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NO. R-63.  House concurrent resolution urging the National Museum of the Morgan Horse to remain in Vermont.

(H.C.R. 36)

Offered by:  Representatives Kennedy of Chelsea, Winters of Williamstown, Adams of Hartland, Allaire of Rutland City, Allard of St. Albans Town, Ancel of Calais, Aswad of Burlington, Atkins of Winooski, Audette of S. Burlington, Baker of West Rutland, Barnard of Richmond, Bartlett of Dover, Bohi of Hartford, Bostic of St. Johnsbury, Botzow of Pownal, Branagan of Georgia, Brennan of Colchester, Brooks of Montpelier, Canfield of Fair Haven, Chen of Mendon, Clark of St. Johnsbury, Clark of Vergennes, Clarkson of Woodstock, Condon of Colchester, Copeland-Hanzas of Bradford, Corcoran of Bennington, Cross of Winooski, Darrow of Dummerston, Deen of Westminster, DePoy of Rutland City, Donaghy of Poultney, Donahue of Northfield, Donovan of Burlington, Dostis of Waterbury, Dowland of Holland, Dunsmore of Georgia, Edwards of Brattleboro, Emmons of Springfield, Endres of Milton, Errecart of Shelburne, Evans of Essex, Fallar of Tinmouth, Fisher of Lincoln, Flory of Pittsford, Frank of Underhill, French of Randolph, Gervais of Enosburg, Grad of Moretown, Green of Berlin, Haas of Rochester, Head of S. Burlington, Heath of Westford, Helm of Castleton, Hosford of Waitsfield, Houston of Ferrisburgh, Howard of Rutland City, Howrigan of Fairfield, Hube of Londonderry, Hudson of Lyndon, Hunt of Essex, Hutchinson of Randolph, Jerman of Essex, Jewett of Ripton, Johnson of South Hero, Johnson of Canaan, Kainen of Hartford, Keenan of St. Albans City, Keogh of Burlington, Kilmartin of Newport City, Kiss of Burlington, Kitzmiller of Montpelier, Klein of East Montpelier, Koch of Barre Town, Komline of Dorset, Kupersmith of S. Burlington, Larocque of Barnet, Larrabee of Danville, Larson of Burlington, LaVoie of Swanton, Lawrence of Lyndon, Leriche of Hardwick, Lippert of Hinesburg, Livingston of Manchester, Lorber of Burlington, Louras of Rutland City, Maier of Middlebury, Malcolm of Pawlet, Marcotte of Coventry, Marek of Newfane, Marron of Stowe, Martin of Springfield, Martin of Wolcott, Masland of Thetford, McAllister of Highgate, McCullough of Williston, McFaun of Barre Town, McLaughlin of Royalton, Metzger of Milton, Milkey of Brattleboro, Miller of Shaftsbury, Miller of Elmore, Minter of Waterbury, Molloy of Arlington, Monti of Barre City, Mook of Bennington, Morley of Orleans, Morrissey of Bennington, Myers of Essex, Nease of Johnson, Niquette of Colchester, Nitka of Ludlow, Nuovo of Middlebury, Obuchowski of Rockingham, O’Donnell of Vernon, Orr of Charlotte, Otterman of Topsham, Parent of St. Albans City, Partridge of Windham, Peaslee of Guildhall, Pellett of Chester, Perry of Richford, Peterson of Williston, Pillsbury of Brattleboro, Potter of Clarendon, Pugh of S. Burlington, Randall of Troy, Reese of Pomfret, Rodgers of Glover, Rusten of Halifax, Schiavone of Shelburne, Seibert of Norwich, Severance of Colchester, Shand of Weathersfield, Sharpe of Bristol, Shaw of Derby, Smith of New Haven, Smith of Morristown, Sunderland of Rutland Town, Sweaney of Windsor, Symington of Jericho, Tracy of Burlington, Trombley of Grand Isle, Valliere of Barre City, Westman of Cambridge, Winters of Swanton, Wright of Burlington, Young of Orwell and Zuckerman of Burlington.

Offered by:  Senator Ayer of Addison District, Senator Bartlett of Lamoille District, Senator Campbell of Windsor District, Canns of Caldeonia District, Senator Collins of Franklin District, Senator Condos of Chittenden District, Senator Cummings of Washington District, Senator Doyle of Washington District, Senator Dunne of Windsor District, Senator Flanagan of Chittenden District, Senator Gander of Windham District, Senator Giard of Addison District, Senator Illuzzi of Essex-Orleans District, Senator Kitchel of Caledonia District, Senator Kittell of Franklin District, Senator Leddy of Chittenden District, Senator Lyons of Chittenden District, Senator MacDonald of Orange District, Senator Maynard of Rutland District, Senator Mazza of Grand Isle District, Senator Miller of Chittenden District, Senator Mullin of Rutland District, Senator Scott of Washington District, Senator Sears of Bennington District, Senator Shepard of Bennington District, Senator Snelling of Chittenden District, Senator Starr of         Essex-Orleans District, Senator Welch of Windsor District, Senator White of Windham District and Senator Wilton of Rutland District

Whereas, there has been considerable discussion among Morgan horse owners in Vermont regarding the potential relocation of the National Museum of the Morgan Horse from its Shelburne home to Lexington, Kentucky, and

Whereas, museum officials have stated that the only proposal at present is to consider a sale of the Shelburne facility in three years, and they note that the American Morgan Horse Association has just entered into a three-year rental agreement for space at the Shelburne site, and

Whereas, despite these assurances, the museum’s potential move must be addressed, and every effort explored for it to remain in Vermont, and

Whereas, the Morgan horse’s role in Vermont’s history is so important that it has been honored pursuant to 1 V.S.A. § 500, as the Vermont State Animal, and

Whereas, the Morgan horse’s legal standing in Vermont law is well‑deserved as this beautiful and extremely versatile breed was established in Vermont over 200 years ago and has a special association with our state, and

Whereas, Justin Morgan, a late‑18th century Randolph town clerk and town treasurer and a distinguished musician of the era left an extraordinary equestrian legacy to the state of Vermont, and

Whereas, this legacy began in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1789 with the birth of a colt called Figure, who is the direct ancestor of every registered Morgan horse through his three sons, Bulrush, Woodbury, and Sherman, and

Whereas, Justin Morgan brought this colt to Randolph, Vermont in 1791, and

Whereas, the horse’s 1796 victory against two New York running horses in Brookfield is enshrined to this day as the race course’s road is still known as the “Morgan Mile,” and

Whereas, Justin Morgan’s horse had many other admirable attributes as a pulling horse, a driving horse, and as a favored mount at militia trainings, and

Whereas, after a distinguished life, Justin Morgan’s horse died at the age of 32 and is buried in the town of Chelsea where his grave is marked and can be visited, and

Whereas, while the Morgan horse breed spread across the country and was much admired on the farm, on the early harness race course, and as an essential contributor to the nation’s horse‑drawn trolleys, it remained a breed with especially close Vermont ties, including service as the exclusive horse of the First Vermont Cavalry during the Civil War, and

Whereas, beginning in the 19th century, the Vermont State Fair was a popular showcase for the Morgan horse, and at the 1909 fair, the Morgan Horse Club, which, in 1971, was renamed the American Morgan Horse Association, was born, and

Whereas, a former member of the House, Joseph Battell of Ripton, documented the breed’s history in a 1,000‑page 1894 volume entitled Morgan Horse Register, and

Whereas, in accordance with a 1905 Act of Congress, the United States Morgan Horse Farm was established in Weybridge and, since 1951, the University of Vermont has operated this facility, and

Whereas, in the 1980s, the Shelburne complex which houses the American Morgan Horse Institute, The Morgan Horse Museum, and the American Morgan Horse Association opened in Shelburne, and

Whereas, the National Museum of the Morgan Horse is a museum of Vermont history which would be out of place anywhere outside this state’s borders, and its potential departure would represent a major cultural and economic loss to the state, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly urges the American Morgan Horse Institute to explore every possible option for keeping the National Museum of the Morgan Horse in Vermont, and be it further

Resolved:  That the General Assembly requests Commissioner of Tourism and Marketing Bruce Hyde to work with officials of the American Morgan Horse Institute to facilitate the National Museum of the Morgan Horse’s remaining in Vermont, its true home, and be it further

Resolved:  That the secretary of state be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the directors of the American Morgan Horse Institute and Commissioner of Tourism and Marketing Bruce Hyde.

Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont