Nina and Tim Gardner have been active supporters of the sport and its future for many years as owners, breeders, and volunteers of the Association. They have a passion for developing young talent, both in horses and in riders.
The Gardners began supporting Phillip Dutton more than 25 years ago, early in his eventing career in the United States. Among his many accomplishments with the Gardners' horses over the years, Dutton rode the Gardners' homebred, House Doctor, to team gold at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and individual fifth place at the 2002 World Equestrian Games. The Gardners helped Dutton and his wife, Evie, purchase True Prospect Farm, which has become a well-known training center for professional eventers in the United States.
Jennie Brannigan began working with the Gardners while she was a Young Rider working for Dutton at True Prospect Farm. Ten years later, Brannigan and Cambalda have won numerous three-star titles, including the 2014 Fair Hill International CCI3* and the 2017 Great Meadow International FEI Nations Cup CICO3*, and Cambalda has been named USEA Horse of the Year twice, in 2010 and 2017. The Gardners' eye for developing talent in horses and riders is evident in the success of the horses they own and riders they support.
The Gardners have been breeding Thoroughbreds for more than 40 years. While many of their Thoroughbreds go to the track to race, the Gardners’ breeding program focuses on producing an all-purpose Thoroughbred that will go on to have a long and successful life after the track. One shining example of this is Twilightslastgleam, a homebred of the Gardners whose bloodlines have been in the Gardners breeding program since the early 1980s. Had Twilightslastgleam been able to compete at the FEI World Breeding Eventing Championships, the horse would have received the 2017 Holekamp/Turner Grant to travel overseas for the competition. In addition, the Gardners have registered more than 55 horses with the USEA, demonstrating their prolific support for the sport despite not being actively competing riders themselves.
In 2015, Tim and Nina Gardner received the PRO (now ERA of NA) As You Like It Owner’s Award, which was established to honor owners who have not only supported a rider’s career but have also been a positive influence to the sport of eventing.
Nina was the chair of the very first USEA Young Event Horse Committee that was formed in December 2004 and remains a member to this day. There has rarely been a year when one or more of her homebred youngsters has not been entered in the competitions. Tim is co-chair of the USEA Development Committee, a member of the USEA Foundation Board, and a member of the board of Fair Hill International.
While they have experienced the highest highs and lowest lows this sport has to offer, they have never strayed from their commitment and love of their horses and the sport of eventing and are true lovers of the journey, from breeding and developing horses to developing riders.