Skip to Main Content

AMHA News from the 2024 UPHA National Conference

February 6, 2024


[Lexington, KY] - The American Morgan Horse Association Annual Meeting of Members and Awards presentations were held at the Griffin Gate Marriott Golf Resort and Spa in conjunction with the UPHA National Conference that took place January 24-28 right here in the heart of horse country in Lexington, Kentucky. Over the course of five days, there were many business meetings, educational opportunities, and celebratory moments. 

The Conference kicked off with a Welcome Party at The Kentucky Castle, giving members the chance to reconnect and enjoy a night at the “casino.” AMHA held its Annual Meeting of Members Thursday morning that was then followed by the UPHA Awards Luncheon where two Annual AMHA awards were presented. On Friday of the Conference, members were bussed to Grey Ridge Farm in Versailles, Kentucky for an all-day clinic with multiple discussion panels discussing several industry topics, including use of the full bridle, motion irregularities, pairing the right horse with the right rider, and much more. AMHA’s Awards Luncheon took place Saturday afternoon with the presentation of several awards and recognitions. A few other AMHA Annual Awards were presented at two dinner celebrations: a Denim and Diamonds Awards Dinner Thursday evening and the Hall of Fame Awards Dinner and Gala closing the activities Saturday evening. Overall, the Conference provided everyone with a fantastic week full of networking, industry news, and special recognition. The 2024 Conference sets the stage for anticipation of an exciting and successful year for the Morgan horse. 

The Annual Report will be posted soon to the AMHA website.


Annual Meeting

The 2024 AMHA Annual Meeting of Members was held Thursday, January 25, and was open to the public for all interested in the future of the Morgan horse. Registry Committee Chair Harlan Grunden presented the Registry report, which showed an increase in registrations and continued growth of the Morgan breed. Finance Committee Chair Ashleigh Wood reported the prevailing positive financial standing of the association with future plans to continue the promotion of the Morgan. Terri Sturm, the Bylaws Committee Chair, provided an update on the association’s bylaws. USEF CEO Bill Moroney was also in attendance and spoke on the phenomenal success and growth rate of the equine industry. He stated that they expect to see more exponential growth in the coming year as USEF’s partnership with NBC has really opened the public’s eyes up to the industry. 

Prior to the start of the meeting, voting was open for in-person voting as well as proxy voting for those who were unable or chose not to place their votes electronically or via mail. Voting closed at 10:00 a.m. and a quorum was confirmed for the re-election of the Eastern, Central, and Western Region Directors. Steven Handy was elected as the Eastern Region Director, James Gruenberg was elected as the Central Region Director, and Terri Sturm was elected to serve as the Western Region Director. It was also announced that the new Board of Directors will be led by Steven Handy as AMHA President with Sharon Boyce Bender serving as Vice President and Ashleigh Wood serving as the Vice President of Finance.

For those who were unable to attend, all information presented at the Annual Meeting will be available to review soon. (Please note, this is available to current members by logging into their online website account.)


Annual Awards

Congratulations to our 2023 AMHA Annual Award winners, many of which attended and were recognized for their achievements. 


Hall of Fame

Bob Kellert & Mary Cockriel


Breeder's Hall of Fame

Salem Farm

Cherrydale Manor


Show Horse Hall of Fame

HVK Bell Flaire (Park)

Mizrahi (In-Hand/Stallion)

Evil Knievel GCH (Western)

Highover French Krystle GCH (Dressage)


Person of the Year

Iann Fu Longenecker


Golden Reins

John Greenall

Elsie Rodney

Tom Tornatore


Cecil R. Brown Sportsmanship Award

Ryne Swope


Dr. Albert Lucine Promoter Award

Ledyard Farms


Young Person Award

Jessica Sebring


International Award

Trudy Connolly


Therapy Horse Award

Wonder Flight

Desperado's Alibi


Professional Award

Gerry Rushton


NEW this year – C. A. Lee III Above and Beyond Award

C. A. Lee III


Judges Recognition

Belle Hufferd - 25 Years

Renee Lavery - 25 Years

Dwayne Knowles - 30 Years

Kathleen Peeples - 30 Years

Lynn Peeples - 30 Years

Renee Baker - 30 Years


Club Awards

Club Member of the Year

Sylvia McDanel


Club Competition of the Year

Champion - Massachusetts Morgan Horse Association

Reserve Champion - Connecticut Morgan Horse Association


Club Educational Event of the Year

Champion - Show Me Morgan Horse Club

Reserve Champion - Lippitt Morgan Breeders Association 


Club Promotional Event of the Year

Champion - Iowa Morgan Horse Association

Reserve Champion - Ozark Morgan Horse Club


Club Most Unique Event of the Year 

Champion - Lippitt Club


Club Social Event of the Year

Champion - Lippitt Club 


Star Awards Results


Open Competition Results


Learn more about the AMHA Annual Awards presented.