Opening ceremonies took place at both of the Hall of Fame's two locations at the Kentucky Horse Park - the USHJA building, which houses the museum aspect of the Hall of Fame, as well as the Horse Park's outdoor stadium, which displays the plaques highlighting the careers of the men, women and horses who have been honored with induction into the Hall of Fame.
"We are very excited about our new home at the Kentucky Horse Park," said George Morris, President of the Show Jumping Hall of Fame. "The Horse Park hosts more than 300,000 visitors each year, and that number will increase dramatically this year with the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. We are honored to be able to call this fabulous facility home."
As part of the Hall of Fame's dedication ceremonies, there was a reception at the USHJA National Hunter Jumper Sport Museum featuring the Show Jumping Hall of Fame collection. The next morning, a brief ceremony at the Horse Park's outdoor stadium dedicated the Hall of Fame's plaques honoring its inductees.
John Nicholson, Executive Director of the Kentucky Horse Park, noted, "The Show Jumping Hall of Fame and Museum adds another element of excitement and history to the Kentucky Horse Park. We are thrilled to welcome the Hall of Fame and are confident that the many visitors the Park sees each year will be equally excited to see and learn about the history that makes show jumping such an incredible sport."
"We are truly honored to provide a home for these time honored pieces of our history," stated USHJA President, Bill Moroney. "The Show Jumping Hall of Fame collection provides us with a greater opportunity to market our sport and teach the community about the rich history of show jumping. This collection will be one of the marquee exhibits at the USHJA National Hunter Jumper Sport Horse Museum and will support our goal to make the USHJA headquarters a true home for those involved and supportive of our sport."
The Show Jumping Hall of Fame was established in 1987 and formally opened at Busch Gardens in Tampa, FL in 1989. The Hall of Fame was organized to promote the sport of show jumping and to immortalize the men, women and horses who have made great contributions to the sport.
From its opening, the Show Jumping Hall of Fame and Museum has displayed plaques and mementos honoring heroes who have helped make the sport great. Videos recounting the careers of legendary horses and riders like Gem Twist and Michael Matz are featured, as well as treasures like the USET jacket worn by Bill Steinkraus on his way to the individual Gold Medal at the 1968 Olympic Games and the famed "shooting star" jump used by course designer Bert de Nemethy in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. Now, horse lovers from around the world who travel to the Kentucky Horse Park will have an opportunity to enjoy them in an ideal setting.
Since 1987, the Show Jumping Hall of Fame has inducted William C. Steinkraus, Bertalan deNemethy, Idle Dice (1987); Patrick Butler, August A. Busch Jr. (1988); David Kelly, Jimmy Williams, Ben O'Meara, Frances Rowe (1989); Arthur McCashin, Kathy Kusner, Brigadier General Harry D. Chamberlin, San Lucas (1990); Adolph Mogavero, Whitney Stone, Morton "Cappy" Smith, Pat Dixon (1991); Eleonora "Eleo" Sears, Mary Mairs Chapot, Barbara Worth Oakford, Snowman (1992); Dr. Robert C. Rost, Joe Green (1993); Frank Chapot, Gordon Wright (1994); Mickey Walsh, Trail Guide (1995); Pamela Carruthers, Jet Run, Richard "Dick" Donnelly with Heatherbloom (1996); Edward "Ned" King, Bobby Egan with Sun Beau (1997); Fred "Freddy" Wettach Jr., Melanie Smith Taylor, Johnny Bell (1998); Rodney Jenkins, Sinjon, Franklin F. "Fuddy" Wing Jr. with Democrat (1999); George Morris, Carol Durand, Touch of Class (2000); Eugene R. Mische, Lt. Colonel John W. Russell, Bobby Burke, Untouchable (2001); Harry R. Gill, Clarence L. "Honey" Craven, Calypso, Gem Twist (2002); J. Russell Stewart Sr., Main Spring (2003); Snowbound (2004); Michael Matz, For The Moment (2005); Conrad Homfeld (2006); Joe Fargis, Karen Golding, Marcia "Mousie" Williams (2007); Dr. John Steele, Abdullah, Miss Budweiser, Riviera Wonder(2008); and Neal Shapiro, Balbuco (2009).
As part of its effort to promote the sport, the Show Jumping Hall of Fame conducts the Cavalor Show Jumping Hall of Fame Jumper Classic Series, a series held under Grand Prix rules and specifications with classes at more than 100 horse shows across the country and Year-End Championships at the National Horse Show in November. The series hosts separate divisions for junior and amateur-owner riders in two Conferences-the East Conference and the West Conference. Series standings are used to help determine junior and amateur-owner entries for the National Horse Show.
The USHJA is committed to advancing and representing the hunter and jumper disciplines by fostering an educated community of equestrians that promotes the welfare of the horse and fairness in competition. The United States Hunter Jumper Association is a not-for-profit organization recognized under IRS code 501(c)(3). Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law.
The Kentucky Horse Park is a working horse farm/theme park and equine competition facility dedicated to man's relationship with the horse. The park is an agency of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet that hosted nearly 870,000 visitors and campers, as well as 15,000 competition horses in more than 100 special events and horse shows in 2009.
The park is home to the National Horse Center which comprises more than 30 national and regional equine organizations. Located at Exit 120, Interstate 75, just north of Lexington, the Kentucky Horse Park is the place to get close to horses. Open daily March 15 to October 31 and Wednesday through Sunday, November 1 to March 14.
For more information about the Show Jumping Hall of Fame, please visit the Show Jumping Hall of Fame Web site at www.showjumpinghalloffame.net.
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