The Vermont Morgan Heritage Days at the Tunbridge Fairgrounds are made for people like Bruce and Ann Harrow. It's a low pressure show, where amateurs are welcome, with or without the guidance of professional trainers.
Bruce worked with draft horses on the farm when he was a kid, and Ann remembers going through the "horse stage" that most girls go through, but they didn't have horses in their adult lives until recently. UVM Quirrol came into their lives one year ago.
"Two years ago I never dreamed that I would be standing here with my own horse, or half a horse because the other half is Bruce's, in a stall, getting ready to compete with him!" Ann said.
Betsy Ackley Ferris has been working with horses her whole life, but she says don't expect to get rich raising horses.
"One problem is that a lot of people, especially if you have only 1-2 horses, and you think your mare is the best in the whole world. To sell that foal, by the time you pay your stud fee and you pay your vet bills and you've raised that foal and you've trained that foal and you've worked that foal, to come out ahead is pretty tough!" Ackley Ferris said.
So why do so many do it? Because they say it's fun. And this is where horse people come to have fun! It's a time to show others what your horse can do, and see friends you sometimes only see once a year.
This show is special; it's meant for amateurs and backyard horse owners, without a lot of the pressure of some of the bigger shows. There will be confirmation, and riding and driving classes, and it also celebrates the history of the Morgan breed, with old-fashioned classes you won't see anywhere else. On Sunday, there will be a class where horses compete in pulling a stone boat, trotting under saddle and driving in harness, all things the original Morgan Horse "Figure" was famous for. This is the last show in the U.S. that holds this particular class.
A weekend of fun for those who love Morgans.
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