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Download  Volume 29 August 2017


VT Morgan Horse

August 2017 Newsletter                                                    Volume 29, Issue 3

VMHA President’s Letter

Dear VMHA member

The rainy summer certainly interfered with VMHA events and horse related activities. We may have turned the corner on the weather, that is, with the Morgan Mile Trotting races last Saturday, September 9th.  The rain held off, sunny skies appeared, and records were broken. In the first heat Taylor Benson riding River Echo Victory broke under saddle records when racing against last year’s winner, Quabbin Obsession ridden by Sammy Jo Shaban. It was a close finish with Victory less than a nose ahead of Obsession.  In the second heat Jacky Marston riding Waywanda Arielle pulled ahead of Victory to win the championship under saddle.  In the harness races, Bruce Marston driving Green Mountain Flyer (Pumpkin) raced against Nancy Dimick and Randallane Narnia to win the Harness Championship. This is the first time, during the same event, that a husband and wife won both the Harness and Saddle Championships.  The winning horses, Arielle and Pumpkin are mother and son - another first.

With the start of the school year Bryce Angelino, the W. Lyman Orcutt, Jr. Memorial Scholarship recipient, left to pursue equine studies at William Woods University, Fulton Missouri.  When she spoke with me by phone shortly before leaving, Bryce shared her excitement and appreciation to be able to combine academic studies with her passion for horses.

And as we turn the corner from summer into fall, we are looking ahead to the VMHA Annual Business Meeting and Dinner on November 4th.  I strongly encourage you to attend to catch up with old friends and new, to discuss and vote on the proposed budget, and to participate in dialogue about next year’s events.  I hope to see you on November 4th at the Capitol Plaza, Montpelier, VT.

With warm regards,

Karen B. McKnight, President, VMHA




President: Karen McKnight…..PO Box 15, Underhill Center, VT 05790.......802.899-4185…

Vice President:  Mary Jane Nau……5095 Spear Street, Shelburne, VT 05482.......802.985-3597…

Treasurer:     Anne Brown………1380 Old Stage Road, Westford, VT 05494...802.878-4128

Secretary:     Kathlyn Furr……....2563 Silver Street, Hinesburg, VT 05461…..802.482-2583…


Deborah Blackett….486 Town Farm Road, Brandon, VT 05733.….802.274-6340…

Denny Emerson…..166 Brook Road, Stafford, VT 05072………....802.765-4049…

Jennifer Hopper…..4727 Main Road, Huntington, VT 05462……...802.434-6130…

Cindy Mayer……...4395 South 116 Road, Bristol, VT 05443……..802.453-5129…

Kevin Shortell…….210 Braeburn Street, S. Burlington, VT 05403..802.373-6209…

Dennis Tatro………2767 Fay Brook Road, Sharon, VT 05065…….802.763-2516…

Hayes Sogoloff……175 McGuire Pent Road, Charlotte, VT 05445..802.425-7200…


2017 VMHA Calendar of Events

August 25- Sept 3    Champlain Valley Exposition   Anne Brown    802-878-4128   Champlain Valley Fairgrounds Essex Jct. VT

September 9        VT Morgan Trotting Races*      Dennis Tatro     802-763-2516   Morgan Mile, Brookfield, VT

*Vermont Morgan High Point Trotting Race Series,

November 4        VMHA Annual Meeting,    Karen McKnight  802-899-4185 Dinner & Awards Capitol Plaza Conference Center, Montpelier, VT

November 9-12    Equine Affair      Jacky Marston 802-468-5031, Eastern States Exposition, West Springfield, MA


Wallace Morgan Horse Cemetery - Littleton, NH

Here is another love story between a man, Eli Wallace, his wife, Myra, and a birthday gift – a matched pair of bay driving Morgan mares.

In 1919, Eli Wallace had put to rest his wife’s matched pair of Bay Morgans. All their trappings – harnesses, bridles, blankets and feed boxes were buried with them. This was a decision prior to Myra’s death, which occurred in 1920.

Maud and Molly were purchased by Eli for his wife, Myra, on her 29th birthday in 1889. Eli, Myra, Maud and Molly became a foursome. The Morgans being the only children the Wallace’s would have.

A third mare, Maggie, given to Eli a year following Myra’s death, had been a working horse for the local meat market. Eli cared for Maggie until his death in 1929. She was laid to rest in the same manner as Mad and Molly.

Eli left money in his will to the Littleton Regional Hospital so the cemetery would have perpetual care.

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Directions to visit the cemetery, Littleton, NH:
From St Johnsbury, or if driving on I-91 north, take I-93 east toward Littleton, NH. Go off at Exit 41. At the bottom of the ramp turn left onto Cottage Street. Drive 1/4 mile or so. Look for the "Woodsville Guaranty Savings Bank" on the right side of the road. There is a brown sign in front of the bank by the roadside pointing left and says "Horse Cemetery". Take the "Mt Eustis Road” on the left across from the bank and drive another 1/4 mile or so (it goes under the I-93 interstate). About 50'-100' past the interstate look left where there is a red brick power station and park there. Walk the mowed path on the left past the power station about 75'-100' to the cemetery.



The 2017 Heritage Days Horse Show was another success, thanks to Karen McKnight and Dennis Tatro. Dennis stepped in at the 11th hour as Show Manager, guiding the process to a well run conclusion at the end of the show on July 2nd.

New this year was a “Sponsor’s Tent” set up by the VMHA Promotion Committee at ring side. The tent included tables and chairs for the shaded comfort of the sponsors, and became a welcoming shelter from the rains on Saturday! A small thank you gift for the sponsors was waiting for pick up too.

Also new this year was a Friday evening chicken bbq. Luckily the rains mostly held off so the Misty Knoll chicken could be bbq’d properly. Eaters had a hard choice deciding between chicken with a mildly spicy BBQ sauce (a Norm Anderson specialty), or a sweet-sour vinegar marinade. No matter what taste preference, there was a lot of finger lickin’ goin’ on. A large variety of salads, rolls and watermelon rounded out the menu. The free enticing meal appeared to be appreciated by all judging from the happy smiling faces of show participants, committee members and sponsors.

Many thanks to organizers Anne Brown, Jennifer Hopper, Linda Angelino, Sue Ford and chefs Kathy Furr and Ryan Hopper. Offerings like this can only happen with the help of many volunteers, and Vermont farmers – the chicken was graciously donated by Misty Knoll Farm located in New Haven, Vermont.


Dennis Tatro, The Trotting Race Man, reports that the trotting races at Heritage Days did not happen because of the flood – boy did it rain. Drat, that rain god…

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Photo credit: Denlore Photography

Heritage Days Show – A drenched Katie Robinson and Absolute Sparkle won Sport Horse Mares 5 and over, Champion Sport Horse, and Carriage Pleasure Driving prior to classes being rained out. Absolute Sparkle is a homebred owned by Tom and Janet Yager. Katie has known Sparkle since Sparkle was a baby and got a real kick out of showing her, even in the rain. The big smile speaks volumes.

The Lippitt Country Show fared better as the sun god was smiling from above. The trotting races created a good deal of excitement as the winner came bursting from behind and caught the front runners at the finish line. Whew, people were screaming and stomping their feet as “Jockey” Sammy Jo Shaban, put extra “body language” into her bid for first place, and like a good Morgan, Quabbin Obsession obliged. Congratulations to all the racers.

Dennis Tatro reports that “I had to run them a little early in the day because of a threat of rain but the half mile trotting race had seven horses in it. I started the race with a four in front and three in the second row and Quabbin Obsession came from far behind to win the race. Very exciting.”

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Photo credit: Denlore Photography

Lippitt Country Show - Heather Bushey and Cherda Julie’s Gem leading the pack…for the moment.

The next round of trotting races happens in September at the Morgan Mile in Brookfield, VT. Be sure to come with your Morgan, or as a spectator. Will Quabbin Obsession make it a repeat? There is good prize money at stake here folks. Not to mention the fun of competition, meeting up with friends, and a lovely setting in the higher Green Mountain hills of Brookfield/Randolph Center. Bring a picnic, chairs and binoculars, you won’t be disappointed.



On September 9th 2017, The Annual Morgan Mile Trotting Races took place and created history again as horses were started from scratch and raced eighty rods (quarter mile) down the same road that Justin Morgan did two hundred and twenty one years ago.

It was a beautiful Saturday on the famous Morgan Mile Road as Morgan Horses raced in an official race sponsored by the Vermont Morgan Horse Association. Modern-day registered Morgan Horses trotted down this road where the famous Morgan horse named Figure and later called Justin Morgan or the Morgan Horse raced. He was raced against two New York running horses in 1796, defeating both easily. That stretch of road is known as the "Morgan Mile" to this day and is located close to the place Justin Morgan is said to have lived.

Cars filled the top of a grassy knoll as many attended this annual event. People enjoyed Hamburgers, Hot Dogs and breakfast sandwiches as they gathered in groups for some good conversation before and after the races. Starter Dan Sherwood lined up and sent off the first race in harness as Bruce Marston and Green Mountain Flyer finished first with Nancy Dimick and Randallane Narnia finishing second. The race was very close the whole quarter mile but the Flyer horse would come first across the finish line. The championship race produced the same results with Green Mountain Flyer coming in first and Narnia finishing right behind. This was one of the most exciting races in harness racing the Morgan Mile has ever seen.

The trotting races under saddle were just as exciting as last years Morgan Mile winner Sammy Jo Shaban and Quabbin Obsession ran neck and neck with Taylor Benson and River Echo Victory. Both horses ran strong and steady but River Echo Victory came out victorious winning the race by a fraction of a second. Jacky Marston and Green Mountain Flyer came in third. This race was one of the fastest times in Morgan Mile History, hitting a 1 minute 4 second record.

The second heat saw Jacky Marston and Waywanda Arielle out trot Quabbin Obsession and Lisa Haluch who came in second. Arielle was strong throughout the race and stayed very steady as she crossed the finish line. Lisa Haluch on Obsession showed a much improved race from her debut last year and was not far behind in second place. UVM Katala and Laura Hamilton enjoyed their first year totting on the mile and took home third place.

The championship race under saddle consisted of the winners from the two qualifying heats. Taylor Benson and Echo River Victory who won the first qualifying heat in record time lined up on the starting line against Jacky Marston and Waywanda Arielle who were the winners of the second heat. The race got off to a very fast start and both horses were trotting for the finish line. Arielle kept a strong steady trot the whole eighty rods, but Victory broke several times half way down the road causing her to fall behind the steady Arielle horse. Across the finish line first was Jacky Marston and Waywanda Arielle to become the 2017 Morgan Mile Champions Under Saddle for 2017.

It was the first time a husband and wife took both the Harness and Saddle Championships and the horses they trotted were mother and son. Hope to see you all at the 2018 Morgan Mile next year!

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Photo credit: Denlore Photography


Winner of the 2017 Morgan Mile Harness race – Green Mountain Flyer and Bruce Marston. Dennis Tatro presenting the trophy. Nancy Dimick and Randallane Narnia, second place. Congratulations Bruce and “Flyer”.

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Photo credit: Denlore Photography

Jacky Marston, Waywanda Arielle, and Dennis Tatro.

Champion under saddle – Jacky Marston on Waywanda Arielle, placed first to win her heat and then matched up against Taylor Benson and River Echo Victory. Taylor and Victory trotted a new Morgan Mile record of 1.4 in their first heat shaving off 0.2 seconds from the previous record, but came up short against Marston and Arielle in the championship heat.

Jacky Marston stated that “she was very thrilled to win the Morgan Mile. She had never won before. The fact that it was a mom (Arielle) and son (Flyer) combination made it especially rewarding. Arielle is 25 years old and a true Morgan. She was literally pulled out of the pasture to come to the races.”

Jacky says that we’ll be seeing her and Athon Allen, a 5-year old smoky buckskin, the last son of Millrun Seaskin. A real cool horse, says Jacky.

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Photo credit: Denlore Photography


Coming down the stretch….




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Photo credit: Denlore Photography



Green Mountain Flyer and Bruce Marston one-half length in front of Randallane Narnia and Nancy Dimick!



VMHA President Karen McKnight reports:

“Creating a unified equine voice”

Sept. 13, 2017

I had the opportunity to participate in the first of seven public meetings organized by the newly formed Vermont Outdoor Recreation Economic Collaborative and Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation to discuss outdoor recreation in Vermont. This first gathering brought together close to 100 people from diverse segments of outdoor recreation in Vermont. The room was filled with excitement as people networked and shared their ideas for supporting and sustaining the outdoor recreation economy in Vermont.

These gatherings allow FPR staff and VOREC to gather feedback and ideas on how Vermont might achieve the following principal objectives:

1.      Promote business opportunities.

2.      Increase participation opportunities.

3.      Strengthen the quality and extent of our recreational resources.

4.      Strengthen the stewardship of our recreational resources.

This information was gathered in an informally structured way. If you’re planning to attend a session, preparing your suggestions prior to the gathering will make it easier to participate in the process.

Remaining sessions are listed below. I believe I was the only representative of equine interests at this gathering – so I would encourage attendance to be sure equestrian needs are included in this important planning process. Contact for more information.

Monday, September 25th: Island Pond Town Hall, 49 Mill St, Island Pond, VT 05846. 6-8 pm.
Tuesday, October 3rd: Community College of Vermont, 60 West St, Rutland, VT 05701. 6-8 pm.
Tuesday, October 10th: City Hall, 100 North Main Street, St. Albans, VT 05478. 6-8 pm.
Monday, October 16th: The Evening Star Grange 1008 East-West Rd, East Dummerston, VT 05346. 6-8 pm.
Monday, October 23rd: Hartford Town Hall 171 Bridge St White River Junction, VT 05001. 6-8 pm.
Tuesday, October 24th: The West Mountain Inn, 144 W. Mountain Inn Rd, Arlington, VT 05250. 6-8 pm.

For those who cannot attend an in-person meeting, an online survey will go live on September 12th on our webpage,


Heidi Krantz
President, Vermont Horse Council


The Advertising Page:

The Sales Pen

Seeking a quiet and well mannered Morgan mare for driving down the Vermont back roads with our meadowbrook cart. Must be good with traffic and a beginner owner. Thanks – 802 482-2583, or