Morris Clarke is the fourth generation of his family to be involved with horses in the Virden area. His great-grandfather Stewart had a livery stable next to the Alexandra Hotel in the early 1900’s. His grandfather Sam operated the riding academy at 19 Elementary Flying Training School Airfield just north of Virden during World War II. Stewart, his father, operated one of the last blacksmith shops in Virden and always had a team of horses around. When he left the farrier trade, Morris continued in his footsteps.
Morris purchased his first horse from his cousin Joe Alexander and used the gelding in gymkhana in 1972. He and his wife Irene bought their first Morgan mare, Dawne O’Hara, the following year. The couple has owned Morgan horses ever since, and exhibited them under the name Si-am Stables. Competitions included local fairs, the infamous milk run, as well as provincial shows for the breed in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Throughout a showing career that spanned 19 years, they took part in western pleasure, English pleasure, and single driving classes, and had a team of registered Morgans as well.
In the mid-1970’s, Morris was President of the Virden Agricultural Society, and was a Director for many years both prior to and after serving in the top job. The light horse division was his primary focus.
The Virden Riding Club was another of Morris’s interests. He participated in the building of the present-day riding ring, as well as many overnight trail rides to the community pasture. He is still a member today.
Morris was President of the Manitoba Morgan Horse Club in the early 1980’s. He also helped organize the Provincial All Morgan Medallion Classic for many years.
Morris held the position of Manitoba Zone Director for the Canadian Morgan Horse Association (CMHA) during the late 1980’s – a role which involved two meetings per year in different parts of Canada. During his tenure, he and Irene travelled to six provinces. As Director, Morris also communicated the happenings of the CMHA to its Manitoba members through zone meetings.
Morris has ridden a Morgan horse across a good portion of Manitoba. In 1991, he travelled with the North West Mounted Police Boundary Commission Trail from Emerson to Sourisford (south of Melita). He was along in 1997 as the Trail went from Ravenscraig, Saskatchewan to Etzikon, Alberta. It ended the next year in Fort McLeod, Alberta.
In 1995, Morris met in Elkhorn with people from England who were driving a team of Belgians from Calgary to Winnipeg. He and his mare Si-Am’s Chelsea Anne led the Save the Children wagon across the province to Winnipeg.
Morris now supports The Equine Foundation of Canada, a tax-deductible charity in aid of medical research for horses.
He also takes part in trail rides in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
|Faye and Daryl Horn
|Kim and Grant Gee
|Cathy Gerrand and Duncan Campbell
|Jim and Elaine Hyde
|Rick and Paddy White
|Wilf Dryden / Murray Peel
|Betty Joseph / Don Gee
|Ron & Merle Coleman
|Wilf Van Loo
|Bob and Arlene Ross
|Jack and Carol Forsyth
|Bill and Pearl Brown
|Bill and Gail McQuaker
|Don and Marg Gee