Show Jumping Hall of Fame Honors 2003 Inductees
FLApril 5, 2004The Show Jumping Hall of Fame conducted
its annual induction ceremonies during the intermission at the Budweiser
American Invitational on Saturday, April 3, at Raymond James Stadium
in Tampa, FL. J. Russell Stewart, Sr. and Main Spring were inducted
into the Show Jumping Hall of Fame. They join 52 previous inductees
whose contributions to the sport set them apart and earned them
the honor of enshrinement in the Show Jumping Hall of Fame.
J. Russell Stewart, Sr. was born in Albany, NY, in 1926. He began
riding at age 11, and though he had no formal training, subsequently
began showing successfully in the jumper divisions. By the time
he returned to New York after serving in the army during World War
II, he was well recognized for his riding and training abilities.
During the 1940s and 50s, Stewart continued to hone his self-taught
riding skills and he made a name for himself in the jumper ring
with such well known horses as My Play Boy, on whom he earned the
1941 AHSA Open Jumper Championship.
In 1961, Stewart took over the management of Coosaw Farms and Airy
Hall Plantation in South Carolina for Mr. and Mrs. Albert Love of
Atlanta, GA. While there he continued to train hunters and jumpers
into the early 1970s, having much success with horses such as Big
John and Blue Plum.
Stewart had great success with Blue Plum, winning numerous classes,
including a Puissance at Hot Springs, VA, and the Grand Prix at
the Pennsylvania National Horse Show. Stewarts success with
Blue Plum led to his being purchased by Bertram Firestone who then
loaned him to the U.S. Equestrian Team.
Stewart also teamed with Grey Ghost to win the 1964 and 1965 Open
Speed Stakes at the National Horse Show in Madison Square Garden
in dramatic fashion.
It was during the mid-60s that Stewart accomplished the feat
for which he is best known: three consecutive wins in the National
Horse Shows famed Puissance Stake. Stewart first rode Airy
Halls 17-hand brown gelding, Dear Brutus, to capture the win
in 1965. The duo followed up with another Puissance win in 1966,
leaping to a then-record height of 71. To retire the
Chrysler Imperial Challenge Trophy in 1967, Stewart and Dear Brutus
bettered their previous years jump by two inches, claiming
victory for the third time in a row and setting National Horse Show
and U.S. records. The pairs record held until 1973.
Stewart moved to Christimar Farms in Santa Barbara, CA, in 1971.
Two years later, he rode Grey Chief to win the AHSA Open Jumper
Championship. Grey Chief was also named Horse of the Year later
that year. Stewart and Grey Chief also won the $10,000 World Championship
Jumper Class held at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, CA, in 1974.
During his tenure, Stewart led Christimars entries to victory
in 14 out of 17 High Score Championships offered on the Pacific
Besides his numerous show jumping successes, Stewart also had many
great accomplishments in the hunter ring, winning multiple AHSA
Hunter Championships throughout his career.
Because of his noted achievements in the various hunter and jumper
disciplines, Stewart was selected as the AHSA Horseman of the Year
in 1974. He was later honored as the California Professional Horsemens
Association Horseman of the Year in 1985. Stewart retired in 1986,
ending his nearly half-century-long career. His legacy of success
in the hunter/jumper world was carried on by his son, J. Russell
Rusty Stewart, Jr.
Main Spring, a Canadian-bred gelding owned by the late William D.
Billy Haggard, III, was the second outstanding mount
Haggard loaned to the United States Equestrian Team during the 1960s
and 70s following the retirement of Bold Minstrel. Purchased
by Haggard after a sensational National Horse Show debut in 1971
under Rodney Jenkins, Main Spring went on to chalk up many international
victories under the piloting of Show Jumping Hall of Famers, William
Steinkraus and Frank Chapot.
Perhaps his most memorable career highlight came in Munich in 1972
in his role as backup to the 1968 Gold Medalist, Snowbound. When
the latter sustained a leg injury in the individual competition
of the Games, Steinkraus went on to compete Main Spring in the team
event and turned in the best overall score of the day in the Nations
Cup, producing one of only three clear rounds in the entire event.
The duo helped the U.S. team win the Silver Medal, finishing a mere
.25 faults behind the Gold Medal-winning Federal Republic of Germany.
Following the Olympics, Steinkraus and Main Spring went on to help
the United States clinch three Nations Cup wins on the fall circuit
at the end of 1972, when they came away with victories at Harrisburg,
New York, and Toronto. The year also included wins in the Gubelin
Preis at Lucerne and the Munchner Versicherung at Aachen as well
as the Grand Prix of Toronto. Steinkraus also rode Main Spring to
two victories at the National Horse Show in Madison Square Garden,
winning the Volco Trophy and the Stake, and also to the International
Individual Championship in Harrisburg.
After Steinkraus retired at the end of 1972, Main Spring acquired
a new partner in Steinkrauss teammate Frank Chapot. Main Spring
and Chapot aided the U.S. team to two Nations Cup victories that
year one in Washington and one in Toronto. They also emerged
victorious in the Grand Prix of Toronto. Nationally, Chapot and
Main Spring won the Volco Trophy at the National Horse Show as well
as the Bonus Class in Washington.
The highlight of Main Springs partnership with Chapot came
in 1974 when the pair earned the individual Bronze Medal at the
Show Jumping World Championships in Hickstead, England. That same
year, they won the prestigious King George V Gold Cup in London
and helped the United States clinch victory in the Nations Cup competition
in New York. For the second year in a row, Chapot rode Main Spring
to the win in the Grand Prix of Toronto. Following Steinkrauss
win with the horse there in 1972, this win marked the third consecutive
year that Main Spring had earned the title in that prestigious Grand
Prix, serving as a fitting finish to a successful career.
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
OMeara and Frances Row (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, Richard
Dick Donnelly and Heatherbloom (1996); Edward Ned
King, Bobby Egan and Sun Beau (1997); Fred Freddy Wettach,
Jr., Melanie Smith Taylor and Johnny Bell (1998); Rodney Jenkins,
Sinjon, Franklin F. Fuddy Wing, Jr. and Democrat (1999);
George Morris, Carol Durand and Touch of Class (2000); Eugene R.
Mische, Lt. Colonel John W. Russell, Bobby Burke, and Untouchable
(2001); Harry R. Gill, Clarence L. Honey Craven, Calypso
and Gem Twist (2002).
further information about the Show Jumping Hall of Fame and Museum,
please visit the Hall of Fame website at www.showjumpinghalloffame.net.