** FOLLOWING IS A LETTER FROM AMHA PRESIDENT TO MEMBERSHIP **
Dear Members and Friends of the American Morgan Horse Association,
Each one of us has been touched by these unprecedented times. Some of us have felt these effects more than others but all of us have felt them together.
As we continue to move forward, all of us at AMHA and within the horse industry are working together to help those in need and to plan for the future. Now, more than ever, is the time for us all to join together as one caring and strong family.
Here are a few of the steps we have been taking with this goal in mind:
- Joint Leadership Council. AMHA has joined with the American Hackney Horse Society (AHHS), the American Road Horse & Pony Association (ARHPA), the American Saddlebred Association (ASHA), and the United Professional Horsemen’s Association (UPHA) to form the Joint Leadership Council (JLC). The JLC is taking an active role in assisting the trotting breed community during the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, go to www.JLCCares.com to find information and resources for our community as well as information on how you can help. Let’s all come together during these difficult times.
- AMHA. In accordance with Kentucky and Vermont mandates, the entire staff is now working from home. Most all of us know what a challenge this can be. However, our great and talented staff seems to be taking it all in stride and adjusting accordingly. If you would like to show your support, renew your membership today. Every little bit helps. Go to www.morganhorse.com/membership/join/. We all look forward to the day when we can get back to our horse events, friends, and family.
- The Morgan Horse. As you can imagine, with little or no horse events in the months of March and April, advertising content is quite slim for our next issue. Our magazine staff is making adjustments accordingly and planning to continue its delivery of The Morgan Horse to your mailbox on schedule. Of course, this all depends on the delicate balance of financial feasibility as we move forward. If you want to support AMHA and the Morgan horse, now would be a great time to place an ad!
- Grand National & World Championship Morgan Horse Show®: As of now, the show is on track for October at this time. The Show Committee is meeting every two weeks and is closely monitoring the situation. Any adjustments will be made as necessary. One such adjustment involves the prize list. In 2020, the show prize list will be ONLINE ONLY. Go to www.MorganGrandNational.com in May to download a copy. Special arrangements will be made for those that absolutely require a printed copy. The Grand National & World Championship Morgan Horse Show® is not only the cornerstone for many of us each year, but it also is a vital source of resources for AMHECT, AMHA and the Morgan community. In 2019, over $100,000 paid for AMHA licensing, AMHA Judges’ School, AMHA Judges’ Development, AMHA Youth programs, AMHECT operating expenses, AMHA Medal Class Scholarships, and support for the AMHA Convention. So, the need for a Reserve Fund has never been more evident. We can all be thankful those in charge have planned for a rainy day with funds set aside to make sure this grand Morgan tradition survives and grows stronger once we all emerge from this unprecedented crisis.
- Litigation. Unfortunately, these dark times have not given everyone a sense of family. AMHA continues to incur legal expenses on a weekly basis due to the Victoria Bennett lawsuit. As of April 15th, the running total is $73,840.35. AMHA’s Board firmly disputes the lawsuit’s allegations of mismanagement, and believes Ms. Bennett’s complaint reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the legal structure and mission of AMHECT. We will continue to fulfill our duty to the breed and defend these unfortunate allegations. As I have explained previously, nothing has been done that is not without professional advice and in the best interest of the Morgan breed just as we will continue to strive to do.
Our number one priority continues to be the safety, well-being and health of our family, friends, and animals.
Remember, we all share this passion for the Morgan breed. While we don’t all share the same activities or personal preferences, I hope we all can focus on the unifying fact that each Morgan is “The Horse That Chooses You.”
C. A. Lee, III, AMHA President