We all know Morgans are a family affair… So we sent out a request to feature some of those longstanding families in our club. These three members submitted answers to the following questions on their family involvement with Morgans for 3 or more generations!
From Leah Borders...
I grew up in Pennsylvania and my grandfather, Clair Lewis, had Morgans in the early 50s. My mother, Rosemary Lewis, purchased a Trophy daughter, Nellie Lou, in the early 60s and was hooked on Morgans ever since. We also had Appaloosas. Other Morgans owned early on were Devan Robbin, Bob Beaver, LU Colonel Storm and Kickapoo Blue Pine. "Piney" was foaled in 1968 and was purchased when she was 8 months old. She went on to produce 12 or 13 foals for us, including LS Crescent Blue who is now 29 years young. I took after my mother and stayed with the Morgans; my one sister took after our father and went with the Apps. I have 2 Morgan geldings, LS Crescent Blue, foaled 1985 (Hycrest Crescent x Kickapoo Blue Pine) and Let's Get Byzy, foaled 2001 (Stonecroft Byzantine x LBC Leah). I enjoy showing, especially the working hunters and jumpers. I also like to trail ride and just hang out with my "boys".
Favorite memory??? There are so many. Morgans have been such a huge part of my life from birth. Crescent has been an international sensation. By that I mean he's had several nationalities that didn't speak English ride him. We had a sawmill while I was growing up and had numerous international visitors. Including the Russian who hopped on him bareback with a halter and lead and took off through the field. I was worried since he didn't even know how to say "Whoa" in English. The Chinese guests who wanted their picture taken on him, but for him not to budge. He was 4 at that time and had a very confused look on his face since only the translator spoke English. There were 7 guests. Crescent being the only horse to win both the Amateur and Open Working hunter at Mid-A three consecutive years. Winning the Hunter Hack out of 27 in front of Victor Hugo-Vidal at the Grand National. Working with some of the best kids on the planet while giving lessons. Getting the opportunity to visit Kohler stables and work for Steve DeBolt. Being able to say I helped start some horses that went on to win multiple world titles. Braiding some incredible horses that also went onto wear roses while sporting my braid job! Working ridiculously long hours for little pay, no sleep, but making life long friends in the process.
From Sharon Hicks...
Sharon got her first horse as a teenager in Iowa. In the 80’s, Sharon and Dave met Connie and Doug Shipley and their horse, Senator Stennis (‘John’) and saw Whithaven Valor at the Hoosier Horse Fair, starting an interest in the breed. They purchased their first Morgan, Hoosier Handsel (‘Henry’) in 1986. Chippewa Majestic followed shortly after and was truly one of those ‘horse of a lifetime’ kind of horses for the entire family.
Currently, the Hicks barn includes Rockview Remington, who both Sara and Chris grew up showing and now totes around the grandkids, Isabella and Rex, along with two nine year olds, Jax Cappucino (’Wilson’) and Ancan Second Nature (‘Nate’ who is owned by Sara). Sara and Sharon mostly enjoy riding for pleasure at the barn and heading out to Potato Creek State Park for trail riding.
Sharon’s favorite memories include when Sara won 1997 AMHA Reserve Youth of the Year at the Morgan Grand National with Rockview Remington and driving Henry around the Kentucky Horse Park.
From Vicki Higgins...
Vicki started the family adventure into the Morgan breed. At 17, she got her first summer job and leased a Morgan (Hoosier Don Allen) from Camille Centers Peterson and spent everything she made that summer on horse shows. Shortly thereafter, she leased Congo’s Babee aswell, and bought J.H. Conqueror as a two year old in the early 70’s. When asked about how many Morgans the family owns today, she said ‘Too many!' Seems to be a common problem with horse lovers! Four currently reside at her farm in Fort Wayne, one is in Missouri, and three are living at Higgins Stables in Michigan, which is operated by her son Travis and his family.
Other family members in Morgans include Travis, his wife Erin, his daughter Madeline, and Vicki’s sister-in-law and niece, Coni and Kara Hose. All of the family loves showing in many different disciplines. Other interests include breeding, and of course just riding!
Some of Vicki’s favorite memories include Travis winning Reserve World Championships with both Yellow Iris Surprise and Fire and Brimstone, seeing Travis leading Madeline as she starts her show career in leadline, several foals over the years, and all of the horse friends the family has met along the way.
Summer Fun In Kentucky
My first visit to the Kentucky Horse Park was to celebrate the Morgan Horse Bicentennial with the IMHC Ethan Allen Youth. The park was incredible and quickly became my favorite destination. Years later, my carriage club made two trips there for carriage driving weekends. We had the joy of driving both Hoosier Handsel and Rockview Remington throughout the grounds. Later, trips to Rolex kept us coming back for more great experiences.
In 2014, I decided I had to share the KHP with my granddaughter, Isabella Hicks. At 8 years old, she was the perfect age to understand and appreciate all the Park offered. We spent two full days there. She could have done it all over a second time. We watched the film “Rein of Nobility”, took a trolley ride, went on a trail ride, saw the Hall of Champions and Horses of the World, rode the mechanical “Morgan Horses” in the AMHA exhibit, and toured the barns and museums. The farrier was present in his shop and was terrific about explaining the hoof and variety of shoes so an eight year old could understand. She was thrilled when he gave her a shoe from one of the horses at the Park.
The International Museum of the Horse became Isabella’s very favorite attraction. We had to visit it each day to redo activities that she enjoyed. Her second favorite was the Kid’s Barn. This gem has so many fun exhibits and information. They even have a scavenger hunt sheet for kids to locate items around the Park.
If you have never been to the Kentucky Horse Park, put it on your list of places to visit. You will not be disappointed!
The Hicks 4th of July Horse Parade
Eight year old Isabella Hicks organized a horse parade for family on July 4th. She decorated three Morgans and one “Morgan” stick horse. Participants had to follow her parade pattern with each exhibitor leading one section. Isabella led off the parade on Rockview Remington, with Chris Hicks following on Ancan Second Nature and Sharon Hicks on Jax Cappuccino.
AMHA Masters Certificate Nominees
IMHC honored the following club members by submitting the
following biographies for consideration for an AMHA Masters Certificate,