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History

The Virginia-Carolinas Morgan Horse Club was founded on November 12, 1966, at a meeting held at October Farm, the home of James and Barbara Cole. Thirty-seven charter members initiated the activities of the meeting. The following officers were  elected:  Ruth Mills (Kipp), President; J. Marion Burke, vice-president; Celeste Van Landingham, Secretary-Treasurer; Janet Jantzen, Barbara Cole and Erwin Seago, Directors.

Our first full year saw four successful meetings. In January, 1967, the membership had grown to 57 and by-laws were drawn up by Erwin Seago and accepted, as was the design for the club stationary. During the year, meetings were held at Winston-Salem, Charlottesville, Raleigh, and Lynchburg.

In February, 1968, the following new officers were elected: Erwin Seago, President; Bill Aiken, vice-president; Celeste Van Landingham, Secretary-Treasurer; Ruth Kipp, Janet Jantzen and Bob Schwartz were selected as new Directors.

During the year, meetings were held in Greensboro, Charleston, Raleigh and Williamsburg. Our distinguished speakers included Marilyn Childs, who discussed showing Morgans and breed type at the Charleston meeting. Linda Champion very capably prepared our first roster. Stallion and Mare High Point Awards were presented. Tragedy struck with the unexpected death of our President, Mr. Erwin Seago; vice-president Bill Aiken served his unexpired term.

By April, the club membership had grown to 85 members. Only two meetings were held this year, but the April Field Day at Tara Farm under the chairmanship of Barbara Cole proved to be the most successful meeting in the club’s history, with more than 300 members and guests attending. Marilyn Childs was the judge for the Field Day Horse Show, which also included a comparison of breeds as to type and conformation. A November meeting was held in Weaverville, where a raffle was held to benefit the upcoming Southeastern All-Morgan Show. The Elmcrest Challenge Trophy was established.

Officers for 1970-71 were chosen as follows: V. M. Champion, President; James Cole, vice-president, Lynn Eddy, Secretary; Donald Redman, Treasurer; Ken Moore, Felix Pollard and Mrs. R. J. Edsall were chosen directors.

In April, 1970, the club met at Wakefield, the Morgan breeding farm at George Washington’s birthplace. Plans were made for the newly organized Southeastern Breeder’s Futurity and for the Southeastern Morgan Show, to be sponsored jointly by our club and the Georgia club and held in Hickory in September. In July, the club met in Glasgow, Virginia, to complete show plans. The first Southeastern Morgan Show, under the chairmanship of James Cole, was a great success with approximately 100 Morgans from as far away as Maryland and Florida showing under Judge Dayton Sumner. The year concluded with the November meeting at which the newly acquired award, the Pine Knoll Equitation Trophy, was awarded.

The 1971 meetings were held once in Virginia and twice in Raleigh with Dr. C. D. Parks and Mr. Lawrence Appley as two of the distinguished speakers. Officers elected were: V.M. Champion, President; James Cole, vice-president; Lynn Eddy, Secretary; Ann Sikes, Treasurer; Bill Brown, Jed Davison, and Janet Jantzen, Directors. The second Southeastern Morgan Show was held in Hickory and judged by Harold Childs.

In 1972, meetings were held in Winston-Salem, Hickory, and Lignum, Virginia. The most successful meeting of the year was at Rapidan River Farm where more than one hundred members attended a very elegant buffet and heard a most outstanding speaker, the Rev. Monsignor E. L. Melton. At the Winston-Salem meeting, after a discussion with the Georgia club as to the future site of the show, our club and the Georgia club agreed to disagree and each would hold its own all-Morgan show in the future. The first Southern States Morgan Show was held in Dorton Arena in Raleigh and judged by Doris Ryan. Tara Farm very graciously offered two junior horse awards that year: the Carolina Gypsy Perpetual Trophy and the Tara’s Valentine Perpetual Trophy. Pam Shinn’s pleasure gelding, Reata’s Commander won three AMHA national awards this year, a very outstanding performance for a junior exhibitor.

Meetings were held in Winston-Salem, Weaverville, Raleigh, and Glasgow, Virginia in 1973. The Virginia meeting was a Field Day conducted by Anna Ela. The first North Carolina Horse Fair held in Greensboro in April had a good Morgan display arranged by Leo LeFave. The Southern States Show was judged by Bill Brooks and attracted 160 entries from 12 states. Amateur classes for VCMHC members were added this year; Patricia Breshears’ stallion Orcland Gay Knight was English Pleasure Champion and Pam Shinn’s gelding Reata’s Commander was Western Pleasure Champion.

Officers elected for 1974-75 were: Pete Whitlock, President; Al Cole, vice-president; Jo Nell Harrison, Secretary; Keith Bandy, Treasurer; Leo LeFave, Dr. J.W. Jenrette, and Russell Shinn, Directors.

Meetings were held in Raleigh and Winston-Salem in  1974. This year the bylaws were amended to include the state of Tennessee. The Southern States Show was held at Dorton Arena with Bob Brooks judging 145 entries from the Southeast.

In 1975, meetings were held in Raleigh, Blowing Rock and Winston-Salem. A trail ride at Blowing Rock was led by Paul Blackburn and  enjoyed by about 25 members. The Southern States Show was held in Raleigh with Miss Mabel Owen judging 135 entries from 12 states and Canada, and was the first AMHA Regional Championship Show for the southeast. Tennessee Valley Morgan Farm’s Shaker’s Nanuet was the high point horse of the show. With the aid of NCDA’s Glenn Petty, the club was incorporated this year. For the first time, the North Carolina State Fair had a Horse Country Exhibit in which the VCMHC participated by displaying a Morgan Horse booth. It was an outstanding exhibit viewed by thousands; Betsy Buchanan designed and staffed the booth. This exhibit was presented with the Governor’s Award as the most outstanding non-commercial exhibit. The Elmcrest Challenge Trophy was retired this year by Gwen Hertzog, and graciously replaced with the Green Bay Challenge Trophy. The officers elected for 1976-77 were: James Cole, President; Tom Harrison, vice-president; Linda Borden, Secretary; Jo Nell Harrison, Treasurer; and Graham Jennings, Cindy LeFave, and Ralph Ritchie, Directors.

The year of 1976 was a very exciting and prosperous one for the VCMHC with meetings being held in Candor, Kernersville, and Raleigh. The spring meeting featured a driving demonstration by Jim Borden, assisted by Linda Borden and Pam Shinn. An auction of donated items was held to raise money for our Southern States Show, with Craig Lawing as auctioneer. More than 70 members attended this sensational meeting. In July, the Southern States Show was held at the N. C. State Fairgrounds in Raleigh with Jim Anderson judging 100 entries. Townshend Melarry, the outstanding pleasure stallion owned Mr. and Mrs. C. J. Kern, was the high point horse of the show with reserve going to Tom Hilgenberg’s Neighknob Heather.

At the annual November meeting, everyone enjoyed a well attended Awards Banquet in Raleigh. Two new trophies were donated this year; the Granada Senior Perpetual Amateur Award by Tom and Jo Nell Harrison, and the Reata’s Commander Perpetual Trophy by the Russell Shinn family.

The 1977 meetings were held in Knightdale and Raleigh. The spring meeting featured a demonstration of training techniques by Monty Champion. More than 75 members and guests attended and enjoyed a cookout, picnic supper, and an auction led by Champ and Ralph Breshears for the Southern States Morgan Horse Show. Our thanks went to the Champions, the Breshears, and all the others who so generously made this a meeting to be remembered.

The Southern States Show was held in September during Labor Day weekend, with Mrs. Marsha Shephard judging 117 entries. Townshend Melarry was the high point horse of the show again this year with reserve going to Catskill Senator Lad, the ultimate Western Pleasure and Pleasure Driving Stallion owned by Dr. and Mrs. V. Watson Pugh. Heidi Hilgenberg of Newnan, Georgia, won the Youth High Point Award aboard her gelding Wil-O-Mor Go Cap. The Awards Banquet in November was again held in Raleigh with two new challenge trophies offered: The Gralotte Challenge Trophy, English under Saddle, by the Graham Jennings family; and the Idlewood Challenge Trophy, Western Pleasure, by the Dr. Charles Francis family. Catskill Senator Lad won the Western Pleasure Championship at the 1977 Grand National making him a four time Grand National Champion. The members of VCMHC were becoming quite competitive, with 17 awards to compete for; not only healthy for the club and our Southern States Show, but also invigorating for the members as well. The youth were very active this year both in showing and club activities. Officers elected for 1978-79 were: Graham Jennings, President; F. W. “Pete” Jaeger, Jr., Vice-president; Ruth Ritchie, Secretary; Jo Nell Harrison, Treasurer; Fran Pugh, Tom Harrison, and Al Cole, Directors. The VCMHC was now well established with 166 members.

In 1978, the Spring Meeting was held at Tara Farm in Raleigh, with our annual auction featured. The Southern States Show was in Dorton Arena in mid-July with the well known horseman John Lydon our judge. The very successful show gelding Reata’s Commander was officially retired at this show. He was a truly versatile Morgan, winning both English and Western Championships during his career, with the highlight being his title of Grand National Amateur English Pleasure Champion.

In early 1979, Pat Breshears arranged for a meeting at Tanglewood at which a dinner and presentation of the movie “The Artist’s Horse” was viewed and loved by all. Spring found us at Topa Farm where a delicious barbecue was prepared by Scott Thacker’s father. Southern States was held again in July in Dorton Arena, with Bill Holtz judging the show. We recorded the largest number of entries ever to be entered at Southern States and felt it was a good show.

Several new endeavors were embarked upon by the club in 1978 and ’79. First was the purchase and stocking of a Promotional Booth for the Morgan Horse breed. We purchased tall stall drapes with a Morgan head and the club’s name on the valance. This was displayed from Danville, Virginia to the North Carolina State Fair as well as at other non-horsy functions in order to familiarize the public with our horses. Material from AMHA was distributed and we found it hard to keep up with the demand. The Club had also begun sponsoring Morgan classes at open shows such as Chatham, Virginia, Danville, Oakridge and Pleasant Garden in order to support the growing number of Morgans showing in open competition. In fact, for the past two years the National Open Competition English Pleasure Division of AMHA had been won by horses from North Carolina – Waseeka’s Endeavor in 1978 and Willowrock Debutante in 1979.The Youth Club had been selling “Heads up for Morgans” tee-shirts and included sweat shirts this year. They were popular and sold well. The youth sponsored an Outstanding Youth Award to be presented at Southern States in memory of the late Cynthia Epperson. This was to be awarded to the Junior Exhibitor demonstrating the best attitude towards showing, their fellow exhibitors, care of their horse and behavior in and out of the show ring.

Officers for the 1979-80 term were elected at the Year End Awards Meeting in Raleigh: Betsy Buchanan, President; Clarence Cozart, Vice-president; Pam Allen, Treasurer; and Carol Lee, Secretary. The monthly newsletter, Morgan Horse Tails, was instituted by Barbara Cole, enabling the club to advise and communicate more effectively.

In 1980, the annual trail ride was held in Linville, with a general meeting and dinner following. The Southern States Show was held in Raleigh with Karen Homer as our judge.  Matthew Cole went to the Grand National as our first VCMHC youth representative and won the oral phase of the Youth of the Year Contest. The 1980 year end awards meeting was held in Charlotte at Bob and Carol Clyne’s restaurant. Our first stallion auction was conducted by Jim Hayes at this meeting with ten stallion services offered.  Betsy and Phil Buchanan hosted a Christmas party in December and everyone enjoyed their hospitality at the off-season get-together.

In the Spring of 1981, we had a pig-picking at our meeting in Kernersville.  The Southern States Show was held in July at Little River Farm in Pinehurst, with Bob Robinson of Shelbyville, Kentucky, as our judge. Pam Allen and Gael Jaeger held a youth camp at Topa Farm in July with ten youth attending.  This was one of only two such camps to be held in the country.  The youths rode and worked on Horsemanship Badges.  In August, a clinic was held at Scott Thacker’s in Greensboro.  There were demonstrations of all phases of training and showing ably conducted by Tommie Ann Driver, Scott Thacker, Danny Freeland, and Dan Redman.  Martha DuPont was our guest speaker and told us about the Morgan Horse Breeder’s Association.  A trail ride was held at Tanglewood Park with a spaghetti dinner cooked by the Blackburn’s for the large group attending.  The 1981 year end awards dinner was held in Greensboro with the election of the following new officers: Claude Culp, President; Barbara Bodine, vice-president; Mary Daughtry, Secretary; Al Cole, Treasurer.  Our second stallion auction offered the services of sixteen horses and was an even greater success than the previous year.  C. J. Kern, for many years a member and supporter of VCMHC, was inducted as an honorary member.

The year 1982 brought with it new ideas and much enthusiasm for we had an advertising display at the Greensboro Airport with one planned for RDU.  Doris Bimel did a super job on the layout and design for this project.  In January, a general meeting was held in Greensboro followed by a pot-luck dinner.  In March, we met in Tarboro where there was a large turnout.  April’s meeting was held in Pinehurst in preparation for our Southern States Show.

A second annual youth camp was held in Climax, NC, during the summer with 12 campers attending.

The Southern States Show was held again at Little River Farm in Pinehurst.

In March of 1983, the VCMHC was host to the AMHA Judging Seminar held in Raleigh at the new Horse Complex located on the NC State Fairgrounds.  Club members donated the use of their horses for the seminar, which was videotaped and used by AMHA nationally.  There was a trail ride in conjunction with the April meeting in Troy.

The July meeting in Chapel Hill included a program and presentation on carriage driving.  Little Bit Camp was held again at Topa Farm, with Linda Shelhart of Canterbury Stables instructing.  The Southern States Morgan Horse Show was held over Labor Day weekend at the new Horse Complex with Lonnie Lavery judging.  General elections were held at the November meeting in Hillsborough with the election of the following new officers:   Pete Jaeger, President; Russ Roberts, vice-president; Betsy Buchanan, Secretary; Judy Roberts, Treasurer; Al Cole, Claude Culp, and Barbara Bodine, Directors.

In February, 1984, a “hands on” driving clinic was held by Scott Thacker at his farm near Greensboro. Our March meeting was held in Troy, NC, and featured a presentation by Mr. Bob Burnett, VP/Sales for the Rhulen Agency, on “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Equine Insurance Options.”  At the April meeting in Raleigh, members were addressed by Dr. Malcolm Roberts of the NCSU School of Veterinary Medicine who spoke on “Neo-Natal Foal Care.”  A tour of the new facility was enjoyed by those members attending.

In July, Tara Farm hosted a picnic and open house.  The fourth annual Little Bit Camp was held in August, with clinics on equitation led by Ann Scussel.  Our Southern States show became a charity show to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association; 165 entries were judged by Bill Parker.  The year-end awards dinner was held at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville.

The 1985 year began with a February meeting in Chapel Hill hosted by Jim and Joyce Poitras.  Other meetings were in March at the Russell’s in Troy, and in June at the Palmer’s in Easley, SC.  A youth clinic was hosted by Flintlock Farm in May with a program on showing led by Matthew Cole.  Little Bit Camp was held at Topa Farm with Cathy Pruett giving superb instruction.  The Southern States Charity Morgan Horse Show continued to grow with nearly 200 entries, and two judges.  Mary Cockriel and Garn Walker.  The year-end meeting was at the Grove Park Inn once again, with new officers elected: Rupert Ainsley, President; Sally Lawing, vice-president; Kristy Tinker, Secretary; Judy Roberts, Treasurer; Fran Pugh, Jim Burnette and Russ Roberts, Directors.

Our first meeting of 1986 in Raleigh featured Jeanne Mellin Herrick speaking on Morgan “type” with many slides to illustrate.  A large crowd was present.  In July, the Burnette’s hosted a meeting in Oak Ridge, with Jim Sharp of the Virginia Department of Agriculture speaking on marketing.  The Southern States show was again held at the Horse Complex in Raleigh, and the year-end awards dinner and meeting in Asheville at the Grove Park Inn.

In 1987, we began with a meeting in Raleigh in March with Marilyn Childs making a presentation on “The Men Behind the Morgan Horse”.  She also instructed riders in a clinic held the same day.  At a meeting hosted by Sally Lawing and Joe Craig in Pleasant Garden, there was a program on stallion semen freezing procedures. The Bomars hosted a meeting in South Carolina with a program on equine disease control management.

The July meeting was held at the Cole’s October Farm in Raleigh.  The Southern States Show was held in August again in Raleigh.  The year-end meeting was held at the Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill with the following officers elected: Ann Williams, President; Gael Jaeger, vice-president; Joy Leigh, Secretary; Sam Burnette, Treasurer; and Russ Roberts, Rupert Ainsley, Pete Whitlock,  and Al Cole selected as Directors.

The first meeting of 1988 was held in February at Apple Flat Farm in Monroe, NC.  Southern States moved to Memorial Day weekend in Raleigh.  The summer meeting was held at Barbara Cole’s October Farm in Raleigh where a dressage demonstration was enjoyed by all.  The Little Bit Camp was held at Topa Farm in July.

September saw a club meeting at the Redman’s in Bahama.  Members enjoyed a picnic and guest speaker Gene Rodeffer, DVM.  The club sent Lynda Leigh to the Grand National in OKC where she placed sixth in the nation.

The first meeting of 1989 was held at Apple Flat Farm in Monroe with Mabel Owens as the guest speaker. April saw a club trail ride at Tanglewood Park near Winston-Salem.  April also saw a Saddle Seat Equitation Clinic with Marilyn Childs held at the Boody’s in Raleigh.  Southern States was once again held in Raleigh on Memorial Day weekend.  The summer meeting was held at Pam Allen’s where a picnic was enjoyed by all.

Little Bit Camp was once again held in August. Members Pete and Gael Jaeger chaired the Bi-Centennial AMHA Convention in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Officers elected for 1990-91 were Ann Williams, President, Pete Jaeger, vice-president, Trish Amitrano, Secretary, and Agnes Harvin, Treasurer.  Board members elected were Joy Leigh, Ed Hester, Danny Freeland, and Richard Beidler.

The first meeting was held in March at Jim Isely’s near Greensboro.  Members were treated to a horse telepathy demonstration.  Southern States was expanded to a four day show.  A summer meeting was held in July.

The fall meeting in October was hosted by the Jaegers of Flintlock Farm and featured a Sport Horse demonstration. The year end awards were held at Tanglewood.

Officers elected to serve the club in 1992-93 included: Ed Hester, President; Pete Jaeger, vice-president; Margaret Thompson, Secretary; Carol Thebarge, Treasurer; Ann Williams, Carol Clyne, Jim Cole, Phil Buchanan, Directors.  Membership grew to 184 members.  A survey was sent out to all club members in January, 1992, to enable the club’s board to get a better feel for how to involve as many members as possible in club activities.  The first club meeting was held in March at the Colonial Inn in Hillsborough, NC.   It featured Jeanne Mellin Herrick on the topic  “Type and Bloodlines”.  Southern States was once again held in May with Bernard Parker and Terry Jones-Brennen judging 216 entries.  The second club meeting was held in June at the NC State University Equine Teaching Facility in Raleigh.  A third club meeting was hosted by Pete and Gael Jaeger and featured two demonstrations.  The first was by Valentina & Patty Manimon of Equine Sports Massage.  The second featured Wiebe Dragstra of Four Birches Royal Training Center demonstrating pair driving.  A pot luck supper followed.  The year-end meeting was held in November at the Colonial Inn in Hillsborough.  Year-end awards were presented.  Rapidan Jericho was the Overall High Point Horse.  Due to the resignation of Carol Thebarge a new treasurer, Spence Dickinson, was elected. Also elected were Jo Ann Jones, Laura Lee and Phil Buchanan, Directors. Charles McPherson was the keynote speaker and updated the members regarding news and actions of the AMHA.

1993 saw 161 paid members.  The first meeting was hosted by Sherrie and Woody Davis at Collector Morgan Farm in Southern Pines, NC.  It featured a carriage driving demonstration by Alphonso Hargrove.  Southern States was again held in May at the Horse Complex in Raleigh.  Jim Lowery and Lewis Eckerd judged.

The club sponsored a Morgan Field Day in November at Summerwinds Training Stable in Raleigh.  The year-end meeting was held at the Colonial Inn in Hillsborough.   Keynote speaker was Spence Dickinson who spoke on “Promoting the Morgan Horse” and showed a video on the Hearth Foundation.  Year-end awards were handed out.  Funquest Andora was the Overall High Point Horse. Officers elected were: Ann Williams, President; Spence Dickinson, vice-president; Tricia Amitrano, Secretary; Violet Vaill, Treasurer.

The first club meeting of 1994 was held at Tara Farm in April.  A pig picking and auction were held and enjoyed by the 120 members attending.  Southern States was again held at the Hunt Horse Complex in Raleigh. Harry Sebring and Lloyd Crawford judged. A second meeting was held at the Barbecue Lodge in Raleigh in July.

The third general meeting was hosted by Pete & Gael Jaeger at Flintlock Farm in Chapel Hill.  Greg Lee, President of the North Carolina Horse Council, was the speaker.  The year-end meeting was held at the Jefferson Inn in Pinehurst.  Due to the resignation of President Ann Williams, Jason Harrell was appointed to complete her term.  Awards were presented.  Rapidan Jericho was once again Overall High Point Horse.

1995 saw the first club meeting being the Spring Gala at Tara Farm in Raleigh.  In addition to the good food and fellowship, a silent auction was held to raise funds for the exhibitor’s party and the Hunt breakfast at Southern States.  Southern States was held over Memorial Day weekend  at the Horse Complex in Raleigh. A healthy 275 entries competed under judges Sandy Sessink and Cliff Swanson. Due to the resignation of Spence Dickinson, June Davis was appointed to complete his term as Vice-president.   The next club meeting was held at the Barbecue Lodge in Raleigh in August.  A clinic featuring Bonnie Sogoloff of Cedar Spring Farm in Vermont was held at Woody and Sherrie Davis’ Sherwood Downs in Southern Pines, NC, in November.  It was followed by the year-end  awards dinner at the Pinewild Country Club in Pinehurst.  Officers elected were: Jason Harrell, President; Cindy Shepard, Vice-president, Trish Amitrano, Secretary; Tony Amitrano, Treasurer; Ruth Riddle, Sybil Bunn, Laura Lee, Pete Jaeger and Fran Pugh, Directors.

Year-end awards were presented.  This year saw the creation of five new award divisions: Classic English Pleasure, Classic Pleasure Driving, Hunter Pleasure, Non-Competitive, and Sport Horse. Overall High Point Horse was Funquest Andora.

1996 started with the Spring Gala in April at Tara Farm in Raleigh.  Members and guests enjoyed a stallion parade, auction, raffle, fishing, socializing, as well a delicious meal prepared by the Tara Gang.  Proceeds were used to help fund hospitality activities at Southern States.  Southern States was once again held Memorial Day Weekend in Raleigh.  A summer meeting was held in June at Hollybrook Farm in Lexington, NC, and featured a presentation on horse photography by Suzy Lucine.  The year end meeting and awards banquet was held at the Colonial Inn in Hillsborough, NC. Overall High Point Horse was Hollybrook Parade.

1997 started off with the sad news of the death of Mr. W. Dayton Sumner. Dayton was a well beloved friend of the VCMHC as well as long time show manager of Southern States.  He will be greatly missed.  Club activities started off once again in April with the Spring Gala at Tara Farm.  It was a great opportunity for fun, fellowship, and fund raising.

The summer meeting was held in Southern Pines/Pinehurst and gave members the opportunity to visit Sherwood Downs, Nelsen Stables, and Fox-Ridge Farm.  The annual club trail ride was reestablished and held in November at Tanglewood Park.  The year end meeting and awards banquet was held at the Country Squire Restaurant in Kenansville, NC.  Officers elected for 1998-99: President – Ruth Riddle, VP – Nancy Warren, Secretary – Tricia Amitrano and Treasurer – Tony Amitrano. Board members elected were Fran Pugh, Sybil Bunn, John Coppley, Pat Cowan, and Pete Jaeger. Overall High Point Horse was Hollybrook Magic Man.

1998 VC year opened up once again with the Spring Gala at Tara Farm.  The annual trail ride followed on May 2nd, at Tanglewood.  An enthusiastic group of riders took our Morgans and some even stayed overnight to ride together the following day. Southern States Show was held May 21-24 with  Tim O’Gorman and Helen Crawford, Nancy Sharpless and Dana Bright Judging. Fern Bittner was welcomed aboard as the new show Manager. Two “Pot of Gold” classes brought some out of state entries!

On June 7, the membership enjoyed a T-Team Clinic at Leyland Farm, home of Sam and Jim Burnett.   The summer meeting was held at Summer Chase Farm in Union Mills, NC.  Cam Brandon gave a demonstration of different types of equine therapy.  The Year End Awards banquet was held in Winston-Salem at Tanglewood Park complete with a morning trail ride and afternoon golf tournaments for the serious and the ”just for fun” golfers.  Held in a covered pavilion, we had an uninvited guest at the banquet this year, but the young skunk was polite and altogether inoffensive– just hair-raising and a great topic of conversation!. Overall High Point Horse this year was  Hollybrook Magic Man.

1999 saw the club activities start off once again with fun, fellowship, and fundraising at the Spring Gala at Tara Farm in April. This year a silent auction was added to the Gala festivities. A club trail ride organized by Trish Amitrano, was held at Uwharrie State Park on May 1st.  The Southern States show was held once again May 27-30, with Nancy Becker, Laura Kinnick, Marcia Bryant and Susan Gilliland judged 235 entries– the number enhanced by the draw of the new Pro-Am Jackpot, this year in English Pleasure.  Bethanne Ridgeway was the recipient of the Cynthia Epperson award.

A general club meeting and horse bowl were held in High Point on July 17th. In August, the club obtained it’s own URL- “www.vacarmorgans.com”.  The website was designed by members Betsy Buchanan and Pete Jaeger in 1996.  The year end meeting and awards banquet were held at the Plantation Inn in Raleigh on November 20th.  This year it was an extra special event, as the members and guests gathered to “Toast” club founder, Barbara Cole.  Many people in NC owe their Morgan introduction to Barbara and gratitude was plentiful. Special guests included Marilyn Childs and Polly Quinn who traveled great distances to take part of this special occasion.

Officers elected were; President: Nancy Warren, VP: Pat Cowan,  Secretary: Trish Amitrano, and Treasurer:  Don Crotts. Board members elected were Pete Jaeger, Fran Pugh, and Betsy Buchanan.

Overall High Point Horse was Rose Valley Roman.

2000 was a great year for the club and it’s members with three meetings and a successful Southern States show. Our first meeting found us at Tara Farm for our annual Spring Gala featuring a demonstration, the annual auction, and a tasty barbecue.  Leyland Farm with owners Sam and Jim Burnette hosted our July meeting. We were given an informative demonstration of equine acupuncture and chiropractic after a picnic lunch.  Our annual awards banquet in November was held at Carolina Club in Chapel Hill.  Rose Valley Roman again won the honors of high point horse.

Year 2001 again found us at our annual Spring Gala at Tara Farm with youth activities, our auction, and the always delicious barbecue.  Agnes Harvin was our hostess at Burnside Plantation in Henderson for the August meeting featuring a NCHC/REINS presentation.  Our awards banquet in November was held at the Crabtree Ramada in Raleigh. Rose Valley Roman became high point horse for the third year in a row.

In 2002 Tara Farm was once again kind enough to host our  Spring Gala featuring demonstrations, youth activities, the auction, and the barbecue.  Joyce Metters and John Coppley invited us to their Hollybrook Farm for the July meeting with a tour around the farm and a super meal. The year end awards President: Nancy Warren, VP: Betsy Buchanan, Secretary: Tricia Amitrano and Treasurer: Shannon DeMuinck. Board of directors-Carole Clyne, Pete Jaeger and Frances Pugh.

2003 Starts with  the now traditional Spring Gala on April 12th at Tara farm. The day started with a fun trail ride enjoyed by all. Southern States was held  in May  with 220 entries. The Summer meeting was held at the Davis’ farm in Southern Pines. The Ed Bowling Sportsmanship award was established.November brought the Year End Awards Banquet to Raleigh, NC  The first Ed Bowling Sportsmanship was awarded to Pete Whitlock. December brought a new event for the club. The club took part in the first annual Horse Expo in Raleigh, NC. Gael Jaeger organized the horses and volunteers to man the Morgan Horse Booth. President: Nancy Warren , VP: Betsy Buchanan , Secretary: Tricia Amitrano, and Treasurer: Kim Mercier.

2004 Many of our members attended the National Convention in February, held in Boston Ma. Frances Pugh purchased the naming rights for the Morgan “Virtual Horse” at the Kentucky Horse Parks new Morgan Horse Exhibit.

The Spring Gala  and first club meeting was held at Tara Farm. Fabulous food and a very successful fund raising silent auction took place  The attendance was up with over 60 members taking part. Southern States Show held, May 26-29, was again a very successful show with entries up to 250 horses! The Summer meeting was held at Flintlock Farm, good food and good conversation was had by all. Gael gave us a wonderful tour of the farm and our meeting was held outside under the trees. Many things were discussed during the meeting which included planning more trail rides and group oriented activities like taking a bus trip to the Kentucky horse park. We established the “Barbara B Cole Service Award”. The Year End Banquet was held Nov 20th in Raleigh, NC. The first BCBSA was presented to Eleanor Aurand. Avery special “Golden Spoke Award” was presented by the Southern States Committee to Billy Whitley, our faithful ringmaster for many years.

December once again included the club participation in the “Southern Horse Festival” in Raleigh, NC. Gael Jaeger once again stepped up to organize our Morgan participation. President: Andree Vetrano, VP: Betsy Buchanan, Secretary: Tricia Amitrano and Treasurer: Kim Mercier.

2005 ushered in a productive year for the club.  The first general meeting was held at Tara Farm’s “Pond Pavilion” on April 3rd with 100 members in attendance. A great time was had buy all! Lot’s of new faces too. Excellent food and fun provided by Tara.

The 33rd Annual Southern States show was held from May 25th-29TH. 224 horses participated with 800 entries from 26 states. This show was voted “Most Hospitable Show” for the 3rd year in a row. It was also voted as the UPHA “Show of the Year”.

The VCMHC sponsored a Sport Horse “In-hand” Clinic with Peter Hansen on April 9th at Harmony Sport Morgans.  6 Morgans participated. The Summer meeting was held on July 10th at Harmony Sport Morgans with 42 members in attendance. It was a pig pic’n feast enjoyed by all.  In September the AMHA rallied to “Celebrate the Morgan” by encouraging local farms to open their doors to the public for this national event to encourage Morgan Horse awareness.