He’s the man who keeps the show running smooth, and most exhibitors never know about many of the problems he handles in a day. Loren Morris is the guy you want on your team when you’re in a pickle, and that’s exactly why he’s the assistant manager at the 2020 NRHA Derby presented by Markel.
“The whole idea for my job is if there is an issue, I don’t want the exhibitors to know about it. I want to handle it, so they don’t have to worry about it or even notice it was ever an issue. That’s a good show for me.”
Cheryl Cody, show manager for this year’s event, first worked with Loren in Reno at a National Reined Cow Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity.
“I was the parking guy making sure all the RVs and empty horse trailers were in place. I did two shows, and then nothing came of it. Someone remembered me evidently because Cheryl later asked if I wanted to work for her at shows.”
Now 67 years old, Loren has been Cheryl’s right-hand man at horse shows for the last 10 years.
“I retired from the investment business when I was 50, and I’ve been working probably four or five shows every year since I started working for Cheryl. It really fits into my lifestyle and it’s been a lot of fun.”
Fixing problems at big-stake events has helped Loren build lasting relationships with fellow horsemen and -women.
“I used to show cutting horses and do some cow work. But my main background is in environmental ecology. I did my master’s thesis on costal impact studies. From the shoreline to about 200 miles out is my area of expertise.”
Loren graduated with both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. He’s since moved to Oregon with his high school sweetheart, Arlene.
“For the last five years, I’ve been active in Bandon, Oregon, with environmental ecology groups. I’m the president of Shoreline Education for Awareness, Inc., and I’m part of a group that’s trying to protect the coastline habitat.”
Although Loren is getting back to his roots in environmental ecology, horses are also part of the foundation that built the man.
“I know we’re all wearing masks and things are a bit different here, but without them, the show couldn’t happen. We’re all just glad to be here showing. The numbers for this show are up, so we just want to make sure we put on a good event for them.”
Check back for more Behind the Slide features as part of the 2020 NRHA Derby presented by Markel coverage.