go to OKC. But they would go to OKC and do quite well.
    And qualifying at an A rated show counting towards the next year wouldn’t work for some jr. ex and jr. horses because they would be in a different age group.
    Maybe a regional placing could count as 2 “points” and an A rated show could count as 1 “point” and there would be a “point” minimum to qualify for OKC?

  5. StacyGRS says:

    I don’t think you’d have to have the first show be in the same region and I, personally, would have no problem with it being a “B” show…I understand Mason Dixon is now “B”. Perhaps if people had more reason to support some of these shows, they’d get back to being “A”. The only regionals that I thought would be a problem were Citrus Cup and possibly Southern States. River Ridge, Mason, Ky. Spring Premeir, and UPHA are all before Gold Cup…and that’s just off the top of my head.
    as for not being able to do a regional and OKC, I have to say that (here it comes…the unfortunate sign that I’m getting old) when I was a Jr Exb, Oklahoma was not a given. We might do some local shows and regionals every year and OKC every other…or every third. The day people started giving up everything else so they could do teir one show and Oklahoma is the day we lost the value in our regionals.
    I think that most areas that would have a really early regional would be the areas that have temps to warrent them. And most of those areas have early shows too…for instance, Citrus Cup is early, but I think there’s 2-3 shows in Fl. before then that could qualify. I would think you’d do it just like they do for Nationals…the day OKC is over, you can start qualifying. So, for instance, we have a December show out here….that could qualify us for our regional. I think if you do points you still leave the door open for people to qualify only at a regional and we’ve continued to not support the shows that get the new people going. I’m sure there are exceptions, but, I bet it’s a small percentage of the horses that show at OKC that have not been to a regioanl.
    Just some food for thought…

  6. leslie says:

    I like it, but maybe not the part about requiring a ribbon at regionals to go to OKC, and instead just requiring placings at two different recognized shows. Showing is never going to be cheap, but I’m betting there are people out there who can go to Nationals or their regional, but not both in the same year. Also, if there’s something else going on in your life that prevents you from competing at your regional, I don’t think that should necessarily exclude you from nationals if you and/or your horse have proven yourselves in other show rings.

    I also like the idea of qualifying for regionals by placing at smaller shows, because if they’re going to have the designation of being a regional show, it seems like they should mean something. I don’t see a big problem with just having the qualifying season start after the regional show and run until next year’s regional (or start and end the year at the date of close of entries.) For age-restricted classes, maybe they’d just have to run it like the medal classes do now, where you can qualify for next year’s medal final at one of the post-GN shows, even if you’ll be 18 the following year.

    Saddlebreds don’t have to qualify for their World Championship (or at least they didn’t used to?) and that caused the situation where horses would only leave the farm for Lexington and Louisville and maybe the American Royal. These are show horses, and I think in order to earn the designation of “World Champion” they should have to actually show, not just stay tucked away in the barn and only appear when the stakes are the absolute highest.

  7. StacyGRS says:

    I agree wholeheartedly about the horses needing to show more than what’s absolutely required to go to OKC…it has made us all suffer.
    As for the regionals, well…2 trains of thought. First is maybe OKC shouldn’t be the last show on everyone’s schedule automatically. Maybe they should have their regional be their grand finale occasionally. It would make winning at a regional alot more prestigeous if everyone that had to show at OKC had to show at one. I’m not a big fan of qualifying a horse at the smallest show possible to not have to work for the win and they heading to OKC. They haven’t “earned” their trip to OKC other than going around the ring (they may not have had to beat a single horse!) and it slights the audience from getting to see the good horses. The more those good ones are in the ring, the more they represent us. The more of them in the ring at one show, the better the show is to watch, which leads to audience, participation, etc. Just good for us all. I don’t know where you live, but, many areas have alot of options for regionals…for instance, if NE is too expensive, then maybe Mid A, Gold Cup, Syracuse, Southern States…
    Out here our options are slimmer (Ca.) but I still think it needs to be done.
    I don’t see why qualifications can’t be done starting the day after OKC. I think it might take some getting used to, but, to be honest, going to our World Championships SHOULD take a little effort and you should have to want it badly enough to go out of your way to qualify, not just show at the 1 show you were going to anyway and automatically get qualified.

  8. RaeOfLight says:

    Well said, Stacy. I agree, a trip to OKC is something that should be earned, not something you’re just entitled to (makes me think of “there are no losers in t-ball”). If it’s a matter of not being able to afford to make the number of shows plus a trip to OKC, well, tough luck (I’m not just being heartless here, I’d land in the “tough luck” category more often than not).

    But, like Stacy said, a change like this would make a regional title more prestigious, and would make OKC truly the creme-de-la-creme. And, as regional titles become more noteworthy, the value of a regionally competitive horse also rises.

    I’m going to show my ignorance a bit here, but does anyone know if there’s a list out there of A and B rated Morgan Shows? I checked the USEF site, but nothing jumped out at me. If we included B rated shows that might help cut down the costs for some folks.

  9. DVFMorgan says:

    I know the Arabians have a similar format, in that they have to qualify for Regionals which is a big deal here for them, and they have a very large turnout at the local A shows to get qualified. I am not sure their exact structure to go to Nationals, but I think they can only qualify with ribbons from a Regional show.

    Qualifying Morgans from a Regional Show would be a huge problem for some as our closedt Regional is 24 hours away. OKC is 32, so pretty tough making two long hauls like that in a year. Also our closest Regional is during final exama for our junior riders, so that pretty much cuts them out.

  10. Sue says:

    I like the idea of qualifying for regionals and I read some very good ideas for qualifying. I do agree that some of the classes at OKC should not have qualifing requirements and I think think should be left alone (Parade, 2 year old driving, Fit and Show, etc.) One thing that has always bothered me, is the fact that a one horse class at one show (any show rated A) will qualify a horse. I really don’t think that is a testament ot being “OKC worthy”. To clarify, I have qualified horses in one horse classes, because that was only class available and I thought it was silly. I understand why this is allowed, esoecially in the Park Harness division, where entries are so light and many classes cancelled. Now that I have opened a brand new Pandora’s Box……..

  11. StacyGRS says:

    Yes, Karen, I did wonder how we would deal with our neighbors to the north:0 And other countries. How does it work now? Does USEF currently sanction your shows? Do you have something comparable to a regional? If someone is bringing their horse from England, do they have to qualify here now or can they do it there? In order to find a solution to the problem, I guess I need to understand how it works now:)
    ps…how’s the weather??:) Perhaps you should come visit your sister…it’s 60 here;)

  12. DVFMorgan says:

    Well normally our Equine Canada is our governing body, same as your USEF, the rules state qualifying from any USEF or Equine Canada Show. There has been a large disunity across Canada this year with Equine Canada. That is a whole other story. I believe BC, AB, SK and MB are all still part of the Far West Region, and that would be our closest Regional Show.

    I kind of like the idea of a horse having to show at least at two shows, this would help the A shows with their entries. That may be the solution. I think the problem lies in that pretty much any horse can qualify for OKC pretty easily, so it is really not as high a rating as one may like it to be. If you make the qualifying tougher, do you then cut your entries at OKC? Brr…cold and snowing, tow trucks will be busy tonight.

  13. StacyGRS says:

    So, how do you qualify for the GN now? We have to get certain ribbons at a USEF “A” show, but, if you don’t have USEF do you have to go to an “A” rated Equine Canada show? Does Equine Canada rate shows like we do?
    Honestly, I don’t think OKC would suffer much at all…maybe a few, but I think it can afford a few if it saves shows around the country.
    Something else I mentioned earlier that I really do think is important is showing those good horses. Some own them and show them and let us all enjoy watching and I think them…they make the horse shows better which is better for us all. I can remember some great classes that had multiple super stars and I don’t remember who won them as much as I remember the great class and the horses “in the hunt”. We really need to encourage people with these stars to get them out to be examples and let them create buzz. If they really are great horses, they can go to 3-4 shows over a year and if we incinuate that they can’t then we show a huge lack of faith in that individual as well as these horses in general.
    hmmm…cold and snowing…does not sound fun. Stay in!

  14. DVFMorgan says:

    Yes, Equine Canada rates shows per the money that is awarded. 1st through 4th at an qualifying EC show gets you a ticket to OKC. We have not really had a drop in our entries at all, in fact looking through results this past summer, our shows have much larger classes than a lot of the US shows. Our Championship classes are usually very well filled. Most of the horses here that show at OKC will show at 3 or 4 shows here through out the season. A different view on horse showing, they all show their horses to show them. Different mentallity.

    I think it would be great to see some of these horses out showing at more than one venue. We need to create abit of a superstar Morgan again, something for people to look forward to. Back in the day did they not take Waseeka’s Skylark to every Regional Show one year, or almost every Regional? UVM Promise, Rapidan Appollo, they used to show those horses alot. Royal Fleetson, Bennfields Ace, there used to be some amazing classes, and The Buckeye, he was always cool to watch to see if he would stay in his harness in the line up.

    Tried to book a flight to CA, but have to go to a Morgan Club meeting that weekend instead, will keep looking for flights.

  15. GraceMorgn says:

    I think that having to show at more shows to show at Nationals is a good way to support local shows and would increase participation at the local level. I don’t think it would affect the quality of horses at Nationals or provide a more “deserving” winner, as the quality at each show, even regionals, varies widely. I know a few horses or riders that have won at quite a few local shows, done well enough at regionals and failed to run with the big dogs at Nationals. We just need to be clear about what the goal of additional qualifications would be.

    If it is not just to help local shows, but more that we feel that the current system is not producing the type of World Champions we want, I think that we have to answer a question. What is the intent and meaning of a being a World Champion?

    While these two scenarios have been boiled down to bare bones and there are lot of thoughts and issues surrounding both, it does give a very basic look at what we are trying to accomplish with the World Championships.
    Scenario 1: Is the intent that the World Champion crowned be considered the best horse/ rider in that division? That whomever wins the World Championship class at Nationals is the best of the best? Does the World Champion title still come down to just that class?

    If yes, then the system in place provides that. Horses have to qualify, even if that qualification is to win a one horse class at one small show. From that qualification, they must show in a Grand National class and complete that class. Then they show back in the World Championships and the chips fall as they may.

    We have all seen horses that have won all year long get beat at Nationals. Maybe it wasn’t their day, maybe the judge didn’t like the style, maybe a kid freaked out and the horse broke or maybe there was just a better horse is the ring. There are tons of situations where a horse that many people think is the best does not win. There are also times when a horse almost no one has heard of or seen shown comes marching in the ring and makes everyone’s jaw drop. They win their Grand National class and win their World Championship and no one denies that they are the best of the best.

    If we want to have the class at Nationals be the determining factor, we must accept that the best of the best is crowned on an “any given Sunday” mentality. That anyone can win that class by being the best horse on that day. If we follow that, we cannot limit who can show in that class by placings in other classes or how many shows a horse has been to. Everyone gets a chance to compete against everyone else and whoever rises to the top that day is the World Champion.

    If we make additional rules about the number of shows or the placings a horse has to receive to compete at Nationals, we have done nothing but limit the pool of horses who is allowed to vie for the title. We haven’t increased the competition or made sure only the worthy will be World Champions. The horse that got 5th in every class at the 4 shows they went in before Nationals can still walk out a World Champion.

    Scenario 2: Do we feel a World Champion should have to win consistently and at multiple shows? Do we feel that a true World Champion competes a lot against many horses? Is a World Champion defined as the horse with the most placings throughout a season?

    If yes, then we need to make Nationals just another show and start a point system that will award the World Champion in each division at the end of the year. One class at Nationals cannot accomplish what we would be saying a World Champion is. The only way to award a consistent winning horse is to assign points for placing based on the number of horses beat and then add up them up and crown a winner. Maybe Nationals point values are higher than Regionals that are higher than regular shows.

    This of course does not address the different depth of quality at each show or prevent the great trailer race across the nation for points, but it comes closer to naming a consistent winning World Champion than relying on one class.

    Just some food for thought.


  16. StacyGRS says:

    I would look to the changes to support the local shows and give our industry a boost. Period. With shows (out here at least) having class after class of 1 and 2 horses in them, it is no fun to watch and it does not give anyone looking in from the outside a reason to aspire to have a show horse. There’s little prestige in winning a 1 or 2 horse class which means that, at this point, saying you won at an “A” show does not mean alot. And saying you won at a Regional does not hold the prestige it sounds like it would…you may well have not beaten another horse. So, to have any sort of title that holds any importance, you have to win at OKC. We have nobody in the stands because it isn’t fun to watch these tiny classes…even the great horses are not as great when they’re in there alone it seems. There was a time that advertising a top ten was not crazy. That was something to be proud of…more people got to have that distinction without just adding more classes so there’s one for everyone and everybody gets a blue. If the only “important” show is OKC, then we’re going to have a VERY hard time getting people into this breed. A new rider that goes to their first show and gets a 6th place out of 12 kids will be alot happier than if they got a second out of 2. No matter how good the winner was. And, like I said, the point isn’t to add more classes so everyone gets to say they were a winner, let there be some predtige in getting a ribbon. But we need people in the classes to make getting a ribbon an accomplishment. Our industry has failed to support the shows for the fun of it, or to be supportive. It’s all about OKC and if that’s the case, then make them support along the way to that all important show.

  17. empressive says:

    I’m in college now so it’s all $5 shows from here, but if there were more horses in classes I would be estatic to at least just go and watch. A few years ago I was at a show and each class had 30 or more horses… for each class!!

    That was exciting, fun, and worth seeing. Now there are less horses competeing economy and all, but I have always believed that there should be a place where the best of the best go to compete. That for Morgans is the National.

    That is what shows are about. This day, this time, this horse and rider combo was the best. So then ask, where is the best show to compete against the best? Nationals.

    I think creating a more stingent system would only stiffle the show world. Regionals and smaller shows are almost equated as warm ups for the big show. While sometimes we do not take advatage of the little shows could be because we want something bigger and better, or a multitude of other things.

    There are a million was to cut back and raise money. Maybe we ought to host more shows alongside other breeds? Or cut back on classes? I’m not completely sure, but by asking people to compete at more shows we are asking them to spend more money.

    Which is fine, we are always looking to capitalize. And maybe we ought to try it for a spell and see what happens. Question is… is the downfall worth the try?

  18. empressive says:

    Only because I just can’t seem to find the edit button…

    My name is Monique.


  19. smccullo says:

    To Stacy’s original question, I am all for requiring a horse to compete in one A show and one regional to qualify for nationals. This is somewhat similar in the Arab world. They being of such larger numbers, though, have the advantage of their regionals moving around. It would be nice if we could do that. It may allow folks who would normally not compete at a regional to finally show at one. I know I showed when it was in Phx or Vegas…

    Another thought to increasing the number of exhibitors, would be to establish a point/titling system where the achievement is actually attached to the horse’s name. Saddlebreds and Arabians have point systems and titles that remain with the horse forever. Would adding something like this to our breed increase participation? IMO, yes. It means something to me to have an additional “tag” on my horse’s name, much like a title on a show dog be it conformation, agility or obedience. OK, so I don’t win a blue ribbon, but my placing earns me points toward a lifetime achievement. The Gold/silver/Bronze awards in AMHA don’t really do that, I don’t think. Aren’t they for all breed/open shows?

    And to the comments about the singleton classes…I am ok with higher resolution of the qualifier classes (open, ama, jr horse, jr exb (name your age bracket), but at the smaller shows, make the championship a combined class, otherwise it is just a repeat of the same class. The issue with doing that is the class criteria would have to be spelled out and perhaps a junior exh horse would be held to an unfair standard, if the class spec were to an open horse. If the specs are the same for ama and Jr exh, then it could be broken down to just Pro and Ama.

    Just my $.02.


  20. IED says:

    I do not agree that one should show at a local and then regional show to be eligible for competition at OKC.

    I don’t know the backgrounds of everyone posting on here, but I imagine that those with a great deal of funding behind them and clients with money to throw around would gun for this system. The thing that I think needs to be remembered is that not everyone can afford to do the local, then the regional, then the national show all in the same year, or even a regional one year and nationals the next. Not only are the entry fees for regionals and nationals substantially more expensive than many local shows, but the distance itself can be overwhelming.

    For a good long time I showed on my own and scrimped and saved in order to send myself and my horse to Nationals. We qualified by winning at several local shows that were made quite affordable by being an hour from home in a city where I had relatives to stay with. Going to the closest Regional, which would have been Jubilee, was an easy 10-12 hour haul… plus the expense of staying in a hotel (which is quite substantial), the gas money, taking off work and having a parent need to take off work to accompany me the entire time instead of popping off one afternoon to help set up and commuting back and forth, and of course the sheer length of the show. While I still view regionals as being prestigious, if I were going to shuck out that kind of money and had only one opportunity to do so, I would definitely pick Nationals over Regionals and did. It’s not necessary to qualify at a regional to have a horse that does well at Nationals – my mare was top 10 in Hunter Pleasure Amateur, and I was thrilled to pieces.

    Just saying that if finances are an issue for me, I am certain they are an issue for others as well. For those that have the dream of getting to Nationals and DON’T just get to go every year and have fistfuls of money to throw at this sport, I strongly believe it would be too much of a roadblock.

    Something I think it would be wise to remember is that, while the OKC classes are big, they are not enormous when you consider the fact that it is our world/national show. Even in the hunter division, which as of late is the largest division, classes seemed to be capped at around 23-26 entries. While this is very substantial for any other show, compare, if you will, to the Arabians, who have numbers in the hundreds for hunter pleasure qualifying classes. They HAVE to have the higher qualifying standards or their national show would be a month long!

    I also believe we must remember that the nation is in a recession… adding in big bucks qualifying standards now would probably be a mistake. I believe OKC entries would simply decline, and I’m sure the AMHA wouldn’t be too amused by that.

  21. smskelly says:

    I certainly don’t fall into the lots of disposable cash category, but I do attend multiple A-rated shows and one Regional show each year. I agree that qualification for OKC should be more difficult – one qualifying ribbon really isn’t that hard to achieve.

    Additionally, I really, really like the idea of a point system, like ASB, QH or Arabians have. That would reward the horses that have consistent careers but for whatever reason, have never made the OKC trip.

  22. GraceMorgn says:

    Wanting to shore up the participation at small shows and regionals to improve class size and the prestige, as well as hopefully increase spectators, makes total sense to me, but I don’t think tying it to Nationals is the way to go. Regionals are just not feasible for many people, either financially or logistically. And I don’t know if the rule change would make enough of a difference.

    There are many people who go to Nationals and not to a Regional, but I wonder how many horses only show at one show before Nationals? Do we think this a wide spread problem? Aren’t most horses already going to a couple shows before hand? If they are, will requiring more than one ribbon to get to Nationals really increase participation at other shows? Will it really affect that many participants to make it worth the rule change?

    I think the idea of a CH designation or something like it would be more effective at bolstering class and show particpation. It recognizes the horses and riders (loving eq, I think their should be something for the eq riders as well) that do well consistently, but it doesn’t make Nationals the end all be all for everyone. The really great horses, as in Saddlebreds, will end up with a CH designation and a World Championship title, really proving their credentials. Instead of limiting Nationals participation, you increase the number of things that a horse or rider can try to achieve.

    My other question is around the comment that qualification to get to Nationals should be harder? I guess I don’t understand why. What isn’t being accomplished in the current qualification?

    Super fun discussion!


  23. smskelly says:

    “What isn’t being accomplished in the current qualification? ”

    The answer to that will, I think, vary from person to person. I’m not convinced that it should be easy to qualify to go to a show that we are placing so much emphasis on. Let’s say you show your horse in a 4 horse class at an A-rated show. Obviously, no matter what (if your horse decides that’s the time to forget everything he knows and acts like a jerk, which let’s face it, they all seem to do at least once in their careers!:-)), you will qualify. Or, you go to a Regional, and are in a 8 horse class. You qualify. I guess I don’t think a horse should qualify for our World Championship show by default, so to speak. I think qualifying for OKC should be meaningful on its own – it should be an accomplishment, not something that is nearly a foregone conclusion. JMHO

    I very much think that a point system with a CH or similar designation would be a great idea. There are so many good horses out there that never go to OKC, and this would be a terrific way to recognize their achievements.

  24. StacyGRS says:

    First of all, more horses than you think go to OKC after 1 show. More than you think go there for the first time ever and show in the futurity class to qualify for the championship. They’ve never paid an entry fee at another show, they’ve never supported their local or regional shows and can become a 2 time world champion (they can win their futurity class and then go on to the championship) without ever having gone to another show.
    Second, what isn’t being acheived with the current system is qualification being anything but showing up. I can very likely take my 2 yr old pleasure driving horse in the open pleasure driving championship at our regional and be either champion or reserve champion…because there will only be 1 or 2 in there. So, now I’m qualified for Open Pleasure driving:) I am quite sure that there was not 1 EP, park saddle, park harn. or PD class at Medallion last year that didn’t qualify everyone in it. Good,bad, or indifferent. Just showing up was enough.
    I think the people that don’t show much now will not be inspired by a CH, or something similar, although I do think that would be a good system to implement to reward the long time campaigners that have earned some kind of recognition. Those that don’t show much now are interested in one thing…a World title at Oklahoma. Which is not a bad goal, but they are sacrificing the other shows because theya re so focused on that one week in Oct.
    Back east we had NE which was a big enough show that it held prestige. There’s nothing like that in the rest of the country…only OKC. I just think it would be a great thing for the industry if more of the Regionals had status, but, right now they really don’t have much.
    My interest would be in getting the Regionals to be enough of an accomplishment that not everyone feels shorted if they don’t go to OKC. and secondly, in making sure that the local shows stick around. If we are going to attract new people, we better have some kind of local, lower cost shows to go to for these people to get started at. Starting them off at their first show for their little girl to go to that involves the family being away for a week, staying in a hotel, and thousands of dollars is not going to make many people jump in. And, if we are all only focused on showing for that 1 week in Oct., then these shows aren’t going to be there for this purpose. I am not really interested in cutting the entries at OKC…I agree, I have no issue with the big classes, in fact I love them. But, if OKC lost a dozen entries but those entries went to a Regional instead, I don’t think OKC would feel the negative effect as much as the regionals would feel the positive effect.
    Perhaps if this were to succeed, it would be necessary to evaluate our current regionals and be sure that they are located in a reasonable proximity to all areas, as much as possible. Or, if local shows are that much easier, perhaps 2 options…1 local show to qualify for 1 regional to qualify for OKC OR 3 local shows. I don’t know…food for thought…

  25. smccullo says:

    What are your thoughts on adding Morgans to the Pacific Coast point system? Those shows seem to be everywhere in Az and SCa and many are practice shows. That seems like a good first step into getting newbies into aspiring for a yearend goal that is not focused on OKC. Our Reg VII awards are harder because there are fewer shows available. I know NYS has or had the NYSSHA shows which I did for years and loved them.

    We can’t afford to add restrictions on one end without opening a door on another.


  26. DVFMorgan says:

    We have five A rated shows that are combined with Saddlebreds and a couple of them with Arabians. They are all within an 1.5 hour away, so it makes it pretty easy to get new people started. We have a fairly good selection of Morgan classes at each show, and then a full All Breed division, which makes for some good sized classes. It think there were 10 kids showing in the Walk/Trot All breeds classes, pretty much all season. 16 kids in the Jr Ex hunter pleasure is not unusuall here at all. Perhaps joining up with another breed may help the local area shows.


  27. 1light says:

    We have high point where I show and no one really cares about it, at least not nearly as much as OKC. The reason people value OKC so much more is becuase it’s the only chance we have to show against people from other parts of the country. Morgans are a smaller breed, so regionals, local shows, etc, all see the same barns and same horses so, for the most part, you know who the top few are in each region, ie: new england, midwest, oklahoma area, west coast. After one or two shows, you can kinds see what direction the year is heading in terms of who has something great. Not to say that teams don’t get better and better or that there aren’t the teams that end up surprising you, but in general. The BIG goal is to go to OKC where you really can show youself against people from all over! In other breeds like AHA or AQHA, regional shows actually have significantly more people than you’d see at a regular class A show, which is different.

    I do agree that the local shows need to get bigger, but I do also think that if OKC lost entries it would be a big deal beucase it’s really not that big of a show already for a world show. Only I think hunt eq has come CLOSE to having the numbers of entries that other breeds terminal shows have.

    I know Arabs have a system where you get such and such points for 1st place, 2nd etc, but the number also depends on how many were in the class. A system like that could let people only go to one or two shows but have to perform very well, and i guess “prove” they could pull it off. Just a thought.

  28. empressive says:

    I agree with DVF. It would be quite logical to join another breed at a show. Instead of just a small show. Plus you are meeting new people, possibly customers, and a whole new world would show up.

    There are many breeds that I’m sure and actually know, would love to cooperate to come together for one show.

    I also wanted to offer… what if Nationals was only every other year? That would not only make it feasible, give it more prestige, but also make the qualification status understandable.

    Stacy, as you have said it is usual for a horse who has never been shown to compete and win. That’s great for some of, but where is the prestige?

    Seriously, I do understand that making Nationals a “every other year” may not be “fun or wonderful” for some but in the long run it would be good for everyone.


  29. jns767 says:

    I’ve never been to Nationals, nor have I been to a Regional. My parents never had the money for that – and at this point, I don’t. I do, however participate when I can at our local breed shows. I try to attend either Morgan Showtime or the All Morgan. I also hit up smaller ones like Kiwanas Crystal and/or Spring Show. I have qualified to go to Nationals everytime, it’s actually quite easy – atleast in Michigan – and I’m no champion. Anyway, I have to agree with IED on this one. I don’t think people should be required to qualify at a Regional in order to go to Nationals.

    At some point, I’d love to go to Nationals – the year that I do (hopefully soon), I can almost gauruntee that I’m not going to be able to go to Gold Cup AND Nationals. Maybe someone already said this, but why can’t there just be heftier requirement at the local A shows – maybe instead of 1 class placing, there should be 3 or maybe 1 placing at 2 different A shows….

    My silly thoughts probably don’t mean much, but I truly believe there’s huge prestige to win at a Regional, to win at Nationals? It’s something I can only dream of. Perhaps to those of you who regularly go to Nationals and do very well, it’s not as big – but to me – it’s a huge thing to even place. Regardless of who goes to Nationals, it doesn’t take away the fact that the best of the best are competing.

  30. StacyGRS says:

    Yikes..OKC every other year? So, there’s a chance that kids would age out in a year that didn’t have OKC? And Jr horses would only get 1 Jr year under saddle? I don’t think that would work.
    In my area, most of our shows are combined breeds…the only all Morgan shows we go to, IIRC, are June Classic and Morgan Medallion. The rest are combined with between 1 and 3 other breeds. But, most of the classes are not combined…so, the other breeds have strong divisions and our’s are light…not exactly a selling point for us.
    For the Michigan person, is Michigan All Morgan not still a regional? That would be alot closer than Gold Cup.
    Sue…I have no thoughts on adding Morgans to the Pacific Coast system…I’m not really sure I know the details of that circuit. What is the bonus? What’s the payoff? How does it work? Sell me:):)

  31. Carley says:

    Michigan All Morgan is not only not a regional, but its not even its own show this year. It has been combined with the other Class A morgan show in MI, Morgan showtime. The only other class A show in MI is the michigan morgan horse breeders futurity, which is also under scrutiny for many reasons (one of which is because its been combined with an arab show this year). The michigan morgan shows are in trouble. membership is down and lots of people are pissed off at the ways the BOD is trying to save money. we just lost our largest showing facility (mi state fair grounds) thanks to the governor selling the land. there are very few other places to show.

  32. smccullo says:

    Stacy, is an organization that promotes the showing of ASBs, Hackneys, Roadsters, Friesans, and equitation through “member shows” in AZ, NV, Ca and CO. The best part is that there are already member shows that have a large complement of morgan classes – Jingle Bells, UPHA Chap 1, Flagstaff, Charity Fair, Fall Futurity, and the list goes on with the small local fun shows. You have champion and reserve high point for the year by accumulating points. The awards banquet is at JingleBells.

    I may have spoke to soon, though – it looks similar to our Region VII award system. Its frustrating that the many all breed shows are not Reg VII pointed (YEAH Carousel is for the first time!!!!!)


  33. Jennifer says:

    Hi Stacy,
    What a great topic! Back in the 80′s in Michigan we had shows to go to every weekend. As a Jr. Exh. I only went to Gold Cup twice. Although I was a very good rider, did well in Michigan, and Helen Crabtree really like my riding, I didn’t go to Nationals at the end of my Jr. Exh. years(1987). My mom and I worked on our own and weren’t real popular with the Michigan trainers.

    I do like the idea you are suggesting, but part of the problem with Gold Cup is that entries are due on April 30 (stiff late penalty fees) and, without a drive, Michigan has not had an A show. Currently River Ridge (4 hr drive) is the same weekend as a local show so requiring qualification would actually kill a local show. Having a show earlier than the end of April would be really risky with the weather. The State only has one completely enclosed facility and that is just for the show arena and stabling, which is booked solid.

    Personally, I have never been to Nationals due to finances. I have been to Gold Cup a total of four times now. I’m still debating if I will attend this year with my horse(hunter). Mom will go with her horse as she is a Master’s WP rider. She and I discussed taking her horse to Nationals, but have decided there are too many risks for her horse to travel that far (traffic accidents, colic, etc.). Based on the current judging standards my hunter is not nationally competitive and only marginally competitive regionally. I’m okay with that :)

    Jennifer Vida
    MJMHA BOD secretary

  34. RaeOfLight says:

    The more I think about this idea, the more I just like it. But I’ve only ever been to a few shows and only participated in one (so far). The way I’m seeing it the main objections we have right now are cost, and feasibility for some folks who are far away from the closest regional show. Not to say these aren’t valid reasons, but if they’re the only ones, surely we can find a way around them.

    One suggestion that has already been made is that of moving regional shows around, particularly in regions where there are folks that need to make a long haul to get there. I know this could introduce some hassle for the organizers of the shows, but it might be worth it.

    Another solution might be to change the Regional qualification to what the GN currently requires (which isn’t all that much), and up the ante for GN qualification. Perhaps a placing at a Regional show could count as multiple “points”. So, for example, if GN changes to require 4 placings at A rated shows (just a hypothetical) a Regional placing could count for 2. With the Regional qualifier class you’d already be at 3, so with a championship class thrown in for good measure you’d be all set.

    Or there’s always the idea of using a points system of some sort. I’m not familiar at all with how other breeds do this, so I’m not qualified to propose anything. But it seems like there are plenty of ways to accommodate everyone in the change while still growing support for smaller shows and adding value to Regional titles.

  35. Trisha says:

    Making it harder to qualify will really only hurt the hunter, western, and equitation classes at Oklahoma. At the majority of shows, if you show your horse park, pleasure, or classic (among others I’m sure), you will probably qualify just for being in the class because there aren’t as many horses in them. I showed my horse English and classic last year and the lowest placing I got before Oklahoma was third and my biggest class had four in it.

    Though I do agree about making smaller shows more successful. When Ohio state fair dropped Morgans, my trainer tried talking to those involved in the Ohio futurity and the Dayton horse show to try and get them to host the futurity (unsuccessful). I like Dayton a lot though; it’s a smaller show for Morgans (multi breed), but it’s a good one.

  36. smskelly says:

    “Making it harder to qualify will really only hurt the hunter, western, and equitation classes at Oklahoma.”

    I’m curious as to why you think that would be the case?

  37. Trisha says:

    I say that because those are the bigger classes and therefore making it more difficult will reduce the numbers in those classes at oklahoma. I’m sure there are park horses out there who’ve gone an entire season up until Oklahoma without ever having to compete against another horse. I’ve seen western classes at Oklahoma with 20 horses and the vast majority of them being top quality. Seeing 20 in an english pleasure or park class is pretty uncommon, except for possibly the occasional class at oklahoma. As I stated in the post; when I showed English pleasure this past season, my biggest class had four in it until I got to Oklahoma and that “big” class of four wasn’t even at the regional show I went to. My biggest hunt class, not at Oklahoma, was thirteen. The price for a mistake in those big classes is much higher than the small classes.

  38. empressive says:

    Making GN a every other year thing would definately make people uncomfortable, but it is only an idea.

    More qualifications will be costlier in the long run, but if venues are moved like Rae said is it possible to find showgrounds that might cost less than what we are already paying?

    A better venue, cost wise, would help the exibitors and AMHA. Possibly in conjunction with the higher qualifications or really the enforcement of qualifications it could be a win-win.

    This is a rather important discussion, has this idea been brought up recently to the AMHA, Stacy?

    This would be something to jump on now so we can start getting ideas for next year.

  39. mbk says:

    I’ve been following this thread for awhile now and while I see the possible draw backs to making qualifying tougher…increased costs,distance etc. I think they are outweighed by the benefits.

    I have shown a number of both Hunters and Western horses over the years and every one of them was qualified. If the qualification was tougher, a local A plus a regional they still would have been qualified. That said only a couple of them were really OKC quality.

    If as it stands now with the industry focused on weighting OKC results as the only thing that matters (wrong IMO) then having to have to earn the trip doesn’t seem unreasonable.

    My suggestion for those who think requiring a Regional is to hard then I would propose a two tiered system: 1) a local A top 4 + a Regional top 8
    2) require 3 top 4 ribbons at local A shows as an alternative.

    Between the all breed shows and local all Morgan shows I would think one of those two options would be doable for most. At many shows there would be more than one qualifier and a championship and even if they are not two local shows should give you a chance to have 4 classes to get 3 ribbons. Also you “could” make exceptions for Ladies or divisions that are not always offered.

    As to having to “qualify” for regionals, I’m on the fence…I think limiting horses there could impact numbers and some of the regional shows are not that strong in numbers now.

    I think the overall boost that the smaller shows would be a huge plus to the breed as a whole and the loss at OKC would be minimal.


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