Carolinas Show Hunter Hall of Fame
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Every effort has been made to ensure the following biographical information is correct; however, the accuracy and completeness of the information is not guaranteed.
Caped Crusader was a very accomplished Thoroughbred show hunter whose career spanned a decade. He was a standout Large Junior Hunter, winning championships on both coasts. He was champion or reserve champion many times at indoors, as well as Devon, with multiple top junior riders of his day. He was stabled and trained at Finally Farm in Camden, SC, from June 2002 through November 2004. During that time he was owned by Elizabeth Frady of Asheville, NC. With Hardin Towell in the irons, ‘Capers’ was champion at the Devon Horse Show twice, champion at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show twice, reserve champion at the Washington International Horse Show, reserve champion at the National Horse Show, champion at the Capital Challenge Horse Show winning four out of five classes in a division of 42 horses, and won the Challenge of Champions at the Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show. He won over $65,000 during his career as a hunter and retired in 2009.
Gershwin, a 1994 Royal Dutch Warmblood, was bred by Hans Dink in Europe. Imported by Eddie Horowitz and Joey Norick , 5 year old Gershwin quickly made his way to Jack Towell’s Finally Farm in Camden, SC. Shortly after his arrival Kim Quinn purchased ‘Jerry’ and thus began a very special partnership. They started showing in the Adult Hunter ring and eventually found their home in the Amateur Owner Hunters. Throughout their storied career from 1999-2011 in the Amateur Owners, Gershwin and Kim accumulated multiple championships in the NCHJA and SCHJA year end awards. The pair dominated USEF Zone 3, finishing in the top five for each of these years. Gershwin finished first or second eight of these years. Gershwin was also in the top ten Amateur Owner Hunters in the National USEF rankings annually. Winning the Amateur Owner Stake class at Washington and being champion at The Pennsylvania National Horse Show were special wins for Kim. In 2001 Gershwin was reserve champion at The National Horse Show at Madison Square Garden. Over the next three years at the National Horse Show he was champion, reserve champion and Amateur Owner Hunter Grand Champion. ”Gershwin simply did not know how to jump a bad jump,” says Kim. One of her most admired horsemen, Bruce Duchossois, would often go to the ring just to watch Gershwin because of his rhythmic metronome like canter and jump. Many horsemen would ask Kim why she purchased such a big horse that was such a bad mover. Once they saw him jump they had their answer. “Known as the most spoiled horse I knew,” Jack Towell commented on the mutual dedication Kim and Gershwin had for each other. “I think that horse was grateful for her being like that—A lot of them are.” ‘Jerry’ was retired at the age of fifteen in 2009. The Amateur Owner ring never knew such a consistent jumper that maintained his competitiveness and winning ways without ever entering most under saddle classes.
Lennox was a black Hanoverian gelding that Sandra Brown purchased from Wilhelm Genn. Sandra recalls that he was a 4th level dressage horse, and once she learned which buttons to push, he came along quite easily. Lennox and Sandra split their time between her family horse farm, Quail Glen in Southern Pines, NC, and her farm in Newtown Square, PA. Sandra showed Lennox exclusively in the Amateur Owner Hunter division from 2000-2007. During their years together he won 65 championships, including championships at Jacksonville, Atlanta Spring and Fall Classic, Quentin Fall, Maryland Horse and Pony, St Christopher’s, State College, Middlesex, Monmouth County, Queen City Classic, Blowing Rock, and Aiken Spring. In addition he was Grand Amateur Owner Champion at the Biltmore Summer Classic several times, Gulfcoast Winter Classic Circuit Champion, 2002 champion at Devon (winning three jumping classes with 30 horses in the division), 2003 reserve champion at Devon, and 2003 reserve champion at the National Horse Show. Professionals who helped Lennox along the way included Tod Wisetarvan, Holli Adams, Joanne Copeland, Chuck Keller, Joey Darby, John Mastriano, and Randy Mullins. Holli Adams said, ”It was an honor and privilege helping Sandra and Lennox. He was all business, I remember him being a cheeky little horse with a huge presence.” Sandra officially retired from competing in the hunter/jumper world in 2007, but she said Lennox wasn’t one to retire quietly. She leased him as a children’s hunter for several years, and he fully retired from horse showing in 2012. When pressed for a quote about her time with Lennox, Sandra said simply, “I’ve had a lot of horses over my career, and Lennox never let me down.”
Lyphard Cay was a Thoroughbred, bred and foaled at Fairview Farms in Tryon, NC, in 1983. Tony Wallace, head trainer at Fairview Farm, sent him to Dave Kelly as a four-year-old, recognizing he would make a better show horse than race horse. Tim Grubb started him in the First Year Green Working Hunter division for then owner Marilla Van Beuren. Dave Kelly then persuaded Sherry Robertson to buy him in a deal she could not refuse. Early on she had Michael Matz ride him in the jumpers, but he had a difficult lead change. Using what Sherry called “the Dave Kelly technique,” Sherry was able to finish the change herself, and after that he was never ridden by anyone else again. Nicknamed ‘Piggy’ for how he enjoyed making a mess in his stall, Sherry reported that he was quite the character; he could be mean on the ground but once you got on him he was all business. Highlights of his Amateur Owner career included champion or reserve at the 1992 Pennsylvania National Horse Show and the National Horse Show, 1993 champion at the Washington International Horse Show and National Horse Show and 1995 champion at Devon. He was champion at the Autumn Classic, Cleveland Hunter Jumper Classic, Garden State, Greater Cincinnati Classic, Lake Placid, Tampa, and two-time WEF Circuit Champion. In 1997 Lyphard Cay’s last show was at WEF, where true to his style he won a class. According to Sherry, “He was never formally retired. He spent his retirement at my farm in Edgemont, PA…living like a show horse, turned out each day and groomed when he came in.”
Patriot’s Way ‘Paddy’ was bred in Spartanburg, SC, and was undefeated as a two and three-year-old when shown on the line by Kenny Wheeler from 1975-1977. Lee Reynolds of Tantara Farm in Clemmons, NC, showed him from 1981-1985 in the Amateur Owner and Regular Conformation Hunter divisions. Paddy was champion at Devon, The National Horse Show at Madison Square Garden, and the Pennsylvania National Horse Show. Lee recalls he was undefeatable when he was good; on one streak he won every class at five shows in a row. He was ranked 4th in the nation in the Amateur Owners for two years, Zone Champion for five years, and NCHJA Champion for five years. He retired the TR&HC and Tryon Hounds Amateur Owner Hunter trophies. ‘Paddy’ was a standout Thoroughbred of his time, always showing classic hunter athleticism and style.
Maryann Steiert Charles has been winning classes at top hunter shows since she was a child. She grew up riding with her father, hunter/jumper rider A.A. Steiert, in Pennsylvania. In the late 60s, she began riding ponies for Debbie Buchanan and eventually moved to Virginia to work with Walter “Jimmy” Lee. As a junior, Maryann competed against and often beat legendary riders such as Katie Monahan Prudent, Leslie Burr Howard and Buddy Brown. It was not unusual for her to be champion or reserve at a horse show, including the Devon Horse Show and indoors, on multiple horses and ponies. In the early 70s, some of her notable accomplishments included Best Child Rider at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, champion Small Pony Hunter at the AHSA Pony Finals and the Devon Horse Show on Liseter Gold Coin, champion at Devon in the Large Junior Hunters on Hopper Grass, and champion at the Washington International Horse Show in the Large Junior Hunters on Hopper Grass as well as in the Small Junior Hunters on Blue Hour. In 1970 Maryann rode one of her favorite horses, You Watch, to 4th place in the AHSA Medal Final. Having just finished showing a small pony she was still wearing jodhpurs. In 1971 and 1972 Maryann and You Watch were Grand Junior Hunter Champion at the Upperville Horse Show. As a young professional, Maryann continued to win. In 1976 Take a Listen, owned by Jimmy Lee and ridden by Maryann, was AHSA Horse of the Year in the Green Working Hunters. In 1988, Maryann and Belcourt Farm’s Scot To Do were Conformation Hunter champion at the Devon Horse Show as well as champion and Grand Hunter Champion at the National Horse Show. During the 80s Maryann moved to Southern Pines. After relocating she won the three-year old International Hunter Futurity twice – once with Ed Minchin’s horse The Wizard and then with Ginny Moss’s horse Winning Ways. In 1990 she won the International Jumper Futurity on The Wizard. According to Ed Minchin, “The horses all liked Maryann. She gave them confidence.” Maryann now owns Skyline Farm in Southern Pines and trains the Gaither family out of their Fox View Farm. Maryann continues to show and win but nowadays it’s usually on a jumper such as FVF Sailor Man.
For 50 years Pat Dodson has had a prominent impact on the North Carolina horse show scene. Pat grew up in the Raleigh-Durham area and began riding at the age of ten. His professional riding and teaching career began at Hunter’s Isle Farm in Hillsborough, NC in the late 60s. His next stop was at Quail Roost Farm in Rougemont, NC, where he trained both juniors and amateurs for the hunter ring. With great success, he had multiple horses qualify and participate at indoors. While at Hunter’s Isle and Quail Roost, Pat was an avid fox hunter who whipped in and worked for both the Red Mountain Hounds and Sedgefield Hunt. Pat joined forces with Keith Hastings and relocated to Clemmons, NC, to begin their business at Cedar Hollow Farm. In 1980 they established Clouds Harbor Farm. In addition to teaching, Pat also enjoyed raising young horses and started a breeding program standing the stallion Absolut’. Absolut’ was the leading sire in the nation for many years and was a top contender in the International Hunter Futurity with his offspring. Clouds Harbor over the years has had many state, regional, and national pony champions. Thyme and Devil’s River were both AHSA Ponies of the Year. Thyme was champion at Devon, the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, and Washington International Horse Show all in the same year. Other notable ponies that qualified for year-end shows included Shenandoah Waterford, The Prep, Center Shot, Quincy, Lord Fairchild, Disco Duck, Chimes, Rain or Shine, Roads Untraveled, Go For The Gold, and Millpond’s Sugar and Spice. Junior Hunters that trained and went to indoors with Clouds Harbor included After Dark, Ragtime, Union Hill, Plum Lane, A Current Affair, North Bay, Rendezvous, Notoriety, Simply Said, and Arch Angel. Pat trained many riders through the junior and equitation ranks including Lucinda McIver, Susan Edwards, Amanda Lyerly, Daniel Geitner, Elizabeth Lineberger Tarumianz, Eliza Shuford, Cortney Hill Stallings, and Kitt Ritter El Jebarri. Amateur Owner horses who qualified and participated at indoors included Free Union, Special Occasion,Glenlevit, Guess, Bocelli, Tenacious, and Galllagher. Today Pat is a USEF R judge and judges all over the country. The NCHJA has named Pat “Horseman of the Year” numerous times. Part of Pat’s great legacy are his riders who went on to become professionals, such as Ada Cosby, Amanda Lyerly, Vicki Nowell Autry, Daniel Geitner, Eliza Shuford, and Elizabeth Eubanks. Most importantly, however, according to those who know Pat well, Pat is a true horseman who loves his horses.
Lee Reynolds Heelan
Lee Reynolds Heelan began riding in Clemmons, NC, and has a career spanning decades with much success as a junior, amateur, and professional rider. Lee has literally won all over the country. On Patriot’s Way, whom she showed from 1981-1984, she was champion at Devon, the National Horse Show at Madison Square Garden, and the Pennsylvania National Horse Show in either the Amateur Owner or Regular Conformation Hunter Divisions. Other winning hunters Lee rode were Ides of March, her junior hunter, and more recently, Pescado, with whom she was nationally ranked in the Amateur Owners for several years, and again was champion all over the country. Lee was also a very successful jumper rider, who competed Agedoorn at the Grand Prix level. Lee remembers, “We won two and were never out of the money for the twelve years we competed together.” The Agedoorn Trophy was awarded to the Grand Prix winner at the TR&HC Annual Horse Show for many years. Lee served on the TR&HC Board and was Chairman of the TR&HC Horse Shows for six years. Lee, a NCHJA life member and judge, served on the NCHJA Board & Rules Committee and was named the North Carolina Hunter Jumper Association Horseman of the Year in 1985.
Maria M. Reynolds
Marie M. Reynolds was an active presence in the show hunter world for over 30 years. She lived in Dobson, NC, at Long Creek Farm, and then moved to Southern Pines where she made her home at The Paddock for the last 20 years of her life with her husband Josh and a host of horses and dogs. Marie was an avid and successful horsewoman, as both an owner and rider. Marie won in the Amateur Owner Hunters at top competitions including the National Horse Show at Madison Square Garden and The Forum in Los Angeles, California. Additionally, she won at all of the Carolinas shows including the TR&HC Charity Horse Show first at Harmon Field and then at FENCE. Among her most successful show hunters were War Apple, Puddlejumper, Ninth Wave, Sunshot, Snicklefritz, Homegrown, and Cat Can Do. In 1993, while fighting a courageous battle with cancer, she continued riding and finished 2nd overall in the NCHJA standings. Marie passed away in January 1994. Her farm, The Paddock, was a haven for many of the nation’s top horsemen including Katie Prudent, Don Stewart, Ronnie Beard, Gigi Gaston, and a host of young riders. According to Burr Collier, Marie was “not only a great horsemen…she was an inspiration to many and made an indelible impact on everyone fortunate enough to know her.” Marie was a generous supporter of horse shows, including but not limited to Blowing Rock, Keswick, and The National. Almost 25 years after her death, The Richard J. Reynolds and Marie M. Reynolds Foundation continues to make a positive impact on the sport of show hunters in the Carolinas. Their foundation has made several substantial gifts to the Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show Foundation as well as a gift to The Aiken Horse Park Foundation (Bruce’s Field). According to Cathy Schlaeppi, current Vice President of NCHJA, “Marie Reynolds was one of the nicest, most fascinating, funny women I have ever met. She and her horses were always beautifully turned out and amazing…she was a great horsewoman.”
Elma Garcia Award
Awarded to an exemplary Adult Amateur/Children’s Hunter
Meg Atkinson first saw Happy Hour at a schooling show in Aiken, SC. As a five-year-old 15.1hand “Thoroughbred cross,” he didn’t fit the mold of a classic show hunter, but Meg thought, ”Well, if nothing else he will make a great practice horse.” Early in his career it became apparent that he was a little horse with a big heart, and his career got under way as an adult hunter. With trainers Daniel and Cathy Geitner at ringside supporting the effort, Happy Hour was champion again and again. He was champion at Aiken Spring Classic, Atlanta Spring and Summer Classics, River Glen Fall Gathering, Tryon Classic, Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show, LP Tate Spring Classic, and the TR&HC Charity Summer shows. Throughout his career he won the TR&HC Will Do Grand Adult Hunter Champion Trophy, TR&HC Barbara Jimenez Adult Hunter Perpetual Trophy, Classic Company Horse of the Year John Deere Gator, EMO High Point Adult Hunter Champion, and the USEF Zone Horse of the Year. Happy Hour moved to Tryon and trained with Holli Adams where he continued his winning ways till he retired from showing in 2012. Meg remembers ‘Marti’ fondly: “It was an honor to walk into the ring on a horse that so consistently delivered winning classic hunter rounds. He proved that when given a chance, the not-so-typical horse can beat the odds.”
Just Matt, a Thoroughbred gelding by Our Diplomat, has been owned by Alison and Peyton Thorp since 2003. From 2003-2015 ‘Matt’ was shown primarily by Alison, winning too many ribbons to count. He was also shown a few times by Alison’s daughter Peyton as well as professionals Liza Boyd and Daniel Geitner. During his twelve year show career ‘Matt’ proved to be a versatile horse. He was successful in the Pre-Adults, Pre-Greens, First Year Greens, Amateur Owners, Adult Amateurs, and Children’s Hunters. ‘Matt’ was champion and reserve champion in the First Year Greens in Ocala, and won top ribbons at Devon in both the First Year Greens and the 3’3″ Amateur Owners. Furthermore, he won top ribbons at WEF in the 3’3″ Amateur Owners. ‘Matt’ did the majority of his showing in the 3′ divisions. He was a master in the Adult Amateur and Children’s Hunter divisions. Some of the shows he was champion or reserve champion in the Adult Amateur or Children’s Hunters were at HITS, WEF, Aiken Spring Classic, the Atlanta Classic Shows, the Aiken PSJ Shows, the SCHJA Show, Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show, and the TR&HC Horse Show, where he was Grand Adult Hunter Champion and winner of the Director’s Trophy in 2007. ‘Matt’ retired from showing in 2015. According to Alison, “He is turned out in Camden, enjoying the good life.”
Que Sera was a chestnut Hanoverian gelding foaled in 1991 and owned by Bruce Duchossois. Bruce bought ‘KC’ in 2002 from Derek Braun, who had successfully shown ‘KC’ in the Small Junior Hunters. ‘KC’ was stabled for years at Bruce’s H ’n D Stables in Aiken, SC. He had an outstanding show record with Bruce in the Adult Amateur Hunters. In 2004, one of their most successful years, they were champion or reserve champion several weeks in Wellington, both weeks of the Aiken Spring Classic, both weeks of Biltmore, both weeks of the Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show, and capped off the year with reserve champion at the National Horse Show. With Bruce as his owner and rider, ‘KC’ was champion or reserve champion more than 45 times. According to Havens Schatt, “‘KC’ was tried and true. He was a perfect Adult Hunter for Bruce.” ‘KC’ was retired in 2010.