SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Mike Kirkton, a native of Morton, has been named horse show manager for the Illinois State Fair.

Kirkton replaces Jody VanNattan, who held the position for 37 years.

The new manager attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Illinois State University and the New Mexico Military Institute. He was an Army officer from 1983 to 2005 and has worked as CEO and trainer at Top View Farms Inc. since 2005.

Kirkton serves on the Illinois Horse and Pony Breeders and Exhibitors Association board of directors and has judged Society Horse Shows since 2011.

He is a member of many professional associations, including the American Saddle Horse Association and the U.S. Equestrian Federation.