Articles: Press Release
Show Jumping Hall of Fame Honors 2001 Inductees
Marty Bauman, (508) 698-6810, email@example.com
Tampa, FL—April 1, 2002—The Show Jumping Hall of Fame conducted its annual
induction ceremonies during the intermission at the Budweiser American
Invitational, March 30 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa. The Show Jumping
Hall of Fame inducted famed show jumping promoter Eugene R. Mische, two-time
U.S. Olympic Team rider Lt. Colonel John W. Russell, veteran rider Bobby
Burke, and the great jumper Untouchable, who was part of the Silver Medal
team at the 1967 Pan American Games. Mische, Russell, Burke and Untouchable
join 41 previous inductees whose contributions to the sport set them apart
and earned them enshrinement in the Show Jumping Hall of Fame.
Eugene R. Mische has been a driving force behind the dramatic
growth in the popularity of show jumping in the United States for more than
three decades. He gained hands-on knowledge of the horse business as a
rider, groom, trainer, judge, owner, farm manager, businessman and
spectator. As a trainer, he was entrusted with the horses of some of this
country’s most noted owners such as Patrick Butler. As a horse owner, he
provided opportunities to young riders such as Rodney Jenkins and Steve
But it was as a promoter of show jumping that Mische made his most
significant contribution to the sport. Mische saw the potential for show
jumping to succeed as a spectator sport in the U.S. He saw what show
jumping needed and he set out to meet those needs.
Mische began organizing shows in Florida in 1967, starting with the Sunshine
Circuit and then bringing the first Grand Prix to a major outdoor stadium,
Tampa Stadium, in 1971. That Grand Prix was the precursor of the celebrated
Budweiser American Invitational.
Mische founded Stadium Jumping, Inc., which became the nation’s premier
producer of hunter/jumper horse shows. Seeing the need for top-quality
facilities, Mische worked to develop Tampa’s Bob Thomas Equestrian Center,
and it was his vision and persistence that led to the creation of the Palm
Beach Polo Equestrian Club, unrivaled as the world’s best show jumping
Mische saw the need for major corporate support to help show jumping grow
further and he succeeded in bringing millions of dollars of sponsorship to
the sport, negotiating contracts with the likes of Budweiser, Mercedes Benz
and Cosequin. In 1978, Mische spearheaded the creation of the American
Grandprix Association, a national circuit of show jumping competitions
developed to give direction to the sport, organization to riders and
spectators, and coordination for sponsors.
Over the years, Mische helped develop some of the nation’s most
successful horse shows, most notably in Lake Placid and Cleveland. His
Cosequin Winter Equestrian Festival, heir to the Sunshine Circuit, has grown
to become the world’s largest horse show circuit. Offering more than $3
million in prize money, the Cosequin Winter Equestrian Festival features ten
weeks of hunter/jumper competition in addition to world-class dressage
competitions. The Festival draws thousands of horses, riders and fans, and
features the nation’s top grand prix events, several of which are shown on
national television, such as the Budweiser American Invitational and the AGA
In 1991, Mische helped the United States Equestrian Team create its highly
successful Festival of Champions for which he has served as co-chairman
since its inception. To further promote interest in show jumping, Mische
has brought international competitions to the U.S. including two World Cup
Finals, the FEI World Children’s Jumping Final and in 2002, the United
States’ first-ever outdoor Nations Cup.
In addition to serving as chairman of the American Grandprix
Association, Mische is also Chairman of the National Horse Show, and has
served on the Boards of the United States Equestrian Team, USA Equestrian,
the Washington International Horse Show, and the Show Jumping Hall of Fame.
He is president of Imperial Farms of Palmetto, FL.
Distinguishing himself as both an outstanding officer (he was awarded the
Purple Heart, the Soldier's Medal, and the Bronze Star in World War II) and
gifted equestrian, Lt. Colonel John W. Russell has the unique distinction of
having ridden both on the last official U.S. Army Olympic Team (London,
1948) and the first "civilian" U.S. Equestrian Olympic Team (Helsinki,
1952). The '48 Army squad was a powerhouse, and Russell, with his
three-horse string of Air Mail, Rattler, and Blue Devil, stood out, winning
four individual competitions at Lucerne, the Daily Mail at London, and
leading his team to victories in the Nations' Cups of London, Dublin and
Lucerne. (Double clear rounds on the latter occasions earned him the Best
Individual Rider awards).
Though the Team disbanded after the Olympics, Russell continued to compete
overseas, winning the 1949 Prize of Paris, the Puissance class in Vichy, and
helping his team win the Prize of Nations in Paris. Eventually he was
reassigned to Pennsylvania, where a chance encounter with Col. John Wofford
(himself a veteran of the 1932 Olympics and the first president of the USET)
alerted him to the possibility of trying out for the 1952 Olympics. The
trials were at Fort Riley and Russell, with Col. F. F. Wing's 1948 Olympic
mount Democrat, placed first.
In 1951, he won the West Point Challenge Trophy in New York on Blue Devil
and in 1952, on Rattler, became the first foreign (non-German) rider (and
Rattler the first foreign horse) to win the coveted Hamburg Spring Derby.
At the Helsinki Olympics, on Democrat, and joined by Arthur McCashin on Miss
Budweiser and Bill Steinkraus on Hollandia, he helped the infant USET win
the Bronze Medal in show jumping in its first appearance in the Games.
In 1954, Russell was ranked the fourth most successful rider in Germany. He
represented the U.S. as an individual in the 1955 World Championships at
Aachen before joining Bert de Nemethy's first USET squad, touring Europe in
preparation for the Stockholm Olympics. Military duties precluded Russell's
taking another crack at the Games and led to his eventual retirement as a
Reassignment in the U.S. as Officer in Charge of the U.S. Modern Pentathlon
Team maintained his relationship with the Olympics, both as an officer and
later as civilian coach of the team. His 1978 Pentathlon team included Greg
Losoy, the first American in 60 years to win the individual and team World
Championship titles. Now based in San Antonio, Texas, Russell has trained
many "civilian" riders and horses. He has two sons who carry on his name in
the horse business.
Bobby Burke is a classic horseman in every sense of the word. It has been
said that there is no better “eye” for a horse than that of Robert J. Burke.
Burke, a native of Cambridge, MA, learned to ride from two greats of the
sport – Danny Shea who put Bobby on his first jumper, Little Squire, and
Mickey Walsh who was enshrined in the Show Jumping Hall of Fame in 1995.
In the 1940s, Burke excelled in the hunter ring, gaining countless wins and
championships. In 1950, he made his debut in the show jumper ring with
“Fitzrada” in Leesburg, VA. Burke and Fitzrada finished their maiden event
with a championship, which was soon followed by other major victories.
Burke became a familiar sight in the winner’s circle aboard such legendary
jumpers as Black Velvet, Grey Velvet, Golden Chance and Saxon Wood. Burke
also claimed top honors in numerous Jumper Stakes on Defense, Safari Joe,
Royal Knight and Bell Hop.
In 1957 Burke swept the Jumper Championships at the Pennsylvania National
Horse Show, the National Horse Show in Madison Square Garden and the Chicago
Stockyards. He dominated the Royal Winter Fair Jumper Stake in Toronto,
placing first aboard Black Velvet, second on Bell Hop, third with Saxon Wood
and fifth on Grey Velvet.
In 1967, Burke was the trainer and rider of Act I at the Bonus Point Stake
at Fairfield, CT. Act I captured top honors in the Stake and Burke was
named leading rider. Act I went on in 1967 to win the Grandprix of
Cleveland and then the American Gold Cup in 1970.
Burke also selected and trained Blue Plum, a mount later purchased by
Bertram Firestone who in turn placed the talented horse with the United
States Equestrian Team.
As a rider, Burke’s trademark was his marvelous touch on the reins. His
hands were impeccable, and young horses in particular responded to them
magnificently. In addition to his show jumping success, Burke amassed more
than fifty hunter championships at Devon, Harrisburg, Washington, Madison
Square Garden, and the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto.
Untouchable achieved great international success in the 1960s, teaming with
Kathy Kusner to become one of the sport’s all-time great combinations.
Purchased by Benny O’Meara on a buying trip to the Midwest in
the fall of 1962, Untouchable was an ex-race horse. With O’Meara in the
saddle, he debuted on the Florida circuit in 1963 as an 11-year-old Green
O’Meara had immediate success with the 16.1 hand, Thoroughbred,
chestnut gelding by Bolero out of Kum. Untouchable wound up as Green Jumper
Champion everywhere he went that spring before O’Meara turned him over to
Kathy Kusner after her return from the 1963 Pan American Games. Kusner
capped Untouchable’s undefeated green season with the Open Jumper
Championship at that year’s National Horse Show at Madison Square Garden.
She would stay with him for the rest of his career.
In 1964, O’Meara loaned Untouchable to the USET as a possible
Olympic mount for Kusner. The combination went on to win five major classes
in Europe that summer including the Grand Prix at Dublin (The Irish Trophy)
and other wins against Olympic competitors at Ostende and Rotterdam. (He won
the Grand Prix of Dublin again in 1965). Untouchable and Kusner helped the
USET to Nations’ Cup wins at Dublin and Ostend before traveling to Tokyo for
the Olympics where they placed 13th individually and helped the U.S. to a
fourth place team finish. Upon their return to the States, Kusner and
Untouchable helped the USET to Nations’ Cup wins at the National Horse Show,
where Kusner was Leading International Rider, and at the Royal Winter Fair
Purchased from O’Meara by Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Butler,
Untouchable continued to be a top mount for Kusner. He carried her to a
second-place finish in the 1965 Ladies World Championship and to first place
in the Ladies European Championship in 1967. In 1967, they also were part
of the USET’s Silver Medal team at the Pan American Games in Winnipeg where
Kusner was fourth individually.
Overall, Untouchable was on 12 winning Nations’ Cup teams. He
won numerous major individual classes in Europe including the Grand Prix at
Ostende (Belgium), Hickstead (England), Lucerne (Switzerland), twice the
Grand Prix of Dublin (Ireland), the 1968 Pre-Olympic Competition in
Rotterdam (The Netherlands), and the Puissance at Aachen (Germany). He also
won at least 14 International classes on the North American fall circuit.
The Show Jumping Hall of Fame and Museum is located in Busch Gardens in
Tampa, right next to the Clydesdale exhibit. The Hall of Fame is dedicated
to preserving the legends of the men, women and horses who have made great
contributions to the sport of show jumping. The focus of this noble
institution is to encourage broader interest and participation in show
jumping, as well as to educate devoted equestrians and novice horse lovers
alike, by sharing the sport’s legends, lore and landmark achievements.
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 O’Meara and
Frances Rowe (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, and the combination of Richard
“Dick” Donnelly and Heatherbloom (1996); Edward “Ned” King, and the
combination of Bobby Egan and Sun Beau (1997); Fred “Freddy” Wettach, Jr.,
Melanie Smith Taylor and Johnny Bell (1998); Rodney Jenkins, Sinjon, and the
combination of Franklin F. “Fuddy” Wing, Jr. and Democrat (1999); George
Morris, Carol Durand and Touch of Class (2000).
For further information about the Show Jumping Hall of Fame and Museum,
please visit the Hall of Fame website at