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.
The USEA offers many programs to help the development of upcoming event horses such as the Future Event Horse (FEH) program which focuses on yearlings, 2-year-olds, 3-year-olds, and 4-year-olds, the Young Event Horse (YEH) program which serves as an eventing talent search for 4-year-olds and 5-year-olds under saddle, and the New Event Horse program which is an adaption of the YEH program that was designed to serve as an introduction of the sport of eventing for horse and rider that provides a stepping stone to recognized eventing. For the first time ever, USEA Area IV will be hosting a competition that features all three of these programs at Woodloch Stable in Hugo, Minnesota on July 9, 2022.
It’s time to meet the teams of the 2022 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships! A total of 92 competitors, 12 schools, and 23 teams will be competing at the 2022 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships on May 21-22 at Chattahoochee Hills H.T. in Fairburn, Georgia.
Entries are strong leading up to the exciting return of the MARS Bromont CCI that is taking place June 8-12 in rural Bromont, Quebec. Bromont is a popular destination for North American competitors who are eager to return to this 1976 Olympic Games venue just 90 minutes from Burlington, Vermont.
Five-star season is well underway and four U.S.-based pairs have turned their focus toward the CCI5*-L at the Longines Luhmühlen Horse Trials which takes place June 16-19 in Salzhausen, Germany. We caught up with each rider to get their thoughts on their decision to make the trek overseas and what they hope their horses glean from the experience.