Michelle Morgan remembers being a child growing up in the city of Lubbock, Texas and spending most of her time dreaming of horses and wishing with all her heart for a horse of her own. Her parents could never afford to give her a horse. The desire was so strong for Michelle that somewhere along the line she decided if she couldn’t have a horse she would just have to pretend to be one and that bit of whimsy went on for years. Michelle freely admits it was a little crazy even for a kid and she says her family teases her about it still to this day. Her prospects for horse ownership didn’t improve much even as she entered young adulthood. Michelle met Mickey, fell in love, they married, Mickey took on medical school and soon there were children. Michelle recalls “those were lean years”.
With heavy financial pressures on the young couple the possibility of Michelle ever owning a horse seemed to slip farther away. But Mickey was optimistic, he told Michelle to “hang in there”, he promised the day was coming when he would make her dream come true. He promised someday he would buy her a horse. He made good on that promise in 1987, when he bought her an Arabian colt from an art auction held at a local country club. It was a two year old colt, an unlikely match for a novice rider. Although not exactly what Michelle had in mind, she was determined to make the best of it and had the colt gelded and started under saddle. It worked out for both horse and rider. Michelle says she spent many years “flying around on him”. Looking back she says she learned a lot from that little horse. He’s still with her, 29 years old and happily retired at the family farm.
Fast forward from that day in 1987 when she became the proud owner of the little unbroken Arabian colt to Dr. Mickey and Michelle Morgan’s Mandolynn Hill Farm located in Aubrey, Texas. Today you will find Michelle at the helm of a horse breeding establishment that has been and continues to be an industry leader in Arabian Racing and Endurance in the USA and abroad. There are 70 horses in residence at the farm. Michelle now has her own stallions and dozens of her own mares, stallions she stands for clients, horses she trail rides on and horses she boards. Michelle’s life is filled to the brim with horses. Mickey jokes that he promised “one horse not a farm full”.
Jokes aside, Mickey enjoys the horses too. In fact, he was the one that suggested they venture into the world of Arabian racing. Michelle was not sure at first; she thought all her enjoyment came from the riding. What would owning race horses be like? She had her doubts but gamely found a promising two year old with racing lines that both surprised and enchanted his new owners. He certainly did live up to his name Amazing Son (photo right; Magnus x Amaysing). Michelle sent him to the track when he turned three years old for his first race and he finished a strong second. Michelle was thrilled. Mickey was thrilled. It turned out that horseracing was more fun than either of them ever could have imagined. On his second time out Amazing Son won the race and the young couple found themselves basking in the glory of it all and firmly hooked on racing. Michelle says “It’s a rush, there is no feeling as exhilarating as watching your horse cross the finish line first”. Amazing Son won a lot of races and a lot of awards; 1993 Texas Three Year Old Colt, in 1995 he was named Texas Four Year Old Colt and Texas Bred Horse of The Year. His offspring have excelled in racing, dressage and endurance. Today at 23 years young Amazing Son enjoys a more leisurely life at Mandolynn Hill Farm. He is retired from racing, but not the breeding shed because his foals are still in demand.
The years brought more racehorses and more success to Mandolynn Hill Farm. The accolades & winnings quickly accumulated including the prestigious Darley Ward. The Darley Awards are given to the best Arabian racing horses in the USA. These distinguished awards recognize the most outstanding racehorses, jockeys, owners, trainers and breeders of the Arabian horse community. Winning a Darley Award is considered by many to be the pinnacle of achievement in the Arabian racing world. In 2005 Michelle won that award with a horse she owned named Sudden Mischief (By Golly x Ms Benz).
Breeding is a serious passion for Michelle. She stands 9 stallions at her farm: Amazing Son (Magus x Amaysing), Sudden Mischief (photo left; By Golly x Ms Benz), Chndaka (Dormane x Malika Fontenay), Jolly By Golly (By Golly x Las Tigre Lil), Kaolino (Dormane x Cary de Carrere), Kan You Run (Wiking x Kenia), Sunny Rainbow (Monarch AH x Sams Hysteria), Nivour de Cardonne (Manganate x Pistache du Cassou) and Oman de Blaziet (Tidjani x OM Lazhar). She breeds for racing but says “not all horses want to be race horses”. Michelle’s goal is to breed a superior all-around athlete, a horse that can succeed in multiple events. She modestly claims that while she “has done well in racing” her truest enjoyment comes from selling a horse to a person who takes the horse and excels in whatever sport they are participating in,. “I love it when they keep me in the loop reporting their accomplishments. These horses are like my kids and to be able to follow the owner down their road to success with a horse I bred is so much fun”.
Michelle continues to meet her breeding goals of producing outstanding Arabians who compete both nationally and internationally. The Mandolynn Hill Farm website has become a photo library paying tribute to the versatility and athletic ability of the horses she is producing. Raced or unraced, her Arabians have gone on to excel in endurance trials, dressage, jumping (photo below is Heavy by Sam Tiki out of the Mandolyn Hill Farm mare Tikitikitiki) and even ranch horse competition. It seems there is nothing these attractive, solid, big boned and good hearted horses can’t accomplish when given an opportunity to shine in any arena.
Michelle says she uses Select Breeders Southwest to freeze and ship semen overseas.
”SBSW has made it possible for me to participate in the overseas market, without frozen semen I would miss out on this opportunity. SBSW has assisted me in meeting my global breeding goals. The staff is excellent. I know when I call I will be met with a friendly voice on the other end. Dealing with frozen semen can be confusing sometimes but no matter what question I ask they either have the answer or will find the answer. They are a first class operation, I know SBSW takes their responsibilities seriously and this gives me one less thing to worry about”.
Michelle Morgan’s story is one of amazing accomplishments, a story of promises made, promises kept and dreams that come true if you just “hang in there." Her story proves the old adage - good things come to those who wait.
Photos provided by Mandolynn Hill Farm