SouthCon History

Directions and Hotel Info

Brookridge Morgans

34 years of SouthCon!

When SouthCon began in the fall of 1988, it joined a handful of southern live shows in existence at that time. Lee Francis held the Florida Model Horse Club Live in Miami. The Palmetto Classic was held by Jana Morton in Myrtle Beach, SC for several years. Carla Clifford also held the Space Coast Classic annually in Florida. Paula Hecker started up the Sunshine State Live Show a few years later. Sadly, none of these shows are still in existence today.

SouthCon had just 10 entrants its first year- and was held on our front porch! The 1989 show was moved to the first Saturday in May and SouthCon remained a spring show until 1997, when it moved to the first Saturday in October, a date it still occupies today.

There have been many interesting real horse events at SouthCon over the years. Attendees have enjoyed seeing the Morgan Horse in demonstrations showing the breed's suitability for various disciplines. The show's competition has always been top notch and countless winners at SouthCon have gone on to be NAN Champions.

As anyone who has ever organized a live show knows, it's the people who attend that make the difference. SouthCon has become the oldest live show in the south, and I couldn't have done it without all of you! Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for supporting the show for thirty-two years!

I hope you enjoy this little trip down memory lane. I'd love to add more pictures to this page, so if you have a favorite picture taken at SouthCon, send it to me and I'll post it here for everyone to enjoy! Hope to see YOU in this year's pictures! -Laura Behning

Click on any photo to enlarge

Lisa Shepard up on Reminiscing (aka "Marie"), Morgan mare owned by Brookridge Morgans, during the lunch break at the first SouthCon in 1988. Somewhere I have pictures of Lee Francis riding Marie sidesaddle at this show, but I can't find them!

Another photo from the 1988 show. The CM Appaloosa stock horse in the center foreground is a Kathy Maestas remake (CM). Kathy was one of a handful of artists whose work dominated the live and photo show rings of the time.

We got some very good press in 1990 from MORGAN MAGIC magazine. The article mentions Lesli Jeffreys (now Kathman) and her first foray into live showing!

1990 show- a color version of a picture that was included with the above article. Sylvia McCaskill is on the far left in a red shirt, behind the Morgan mare Willy Remember Me, with Lori Nye up. Kristi Hillyer Peters is wearing the teal THHN T-shirt in the center. Is that Tina Ferro to her right? I am on the taller Morgan mare Radiance Eliza Babe. I am not sure who all else is in the picture except that Marv Walker is next to the last on the far right. I know the picture is kind of distant, but does anyone recognize anyone here- maybe yourself?!

Sylvia McCaskill grooms the hair mane and tail on one of her models before a class at the 1990 SouthCon.

Saddling up to ride during the lunch break at the 1994 show. From left to right: Jaime Dick, Meighan Daly, Patented (Morgan gelding), two gals I can't remember (anyone?), myself, Reminiscing (Morgan mare, dam to Patented), Laura Schmidt, and Lisa Warner.

Lisa Garcia on Patented at the 1994 show. Also could be titled "I made a convert!". Lisa now owns and breeds Lippitt Morgans at her Claywood Morgans in Little Mountain, SC. Does anyone know who that is on Marie on the left?

Laura Behning and Jessica Hecker (isn't she darling?) at the 1998 show.

Lisa Garcia, Kathy Blair, Tina Ferro, and Meighan Daly Dehartt at the 1999 SouthCon, with the OF Morgan class in the foreground.

The awards for champs and reserves have varied over the years at SouthCon. In the early days large rosettes were given. The search for a more "useful" award led to Hagen Renaker minis being given in the mid 90's through 1997. In 1998 the awards were a resin medallion pin of a Morgan filly, sculpted by Laura Behning and painted in the winner's choice of color. In 1999, the awards were these Morgan medallion pins pictured here, a stallion this time, again sculpted by Laura Behning and painted in the winner's choice of color. From 2000-2004 a mini scale resin model by Laura was given, and from 2005-2011 the awards were mugs, coasters, magnets and ornaments, all featuring Laura's Morgan Horse artwork. Beginning in 2012 the ch/res have received resin cast medallions of Laura's original design, each one unique to the year. SouthCon was (to my knowledge) the first live show to offer medallions as awards.

2001 show: Bint Naboor, owned by Tammy Breckinridge, winner of the CM Arabian costume class wearing the gorgeous costume Stephanie Annee donated to the SouthCon Auction. Photo courtesy Jill Griffin.

2001 show: Teresa Ward and Katrina Trent, center, chat with Paula Hecker and Elaine Sulser, right. Photo courtesy Lorri Savage.

2002 show: Fitzowyn and his mate Penelope were one-two in CM Ponies. These lovely Pour Horse china customs are owned by Lisa Sents.

2002 show: Left, Tiffany Martin (GA), left and Elaine Sulser (GA), right, set up their CM Trail entries while Justine Lavin (FL, left background) and Jeanne Farnsley (FL, right background) observe.

2002 show: Going Baroque is a silver dapple sabino warmblood mare painted by Sarah Minkewicz Breunig on a Kathleen Moody "Utopia" resin. Owned by Polly Cleveland, Baroque was a consistent winner at SouthCon for several years.

The 2003 show featured a Combined Driving demonstration by USEF driving competitors Dave (third from the left) and Lisa (holding "Vic") Holec and their Morgan gelding, Victor Allen. After the presentation, which included informative handouts on the parts of the harness (quite useful for model horse performance classes in harness!), everyone had a chance to take a few turns around the field behind a good Morgan horse!

Left to right: Lesli Kathman, Jackie Moore, Jeanne Farnsley, and Paula Hecker chat in between classes at the 2005 show.

Ah HA Cindy, caught you!! Cindy Dilks has been a regular at SouthCon through the years (photo from the 2005 show).

At the 2006 SouthCon, Coral kept soaking up all the attention she could get! Paige Patty, Susie Diehl, Katie Zajdel and Valerie Rice are pictured.

Valerie Rice goes for a ride on Pat at the 2006 show.

Three of the many custom glazed beauties shown by Paige Patty at the 2006 show. The first is a chestnut tobiano/sabino Assateague filly named Lass'Ateague, Paige's "Wee Bairn" sculpture glazed by Paige; the other two are draft foals also glazed by Paige- Conner is the brown tobiano, and Ramblin' Rose is the bay silver sabino. Lass'Ateague won the CM Glaze Other Breed Foal class and went on to be Champion Custom/Resin Foal. Photos by Lisa Algarin.

The December 2006 issue of THE MORGAN HORSE magazine featured writeups from Morgan owners who had participated in the AMHA's fall "Celebrate the Morgan" promotional event. Since SouthCon is a part of this effort to introduce more people to the wonderful Morgan breed, TMH printed a nice article about the show, garnering a bit of hobby publicity, as well!

Here is a view of the "show hall" (barn aisle) early in the day at the 2007 show. We were pretty packed. We had 23 entrants from GA, SC, NC, and Florida. We could have had many more - the show was full two weeks ahead of the show date, so I kept a waiting list in case of cancellations- but we only have so much space. The competition was (as usual) pretty incredible!

2007 SouthCon: the sculpture is by Brigette Eberl of Germany. I think Tom Bainbridge painted it. Not sure who made the tack and rider. His name is Snowdrift and he is owned by Sandy Wierman. He won the CM EP and CM Other English classes and was Champion of the English Performance division. In halter, he was Reserve Champion of the CM/AR Light Breeds division.

Each year there is a horse that is my favorite. This guy was easily that horse for the 2007 show. A Maureen Love (my favorite artist) sculpture in silver bay, Autumn Silver won the CM Morgan class, was CM Light Breeds Champion AND won the overall Best Morgan in Show award. Owned by Lisa Sents.

The Friday evening before the show anyone who wishes can come and ride a Morgan. In recent years we've used Patented (Big Bend Doc Davis X Reminiscing), an 18 year old gelding, for this very important job. One of our regular SouthCon attendees is Paula Hecker from Tallahassee FL. In 2007 Paula brought her 10 year old daughter Jessica to show at SouthCon. Paula has three girls but only Jessica is really horse crazy like her Mom :-) Jessica has been on Pat before but since she was only 2 then, she didn't remember. She groomed Pat and then got a lesson on the lungeline. By the time we finished it was getting dark, but she had figured out how to use her seat to get Pat to halt, walk on and was gleefully urging him into a trot, just a grinnin' away. She had no fear and was a very quick study! The inset pic is of her on Pat (giving Pat a pat :-)) at SouthCon 1999, when she was 2; her Dad is supporting her up there and Lisa Garcia is holding Pat.

Whenever I talk to anyone about "my friend Lisa" I have to be specific about WHICH Lisa. It is a kind of running joke, since I have THREE "horsey" friends named Lisa. Well, all three of them were at the 2007 show so I finally got a picture of them together! L-R is Lisa Sents, Lisa Garcia, and Lisa Holec. Lisa Sents loves Morgans and they are her favorite breed, but doesn't currently own a horse. Lisa Garcia breeds Lippitt Morgans at her Claywood Farm in Little Mtn., SC. Lisa Holec is the non model horse person of the trio and she owns about 15 Morgans currently, including the silver dapple mare Foxton Fawn.

Mandy Triebel traveled the furthest to come to the 2008 SouthCon- all the way from Germany! In 1997 she was a foreign exchange student with a family in Alabama. She has stayed in touch and every few years, she visits them. This year she decided to see if there were any model shows in the area while she would be in the States, and that is how she found SouthCon. Mandy had never seen a Morgan before. Coral gave her a proper introduction!

During a break in the 2008 show, a group of folks went out into the pasture to get better pictures of the Morgans without the fence in the way. Charli was following everyone around and seemed particularly attracted to the long lens on Kim Abott's camera. Kim decided to show her how to take a picture. After all, Morgans ARE smart, right? (Heaven knows how often I have been grateful that they don't have opposable thumbs!)

A view of the "show hall" and some of the 2008 SouthCon entrants. Left to right is Lisa Warner, Sandy Weirman, Maggie Blackburn, Mandy Triebel, and Jeanne Farnsley.

2008 show: This is Merry Boy's Moon and he is an amber champagne Tennessee Walker resin by Sarah Rose. Very detailed right down to the mottled skin! He won the CM American Gaited Breeds class and was Reserve Champion of the CM Other Breeds division. Owned by Sandy Weirman.

Our youngest competitor at the 2008 show, Jenny McClanahan, age 10. Jenny is relatively new to the model horse hobby. She and her Mom Johanna also attended Breyerfest in 2008, where Jenny did pretty well in the youth show, winning the scene class. She had a very successful SouthCon, winning champion OF plastic foal with her Breyer Clydesdale foal Blazing Bay, a championship in the OF plastic Other Breeds division with her PS Walking horse Blue Belle and a reserve championship in the OF Plastic Draft/pony division with her Breyer Irish Draft, Tippy Canoe.

Prestige, owned by Heather Jackson-Lain, won the costume class at the 2009 show.

After the 2009 show, Pat was offered to anyone who wanted to ride. Here are Erin Chalmers and Jenny McClanahan grooming Pat before tacking up. This picture is so Pat- happy face always on, especially when there's food in his mouth! Thanks to Jenny's Mom, Johanna McClanahan, for the photo!

Heather Jackson-Lain up on Pat after the 2009 show. Heather's usual ride is a Thoroughbred, but Pat did his best to make a convert!

This is the winner of the 2009 OF china Draft class, Aldeshire Covent Garden owned by Lisa Sents. This is the Horsin Around "Cromwell" sculpted by Doris Lindner. There were 3 of them in the show, all different colors and all beautiful.

Emma Huffman with her new friend Taylor Ouzts at the 2010 show. Photo by Julie Huffman.

Taylor Ouzts and Jenny McClanahan chatting with Emma Huffman at the 2010 show. Photo by Johanna McClanahan.

Georgia Traveler, a Spotted Draft stallion owned by Lisa Sents, won the CM Draft class at the 2010 show.

Kettle One, Gypsy/Drum horse, second in the CM Draft class at the 2010 show, owned by Jaimie Crook. He is BIG- note his size compared to the mini scale model next to him! The second pic shows a close up of his head and his left eye, which is blue. He even has long hair on his underline!

Winner of the 2010 Open Other Performance class and eventual Open Other Performance Champion was the trick riding horse Cinnamon Kisses owned by Jennifer Bui.

WFS Johanna (left), a Donna Chaney Friesian finished as a black silver and shown as a Black Forest Horse, won the 2010 OF China Other Breeds class and Amas Spun Gold (HR mini Morgan mare shown as a Morab) was second. Both are owned by Jeanne Farnsley.

Firecracker, bay silver Morgan foal owned by Susan Diehl, winner of the 2010 CM Light Breed Foals class and Reserve Champion CM Foals. This is a Sarah Minkewicz sculpture and it is very tiny- just over an inch tall. There's a story here... I had wanted to do a mini scale foal sculpture like this picture of Unconventional, the 2006 silver bay colt (bred by us, now at Coulee Bend Morgans in Canada). When Sarah came out with this little guy I thought "well now I won't do it, it will be too similar" (maybe Sarah sculpted her piece from Connor's picture? They are almost identical, right down to the fuzzy foal coat!). Imagine my surprise when I saw this little guy in the class- and Susan had used a picture she'd printed off of our website of Connor as her documentation for her foal's color! It was a "great minds think alike" sort of thing :-)

Two of my favorites of the 2011 show were these serene looking Andalusian mares. Bokelia (left) and Lyndeza were 1-2 in the OF china Spanish breeds class. They are the "Esperanza" sculpture by Brigette Eberl and produced in china by Horse N Around. Owned by Marcy Myers and Cindy Dilks, respectively.

Winner of the 2011 CM/AR Arab/part Arab class and Champion CM/AR Light Breeds was Hyperbole,  sculpted and painted by Maggie Bennett and owned by Jackie Moore. This was one of my favorites of the show. It's really hard to get a sculpture in this complicated of a pose "right", but this one is!

Rhomyo, first in CM Pony and Champion CM Pony/Draft at the 2011 SouthCon. A Sarah Minkewicz sculpture, owned by Jeanne Farnsley.

Click here for the 2012 show pictures

Click here for the 2013 show pictures

Click here for the album of photos from the 2014 show

Click here for the album of photos from the 2015 show

Click here for the album of photos from the 2016 show

Click here for the album of photos from the 2017 show

Click here for an album of photos from the 2018 show

Click here for an album of photos from the 2019 show

(No Show was held in 2020 due to Covid-19 concerns)

Click here for an album of photos from the 2021 show

Click here for an album of photos from the 2022 show

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Blast from the past!
A pictorial trip through  SouthCon history

Directions and hotel info

Brookridge Morgans

Laura Behning
75 Glass Spring Rd.
Covington, GA 30014


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