News from the Club

The Illinois State Fair is now rated 3 stars...so any Morgan's looking to qualify for Grand Nationals...you can now qualify at State Fair!

3/03/2013 - New Salem Remembers Tales of Popular Resident by Jason Nevel

PETERSBURG, IL — It's going to be hard for Bruce DeCourcy to take his morning walk by Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site without putting an apple in his back pocket.

Bay Morgan

For the past 12 years, DeCourcy shared an apple with Bay the horse, one of New Salem's most popular residents.

When Bay didn't show up a few months ago for the morning snack, DeCourcy said he knew he lost a special animal and a good friend.

Feeding Bay was something he looked forward to every day, he said.

"When I first brought that apple, it started a 12-year friendship," DeCourcy said. "It was a very sad day when I whistled and he didn't come."

Lincoln's New Salem officially said goodbye Saturday to Bay the horse, the historic site's unofficial mascot for nearly a quarter century. He died Dec. 28 due to old age.

Bay came to New Salem, a reconstruction of the village where Abraham Lincoln once lived, in 1990 and lived to be 30 years old, or about 85 in human years.

DeCourcy was one of a handful of roughly 50 people in attendance to share a story about the horse.

Jane Carrington, site interpreter, said she spent five days per week around Bay between April and October when he wasn't kept in the winter barn.

She said she never knew another horse with such a unique personality. He had a special way to coax people into feeding him apples, carrots or mints, although site rules forbid people from feeding animals, she said.

"If I didn't have food, he would turn around and give me the cold shoulder," Carrington joked.

Carol Shafer, a member of the New Salem Lincoln League, said Bay had a penchant for sticking his nose into purses, lunches or any container that might have food.

It also seemed as if he intentionally would stand and block people's view of a sign warning visitors to not feed the animals, she said.

John Blankenberger, another New Salem volunteer, said there is no doubt Bay made touring the site more pleasant for visitors.

This past summer, he said he could remember seeing a family not enjoying their time at the historic site. Blankenberger said he told a child in the group to call Bay over.

"It absolutely changed that family's visit to New Salem," Blankenberger said.

Lincoln's New Salem is located about 20 minutes north of Springfield in Petersburg.

A touching story and another testmament to the great Morgan breed!

To all the members of MVMHC…….I want to “thank you” for all your hard work from being officers, to show committees, sales committees, and, every other job it takes to keep clubs going. It’s not easy with everyone living in such a busy, hectic world. A lot of times the little jobs are ignored by the rest of the people, so I want you to know you are appreciated for every little thing you do to keep this club going.

Kathy Mayes