Gaited Morgans —- Journey of Pride
We purchased our first Morgan in 1986 who had a perfect trot and smooth rack—Chandel Laurel. We searched for “Naturally Gaited Morgans”. A friend who owned Rockies identified Western breeders who bred only for Gaited Morgans. A trip was made to Wyoming in 2000 and our first Gaited Morgan stallion, Mary Mels Maestro, and mare were purchased. These Gaited Morgans did naturally what our mare did only under the perfect conditions. The following years meant more purchases and our first foals.
Milestones in Gaited Morgans
Friends of Sound Horses, FOSH, President and Head of the Independent Judges Association, IJA, asked Gary to write the judging rules to be used for Gaited Morgan classes at FOSH Shows. This was finished in 2005 and Jellico Farms participated in the 2006 World Championships of FOSH in Lexington, VA.
In 2006, Jellico Farms was asked to demonstrate Gaited Morgans under saddle and in hand at the AMHA Convention and participated in KYOVA Morgan show included Gaited Morgan classes with five participants.
Jellico Farms registered Gaited Morgans with three Mountain Associations and attended eight shows in 2008. The young stallion with only 45 days of training at the beginning of the 2008 season competed in five and over stallions and was always placed in the top five, and finished fifth at the World Championship against 18 other horses.
Jellico was asked to send DNA samples to participate in a study by Capilets from Sweden to develop a gene A test. This test became available to the public in 2014. In November 2014, Gary appeared before the Quarterly AMHA Board of Directors meeting and presented a request to include the SynchroGaited Gene A test and to register the results in the horse’s record. The AMHA Board then gave final approval in February 2015 at the AMHA Convention. Test requests are submitted to the AMHA Registrar for testing through UC Davis. The test would find one of three results: AA – Homozygous for gait; CA – Heterzygous for gait; or CC – walk/trot/canter.
There were no USEF Gaited Morgan classes, so Gary submitted a proposal and class rules for inclusion of Gaited Morgans. The USEF Morgan Committee reviewed this at the 2017 AMHA Convention and agreed to have the proposal go through the various stages required by USEF with final decision in January 2018. The first classes were available in December 2018.