Major General Jonathan “Jack” Burton (ret.), died on May 29 in Tucson, Arizona at the age of 99. Burton was predeceased by his wife, Joan. He is survived by his son, Jonathan “Jock” Rowell Burton, Jr. (Pace) of Chesterfield, Virginia, and daughter Judith “Judy” Lewis (Don) of Tucson, Arizona.
General Burton, always a horse lover, was born in 1919 and began his equestrian career galloping racehorses as a young boy. He enrolled in the ROTC Horse Cavalry Division while at Michigan State University and upon graduation headed to Fort Riley, Kansas, headquarters of the U.S. Cavalry School. Enrolled as a second lieutenant in the Ninth Basic Horsemanship Class, he studied weapons administration, riding, shoeing, veterinary procedures, conditioning, marching, planning maneuvers, pathfinding, night compass courses, and stable management. When the U.S. entered World War II, Burton and his regiment were shipped to Australia to prepare to fight as infantry under General MacArthur and from there he was shipped to New Guinea.
At the close of the war, Burton headed back to Fort Riley to teach Advanced Horsemanship. For the 1948 London Olympic Games, Burton was selected for both the show jumping and three-day eventing teams, then ultimately competed on the show jumping team. Eight years later at the 1956 Stockholm Olympic Games he rode for the U.S. Equestrian Team on the three-day eventing team. In 1953, Burton helped organize the first continuous horse trials in the U.S. along with Margaret Lindsley Warden and William Haggard. He also had the honor of writing the first rulebook for combined training.
General Burton served two and a half years in Vietnam with the 1st Cavalry Division as a brigade commander and as an assistant division commander. His decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Legion of Merit (1st OLC), Distinguished Flying Cross (2nd OLC), Air Medal (V Device & 54 OLC), Purple Heart, and Army Commendation Ribbon.
After 33 years in the U.S. Army, Burton retired as a Major General, last as commander of the 3rd Armored Division in 1975. Jack served as Executive Vice President for the U.S. Equestrian Team for 10 years and as President of the U.S. Combined Training Association (now United States Eventing Association) from 1985-1987. He was inducted into the USEA Hall of Fame and the US Dressage Federation Hall of Fame. He was also a member of the group that established the North American Young Rider Championships in the 1980s. He worked as an FEI judge, technical delegate, and steward until the age of 92.
A lifetime's commitment, not only to eventing but to other equestrian disciplines as well, has resulted in a sport that is strong and viable and substantially better because of Burton's guardianship.
Burton will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery later this year.
This past weekend, the Fort Tuthill County Park in Flagstaff, Arizona, played host to the Western Underground, Inc. Coconino Horse Trials & Three-Day Event. The event featured three Hylofit USEA Classic Series Three-Day Event divisions for Training, Novice, and Beginner Novice, and the USEA was on the ground to capture all the action.
“Mick Costello knows every single blade of grass on this property,” said Vanessa Coleman, co-organizer of the 2019 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC). Mick Costello, Derek di Grazia, and their team of experts will be building and designing all six cross-country courses for the 2019 AEC.
Memorial information for Ashley Stout, who died in a cross-country schooling accident on Thursday, has been released.
The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is pleased to announce the continued partnership with GumBits for the 2019 USEA American Eventing Championships (AEC) and USEA Adult Team Championships (ATC). As a prize level sponsor to both the AEC and ATC, GumBits will be offering prizes to the top six competitors in every AEC division and prizes to the top three ATC teams at every level.