Equitation Greats 1982-1994
Starting in 1982, the junior equitation divisions entered a new 3-final era. The creation of the Talent Search in 1982 immediately caught on with the equitation community. For the next decade, participation in equitation would continue to grow in popularity, ultimately leading to more expansion with the creation of the WIHS Equitation Classic in 1992, soon followed by the North American Equitation Championship in 1995.
To determine the greats of this era, lists every single horse and rider who won a ribbon between 1982-1994 was recorded. Mathematical equations or simple calculations were used to determine the greats in each category. We established specific, common sense criteria, as noted with each list. Below are summary lists of great riders, horses and partnerships, based on our mathematical calculations.
In determining the best equitation riders we fine-tuned the calculations by awarding a sliding scale of points for the following: 1) champion placings, 2) reserve champion placings, 3) third and fourth placings and 4) ribbons fifth through tenth, and 5) total # of ribbons won. To appear on the list riders had to win a minimum of one final.
We also awarded bonus points to riders for any or all of the following on a sliding scale of importance as follows: 1) championships at both the Medal and Maclay; 2) champion or reserve at all three finals; 3) at least one champion and one reserve champion or better at any two finals; 3) a ribbon in all three; 4) a ribbon in both the Medal and Maclay; and 5) a USET Gold Medal. No rider won all three, so we did not include that criteria. We weighted the three finals equally in calculating results.
A few notes about our calculations: We did not include Washington results 1992-1994, since this would unfairly skew the results against riders from earlier years. Some riders continued competing after 1994, and for those years we included the three finals, but not the Washington or North American. Those riders who earned ribbons at the Medal and Maclay prior to 1982 did have those results included.
While we have researched extensively to locate class results, our results from this era are not complete. So the calculation is based on what we have; it’s probably quite accurate, since we do have the names of all winners, but there might be minor shuffling of the ranking if all we were able to complete our archive someday. If you can help us find additional results, please contact us.
© Caraneen Smith & MedalMaclay.com, all rights reserved. Do not republish, reproduce or copy without permission.
Equitation Greats - Riders 1982-1994
Based on wins and ribbons at all finals; all ribbons earned, with wins and better ribbons given more weight. The Medal, Maclay, and Talent Search are weighted equally. Bonus points are awarded to riders who won the coveted Medal-Maclay “double” win.
Honorable mention goes to several "reserve" champions who finished second multiple times and would have otherwise appeared on the list: Aaron Vale (3), Carlee McKay (2), Chris Kappler (2), Samantha Darling (2), Alex Warriner (2), and Michaela Murphy (2).
Equitation Greats - Horses 1982-1994
Finding the names of equitation horses in results and news articles is difficult, but we've pieced together as best we can the various horses ridden to finals ribbons during this twelve year span. As always, we welcome input if you know more results for any of the horses listed below and we'll update their count.
Although we've listed these horses together and used an equation to calculate their score, some of the horses who competed from 1992 on had more opportunities for ribbons due to the new finals. So a horse like Pik Trump II had a few additional opportunities that Glen Owen didn't get.
Which is the best? Your call! We didn't "number" the horses on purpose since we don't have complete results and a few horses showed in extra finals in the 90s. Nonetheless, this list certainly gives you an idea of the success of these top horses with many riders. They were the first generation of equitation specialists!
Score = wins + ribbons won + longevity + number of different riders + number of winning riders
Equitation Greats - Multiple Finals Ribbon Winners 1982-1995
The following riders won ribbons at multiple finals as noted:
ALL THREE - CHAMPION/RES
FRANCESCA MAZELLA - 2 CH, 1 RES
KAREN NIELSEN - 1 CH, 2 RES
RICHARD SPOONER - 1 CH, 2 RES
MEREDITH TAYLOR - 1 CH, 2 RES
AARON VALE - 3 RES
CHAMPION AT 2 OF 3
RIBBONS ALL THREE
SANDY VAN DYKE