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Show Jumping Hall of Fame Honors 2001 Inductees

Tampa, FL—April 1, 2002—The Show Jumping Hall of Fame conducted its annual induction ceremonies during the intermission at the Budweiser American Invitational, March 30 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. The Show Jumping Hall of Fame inducted famed show jumping promoter Eugene R. Mische, two-time U.S. Olympic Team rider Lt. Colonel John W. Russell, veteran rider Bobby Burke, and the great jumper Untouchable, who was part of the Silver Medal team at the 1967 Pan American Games. Mische, Russell, Burke and Untouchable join 41 previous inductees whose contributions to the sport set them apart and earned them enshrinement in the Show Jumping Hall of Fame.

Eugene R. Mische has been a driving force behind the dramatic growth in the popularity of show jumping in the United States for more than three decades. He gained hands-on knowledge of the horse business as a rider, groom, trainer, judge, owner, farm manager, businessman and spectator. As a trainer, he was entrusted with the horses of some of this country’s most noted owners such as Patrick Butler. As a horse owner, he provided opportunities to young riders such as Rodney Jenkins and Steve Stephens.

But it was as a promoter of show jumping that Mische made his most significant contribution to the sport. Mische saw the potential for show jumping to succeed as a spectator sport in the U.S. He saw what show jumping needed and he set out to meet those needs.

Mische began organizing shows in Florida in 1967, starting with the Sunshine Circuit and then bringing the first Grand Prix to a major outdoor stadium, Tampa Stadium, in 1971. That Grand Prix was the precursor of the celebrated Budweiser American Invitational.

Mische founded Stadium Jumping, Inc., which became the nation’s premier producer of hunter/jumper horse shows. Seeing the need for top-quality facilities, Mische worked to develop Tampa’s Bob Thomas Equestrian Center, and it was his vision and persistence that led to the creation of the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club, unrivaled as the world’s best show jumping facility.

Mische saw the need for major corporate support to help show jumping grow further and he succeeded in bringing millions of dollars of sponsorship to the sport, negotiating contracts with the likes of Budweiser, Mercedes Benz and Cosequin. In 1978, Mische spearheaded the creation of the American Grandprix Association, a national circuit of show jumping competitions developed to give direction to the sport, organization to riders and spectators, and coordination for sponsors.

Over the years, Mische helped develop some of the nation’s most successful horse shows, most notably in Lake Placid and Cleveland. His Cosequin Winter Equestrian Festival, heir to the Sunshine Circuit, has grown to become the world’s largest horse show circuit. Offering more than $3 million in prize money, the Cosequin Winter Equestrian Festival features ten weeks of hunter/jumper competition in addition to world-class dressage competitions. The Festival draws thousands of horses, riders and fans, and features the nation’s top grand prix events, several of which are shown on national television, such as the Budweiser American Invitational and the AGA Championship.

In 1991, Mische helped the United States Equestrian Team create its highly successful Festival of Champions for which he has served as co-chairman since its inception. To further promote interest in show jumping, Mische has brought international competitions to the U.S. including two World Cup Finals, the FEI World Children’s Jumping Final and in 2002, the United States’ first-ever outdoor Nations Cup.

In addition to serving as chairman of the American Grandprix Association, Mische is also Chairman of the National Horse Show, and has served on the Boards of the United States Equestrian Team, USA Equestrian, the Washington International Horse Show, and the Show Jumping Hall of Fame. He is president of Imperial Farms of Palmetto, FL.

Distinguishing himself as both an outstanding officer (he was awarded the Purple Heart, the Soldier's Medal, and the Bronze Star in World War II) and gifted equestrian, Lt. Colonel John W. Russell has the unique distinction of having ridden both on the last official U.S. Army Olympic Team (London, 1948) and the first "civilian" U.S. Equestrian Olympic Team (Helsinki, 1952). The '48 Army squad was a powerhouse, and Russell, with his three-horse string of Air Mail, Rattler, and Blue Devil, stood out, winning four individual competitions at Lucerne, the Daily Mail at London, and leading his team to victories in the Nations' Cups of London, Dublin and Lucerne. (Double clear rounds on the latter occasions earned him the Best Individual Rider awards).

Though the Team disbanded after the Olympics, Russell continued to compete overseas, winning the 1949 Prize of Paris, the Puissance class in Vichy, and helping his team win the Prize of Nations in Paris. Eventually he was reassigned to Pennsylvania, where a chance encounter with Col. John Wofford (himself a veteran of the 1932 Olympics and the first president of the USET) alerted him to the possibility of trying out for the 1952 Olympics. The trials were at Fort Riley and Russell, with Col. F. F. Wing's 1948 Olympic mount Democrat, placed first.

In 1951, he won the West Point Challenge Trophy in New York on Blue Devil and in 1952, on Rattler, became the first foreign (non-German) rider (and Rattler the first foreign horse) to win the coveted Hamburg Spring Derby. At the Helsinki Olympics, on Democrat, and joined by Arthur McCashin on Miss Budweiser and Bill Steinkraus on Hollandia, he helped the infant USET win the Bronze Medal in show jumping in its first appearance in the Games.

In 1954, Russell was ranked the fourth most successful rider in Germany. He represented the U.S. as an individual in the 1955 World Championships at Aachen before joining Bert de Nemethy's first USET squad, touring Europe in preparation for the Stockholm Olympics. Military duties precluded Russell's taking another crack at the Games and led to his eventual retirement as a competitive rider.

Reassignment in the U.S. as Officer in Charge of the U.S. Modern Pentathlon Team maintained his relationship with the Olympics, both as an officer and later as civilian coach of the team. His 1978 Pentathlon team included Greg Losoy, the first American in 60 years to win the individual and team World Championship titles. Now based in San Antonio, Texas, Russell has trained many "civilian" riders and horses. He has two sons who carry on his name in the horse business.

Bobby Burke is a classic horseman in every sense of the word. It has been said that there is no better “eye” for a horse than that of Robert J. Burke.
Burke, a native of Cambridge, MA, learned to ride from two greats of the sport – Danny Shea who put Bobby on his first jumper, Little Squire, and Mickey Walsh who was enshrined in the Show Jumping Hall of Fame in 1995.

In the 1940s, Burke excelled in the hunter ring, gaining countless wins and championships. In 1950, he made his debut in the show jumper ring with “Fitzrada” in Leesburg, VA. Burke and Fitzrada finished their maiden event with a championship, which was soon followed by other major victories.

Burke became a familiar sight in the winner’s circle aboard such legendary jumpers as Black Velvet, Grey Velvet, Golden Chance and Saxon Wood. Burke also claimed top honors in numerous Jumper Stakes on Defense, Safari Joe, Royal Knight and Bell Hop.

In 1957 Burke swept the Jumper Championships at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, the National Horse Show in Madison Square Garden and the Chicago Stockyards. He dominated the Royal Winter Fair Jumper Stake in Toronto, placing first aboard Black Velvet, second on Bell Hop, third with Saxon Wood and fifth on Grey Velvet.

In 1967, Burke was the trainer and rider of Act I at the Bonus Point Stake at Fairfield, CT. Act I captured top honors in the Stake and Burke was named leading rider. Act I went on in 1967 to win the Grandprix of Cleveland and then the American Gold Cup in 1970.

Burke also selected and trained Blue Plum, a mount later purchased by Bertram Firestone who in turn placed the talented horse with the United States Equestrian Team.

As a rider, Burke’s trademark was his marvelous touch on the reins. His hands were impeccable, and young horses in particular responded to them magnificently. In addition to his show jumping success, Burke amassed more than fifty hunter championships at Devon, Harrisburg, Washington, Madison Square Garden, and the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto.

Untouchable achieved great international success in the 1960s, teaming with Kathy Kusner to become one of the sport’s all-time great combinations.

Purchased by Benny O’Meara on a buying trip to the Midwest in the fall of 1962, Untouchable was an ex-race horse. With O’Meara in the saddle, he debuted on the Florida circuit in 1963 as an 11-year-old Green Jumper.

O’Meara had immediate success with the 16.1 hand, Thoroughbred, chestnut gelding by Bolero out of Kum. Untouchable wound up as Green Jumper Champion everywhere he went that spring before O’Meara turned him over to Kathy Kusner after her return from the 1963 Pan American Games. Kusner capped Untouchable’s undefeated green season with the Open Jumper Championship at that year’s National Horse Show at Madison Square Garden. She would stay with him for the rest of his career.

In 1964, O’Meara loaned Untouchable to the USET as a possible Olympic mount for Kusner. The combination went on to win five major classes in Europe that summer including the Grand Prix at Dublin (The Irish Trophy) and other wins against Olympic competitors at Ostende and Rotterdam. (He won the Grand Prix of Dublin again in 1965). Untouchable and Kusner helped the USET to Nations’ Cup wins at Dublin and Ostend before traveling to Tokyo for the Olympics where they placed 13th individually and helped the U.S. to a fourth place team finish. Upon their return to the States, Kusner and Untouchable helped the USET to Nations’ Cup wins at the National Horse Show, where Kusner was Leading International Rider, and at the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto.

Purchased from O’Meara by Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Butler, Untouchable continued to be a top mount for Kusner. He carried her to a second-place finish in the 1965 Ladies World Championship and to first place in the Ladies European Championship in 1967. In 1967, they also were part of the USET’s Silver Medal team at the Pan American Games in Winnipeg where Kusner was fourth individually.

Overall, Untouchable was on 12 winning Nations’ Cup teams. He won numerous major individual classes in Europe including the Grand Prix at Ostende (Belgium), Hickstead (England), Lucerne (Switzerland), twice the Grand Prix of Dublin (Ireland), the 1968 Pre-Olympic Competition in Rotterdam (The Netherlands), and the Puissance at Aachen (Germany). He also won at least 14 International classes on the North American fall circuit.

The Show Jumping Hall of Fame and Museum is located in Busch Gardens in Tampa, right next to the Clydesdale exhibit. The Hall of Fame is dedicated to preserving the legends of the men, women and horses who have made great contributions to the sport of show jumping. The focus of this noble institution is to encourage broader interest and participation in show jumping, as well as to educate devoted equestrians and novice horse lovers alike, by sharing the sport’s legends, lore and landmark achievements.

Since 1987, the Show Jumping Hall of Fame 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 Rowe (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, and the combination of Richard “Dick” Donnelly and Heatherbloom (1996); Edward “Ned” King, and the combination of Bobby Egan and Sun Beau (1997); Fred “Freddy” Wettach, Jr., Melanie Smith Taylor and Johnny Bell (1998); Rodney Jenkins, Sinjon, and the combination of Franklin F. “Fuddy” Wing, Jr. and Democrat (1999); George Morris, Carol Durand and Touch of Class (2000).

For further information about the Show Jumping Hall of Fame and Museum, please visit the Hall of Fame website at


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