Articles: Press Release
Show Jumping Legend Gem Twist Euthanized
United States Equestrian Federation, Inc.
4047 Iron Works Parkway
Lexington, KY 40511-8483
Tel: (859) 258-2472
Fax (859) 231-6662
Web site: www.usef.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 22, 2006
Lexington, KY-It is the horse that binds all equestrians, and it is with
sadness that the United States Equestrian Federation(r) (USEF) announces
the passing of one of the country's most admired competition horses that
not only inspired countless fans of show jumping, but left a legacy for
generations to come.
Gem Twist, highly-regarded as one of the world's best show jumpers, was
euthanized on Saturday, November 18, due to "infirmities of old age."
Gem Twist was 27 years old.
The gray gelding was bred at Chado Farms in Neshanic Station, NJ, by
Frank Chapot and his family. The American Thoroughbred's sire was Good
Twist and his dam was Coldly Noble, by Noble Jay. The stunning mount
rose to worldwide fame in the 1980s through a magnificent series of
In 1987, Gem Twist was ridden by veteran show jumper Greg Best to a
Silver-medal Team victory at the Pan American Games in Indianapolis, IN.
That year, the pair also took the title of American Grandprix
Association's champion. In his long career, Gem Twist carried three
riders in total to the title-Best in 1987, Leslie Burr Howard in 1993,
and Laura Chapot in 1995.
The year following his first Pan American medal, Gem Twist shone at the
1988 Seoul Olympic Games, where Best again rode the gelding. The pairing
would bring home two Olympic medals for their efforts-Individual and
Team Silver medals.
At the inaugural World Equestrian Games held in Stockholm, Sweden, in
1990, Gem Twist was honored with the "Best Horse in the World" award,
jumping clear rounds with all four of his riders.
Throughout the 1990s, Gem Twist continued to compete, and in 1997, he
was retired during a touching farewell staged at the National Horse Show
in New York City's Madison Square Garden. He lived out his final years
with the Chapot family at their farm in New Jersey. The mount was
inducted in the United States Show Jumping Hall of Fame in 2002.
"He was like a pal that took me everywhere first class," said Frank
Chapot. "You don't get many pals like that. He never let me down."
The decision was made on Saturday to euthanize the 27-year-old American
Thoroughbred after he had sustained a pulled muscle, rendering him
unable to stand. Gem Twist was cremated, and the Chapot family and
longtime owner Michael Golden shared his ashes.
As the National Governing Body (NGB) of Equestrian Sport, the United
States Equestrian Federation(r), Inc. (USEF) is the regulatory body for
28 breeds and disciplines, including our country's international teams
competing in the disciplines of dressage, driving, endurance, eventing,
para-equestrian, reining, show jumping and vaulting. With over 87,000
members, it is the country's largest multi-breed organization and
annually license more than 2,800 competitions nationwide. The USEF
governs all aspects of competition, including education and licensing of
all judges, stewards, and technical delegates who officiate shows.
Vision Statement: The vision of United States Equestrian Federation(r)
is to provide leadership for equestrian sport in the United States of
America, promoting the pursuit of excellence from the grassroots to the
Olympic Games, based on a foundation of fair, safe competition and the
welfare of its horses, and embracing this vision, to be the best
national equestrian federation in the world.