The annual Grand National & World Championship Morgan Horse Show was held in Oklahoma City on Oct. 6 to 13 - the largest horse show for the Morgan breed with more than 1,200 horses competing.
Calvin and Virginia Hanson of Cornwall are thrilled with the results. Four of the winning horses this year descend from the bloodline of registered Morgan horses created at their former Big Oak Morgan Horse Farm near Ingleside - an equestrian facility they established in 1967 along with the late Merton Bud Hanson.
The four horses are:
• Merriehill Black Label won four awards – World Champion Hunter Pleasure Three Year Old, World Champion Hunter Pleasure Three Year Old Futurity; United Professional Horseman’s Association Classics Grand Champion Morgan Hunter Pleasure; and Grand National Reserve Champion Hunter Pleasure Three Year Old Stallions and Geldings. He is owned by Beth Fancsali of Chicago, Illinois, and shown by trainer Jessica Bodnar of Merriehill Farm in Marengo, Illinois.
• Merriehill After Hours won three awards – World Champion Junior Stallion, World Reserve Champion Two Year Old Stallion Futurity, and Grand National Champion Two Year Old Stallion. He is owned by Cingate Morgans LLC of Montgomery, Alabama, and shown by trainer Whitney Bodnar of Merriehill Farm in Marengo, Illinois.
• Medomak French Invasion won two awards – third prize in the Grand National Championship Classic Pleasure Driving Masters, and sixth prize in the World Championship Classic Pleasure Driving Masters. He is owned by Jonathan Kaufman of Mendon, Massachusetts, shown by Joseph Webb, and trained by Nikki Rae Woodworth of Mendon, Massachusetts.
• Tudor Oaks The Real Deal won two awards –fifth prize in the Grand National Championship Hunter Pleasure Ladies Geldings; and eighth prize in the World Championship Hunter Pleasure Ladies. He is owned by Susan and Bruce Peterson of Roscoe, Illinois, and shown by Nicole Peterson.
The four horses trace back to the Hanson’s Champion Morgan stallion Waseeka’s Serenade, and his daughter Big Oak Mylady Cobra who was bred by the Hanson family and born at their farm. She was purchased as a two-year-old by Muriel and Victor Burnheimer of Waldoboro, Maine, and became one of the more prominent Champion Morgan show horses in the U.S.; and the mother of 13 foals, most of which are champions or producers of champions.
Over the years, this show has produced 21 World Champions, 15 World Reserve Champions, 35 Grand National Champions, and 20 Grand National Reserve Champions that trace to the Hanson horse breeding operation. Although the farm has been retired; other farms utilize the bloodline which continues to make its mark at the Morgan breed’s most prestigious horse show.
The first Grand National & World Championship Morgan Horse Show was held in Detroit, Michigan in 1973 and 1974. From 1975 to 2012, Oklahoma City has been the home of the show. The show is recognized by the United States Equestrian Federation, the national governing body for the equestrian sport in the USA.
The website for the show is www.morgangrandnational.com which provides the complete show results.