Gem Twist to be Inducted into Show Jumping Hall of
Ceremony at 2003 Budweiser American Invitational
FLMarch 21, 2003Tampa area show jumping fans will have
a rare opportunity on Saturday evening, March 29, when show jumping
superstar Gem Twist returns to Tampa, scene of some of his greatest
victories, for the 2003 Budweiser American Invitational.
Twist will return not as a competitor, but as a distinguished guest
when he is honored with induction into the Show Jumping Hall of
Fame during a special ceremony to be held that evening.
by Michael Golden, Gem was bred and trained by another Show Jumping
Hall of Famer, Frank Chapot, and was ridden by Greg Best, Leslie
Howard and Laura Chapot.
Twist, formally retired at the National Horse Show at Madison Square
Garden on November 1, 1997, has an incredible list of victories
as long as that of any horse. In addition to nine years worth
of grand prix wins, Gem earned two Silver Medals at the Seoul Olympics
in 1988 and was named Worlds Best Horse at the
World Equestrian Games in Stockholm, Sweden in 1990. Twist also
accumulated more than $800,000 in prize money and attracted purchase
offers of $2.5 million.
is the only horse to have won three American Grandprix Association
(AGA) Horse of the Year titles. Gem Twist won the American Grandprix
Associations championship with three different riders: Best
in 1987, Howard in 1993, and Chapot in 1995.
1987, Gem and Best both made their grand prix debut in Tampa where
they stunned the show jumping world with a win in this debut, topping
a star-studded field in the Grand Prix of Tampa. Seven days later,
they repeated this feat winning their second grand prix ever, the
Grand Prix of Florida, also held at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center
and Best also had victories in two other major events in Tampa
in the Budweiser AGA Championship in 1987 and the Budweiser American
Invitational in 1989. Gem Twist and Best repeated their Grand Prix
of Tampa win in 1992. In 1987, Gem captured AGA Horse of the Year
honors and Best won Rookie of the Year. That year also included
a team Silver Medal at the Pan American Games.
high point in the partnership between Best and Gem Twist came when
the pair represented the United States at the 1988 Olympic Games
in Seoul, Korea, where they came away with team and individual Silver
to Bests shoulder injury in 1992, Leslie Burr Howard became
Gems rider. Howard continued as Gems rider for two more
years winning many prestigious competitions including Gems
second AGA Championship and third AGA Horse of the Year award.
Chapot took over the reins in 1995. That year Laura and Gem won
the World Cup class at the $100,000 Autumn Classic, helping to propel
the young rider to Budweiser Rookie of the Year honors. Laura also
rode Gem to his third win in the Budweiser American Grandprix Association
the 1995-1996 season, Gem and Chapot won three World Cup qualifying
classes and placed well at several other competitions. Their win
in the final World Cup class at Tampa was over the largest starting
field ever with 80 horses. This clinched Laura the World Cup USA
East League Championship and was a fitting win at the close of Gems
career at the site of his first Grand Prix win with Best nine years
being inducted into the Show Jumping Hall of Fame at this years
Budweiser American Invitational along with Gem Twist is Calypso,
who claimed one the most dramatic victories ever at the Budweiser
American Invitational in 1982. Also to be inducted are Harry R.
Gill and Clarence L. Honey Craven.
1987, the Show Jumping Hall of Fame, located in Busch Gardens in
Tampa, 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, Untouchable (2001).
for the Budweiser American Invitational, March 29, Saturday, at
Raymond James Stadium are available at Ticket Master (813) 287-8844
or at Stadium Jumping (877) 909-9436. The $200,000 Budweiser American
Invitational begins at 7:00 PM.