ASHBA Welcomes New Development Manager Morgan King
Published Date: Jan 04, 2022
The American Saddlebred Horse & Breeders Association (ASHBA) is pleased to announce the addition of Morgan King as our Development Manager. In this role, she will be leading our fundraising, sponsorship and grant application efforts.
Morgan comes to the association after spending her life serving the American Saddlebred. The breed has been her passion since childhood and it has provided a fantastic community for her to foster her professional career. Through her years as a respected competitor and sales representative at National Horseman, she forged a tremendous reputation in our industry in and out of the ring.
"I am looking forward to giving back to a community that has given me so much," shares Morgan. "I look forward to the connections I make with the people I enjoy being around most – fellow Saddlebred lovers! I also love that my role will help support ASBHA fulfill all of its worthy goals and missions."
ASHBA Development will serve an integral part in making the programs and activities that enrich the Saddlebred experience possible. Morgan brings extensive experience with show horse industry sales, communication, client relations and grant writing for non-profits. Her talents will look to increase ASHBA's ability to raise funds and expand our development programming in and out of our breed community.
A graduate of the University of Tampa, Morgan earned an undergraduate degree in psychology and had two years of fieldwork in clinical health and Alzheimer's Institute.
A native of New Hampshire, Morgan called Florida home for most of her early life. Through her career and love of American Saddlebreds, she is thrilled to be settling down in the Lexington area. When she is not spending her time in the saddle or at a horse show, Morgan enjoys cooking and supporting the Tampa Bay Lightning!
What are your hobbies? Well, you guessed it – horses! But in addition, I enjoy photography. It's something I've been passionate about since high school, but my role at National Horseman took it to a new level. I also love listening to live music: going to big concerts is great, but it's even more fun to discover local talent at nearby venues. HUGE sports fan – I go to Tampa Bay Lightning hockey games as much as I can when in FL. When I'm home, I enjoy cooking and trying new recipes. And I love trying local wineries and breweries with friends and family.
How did you become a horse lover? My connection to horses began before I was born – my mom had them. A genuine horse lover herself, she fell hard for Saddlebreds when she was a kid, and I've never known a life without them. We had a two-stall barn on property in New Hampshire, and she always had them full with one breed or another.
When I was two, I got my first Saddlebred. "Lina" was my birthday gift from our good friend/blacksmith; fun fact, the horse and I had the same birthday, so we were one another's gift. I got a horse, and she got a little girl to love her. She was just a pet to me, but my mom actually did compete with her in the New England circuit. When I was almost ten, we moved to Florida, and we no longer had property to keep our two horses on, so we boarded locally. I lost interest in horses for a short while as I was adjusting to a new school, but when we started boarding at a Saddlebred training facility with other kids taking lessons, I fell back in love with it.
Highlights of my show career thus far include victory passes at Lexington Junior League, the Kentucky State Fair, and the UPHA/American Royal. I've trained with Bill Rodgers of Silver Run Stables, Don Judd and Maria Gilman at Judd Stables, Bret and Susi Day of Grey Ridge Farm, and most recently, I've had horses with Andre van Schalkwyk of Lead Way Farm. In addition, I've had the privilege of catch riding some horses at Visser Stables.
What do you like best about Saddlebreds? I love their proud presence. They have unique personalities, are intelligent, are kind and willing and they ooze attitude. I love that one day, they're going through the motions and trying to learn what you want from them, and then the next day, when they know what you're asking, they show off and they're proud of themselves. Moreover, they want you to be proud, too. They seek your approval and are just so pleased when they get it. I love when they love their work and job because it shows through. While I love the horse first and foremost, the next thing I love is the thrill of competition, and I can't imagine a better partner than a Saddlebred.
What is one thing most people don't know about you? I graduated from college with a degree in psychology. In my senior year, I intended to apply to graduate school to start the very next semester after graduation. I wanted to pursue a career as a therapist, but a professor suggested I take some time and work in the field first. I followed his lead and volunteered at an Alzheimer's institute and then got my first job as a research assistant at a pediatric anxiety clinic. It's almost like my professor knew I belonged in a different world/industry because, after two years at the clinic, I knew it wasn't the right fit and changed paths. That is when I started working for National Horseman. Some other fun facts about me: I played violin for six years; I competed in gymnastics for seven years; I am an only child…