By JOHN McCALLUM
The American Morgan Horse Association recently announced that Cheney equestrian Sydney Hyman has been awarded the AMHA Hunter Seat on the Flat Silver Medal award for her outstanding performance at the Far West Regional Horse Show June 20-23 in Redmond, Wash. In receiving the award Hyman, 14, qualifies to compete for the Gold Medal at the 2012 Grand National and World Championship Morgan Horse Show held Oct. 6-13 in Oklahoma City, Okla.
Contacted Tuesday, Aug. 21, AMHA communications specialist Christina Koliander said she had contacted the family and they had chosen not to make the trip to Oklahoma.
“I'm not sure of their decision why, but to go to a week-long show halfway across the country with a horse is extremely expensive,” Koliander said. “While many qualify to attend, a lot choose not to go due to expense.”
Koliander said Hyman did compete at nationals last year.
All junior riders who are AMHA members are invited to compete on a Morgan. AMHA silver medals are awarded in each of six seats: Saddle, Western, Hunter Seat on the Flat, Hunter Over Fences, Reigning and Dressage. Riders who place first or second in a Silver Medal class are qualified to participate in the 2012 Gold Medal Finals at Grand Nationals, with the highest award, Gold Medal, being given in each seat.
An entry in Wikipedia describes the Morgan horse as “compact, muscular but refined build, clean-cut head, well arched neck” usually bay, black or chestnut in color although there are other varieties. Morgans are one of the earliest horse breeds developed in the United States, and were used as cavalry horses by both sides during the Civil War.
The Hunter Seat on the Flat is an equitation event. Koliander said it consists of pattern riding “where the rider is judged rather than the horse.”
Founded in 1909 the AMHA is a non-profit organization serving more than 50,000 Morgan horse owners, breeders, exhibitors and enthusiasts throughout the U.S. It also serves as a parent organization to more than 90 recognized Morgan horse clubs and national service organizations.
John McCallum can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.