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Because of Horses

Apr 26, 2019

Equestrian event promoter, manager and coordinator Matt Morrissey is the vice president of operations for Morrissey Management Group of Bradenton, Florida, one of the oldest and most successful horse show management companies in the world. For nearly 50 years, members of the Morrissey family have facilitated the production of national and international show jumping events up and down the East Coast and are responsible for managing some of the most significant equestrian competitions in the country.

Some of Morrissey Management Group’s best-known high-caliber events include the American Invitational, the American Gold Cup, the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival, the Lake Placid Horse Show and the Palm Beach Masters.

Matt is a third-generation horse show promoter, following in the footsteps of his father Michael Morrissey and his uncle, the legendary Gene Mische. Matt has held a leadership role in every major horse show managed by the company, including the Winter Equestrian Festival and the National Horse Show. He also played a critical role in the successful relocation of the American Gold Cup to Old Salem Farm in New York and the move of the American Invitational from Tampa to the east coast of Florida.

Morrissey Management Group is a full-service equestrian event production company, providing everything needed to facilitate a horse show from the ground up. The company takes pride in “getting it right the first time,” whether the event is a one-day or a six-week festival.

Matt and his wife Tiffany are the owners and operators of East Wind Farms in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where they produce horses and riders at all levels for the hunter, equitation and jumper arenas.


Topics of Discussion:

[:18] About today’s episode.

[:59] In March 2019, MMG and the National Equestrian League announced their new collaborative venture to bring an exciting, new, FEI approved, competition format to show jumping in North America. What will this new league encompass and why is it so significant for the sport? And what kind of feedback have they gotten about the event so far?

[3:38] What goes into producing and planning equestrian events?

[5:55] How does Matt manage to make each of the massive equestrian events he plans individually unique and special?

[10:38] Matt’s favorite location for event planning and some of the aspects he has to balance from a production standpoint when working there.

[12:20] Matt explains other factors that come into play when considering an event’s logistics, what competitors and spectators are looking for, and what sponsors are interested in.

[17:05] What is it like for Matt to produce events that draw competitors like McLain Ward, Beezie Madden, and Kent Farrington?

[18:32] Matt shares some fun stories.

[19:37] What does Matt’s family equestrian legacy mean to him and how does it guide him?

[21:47] How horse shows and events have evolved and what the future holds.

[23:27] Next week’s episode of Because of Horses.

[24:51] What about putting on events appeals to Matt?

[26:50] When was the last time Matt rode?

[27:28] Elise and Matt discuss some of the many different ways to be involved in the horse world.

[28:45] Where to learn more about the upcoming events Matt is planning.


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Mentioned in this Episode:

Morrissey Management Group (MMG)

American Gold Cup

Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows
Great Lakes Equestrian Festival

National Horse Show

Lake Placid Horse Shows

Palm Beach Masters

MMG and the National Equestrian League’s New Competition Format

National Equestrian League

East Wind Farms
Traverse City

Next week’s episode of Because of Horses

McLain Ward

Beezie Madden

Kent Farrington


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