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Equitation Greats 1950-1981

This second era of equitation produced many of the professionals who would come to shape the equitation division throughout the rest of the 20th century and continuing into the current era. These thirty-one years produced many of the top professional riders and trainers who still actively participate in the sport. Similar to our list of greats from 1933-1949, we did a simple grouping of the most accomplished riders according to finals results, not attempting to differentiate between the accomplishments between riders in each tier.

The first tier of double winners is full of equitation and showjumping royalty. At the age of 14, George Morris (pictured above) was the first and remains the youngest "double" winner of the Medal and Maclay Finals as we know them (prior to 1950, the Medal was points-based). Morris went on to a successful showjumping career, including a team gold medal at the 1959 Pan-American games and team silver in the 1960 Rome Olympics with fellow equitation champion, William Steinkraus. Morris became the authority on all things equitation, first becoming a successful equitation trainer himself, then publishing the "Bible" of the sport, Hunter Seat Equitation, in 1971. As of 2018, he remains the top authority on equitation, frequently lecturing, performing clinics and training, judging and commentating, and writing about the division.

We didn’t include the USET Equitation Challenge/Combined Test (a forerunner of the USET/Talent Search Finals of 1982-on) in our results and lists of riders below; it was offered from 1955-1963. That said, it’s worth mentioning that in 1955 Wilson Dennehy won all three. While Brianne Goutal did win all three over the course of 2004-2005, Dennehy remains the only rider to win all three “finals” in one year. Interestingly, in our research we uncovered that Chrystine Jones, the 1965 double winner helped shape the current iteration of the USET Finals, when she worked hard to get them established in 1982; another example of a former equitation rider shaping the division for the generations to follow.

Only three years after winning the Medal-Maclay double in 1960, Mary Mairs Chapot, was winning internationally for the United States Equestrian Team. She won the individual gold and team gold medals at the 1963 Pan-American Games held in Sao Paulo, Brazil. In 1967, she won team silver at the same event held in Winnipeg, Canada. She represented the US on 22 Nations Cups teams over the course of her career. With her husband and fellow rider, Frank Chapot, she had two daughters, Wendy and Laura. They are one of a few top “equitation families” with success over the course of generations. In this case, 100% of the family members won ribbons at equitation finals - both parents were winners and both daughters earned ribbons! Another equitation family were Ronnie and Hugh Mutch - both who competed and won within this era of equitation, father Ronnie at the very beginning in the early 1950s, and son Hugh in the late 1970s.

Beyond this, the list is filled with several successful grand prix show jumpers. At the 1984 Olympics, Conrad Homfeld won team gold and individual silver medals. Katie Monahan Prudent is a Hall-of-Fame show jumper having had a long, successful career; her equitation years were a preview of her constant hard work and persistence. She catch-rode her way to the top, and began winning finals ribbons as a youngster. Over the course of nine(!!!) years from 1964-1972 she earned six finals ribbons - finally winning the 1972 Medal to go with her 1969 Maclay.

In total, there were sixty-two championships awarded over this thirty-one year period. The top riders really dominated, and 40% of those championships were awarded to those “double” winners. Even more interesting is that all of the winners were really consistent in multiple classes with 85% winning a championship plus one or more additional ribbons.

George H Morris 1952
Wilson Dennehy 1955 (also 4th Maclay 1954)
Wendy Hanson 1958 Maclay, 1959 Medal
Mary Mairs 1960
Bernard Traurig 1961
Carol Altmann 1962 (also 6th Maclay 1960)
Chrystine Jones 1965
Conrad Homfeld 1967 (also 3rd Maclay 1966)
Brooke Hodgson 1968 (also 4th Maclay 1966, 6th Maclay 1967)
Fred Bauer, 1969 Medal, 1970 Maclay (4th Maclay 1969)
Katie Monahan 1969 Maclay, 1972 Medal (also 7th Medal 1964, 7th Medal 1967, Res Ch Maclay 1968, 3 Medal 1969)
Frances Steinwedell 1976 Medal, 1977 Maclay
Laura Tidball 1980 Maclay, 1981 Medal

Victor Hugo-Vidal 1950 Res Ch Maclay, 1951 Ch Medal
Cynthia Stone 1952 Res Ch Medal, 1953 Ch Medal, Res Ch Maclay
Glenna Lee Maduro 1952 Maclay Res Ch, 1953 Maclay Ch
J Michael Plumb 1955 Res Ch Maclay, 1957 Res Ch Medal, 1957 Ch Maclay
Hank Minchin 1959 Res Ch Medal, Ch Maclay
Rita Timpanaro 1963 Res Ch Maclay, 1966 Ch Medal
James Kohn 1964 Ch Medal, Res Maclay
Fred Bauer 1969 Medal, 1970 Maclay
James Hulick 1970 Ch Medal, 1970 & 1971 Res Ch Maclay
Leslie Burr 1972 Ch Maclay, 1974 Res Ch Medal
Robin Ann Rost 1972 & 1973 Res Ch Maclay, 1974 Ch Medal
Buddy Brown 1973 Maclay Ch, 1972 Medal Res Ch
Hugh Mutch 1977 Res Ch Medal, 1978 Ch Maclay
Lisa Castellucci 1979 & 1980 Res Ch Maclay, 1981 Ch Maclay

Ronnie Mutch 1950-1952
Mark Leone 1977-1980

Cynthia Hankins 1970-75
Debbie Wilson 1964-66
G Baker “Skipper” Schroeder 1950-51
Joan Scharffenberger 1979-80
Katharine Burdsall 1974-75
Mary Gay Huffard 1948-1950
Michael Page 1954-56

Alex Dunaif 1973-74
Barbara Friedemann 1955-56
Gary Young 1970-71
Margaret McGinn 1950-54
Michael del Balso 1957
Michael Sasso 1977-78
Susan White 1958

Anna Jane White 1971
Colette Lozins 1976
Elizabeth Sheehan 1977
Joy Slater 1971
Lane Schultz 1964
Michael Patrick 1973
Ronnie Martini 1954
Stephanie Steck 1963
Wendy Mairs 1963

Sara Ann Cavanagh 6
Joannah C Hall 5
John Strohmeier 4
Ned Hancock 4
Alison Cram 3
Ann C Voorhees 3
Cara Beigel 3
Carol Hoffman 3
Debbie Willson 3
Debra Baldi 3
Elizabeth "Bunny" French 3
Gene Grisby 3
Helen Horner 3
Ruthann Bowers 3

Continue to:

Equitation Greats 1995 onward 

Equitation Greats 1982 - 1994

Equitation Greats 1950 - 1981

Equitation Greats 1933 - 1949

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