February 6th, 2020
To the Members of AMHA:
The Morgan horse is amazing! Nothing proves that more than the overwhelming passion shared by all who love this great breed. I have just returned home after two weeks on the road with many members of my Morgan family. I can’t tell you how lucky I feel to be a part of such an amazing community.
Two weeks ago, I attended the UPHA National Conference in Lexington, Kentucky. AMHA joined the American Hackney Horse Society, the American Road Horse & Pony Association, the American Saddle Horse Association, the American Saddlebred Museum, and the American Saddlebred Registry to be a part of the 2020 UPHA National Conference. In a few days, you will be receiving a global email with some of the highlights of the AMHA Annual Meeting, AMHA Awards Luncheon and the UPHA National Conference. Nothing demonstrated more to the power of our great breed than the number of Morgan enthusiasts who showed up, received awards, donated their time, and supported the event.
Last week, I attended the winter meeting of the Grand National & World Championship Morgan Horse Show® committee. We are an all-volunteer group of passionate individuals who spend our own money and donate all our time to help put on the Morgan breed’s greatest showcase. This committee is made up of 17 dedicated Morgan lovers as diverse as the breed itself. We each share the same goal of putting on the best show on earth and contributing to the preservation and promotion of the Morgan breed.
As a whole, it was evident we are all a part of a great industry. Together we can accomplish so much. The old saying still holds true… “United we stand, divided we fall.”
It is my honor to have been elected to serve three more years on the AMHA Board of Directors. It is even a greater honor to have been elected President of the board for the coming year.
I have stated more than once in AMHA meetings how honesty and integrity are paramount to me. As the newly elected President of AMHA, I would like to reassure our membership of a few things as we move forward:
- We have accomplished so much in the past year but there is so much more we can do! The recent election results along with the unanimous support of those at our annual meeting demonstrates to me the positive direction we are headed for the Morgan horse.
- AMHA and AMHECT were both set up based on New York Not-For-Profit Law through the legal advice from trusted experts at the time of creation. A review is currently underway to make sure all correct procedures are followed now and into the future.
- The Grand National & World Championship Morgan Horse Show® is licensed by AMHA to AMHECT. AMHECT in turn authorizes a completely volunteer committee to put on the show each year. This arrangement guarantees AMHA an annual income of $65,000. In addition, thousands of additional dollars support educational and promotional activities of AMHECT and in turn AMHA including but not limited to judges’ education, youth activities, educational clinics, and more.
- AMHA and AMHECT along with all committees and task groups are served by AMHA members on a totally volunteer basis.
- AMHA, AMHECT and the Grand National & World Championship Morgan Horse Show® all share the sole purpose of preserving and promoting the Morgan breed.
- AMHA, AMHECT and the Grand National & World Championship Morgan Horse Show® have a complete accounting of all funds both past and present. Those funds are held in appropriate accounts as fiduciarily determined to be in the best interest of each organization, and in turn, the Morgan breed.
As we look to the future, we currently face uncertainty in our financial stability due to the legal action brought upon us by former director Victoria Bennett. This suit has drained over $50,000 from the Morgan breed in just its first three months. It is my hope that Ms. Bennett will realize we are all dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the Morgan breed and redirect her efforts in a more cohesive and positive direction.
Judging by the passion exhibited by many of our members at our annual meeting along with the election, online comments, and over 750 signatures in an online petition, I feel many of us share the same hope.
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.”
I know I will.
C.A. Lee, III