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>>

  • Winooski man killed in motorcycle accident

    Winooski man killed in motorcycle accident

    Thursday, April 17 2014 11:12 PM EDT2014-04-18 03:12:18 GMT
    There's been a tragedy on the Burlington beltway Thursday night. Police confirm that a 24-year-old Winooski man was killed in a motorcycle crash that shutdown the beltway. The name has been releasedMore >>
    Burlington Police confirm that a 24-year-old Winooski man was killed in a motorcycle crash that shutdown the beltline.More >>
  • Stowe couple dead in murder-suicide

    Stowe couple dead in murder-suicide

    Thursday, April 17 2014 11:08 PM EDT2014-04-18 03:08:04 GMT
    Police say two people found dead at a home in Stowe are believed to have died in a murder-suicide. Police are still not releasing their names or the cause of death, but they say the victims are adults. StoweMore >>
    A Stowe couple is dead after what police say was a murder-suicide. The news came as a shock to neighbors who say they never noticed any red flags.
    More >>
  • Leicester man charged with shootings appears in court

    Leicester man charged with shootings appears in court

    Thursday, April 17 2014 6:58 PM EDT2014-04-17 22:58:26 GMT
    A man charged with shooting his neighbor and two Vermont State Police officers was in court Thursday in Middlebury. Timothy Foley did appear in court Thursday in Middlebury. He wasn't there last time,More >>
    A man charged with shooting his neighbor and two Vermont State Police officers was in court Thursday in Middlebury.More >>
  • Woman sentenced in Vt. crash that killed motorcyclist

    Woman sentenced in Vt. crash that killed motorcyclist

    Thursday, April 17 2014 11:26 AM EDT2014-04-17 15:26:34 GMT
    A 79-year-old woman accused of causing the death of a motorcyclist in Vermont last year has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of careless or negligent operation and has received a suspended sentence of six to...More >>
    A 79-year-old woman accused of causing the death of a motorcyclist in Vermont last year has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of careless or negligent operation and has received a suspended sentence of six to 12 months.More >>
  • Man charged in Vt. cruiser crushing has June trial

    Man charged in Vt. cruiser crushing has June trial

    Thursday, April 17 2014 12:34 PM EDT2014-04-17 16:34:06 GMT
    A Vermont man accused of crushing seven sheriffs' vehicles with a farm tractor is scheduled for trial in June.More >>
    A Vermont man accused of crushing seven sheriffs' vehicles with a farm tractor is scheduled for trial in June.More >>
  • Teen arrested in St. Albans bomb threat

    Teen arrested in St. Albans bomb threat

    Thursday, April 17 2014 12:05 PM EDT2014-04-17 16:05:16 GMT
    A teenager has been arrested for making a bomb threat in St. Albans. Police say the threat was made to Project SOAR, an alternative school, Wednesday morning. The building was searched and no bomb wasMore >>
    Police say a teenager has been arrested for allegedly making a bomb threat to an alternative school in St. Albans.More >>
  • Missing Rutland woman found safe

    Missing Rutland woman found safe

    Thursday, April 17 2014 12:05 PM EDT2014-04-17 16:05:01 GMT
    A missing elderly woman from Rutland has been found safe in Burlington. Police say Grace Maddaloni, 88, disappeared Wednesday after what they called a "disagreement." Because of her age and being in theMore >>
    A missing elderly woman from Rutland has been found safe in Burlington.More >>
  • Big buyer for Big Blue?

    Big buyer for Big Blue?

    Thursday, April 17 2014 7:07 PM EDT2014-04-17 23:07:19 GMT
    IBM and chip production may soon be parting ways. The Wall Street Journal reports that Big Blue is looking to unload three chipmaking plants-- two in upstate New York and its Vermont plant in Essex Junction.More >>
    With indications IBM may sell off its chipmaking plants, we talked to the company experts say may buy them. GlobalFoundries already has employees working at IBM in Essex Junction through a partnership, and experts say that could help the company decide whether the plant is a worthy investment.More >>
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.