The United States Eventing Association's (USEA) Eventing Hall of Fame was established in 1999 to honor the accomplishments, contributions, and dedication of members of the eventing community who have truly made a difference to the sport. Induction into the USEA’s Eventing Hall of Fame is U.S. eventing's highest honor and recipients include past Association presidents, volunteers, riders, founding fathers, course designers, officials, organizers, horses, horse owners, breeders, and coaches.
In preparation for the 20th anniversary of the USEA’s Eventing Hall of Fame, we’re taking a walk down memory lane to revisit the inductees who have joined the Hall of Fame over the years. Read on to meet the Hall of Fame Class of 2012. Click here to meet the Class of 1999, click here to meet the Class of 2003, click here to meet the Class of 2006, click here to meet the Class of 2009, and click here to meet the Class of 2012.
Jacqueline B. Mars
The support that Ms. Jacqueline B. Mars has provided for the sport of eventing as an owner and patron is legendary. Many of the horses she has owned have put in brilliant performances as part of the U.S. Eventing Team over the years: Winter’s Tale, The Native, Prince Panache, Giltedge, Regal Scot, Shannon, and so many others. There are few programs in eventing that have not felt Mars’ quiet support. Her belief that the sport must pay great attention to where the next generation of Team riders and horses is coming from has been a hallmark of her commitment for decades.
Many of today’s successful riders were given the opportunity to ride in Young Riders Training Sessions with top coaches at the Gladstone headquarters of the USET back in the 1990s thanks to her efforts. Today, her support for Young Riders and Young and Future Event Horses continues. She has guided the careers of many of our top international riders while at the same time bolstering the young talent and making sure they are given every opportunity to step up and take their place on the international scene. What truly makes Ms. Mars so valuable to the sport is the knowledge and understanding of horses that she brings to her work on the committees and task forces on which she serves so willingly. Ms. Mars’s lifelong contribution to the equine world, and specifically the eventing world, is incalculable and without her the USEA would not be the successful educational organization it is today.
Born and raised in Filey, Yorkshire, England, Jo Whitehouse was hooked on eventing when she attended her first Pony Club Eventing Rally. Her daughter Hannah rode her first pony at the age of two and very soon mother and daughter shared their passion for ponies and eventing. Like most eventing parents, Whitehouse soon took on the role of check writer, groom, and volunteer at events and with the Pony Club. Following her husband’s transfer to the U.S., she filled her days working at the USCTA headquarters in Hamilton, Massachusetts.
Whitehouse joined the Association (USCTA) in 1987 when General Jack Burton was President. Whitehouse has worked in almost every department of the USEA, including editing the magazine, Eventing USA, for several years. In 2004, Whitehouse was named CEO and under her leadership, the USEA began, among other things, the USEA’s Eventing Hall of Fame, the American Eventing Championships, the Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series, and the Young and Future Event Horse Programs. She was an early supporter of the Instructors' Certification Program and has overseen the creation of several of the grants that are now administered by the USEA Foundation. Most recently, she worked tirelessly to create the new Course Designer’s Grant to help ensure the future of the sport by paving the way for new course designers to enter the profession and for current course designers to further perfect their art. Whitehouse retired as CEO at the end of 2015 and now serves as the USEA Chief Development Officer, living close to her daughter in California.
Margaret Lindsley Warden
Margaret Lindsley Warden organized the first event in the United States in June 1952 at Percy Warner Park in Nashville, Tennessee. The event was called 'The Southeast's Initial One Day Event." With the help of then Major Jonathan R. Burton, now General Burton, Warden and the General wrote all of the rules, built all of the jumps, laid out the venue, and essentially did everything that now takes a cadre of organizers, professionals, and volunteers to achieve. Prior to her efforts, eventing only existed in the U.S. in the military at Ft. Riley, Kansas. Due to her intense interest and knowledge of horses, Warden believed that this format, based on the international Olympic model, and only open to the military, could be developed for the civilian horse enthusiast. Due to the success of this first event, the Three-Day Trials for the Olympics were held in Nashville the following year. Now known as the as The Middle Tennessee Pony Club Event, this event is the longest and oldest continuously running event in the United States.
Warden also founded the Middle Tennessee Pony Club in 1953 and served as the D.C. and Regional Supervisor for many years. She was a member of the Board of Directors of the U.S. Equestrian Team and was awarded the Wofford Cup in 1986 and The Founders Award from the United States Pony Club in 1989. Warden wrote the "Horse Sense" column for the Nashville Tennessean newspaper, and due to her writings and promotion of horsemanship and education, she was one of the earliest voices for the ethical and humane treatment of horses. She was a founding member of the Nashville Opera Guild and the local historical society. Through her years of reading and collecting horse-related books, she willed her library to Middle Tennessee State University. This collection is one of the largest single collections of books and papers on horse-related topics in the country.
One of the youngest riders ever named to an international Team, Mike Huber finished 13th at the 1978 World Championships at only 18 years of age and then went on to ride at the 1980 Olympic Games on one of the youngest horses in the competition, Gold Chip. In 1987, Huber won the individual gold medal at the Pan American Games on Quartermaster, also helping the team secure the gold medal. He also represented the U.S. at the 1990 and 1994 World Equestrian Games.
Not content with just an international riding and coaching career, Huber responded to the call to serve the sport in a governance capacity. In 1989, he was elected to serve on the USEA Board of Governors and became the youngest ever President of the USEA in 1993, a post he held until 1995. Huber continued his dedication to the sport by serving on the USET/USEF Selection Committee twice and chairing the USEF High Performance Committee. He still serves on that committee today and is a long-standing member of the USEF Eventing Technical Committee. Huber is also a man of action, showing his support for the USEA Instructors' Certification Program by becoming one of the first to earn his Level IV certification. He was the coach of the highly successful Area V Junior/Young Rider Team for 18 years and owns and operates Gold Chip Stables in Bartonville, Texas.
A horsewoman herself, Rebecca “Becky” Broussard was passionate about the sport of eventing. She served the USEA on the Board of Governors and on the Executive Committee. She was a trustee of the USEA Endowment Trust, serving as chair for many years. She owned numerous event horses for great riders such as Ralph Hill, Cindy Burge, Amy Tryon, Karen O’Connor, and Phillip Dutton, among others.
A philanthropist, Broussard supported many of the programs of the USEA and the USEF as well as supported and volunteered at her local events in Area VII. Broussard started The Event at Rebecca Farm at the Broussard Family's world class facility in Kalispell, Montana in 2002. Today it is one of the largest eventing competition in the world.
Following her passing, the Broussard Family created two grants through the USEA Foundation in her honor, the Rebecca Broussard National and International Developing Rider Grants, designed to inspire, advance the skills, and expand the knowledge of developing riders at the national and international level. The legacy Broussard left behind is immeasurable and will impact the lives of eventers for generations to come. She was truly respected and admired by all who knew her, and the sport of eventing has benefited at all levels from her extraordinary vision, involvement, and loyalty.
Richard and Vita Thompson
Richard “Dick” and Vita Thompson were very special supporters of the sport of eventing. Their love of the sport and their desire to see the U.S. succeed on the international scene moved them to become event horse owners in the early days of eventing in the U.S. So many of our country’s finest event horses were owned by the Thompsons and lifelong friendships were forged with riders such as Jim Wofford, Karen O’Connor, and Hannah Sue Burnett. The Thompsons were active members of the Radnor Hunt and developed a passion for the sport of eventing, devoting many hours every year to the running of the Radnor Hunt Three-Day Event.
The Thompsons bought and supported many of the most talented and successful horses in eventing, beginning with the great Castlewellan, who was ridden by Wofford. Wofford and Castlewellan went on to win the Radnor Hunt International Three-Day Event in 1982, were second at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event and fifth at Burghley International Horse Trials in 1983, feats that led to them to be named the reserve horse and rider for the 1984 Olympic Games.
Not only did the couple generously provide financial support and horses for team selection, they also volunteered to work at the Olympic Games both in 1984 and 1996. When Wofford retired from active competition after the 1984 Olympics, he recommended the young Karen Lende (now O’Connor) take over the ride on Castlewellan. O’Connor and Castlewellan went on to dominate the field at Chesterland the following year, winning by 30 points and launching the career of one of the best international riders the U.S. has ever had.
While the list of horses that carried the blue and emerald colors of the Thompsons’ Sea Horse Farm was long and illustrious: Park Hall, Mr. Maxwell, Nos Ecus, Joker’s Wild, Upstage, to name just a few, it was Biko with his white face, noble head, immense presence, and endless talent that brought the couple one of their proudest moments. Biko and O’Connor represented the U.S. in team competition on numerous occasions, earning a team silver medal in Atlanta. In 1999, Biko was named USEA Horse of the Century for earning more lifetime points in competition than any other horse and was inducted into the USEA’s Eventing Hall of Fame in 2006. Eventing in America would not have had such a successful history without the generosity and devotion of Richard and Vita Thompson.
Thom Schultz and his wife Laura Coats were on a horse buying trip to Ireland and just happened to stop by Ireland’s Young Event Horse Competition at the 1998 Punchestown Three-Day Event. A very tall liver chestnut horse was being shown there and in just the couple of minutes it took to watch him jump two fences and gallop through the finish, he impressed Schultz enough that he arranged to try the horse. Gina Miles had just taken over as manager of Schultz and Coats’ Rainbow Ranch in Paso Robles, California and when McKinlaigh (Highland King x Kilcumney Hostess) finally arrived in the U.S. it was agreed that Miles and McKinlaigh would work together to see how far they could go.
In their first two years together, the pair won nine out of the 10 events they entered, and by the age of 7 the Highland King son had completed his first CCI3* and the pair had been named to the USEF Winter Training List. The 17.3 hand McKinlaigh placed 11th at his first CCI4* at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event in 2002, earning him a place on the U.S. Team for the World Equestrian Games in Jerez, Spain, where they finished 25th. A win in the Galway Downs CIC3* and another 11th place finish at Kentucky in 2003 saw them heading to Malmo in Sweden for the World Cup Final where McKinlaigh won the bronze medal. He improved his placing at Kentucky from 11th to ninth in 2004 and in 2006 placed fourth in The Fork CIC3*, first in the Rebecca Farm CIC3*, and first in the Fair Hill International CCI3*. That year he won the Adequan USEA Gold Cup Series and was the USEA Horse of the Year.
In 2007 he was 15th in the Badminton Horse Trials CCI4* and was on the gold medal team at the Pan American Games in Brazil, also winning the individual bronze medal. His crowning glory came in 2008 at the Olympic Games in Hong Kong. His brilliant performance earned an Olympic silver medal for Miles, Schultz, and Coats and ensured a place for his name in the history books of eventing.
Dorothy Trapp Crowell found Molokai (Hawaii x Pretty Copy) fresh off the track as a 4-year-old. As green as he was, she knew from the moment she sat on him that he was exceptional to the point that she did not want to get off of him. Molokai had a very negative opinion of the dressage phase but his athleticism, his huge galloping stride, and his ability to jump anything before him would take him to the very top of the sport and see him bring home the individual silver medal from the World Equestrian Games in The Hague in 1994.
Molokai took Crowell boldly around the biggest courses in the world: Badminton, Burghley, and Kentucky. He just missed a berth on the U.S. team at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games due to an injury sustained in the final days leading up to the competition. But he was not to be denied his final moment of triumph when, at the very first CCI4* on U.S. soil, the 1998 Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI4*, Molokai jumped his heart out for Crowell and came within one rail of winning. The hometown crowd went wild for their horse and rider and were cheering loudly at every fence Molokai jumped. He and Crowell finished in second place and received the highest prize in U.S. Eventing, the USEF Pinnacle Trophy, for the highest placed American in the four-star, the first time the trophy had ever been awarded.
All Molokai’s successes came in the traditional long-format in which, due to his Thoroughbred breeding, he excelled. He truly deserved his place in history having served his rider and his country well and Crowell decided that Molokai had earned his retirement out in the bluegrass of Kentucky, a life he enjoyed until his passing in 2013 at the age of 30.
Winsome Adante (Saunter x Juswith Genoa) is owned by Ms. Linda Wachtmeister, was ridden by Kim Severson, and was bred in England by Janet and Chris Gooch. Dan, as he is called at home, made his mark on the sport of eventing from the beginning of his career. From 2000 to 2007 Dan competed in 47 competitions, placing in the top three in 39 of them.
He started his winning ways by placing first in the 2000 Radnor CCI2* and the next year traveled back to his birthplace to win the Blenheim Three-Day Event in England. In 2002 he laid claim to his first win in the Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI4* when it was still in the traditional long format. In 2004, he won the Chatsworth CIC3* just two weeks before winning the second of three times in the Kentucky CCI4*. In August that same year, he and Severson took the individual silver medal at the Athens Olympic Games.
He followed this up with his third Kentucky CCI4* win in 2005 and in 2006 was on the gold medal team at the World Equestrian Games in Aachen. His last competition was at the Badminton Horse Trials in 2007, and he did it in usual Dan style, capping his career by placing third in one of the world’s preeminent events.
Winsome Adante was the USEA Horse of the Year three times, was honored by the USEF as a Horse of Honor in 2005, and his illustrious career kept him at the top of the USEA’s Historic All Time High Point Horse Leaderboard for more than 10 years.
It's been a long road, but we've finally arrived at the end! In June of 2017, the USEA undertook a project - to tell the story of each of the currently active USEA recognized events, starting at the beginning of the alphabet and working our way all the way through to the end. Now, more than three years later, we've reached the final event on our list.
Horse & Country TV is pleased to announce a partnership with the MARS Great Meadow International (MARSGMI) to provide live and on-demand coverage of the 2020 event. The competition will be held at Great Meadow in The Plains, Virginia August 19 to 23 and will feature many of North America’s best eventing combinations.
For over 20 years the USEA Instructors’ Certification Program (ICP) has been educating all levels of eventing instructors to confirm their knowledge base, both theoretical and practical, upon which they will continue to build throughout their teaching lifetime. The USEA is now shining the spotlight each month on some of the 300 ICP Certified Instructors.
This article will be updated to include statements as they are released from upcoming USEA recognized events regarding actions they are taking due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).