Morgans at WEG

David Saunders and Team Morgan will not be competing in the combined driving event. Two of his horses did not pass inspection today.

Really sad news. I can’t even imagine how he must be feeling, after all the work and fundraising to get this far, and then he doesn’t even get to compete. He has five horses, so if just one had not passed, I think he still would have been able to compete. So frustrating. It’s been a rough WEG for the Morgan community.

15 Responses to Morgans at WEG

  1. lauralin28 says:

    Do we know why they didn’t pass?? That’s so frustrating!

  2. Montehorse says:

    Good question! Leslie do you know?

  3. RaeOfLight says:

    I’m guessing she only knows what’s in the article and it doesn’t say…

  4. PlayMorBill says:

    While this is disheartening news for the Aulson’s and all Morgan enthusiasts, I take exception to Leslies comment that it’s been a rough WEG for the Morgans.

    Over on the otherside of the Horse Park, we’ve been been having a ball! Today the stands were packed and excited during the Morgan Demo. Very fun as we crammed some good info down their throuts (throtes, throughts… I can’t spell throats!)


    Mr Bill
    PlayMor Farm

  5. leslie says:

    No, I don’t know the details. But since he did go through inspection and didn’t just withdraw, it’s safe to assume it was nothing major. If I find out more, I’ll let you know.

  6. Carole says:

    The Dancing Morgans just arrived home. Alltech FEI WEG 2010 was an absolutely outstanding experience for the Dancing Morgans and for me, Carole Mercer.

    We were so well received by everyone. When the Swiss -German Dressage judge sent me out to do a figure eight and the mares were almost perfert…I had to grin when he said. ” Those two Morgans are some of the best trained dressage horses I have ever seen. ” I didn’t tell him that I know they are working western ,real Morgan horses that can work cattle as well as dance in front of the world…..

    Many thanks to all of you who made a donation to send us to Alltech FEI WEG 2010. I think that the Dancing Morgans are a huge credit to the Morgan world and breed. They performed six times on a rainy afternoon when no one else would come out in the rain ….we are from Oregon and know how to dance in the rain…the mares danced six performaces from 2- 5 pm.

    We also danced with John Lyons and then the next day with Aaron Ralston riding his stallion bare back and bridless.

    The mares retired to a standing ovation. What a perfect way to say “enough.”

    We had a wonderful time at Alltech FEI WEG 2010.

    Cheers, Carole L. Mercer
    Dancing Morgans

  7. leslie says:

    I met a groom for one of the other American drivers today at the marathon, and she said David’s horses are fine and he’s even been driving them around the park this week. They just weren’t judged sound enough for a world championship level CDE. After watching today’s marathon, it’s evident that you wouldn’t want to go into that with a horse that was anything less than 110% sound. Those horses have to go up and down steep grades, through water, mud, and sand, and make quick, tight turns. It’s pretty incredible to watch. Not sure I’d ever have the guts to do it myself, but I enjoy being a spectator. :)

    Anyway, I wish I could have cheered on Team Morgan, but I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of them.

  8. rubygirl82 says:

    Leslie, I completely agree with you and Bill, I completely respectfully disagree with you!!! It HAS been a rough go of it for the Morgans at WEG. With Eitan out, and the driving team out, and the Morgan Pavilion INCOMPLETE, the world that should have come to Kentucky and seen the beauty of our nations first breed was sorely let down. The Morgan Demo was great, but the traffic over on that side of the park was sorry compared to the hustle and bustle on the other end where huge numbers of new horse enthusiasts could have been drawn into our breed after seeing a 4-in-hand driving team of Morgans, or been immersed into our breed through the new Pavilion which was supposed to have been completed in AUGUST. I think it was a terrible injustice for our breed to be lost in the shuffle again. The Quarter Horses have a reining clinic in the heart of the shopping section….if that’s not product placement I don’t know what is!!! We should have done a better job, some things can’t be avoided, Eitan had a heart attack and 2 Morgans came up lame (how that happened I’d like to know) but the Morgan Pavilion should have been completed to draw in new people, we dropped the ball there and there’s no sugar coating that!

    We may never have another chance like this again to pull in such throngs of horse people to our tiny breed. The world came to America for the first FEI World Equestrian Games….and yet the breed that was first to this great country was hard to find. Its sad.

  9. Carole says:

    I too agree with you about the situation with some of the Morgans …and maybe you think that the Equine Village Arena was lightly filled, but on every performace schedule of the Dancing Morgans…the stands were packed. We were there for the first four daze (yes daze) …. I rode one and ponied the other for several hours each morning and we were the unoffical Morgan greeters of the park. We went everywhere that we could go….

    I had a delightful WEG interview that can be seen on the internet. Go to google – type in “librarygirl01 Dancing Morgans.”
    She has posted a brief demo of me riding with just a belt araound Bob’s neck while driving Valentine.Then go to the right colum for the 14 minute WEG interview.

    I agree that Eitan being out made a tragic event… I cannot replace Eitan and his stallion but I was there with two wonderful Morgan mares.

    I felt that my mares and I represented the Morgan Breed to its very fullest while there. Even if I do not belong to the Morgan Horse Association…I well represented the breed even with Eitan out, the pavillion unfinshed and driving Morgan horses unable to go in the driving events…the Morgan horse was represented well in front of thousands of people for the first four days.

  10. rubygirl82 says:

    Carole, I did not mean to leave you out! You were a great and wonderful presentation for the Morgan breed of course you were! The demo did everything it was intended to do and it was brilliant, you should pat yourself on the back for bringing such fine horses to show. I just feel we could have done MORE…not better….but MORE. I got to see your demo on the first day, you were awesome!

  11. Carole says:

    I don’t need to pat myself on the back, but I sure do need to pat these mares . They gave everything they had every time they were out in front of the world…encluding the day when the Swiss -German dressage judge sent us out to do a figure eight…They did a perfect first circle , then I bobbled on the second circle…The judge said they were some of the finest horses he had seen on the park. He was very impressed when I told him they were Morgans. We did our part.

    Best to look forward, too late to do more now. Now you have to take the Morgans to Europe. Best NOW to start to get busy now for France in 2014.

    I am just glad I was able to take the Dancing Morgans and had such a good reception. I was thrilled to be picked by the Alltech FEI WEG 2010 to be apart of the Equine Village Performers. My Morgans were such good ambasitors (sp) for the breed.

    Cheers, Carole

  12. leslie says:

    I don’t think there was any injustice to the Morgans. Honestly, we can’t compare ourselves to the Quarter Horses since the AQHA was a corporate sponsor of this WEG. No other breed registry was because no other breed registry has their resources! We did have a presence in the demo area thanks to Carole and the AMHA demonstrators. I think there was also an AMHA booth in the Equine Village.

    That doesn’t do anything to change the disappointment over David’s team and Eitan, but it’s a separate issue.

    I think we did well to have the demonstrators that we did. Carole could address this better than I could, but from what I heard, you had to jump through serious hoops to be at WEG at all. A booth in the trade fair was super pricey. Horses had to have certain tests and vaccinations during a certain time period before the Games. And then there’s the regular costs associated with horse transport, plus being gouged by the local hotels. Maybe we could have done more, but I think having the breed demo plus Carole plus Eitan in the opening ceremonies was pretty good, considering.

    I also want to reiterate that the driving Morgans didn’t come up lame, they simply didn’t pass inspection, which is entirely different. They just weren’t sound enough for a combined driving world championship. I suspect lots of seemingly sound horses would fail an FEI vet test, but most of us aren’t asking our horses to work at that level on a regular basis (or ever.)

    Regarding Morgans outside of the competition venues, I second Carole’s point on looking forward. Start planning for Normandy 2014!

  13. PlayMorBill says:

    Warning! Very Long Post Ahead
    Point away, but please don’t cut and paste me. My words are meant for this forum only.

    Now… first off:

    Personaly, if I’m going to complain about and chastize those who are out in front and working hard on behalf of their breed, I make sure that I have at least taken a moment of my time, an ounce of my energy or a dollar out of my pocket to support the cause I claim to cheer and hope to benefit from. And I certainly wouldn’t do it while hiding behind the anonimity tree. If I have an opinion, I put my name on it. Sorry, but that’s a pet peave of mine.

    If you can’t stand behind your words, then sit down.

    My name is Bill Hazen, and to set the record straight:

    A) The world did not come to Kentucky to see the beauty of our nations first breed. And the World certainly was not sorely let down by the Morgans they did see. Carols Dancing Morgans were awesome, and her extra performances, icing on the cake that was the highest of compliments. The Morgan Demo played to crowded stands and appreciative auidiences every one of the 14 days I was there. The lightest day was the second Monday, which found me walking through the trade booths and pony rides in the Equine village exclaiming “The Morgans are Coming! The Morgans are Coming! Come see an American Original! The first breed of horse from the United States!”.

    [in my world, promotion has vast opportunities and no self dignity]

    I have no clue if I caused even one person to check out our show, but I did get a lot of people laughing, and some to ask where the Village Arena was. And I know for a fact that there were more people in the stands by the time we showed up.

    Promotion can take many forms, most of which are easily accomplished by even the tiniest of minds.

    The Morgans 6 minute presentation in the finale on Sunday, purposely draped in patriotism and dedicated to American men and woman in uniform, drew cheers and chants of USA! USA! USA! after I’d just gotten through describing the intertwinded history of the Morgan in early America.

    People don’t miss what they don’t see. They remember the cool stuff they do see.

    To wit:

    B) One of Saunders carriage horses took a fall earlier in the week. Upon inspection two days later, his body was slightly bent to one side as he trotted a straight line. In a 3-2 vote, the FEI Stewards in charge sent Saunders and his horse to a closely monitored holding area, where, by rule, he was given 20 minutes to rest, stretch, or any other of a very limited list of things he and one groom are allowed to do.

    He then re-tested.

    He was less bent, but still not perfectly straight, and again failed inspection by a 3-2 vote. The other of Saunders horses was disqualified for an even lessor technicality, and on an identical vote, if I remember correctly.

    This was directly from the lips of one of the FEI Combined Driving Stewards officiating the event, who was nice enough to explain it to me when I asked.

    Imagine the gall.

    Now try some on.

    Injuries happen, especially in a sport as demanding as combined driving. Did you see any of the obstacles? I’d be scared to death riding through on a 30 year old donkey with GPS and bread crumbs so we could find our way out.

    At this level, you must be perfect. Both horses were a whisper, indeed, one vote away from just that. Enough with the implied consipricy theories.

    C) The Morgan Pavillion would have been completed in time for the World Equestrian Games if some donations promised had been delivered on time. A lousy economy has us all pinching pennies, rich and poor alike.

    I find that completely understandable when we’re asking for hundred of thousands of dollars.

    But if you think the Morgan Pavillion was built just for the World Equestrian Games, or for your appearence there, then you have no clue of what the long term benefits will be of having a prominant presence at the Kentucky Horse Park, in the Horse Capitol of the World. We didn’t build it for WEG, kids, we built it to enhance the future of the Morgan Breed. For the tens of thousands of people who visit the horse park every year from across the nation and around the world. Each and every year.

    Each, and every, year.

    Dissapointing? Sure, but certainly no disaster. I am sorry, however, that you couldn’t see your brick. (You have bought a brick, haven’t you?)

    D) The Quarterhorse and Reining asscociations had large budgets to promote themselves, and they did so with gusto. The Morgans were a completely volentary group, who brought horses from as far away as New York, Texas and Oregon and had little assistance from their Asscociation, other then organizing the credentials. AMHA didn’t pay a penny of our expenses, nor did they give us an ounce of support, other then sending the executive director out (on her own dime, no less) for the first two days to scope things out and make sure we stayed on script.

    I’m sure we’ll all get a piece of paper saying thanks. Believe me, that’s not what we did it for. Give mine to Jeff Wilson, the only one, person or horse, to show in all 16 performances.

    Jeff lost 12 pounds he couldn’t afford.

    I’m sending him a cake.

    The Morgans at WEG didn’t drop any ball, they had one! And many, many people knew we were having that ball aboard Morgan horses.

    THAT’S the show, folks. That’s the promotion.

    E) A tiny breed likes ours will never suddenly draw “throngs” of new people into Morgans, even if we have an entry in the big class, a $30,000 booth, and Wayne Newton suddenly selling all of his Arabians and turning Morgan. Get real. We weren’t there for the throngs, we were there for those whose fancy we might tickle, who might someday find a home in the Morgan community.

    One at a time. One by one. That’s how a tiny breed grows.

    There’s nothing exponential about it. Right now this breed can’t afford to go exponential. We have to finish hacking up our board, our breed and ourselves so we all have our own little turfdoms to rule.

    Morgans are the horses, folks, it is we who are the breed.

    Bill Hazen
    PlayMor Farm

    Post Script: The final gate exceeded 500,000 spectators. My low-ball estimation of the number of those who saw, and knew they were seeing, a Morgan horse, capped 10,000. Easy. That’s a very low average of 500 people in the stands and 100 people standing around per Demo, and 100 per clinic for the times Carol Danced; Eitan and Saunders aside.

    The real number easily hit twice that, as hundreds were standing and watching from all around the Clinicians Coral and Village Arena each and every day, especially at the Finale, when the entire venue was packed with people who thoroughly enjoyed greeting Rick & Diane Lamb of RFD TV’s The Horse Show as they rode around the arena in the Browns antique carraige, pulled by a beautiful pair of black morgan geldings during the Morgan presentation.

    Morgans are jumpers, too, and they jumped on that opportunity perfectly.

    Personal Kudos to Gene, Sonja, Karen, Guy, Tim, Ian, Jeff, Sammi, Jeff, John, Whitney, Donna, Jennifer and, man among men: Oscar.

  14. PlayMorBill says:

    Thanks “ruby”.

    I know that sounds odd, but some of this (sans sarcasm, bad math and horrible grammer) (which dosn’t leave me much) may find it’s way into an article I’m submitting to the Magazine. Were it not for exhaustion, and the stream of winey lips, I’d never have gotten that down.

    I couldn’t have done it without ya, Gal!


  15. Carole says:

    OK…here I go again. The Dancing Morgans were chosen by the Alltech FEI WEG 2010 Equine Village committee. Yes. I had to jump though lots of hoops, but my Dancing Morgans are really good hoop jumpers. We were one of ten acts selected from a couple of thousand entries. I feel really good about my mares, the Dancing Morgans, being chosen to come to WEG by the Alltech FEI WEG 2010.

    OK. I am going to really stick my neck out here. I hate to say it, but the Morgan Horse Association was of very little help to me….the individual MORGAN HORSE members were so supportive of me and helped me by donating many $5.00′s per mile to get me to WEG. NONE of us were paid. We had to provide our own hay and shavings while at WEG. WE all knew the WEG rules when we signed up for the games….no one of the Equine Village were paid. I hear rummers that the opening night people were paid, but I DO NOT KNOW FOR SURE.

    I knew what I had signed in for and I am a proffessional entertainer. I can read and follow a contract. I followed my contract.

    I felt like I was representing the United States of America every time I danced or was on the horses.

    My introduction stated…

    “Cowboys and Cowgirls are an American icon. Carole Mercer is a cowgirl. Not only is she a cowgirl , but she is riding and driving the orginal breed of the United States of America…the Morgan Horse.

    Who would have thought that this little old cowgirl from Eagle Point, Oregon would ride off her pastures of her Rolling Wheel Ranch ,over the trails of the Cascade Mountains, across the desterts of Nevada and Utah , through the Rocky Mountains, over the heartland of the midwest into the lives of the people of Alltech FEI WEG 2010.

    Carole is 65 years old , the two mares are half sisters,16 years old each. Before you is almost 100 years of horsemanship.

    Let the music begin.”

    I rode to the music of Arthur Feildlers Western TV toons.

    Being at Alltech FEI WEG 2010 was a thrill of my lifetime and for my Morgans as well. I proudly gave my very best at each ride . My mares did the same. No matter what anyone says or thinks…I believe that the Morgan Horse breed was so well represented even in our own small way everytime I rode.

    I feel that Alltech FEI WEG 2010 was a wonderful experince. I am so glad that I rode and drove the orginal American breed , the Morgan horse, in front of the world at the Games 2010. I am, after all ,just a little ol’ cowgirl from Eagle Point , Oregon and I have been to the WEG2010. I am forever grateful to my friends, the Morgan members , people I do not know and now know that helped me go.

    Thank you all from the Dancing Morgans. Thank you Alltech FEI WEG 2010.
    Cheers, Carole L. Mercer

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