Vermont breeders first created the Morgan Horse during the 19th century as the all-purpose animal. At an annual show in Tunbridge exclusively dedicated to the breed, riders are battling humidity and a shortage of horse feed.
The Heritage Days Morgan Horse Show is just another day in the saddle for 19-year-old Abby Bemis and the Lippitt Morgan Drill Team. The team dates back to 2010, but this celebration of the Vermont breed's history is a much longer tradition for Abby and her family.
Bemis said her grandmother breeds Morgans and she began riding at the age of five. She never misses the Heritage Days show, now in its 23rd year. "Every Fourth of July weekend we come," said Bemis.
About 90 horses and more riders are expected to perform at this year's Heritage Days. "Morgans were bred to be a versatile horse," said show organizer Nancy Harvey. "They could work in the field, they could pull the logs, plow the fields and then they could take the family to church in the Sunday carriage."
She said staging a variety of events, which began Friday and run through Sunday, will allow horses and riders to show off that range.
Friday's events briefly paused to allow a thunderstorm to pass and Harvey says the town is keeping them updated on forecasts. "You know, it's not snowing," she said.
"It's so hot, it's miserable," said Bemis of the weather. "The horses actually don't do too bad." She said the horses are cooled with fans and get plenty of water.
However, excessive rains are dampening horses' food supply. Recent record levels of rain are preventing farmers from harvesting hay. "We haven't heard from our supplier yet, if we're going to get any or not," said Bemis. "So, pretty much a lot of people have been buying it from others who have extra in their hay barns."
Bemis' family owns six horses. With about 30 bales remaining, they currently only have enough for the next 20 days before they'll need to find more.
Steve Davis with UVM's program say they're well-stocked and will be able sell more surplus once soggy fields dry out. But for now, the focus remains on the reins and the rain.
Sunday, March 9 2014 10:43 PM EDT2014-03-10 02:43:23 GMT
The Burlington Yoga Conference began Saturday at UVM's Davis Center. The event gives participants a chance to connect the mind body and soul through workshops they may not have access to on a daily basis.More >>
The Burlington Yoga Conference began 6 years ago and has become a staple in the community.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 7:56 PM EDT2014-03-09 23:56:33 GMT
Flags were flying on the Statehouse steps Sunday afternoon as more than 500 people gathered for the Gun Owners of Vermont Rally."Vermonters -- not just hunting Vermonters who happen to have firearms forMore >>
A trio of gun control measures may have gotten the green light from Burlington voters on Town Meeting Day, but the charter changes face strong opposition across the state, and a possible uphill battle at the Statehouse.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 7:43 PM EDT2014-03-09 23:43:32 GMT
Is the marketing behind Electronic Cigarettes aimed at kids?New York Senator Chuck Schumer (D-New York) says the industry's trendy packaging and flavors like bubble gum and cotton candy aren't foolingMore >>
Schumer is co-sponsoring a Senate bill that would ban e-cigarette marketing aimed at kids.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 7:42 PM EDT2014-03-09 23:42:02 GMT
Senator Bernie Sanders is among a group of Senators set to hold an "all-nighter" to call attention to climate Change.Members of the so-called Senate Climate Action Task Force -- nearly two dozen in allMore >>
Senator Bernie Sanders is among a group of Senators set to hold an "all-nighter" to call attention to climate Change.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 7:40 PM EDT2014-03-09 23:40:46 GMT
A Chimney fire is the likely cause of a blaze that destroyed a home in St. Albans Town.The owner of the home on Pike Drive called for help a little after 9:30 a.m. Sunday. When firefighters arrived theyMore >>
A Chimney fire is the likely cause of a blaze that destroyed a home in St. Albans Town.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 7:38 PM EDT2014-03-09 23:38:52 GMT
Jazz fingers, dance moves -- and plenty of passion. The Urban Reach Dance Convention is giving aspiring dancers the chance to learn from some of the music industry's most acclaimed teachers, who have workedMore >>
Aspiring dancers hit the floor this weekend at the 8th annual Urban Reach Dance Convention.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 6:08 PM EDT2014-03-09 22:08:59 GMT
This morning, Channel 3 has learned there will NOT be a bus strike Monday morning in Chittenden County. CCTA officials told us in a statement that after 19 hours of negotiations that went into the morningMore >>
Sunday morning CCTA officials announced that after a marathon negotiation session they delivered a complete contract proposal to the union.More >>
Sunday, March 9 2014 2:52 PM EDT2014-03-09 18:52:05 GMT
Governor Peter Shumlin was in Rhode Island over the weekend. His office says the Governor was at Brown University in Providence taking part in a forum with the Rhode Island Governor. He is expected toMore >>
Governor Peter Shumlin was in Rhode Island over the weekend.More >>