Jumping Hall of Fame Honors 2001 Inductees
Tampa, FLApril 1, 2002The 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
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 countrys most noted owners such as Patrick Butler.
As a horse owner, he provided opportunities to young riders such
as Rodney Jenkins and Steve Stephens.
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.
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.
founded Stadium Jumping, Inc., which became the nations premier
producer of hunter/jumper horse shows. Seeing the need for top-quality
facilities, Mische worked to develop Tampas 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 worlds
best show jumping facility.
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 nations
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 worlds 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 nations
top grand prix events, several of which are shown on national television,
such as the Budweiser American Invitational and the AGA Championship.
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 Childrens
Jumping Final and in 2002, the United States first-ever outdoor
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
became a familiar sight in the winners 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.
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.
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.
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.
a rider, Burkes 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
achieved great international success in the 1960s, teaming with
Kathy Kusner to become one of the sports all-time great combinations.
Purchased by Benny OMeara on a buying trip to the Midwest
in the fall of 1962, Untouchable was an ex-race horse. With OMeara
in the saddle, he debuted on the Florida circuit in 1963 as an 11-year-old
OMeara 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 OMeara
turned him over to Kathy Kusner after her return from the 1963 Pan
American Games. Kusner capped Untouchables undefeated green
season with the Open Jumper Championship at that years National
Horse Show at Madison Square Garden. She would stay with him for
the rest of his career.
In 1964, OMeara 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 OMeara 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 USETs 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
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 sports
legends, lore and landmark achievements.
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 OMeara
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).
further information about the Show Jumping Hall of Fame and Museum,
please visit the Hall of Fame website at www.showjumpinghalloffame.net