Morey Fisk captures world championship, Western reining

Oak Lake roots to European competition

Morey Fisk is featured on the cover of “Reiner” in a winning ride on a legendary 11-year-old stallion Chicks Smokingun (owner Sabine Schmid).  Born in Moosomin, Sask. raised at Oak Lake, Man. and now a resident of France, Fisk and Blue (so named due to one blue eye) captured the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) 2019 Open World Championship. 

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In an interview with the Empire-Advance, he summarized his 2019 accomplishment: “This title has been a great experience for me, not only the win, but to have been able to take such a great horse to the top. It brings him the recognition in the reining horse world that he deserves. He is just a special ‘one in a lifetime’ horse.”

The video of Fisk’s ride in European world competition shows the winning oneness of horse and rider: ( As the judges’ marks were announced the European crowd went wild - Fisk, points to Blue.

From her Oak Lake farm home, Morey’s mother Darlene Fisk said watching that winning ride was special for her.  

“I always get emotional watching Morey because I know his love for the horses and how amazingly thoughtful he is of them. If you noticed - those reins are always loose - he rides with his mind & body,” she said.

Fisk talks about Blue’s performance in Reiner saying, “We were ready, and all I had to do was just get him tuned. I know what he needs and doesn’t need to prepare to show. Most of the time it’s just a matter of making sure he’s quiet and relaxed. He knows his job.”

This team came close last year, ending up 2018 Reserve World Champion. In 2019, Fisk limited their competitions so Blue would be in his prime for Europe’s Elementa Masters Premiere in the late fall. 

The duo brought home a cheque worth over $27,730 for their win last November. 

That big prize, combined with earnings from a handful of other events, clinched the claim on the Open world title. 

“He rides with his mind and body”

Asked if he’s a horse whisperer, Fisk laughs. “I don’t consider myself to be that. Really, I don’t consider anyone to be that. We all just try to be good communicators with a good animal sense, and, with experience, you know what to do to get good results.”

From Oak Lake to Europe

It was a surprise turn of events that saw a young Morey Fisk Virden leave his steady Virden job for life in Europe, promoting Western horsemanship.

A call for help from (former) Virden friend Laura (Joynt) and her husband Joachim Ketterer, residents of Germany, drew Fisk to cross the ocean. Employed with Cosgrove Autobody at the time, he was hesitant to leave, but it was an opportunity of a lifetime. 

Within eight months after high school graduation, he was headed to Europe to work for the Ketterers. 

At a time when Western riding was catching on after centuries of English riding, Fisk’s experience, training and built-in horse savvy as well as his connections to the Quarter Horse world made him popular. He began getting calls from other people.

Now, Fisk is an established trainer, coaching youth and non-pro riders, and has competed around the world.

Even though he rubs shoulders with elite breeders and competitors around the world, his mother says, “Morey is the same young man as when he left.”

Fisk works out of Horse Academy, Mooslargue France, but lives in the quiet little village of Vieux-Ferrette. His language is primarily German, his mom notes, with enough French to get by.

Morey Fisk's sentiments surface when he speaks about Blue, the horse he trained and rode to success: “I am just thankful to be a part of his career and life. He taught me a lot about decision making, strategy, patience, and confidence. When you know you can win, that’s something really valuable - in life too.”

© Virden Empire-Advance