Vienna owners see horse win the Grand National Morgan Horse Show championship
T.E.S Final Gift, a local showhorse owned by Vienna’s Tom and Kim Schubert, recently won the Grand National Morgan Horse Show championship in Oklahoma City for the Mare Division. The 6-year old Morgan horse gives Schubert 10 world or grand national titles since 1974, when he first began breeding and training horses on his Runnymede Farm.
“She’s a very unique and beautiful confirmation,” Schubert said of Final Gift. “(She has a) pretty head and she’s a very high-stepping horse. She has a big attitude, (because) she wants to be a big horse.”
The reason that Final Gift wants to be a big horse is because she’s actually considered small by Morgan standards. While the average Morgan measures in at about 15 Hd.-2 (a ‘hand’ equals four inches in length), Final Gift is just 14 Hd.-3. Schubert himself owns three other horses, and all of them measure in at 16 Hd.-plus.
To qualify her for the Grand National show, Final Gift had to finish in the top three of a regional event. The mare, in fact, won a number of regional qualifiers, and she even became the New York State champion as a four-year old.
The Grand National show, which took place back on Oct. 9, consists of two divisions, Mares (females) and Geldings (males). Final Gift was driven by his wife Kim, and the Mare ultimately won her division.
The show also crowns a world champion, in which the two divisions are combined to decide a single champion. In that portion of the show, Final Gift placed an impressive third overall.
While Final Gift is certainly an impressive horse, Schubert, a lawyer by trade, has had plenty on his farm over the years. In fact, Tom has owned or bred over 100 horses in the last 42 years, but according to him, he was raising Morgan horses well before then.
“I showed them as a boy, because my granddaddy took to horses and he drove them everywhere,” Schubert explained. “But then I went off to college and law school and I didn’t have any horses, because I didn’t have any money.”
As fortunes changed for Tom, he began raising 8-10 mares on his farm each year. His most successful horse was arguably Hamden’s Gallant Gal, a three-time Mare Division winner that Tom actually purchased from another farm somewhere around the late 1980’s to early 1990’s.
Ironically, Tom says that he now has all of his horses trained by outside stables, including Final Gift, who was trained by Noble Oaks Stables, LLC in Grafton. “We used to do all the training here, but I’m getting up in years now,” he said, laughing.
“It makes it a lot easier on me to (outsource) my horses to other trainers.” According to Tom, Final Gift recently arrived home for the winter, and she’ll begin competing again next year, starting with the Morgan Gold Cup in Columbus.
Schubert does about three or four shows a year with his horses, which includes an occasional local show, like the one in Ravenna this past July. Despite cutting down in participation in recent years, Tom’s passion for competing in shows keeps him as competitive as ever.
“It’s a great sport like any sport,” Tom explained. “You wanna win, but you gotta put in the time. If you want to win the race, you got to have the big stuff with the big motor.”