Show Jumping Hall of Fame Honors New Inductees
RELEASE: April 8, 2009
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Michelle Riggs
The Show Jumping Hall of Fame held its annual induction ceremony at the Budweiser American Invitational at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL, on Saturday evening, April 4. Honored with induction were Dr. John Steele and the horses Abdullah, Miss Budweiser and Riviera Wonder.
Induction into the Show Jumping Hall of Fame is a great honor bestowed annually upon select individuals whose contribution to the sport has set them apart from others and whose influence has had a significant impact on the world of show jumping. The new inductees will join the pervious 61 inductees enshrined into the Show Jumping Hall of Fame.
All four inductees have had a significant impact on the equestrian community during their many decades of involvement, and their talents and efforts have now been formally recognized. It is because of their contributions that the Election Committee, composed of some of the nation's top riders, trainers and officials, chose to honor them with induction. Dr. John Steele
Dr. John Steele, DVM, has been responsible for the care of some of this country's top show jumping horses. Owners of world-famous mounts such as Beezie Madden's partner Authentic, with whom she won three Olympic medals, including Team Gold at both the 2004 and 2008 Games; the legendary Gem Twist, who carried rider Greg Best to double Silver medals at the 1988 Olympic Games, and Anne Kursinski's Olympic partner Eros, with whom she won Team Silver in 1996, entrusted their horses' care to Dr. Steele.
One could say that rather than Dr. Steele finding his way into the show jumping world, the show jumping world found him. Following his graduation from Cornell University, Dr. Steele developed a very successful practice specializing in Standardbred racehorses which he maintained from 1965-1985. In 1985, John and Beezie Madden and Michelle Grubb, aware of his reputation with Standardbreds, recruited Dr. Steele to evaluate some of their most prized show jumping horses. From there, Dr. Steele's career on the show jumping circuit exploded and quickly began to encompass some of the biggest names in the sport.
Riders and trainers such as Beezie and John Madden, Anne Kursinski, Susie Schoellkopf and Missy Clark all involved Dr. Steele in the care of their horses. Dr. Steele has cared for horses at some of the nation's most prestigious horse shows, including the Budweiser American Invitational, Winter Equestrian Festival, Hampton Classic, Lake Placid Horse Shows, Pennsylvania National and the Syracuse Invitational Sporthorse Tournament. He has also gone with clients to such international events as Spruce Meadows in Canada to perform pre-purchase veterinary exams. He has had an impact on the heath of some of the country's most important equine athletes, whose success can be attributed, at least in part, to Dr. Steele's work.Abdullah
Abdullah was one of the most successful horses the show jumping world has ever seen. His illustrious career was highlighted by his standout performances at the 1984 Olympic Games, 1985 World Cup Final and 1986 World Championships.
Abdullah was purchased by Terry and Sue Williams as a three-year-old stallion as an event and breeding prospect. The striking grey Trakehner stallion soon showed his propensity for show jumping after a successful dressage and eventing career.
Abdullah embarked on a show jumping career that saw him carry riders Conrad Homfeld, Joe Fargis and Debbie Shaffner to great grand prix success, three World Cup Finals, and spots on U.S. teams at CSIOs in Europe. However, it was with Homfeld in the irons that he put together his incredible three-year stretch that ranks among show jumping's most memorable.
First came his double-medal performance at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. Homfeld rode Abdullah to a clear round in the team competition to help clinch the United States