Mike Brannon began on the Standardbred race tracks at a very young age and developed a strong admiration for the Standardbred breed. He most admired their intelligence and endurance. Eventually the American Saddlebreds provided Mike with a unique opportunity and he began a career at the historic Lakeview Farm. During his time in the Saddlebred industry, he continues his love for the Standardbreds through the Roadster division. After many successful years at Lakeview, Mike was eventually offered a position at Windsor Farms in North Carolina. The owners also developed a love of the Standardbred breed and a need for speed within the Roadster division after spending a lifetime in the Saddlebred industry. The then current Under Saddle World Champion, WCC Where Are We Now (Ed), was purchased by the Garretts and would compete under the Windsor Farms banner. This horse needed a trainer to continue his success in the show ring. Mike arrived in late winter of 2008. Within a short period of time he fell in love with the great Standardbred and they developed a strong bond. The horse renewed his excitement of Standardbreds and the Roadster division. WCC Where Are We Now suffered serious injuries in the Fall of 2008. Mike Brannon was a significant part of Ed's recovery. When the horse returned to training in the Spring of 2009, Mike combined his knowledge of the racing Standardbreds with his vast experience training Saddlebreds to prepare Ed for a historic run within the Roadster Under Saddle Division. Ed achieved an additional 9 world titles (12 total) and 3 Reserve world titles. In the spring of 2010, Mike Brannon found another Standardbred that excited him. WCC Show Me The Money fascinated Mike by his unique form and appearance. This horse was purchased under the advice of Mike Brannon and his belief this horse “is the horse of the future” and “will one day wear the roses at Louisville”. Mike’s keen sense for a special Roadster Horse became reality. WCC Show Me The Money (Money) did indeed become a Roadster Under Saddle World Champion 4 times. Collecting 6 Reserve world titles along the way. In the fall of 2016, Mike Brannon began preparing another future star transitioning from the racetrack to the show ring. WC Here We Go Again began learning the unique skills necessary to be a show horse after a history of racing. Mike again predicted this horse was special. “She is going to be the next one.” In her first ever appearance in the show ring, WC Here We Go Again became a World Champion with Raymond Shively. In addition to his stars, Mike guided the multiple World Champion Roadster to Bike horse, WCC Mr's Bones, to an Amateur Roadster Under Saddle Reserve World Championship. Mike continues with more prospects for the future. Mike Brannon has strongly supported the Roadster division for over a decade and supported the Standardbred breed his entire life. He has worked tirelessly caring, nurturing, and training Roadsters to provide them with an opportunity to succeed. His dedication and success within the Roadster division are difficult to match.
Mike Felty ARHPA Hall of Fame Nomination
Mike Felty purchased his first road horse, Go Getter Pick, 45 years ago. Since then, he has been actively involved in supporting and promoting the roadster division in every aspect. For the past ten years, he served as chairman of the USEF Roadster Rules Committee. Mike has held the office of Vice President of the American Road Horse and Pony Association and has been a clinician for the USEF Roadster Judges Clinic. Road ponies trained by Mike include the great Whiplash, Heartland Memory, and The Lone Ranger. Champion Roaster Under Saddle horses have been Maximillion, Big And Rich, and most recently, Stanley Steamer. Roaster to Bike champions trained by Mike Felty include FedEx, Vivacious (driven by who is thought to be the youngest person to ever with an Amateur World’s Championship), Mountain Beach, My Casey, and Jubal Lee. Because of his long, supportive role in the Roadster division, Mike Felty is a well-deserving nominee for the Hall of Fame.