Horse and pony - site index.Horse chat message boards.Horse breeds, types and breeding gallery.Search for horse information on Equiworld.Horse information and equestrian news horse and pony magazine.Horse web links.  

Gem Twist to be Inducted into Show Jumping Hall of Fame
in Ceremony at 2003 Budweiser American Invitational

Tampa, FL—March 21, 2003—Tampa area show jumping fans will have a rare opportunity on Saturday evening, March 29, when show jumping superstar Gem Twist returns to Tampa, scene of some of his greatest victories, for the 2003 Budweiser American Invitational.

Gem Twist will return not as a competitor, but as a distinguished guest when he is honored with induction into the Show Jumping Hall of Fame during a special ceremony to be held that evening.

Owned by Michael Golden, Gem was bred and trained by another Show Jumping Hall of Famer, Frank Chapot, and was ridden by Greg Best, Leslie Howard and Laura Chapot.

Gem Twist, formally retired at the National Horse Show at Madison Square Garden on November 1, 1997, has an incredible list of victories as long as that of any horse. In addition to nine years’ worth of grand prix wins, Gem earned two Silver Medals at the Seoul Olympics in 1988 and was named “World’s Best Horse” at the World Equestrian Games in Stockholm, Sweden in 1990. Twist also accumulated more than $800,000 in prize money and attracted purchase offers of $2.5 million.

He is the only horse to have won three American Grandprix Association (AGA) Horse of the Year titles. Gem Twist won the American Grandprix Association’s championship with three different riders: Best in 1987, Howard in 1993, and Chapot in 1995.

In 1987, Gem and Best both made their grand prix debut in Tampa where they stunned the show jumping world with a win in this debut, topping a star-studded field in the Grand Prix of Tampa. Seven days later, they repeated this feat winning their second grand prix ever, the Grand Prix of Florida, also held at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center in Tampa.

Gem and Best also had victories in two other major events in Tampa – in the Budweiser AGA Championship in 1987 and the Budweiser American Invitational in 1989. Gem Twist and Best repeated their Grand Prix of Tampa win in 1992. In 1987, Gem captured AGA Horse of the Year honors and Best won Rookie of the Year. That year also included a team Silver Medal at the Pan American Games.

The high point in the partnership between Best and Gem Twist came when the pair represented the United States at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea, where they came away with team and individual Silver Medals.

Due to Best’s shoulder injury in 1992, Leslie Burr Howard became Gem’s rider. Howard continued as Gem’s rider for two more years winning many prestigious competitions including Gem’s second AGA Championship and third AGA Horse of the Year award.

Laura Chapot took over the reins in 1995. That year Laura and Gem won the World Cup class at the $100,000 Autumn Classic, helping to propel the young rider to Budweiser Rookie of the Year honors. Laura also rode Gem to his third win in the Budweiser American Grandprix Association Championships.

In the 1995-1996 season, Gem and Chapot won three World Cup qualifying classes and placed well at several other competitions. Their win in the final World Cup class at Tampa was over the largest starting field ever with 80 horses. This clinched Laura the World Cup USA East League Championship and was a fitting win at the close of Gem’s career at the site of his first Grand Prix win with Best nine years ealier.

Also being inducted into the Show Jumping Hall of Fame at this year’s Budweiser American Invitational along with Gem Twist is Calypso, who claimed one the most dramatic victories ever at the Budweiser American Invitational in 1982. Also to be inducted are Harry R. Gill and Clarence L. “Honey” Craven.

Since 1987, the Show Jumping Hall of Fame, located in Busch Gardens in Tampa, has inducted William C. Steinkraus, Bertalan deNemethy and Idle Dice (1987); Patrick Butler and August A. Busch, Jr. (1988); David Kelly, Jimmy Williams, Ben O’Meara and Frances Row (1989); Arthur McCashin, Kathy Kusner, Brigadier General Harry D. Chamberlin and San Lucas (1990); Adolph Mogavero, Whitney Stone, Morton “Cappy Smith” and Pat Dixon (1991); Eleonora “Eleo” Sears, Mary Mairs Chapot, Barbara Worth Oakford and Snowman (1992); Dr. Robert C. Rost and Joe Green (1993); Frank Chapot and Gordon Wright (1994); Mickey Walsh and Trail Guide (1995); Pamela Carruthers, Jet Run, Richard “Dick” Donnelly and Heatherbloom (1996); Edward “Ned” King, Bobby Egan and Sun Beau (1997); Fred “Freddy” Wettach, Jr., Melanie Smith Taylor and Johnny Bell (1998); Rodney Jenkins, Sinjon, Franklin F. “Fuddy” Wing, Jr. and Democrat (1999); George Morris, Carol Durand and Touch of Class (2000); Eugene R. Mische, Lt. Colonel John W. Russell, Bobby Burke, Untouchable (2001).

Tickets for the Budweiser American Invitational, March 29, Saturday, at Raymond James Stadium are available at Ticket Master (813) 287-8844 or at Stadium Jumping (877) 909-9436. The $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational begins at 7:00 PM.


Find out more, visit the links page or find answers on the message board.