Quantcast

A Vermont breed competes as food-shortage looms - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

A Vermont breed competes as food-shortage looms

Posted: Updated:
TUNBRIDGE, Vt. -

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.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Child car seats in the spotlight

    Child car seats in the spotlight

    Monday, September 15 2014 6:59 PM EDT2014-09-15 22:59:59 GMT
    Car crashes are the number one cause of death for children in the United States, which is why making sure children are buckled up correctly is so important -- unfortunately most are not.
    Car crashes are the number one cause of death for children in the United States, which is why making sure children are buckled up correctly is so important -- unfortunately most are not.
  • Franklin County residents focus on lake pollution

    Franklin County residents focus on lake pollution

    Monday, September 15 2014 6:48 PM EDT2014-09-15 22:48:35 GMT
    A proposal to save Lake Champlain's water quality was dead on arrival last February in the state legislature, but residents in Franklin County are renewing their push for legislation to improve the water.
    A proposal to save Lake Champlain's water quality was dead on arrival last February in the state legislature, but residents in Franklin County are renewing their push for legislation to improve the water.
  • Emily Peyton and Dan Feliciano add voices to the debate

    Emily Peyton and Dan Feliciano add voices to the debate

    Monday, September 15 2014 5:29 PM EDT2014-09-15 21:29:49 GMT

    Two other gubernatorial candidates shared the gazebo with Scott Milne and Gov. Peter Shumlin for Saturday's debate.

    Two other gubernatorial candidates shared the gazebo with Scott Milne and Gov. Peter Shumlin for Saturday's debate.

  • FAHC: The wrong bill is in the mail

    FAHC: The wrong bill is in the mail

    Monday, September 15 2014 4:51 PM EDT2014-09-15 20:51:03 GMT
    The medical center confirms that 3,800 people with last names that start with the letters L through Q, errantly received old bills Monday.
    The medical center confirms that 3,800 people with last names that start with the letters L through Q, errantly received old bills Monday.
  • Sterling College launches $2M fundraising challenge

    Sterling College launches $2M fundraising challenge

    A tiny Vermont college that focuses on environmental stewardship is launching a $2 million fundraising challenge.
    A tiny Vermont college that focuses on environmental stewardship is launching a $2 million fundraising challenge.
  • Dump truck rolls over in Berkshire

    Dump truck rolls over in Berkshire

    Monday, September 15 2014 6:06 PM EDT2014-09-15 22:06:37 GMT
    There was a mess in Berkshire Monday when a dump truck rolled over.
    There was a mess in Berkshire Monday when a dump truck rolled over.
  • 25 fastest growing Vermont businesses honored in South Burlington

    25 fastest growing Vermont businesses honored in South Burlington

    Monday, September 15 2014 11:35 PM EDT2014-09-16 03:35:13 GMT
    From world renowned cheese and maple syrup to companies that run entirely on renewable resources Vermont businesses of all kinds continue to flourish. And there are 25 in particular that are amongst the fastest growing businesses in the state.
    From world renowned cheese and maple syrup to companies that run entirely on renewable resources Vermont businesses of all kinds continue to flourish. And there are 25 in particular that are amongst the fastest growing businesses in the state.
  • Fall hearing could determine fate of Vt. GMO labeling law

    Fall hearing could determine fate of Vt. GMO labeling law

    Monday, September 15 2014 6:51 PM EDT2014-09-15 22:51:09 GMT
    A fall hearing could provide the first clue to the fate of the state's recently-passed GMO labeling law. A group of food producers is suing Vermont over the mandated labeling of some products made with genetically engineered crops by 2016. The legal process is expected to take years, but experts say the first ruling could mirror the final ruling.
    A fall hearing could provide the first clue to the fate of the state's recently-passed GMO labeling law. A group of food producers is suing Vermont over the mandated labeling of some products made with genetically engineered crops by 2016. The legal process is expected to take years, but experts say the first ruling could mirror the final ruling.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WCAX. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.