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Morgans Capture Three of Four At Live Oak Combined Driving World Selection Trials

by By the American Morgan Horse Association | Mar 31, 2005, 12:13 PM

Proving again that Morgans are among the some of the finest driving horses in the world, Fred Merriam drove Nicholas Mercede's Gaitwood Lightwing, a 1995 bay gelding, to finish first in the FEI Single Horse Division. Lisa Singer finished first in the FEI Pairs Division driving Mimi Torrington's chestnut geldings, Count On Me and LR Ami Bengali. Sara Schmitt was first in the FEI Single Pony Division driving her High Country Doc, a 1996 bay, who also had the best marathon score.

Suzy Stafford was right behind them, placing second driving Beverly Lasher's Courage To Lead , a 1997 chestnut mare, who was the USEF Single Pony Champion in 2004. Shelly Temple came in sixth driving her LR Ami B-Line, a 1998 chestnut gelding, who also had the best dressage score of the event. Twenty-five percent of the horses competing at the Live Oak CAI were Morgan horses. Throughout the twentieth century, Morgans continually have reasserted their dominance as a driving horse, which is not surprising, considering a recent survey by the American Driving Society, revealed that Morgans were by far the most popular breed owned by their membership. In 2002, two of the three spots on the U.S. Singles team that competed in France were Morgans (Canequin's Look Out, owned and driven by Nancy Johnson and Gaitwood Lightwing, driven by Fred Merriam). Merriam and his Morgan brought home the Individual Bronze medal, missing the Silver by only fractions of a second.

In 2004 the United States Equestrian Federation named Gaitwood Lightwing and Merriam; Bethesda After Dark, a black gelding bred by Kathryn and Robert Iorio of Waukesha, WI, and driven and owned by Scott Monroe of Sharon, CT; and Collector's Right Stuff, a bay gelding bred and owned by Woodrow and Sharon Davis of Southern Pines, NC, and driven by Scott Padgett to be the team that competed in Astorp, Sweden, representing the United States at the World Singles Championship competition.~~~