J.J. Johnson devoted her life to eventing, and now the United States Eventing Association (USEA) joins the eventing community in mourning her passing on Monday, June 5, at the age of 73.
Johnson, a resident of Lynnville, Tennessee, in the USEA’s Area III held many roles within the sport, including serving as the Area III Chair for six years at the beginning of the 21st century. She also served on the USEA Board of Governors for one term.
The Area III Council issued the statement: “Her knowledge and energy will be missed by all who were fortunate to have known her.”
Johnson served as organizer of the Middle Tennessee Pony Club H.T. in Nashville for more than three decades starting in 1986. Formerly known as the Nashville-Tennessean One-Day Horse Trials, that event was one of the 15 original horse trials recognized by the United States Combined Training Association, the predecessor to the USEA, in 1960. The 2023 Middle Tennessee Pony Club H.T. are scheduled to take place on October 7-8, and the MTPC will host a reception in Johnson’s honor on October 7.
Johnson also organized the USEA American Eventing Championships when they were held at Chattahoochee Hills in Fairburn, Georgia. The USEA honored her with the Platinum Medal on the USEA Organizers Appreciation Honor Roll. As of 2022, there were only 37 recipients of the Platinum Medal, which recognizes more than 25 years of service to organizing events. Johnson was also awarded the Governor’s Cup by the USEA in 2005.
“JJ was the queen behind the scene,” former USEA President Max Corocoran said.
Johnson also provided her expertise to many other events in her roles as Technical Delegate (TD) and Cross-Country Controller. She served as an official and volunteer at three Olympic Games, as well as the World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky, in 2010. She was the Radio Coordinator at the Kentucky Three-Day Event for close to 30 years.
“Too many to list,” was her response when asked about her favorite memory from volunteering by the organizing committee at the Kentucky Three-Day Event, at which she first worked in 1993. “Every year is special and filled with the camaraderie of seeing long-time co-workers, friends and meeting new ones.”
Before becoming a highly regarded organizer, official, and volunteer, Johnson evented with her palomino mare Ahmirra and bay gelding Jason.
Services and a reception for Johnson, who was born on July 6, 1949, will be held on Tuesday, June 27. The services are scheduled for 11 a.m. at Harpeth Hills Funeral Home at 9090 Hwy 100 in Nashville.
The reception following the service at 2 p.m. will be held at the Percy Warner Equestrian Center. It will be a “TAILGATE,” with attendees sharing their best recipes. The Middle Tennessee Pony Club will host with tables, chairs, and flowers. Johnson’s daughter is scheduled to attend, and many stories will be shared.
In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to the Middle Tennessee Pony Club; c/o Peppy Butler, Treasurer; 5892 Natchez Trace Road, Franklin, TN 37064-9212. Funds received will be used toward building a jump dedicated to the event’s longtime organizer.
As Tropical Storm Ophelia brought soaking rains to the region today, the Plantation Field International continued its four days of competition with CCI3*-S and CCI4*-S show jumping and cross-country for CCI1*-S, CCII2*-S, and CCI3*-S divisions.
The USEA Area IX Championships took place during two different horse trials this summer, with the Modified Championships as part of the The Event at Archer (Cheyenne, Wymoming) in August and the Preliminary, Training, Novice, and Beginner Novice Championships taking place during The Event at Skyline (Mount Pleasant, Utah) in September. In addition, Area IX offered additional championship tests at the Starter and Tadpole levels at Skyline.
The CCI4*-S division at the 2023 Plantation Field International Horse Trials kicked off today with 39 horses headed down centerline. Local rider Boyd Martin of Coatesville, Pennsylvania, topped the leaderboard riding Luke 140, owned by the Luke 140 Syndicate, and is also tied for third (28.8) with the Annie Goodwin Syndicate’s Fedarman B. Martin is also placed 23rd with Contessa, owned by the Turner family.
The United States Eventing Association, Inc. (USEA) is humbled to announce the return of long-time partner The Dutta Corporation as the “Title Sponsor of the 2023 USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) Championships,” which include the East Coast Championships at the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill in Elkton, Maryland, on Oct. 19-20 and the West Coast Championships at Twin Rivers Ranch in Paso Robles, California, on Oct. 27-28.