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Show Jumping Hall of Fame Inducts Beezie Madden, Mason Phelps, Margie Engle & Sapphire

Lexington, Kentucky – March 08, 2022 – In a moving night featuring some of Show Jumping’s all-time legends, the Show Jumping Hall of Fame inducted Olympic veteran Beezie Madden, renowned media executive and fundraiser Mason Phelps, Jr., Olympic rider Margie Engle and McLain Ward’s two-time gold medal Olympic mount, Sapphire.

The induction dinner held on March 6 at the Wanderers Club in Wellington, Florida, also recognized 10 others in attendance who have previously been inducted into the Hall of Fame including Olympic medalists Norman Dello Joio (USA), Leslie Howard (USA), Anne Kursinski (USA), Michael Matz (USA), and Melanie Smith Taylor (USA) as well as David Distler (USA), Peter Doubleday (USA), Karen Golding (USA), Steve Stephens (USA) and former Olympic rider and current US chef d’equipe Robert Ridland. Others in attendance included Olympic veterans McLain Ward (USA), Lauren Hough (USA), Laura Kraut (USA) and Nick Skelton (USA) and Grand Prix riders Lillie Keenan (USA), Heather Caristo-Williams (USA), Olivia Chowdry (USA), Dominic Gibbs (USA) and Katherine Strauss (USA).

“This was truly one of the most moving nights I have experienced in my 50 years on the show jumping circuit,” said Show Jumping Hall of Fame chairman Peter Doubleday. “Seeing so many of our sport’s legends together was a thrill and the inductees’ acceptance speeches were very emotional. It was a night that I know most of us will never forget.”

Each of the inductees present received a blue blazer with the Show Jumping Hall of Fame logo and the word “Inductee” on the breast pocket. Following that ceremony, the formal inductions took place with 2019 inductees Leslie Howard and David Distler giving thanks for their inductions that took place during the pandemic followed by acceptances by Engle, Madden, McLain Ward on behalf of Sapphire and Marty Bauman on behalf of his longtime friend, Mason Phelps, who passed away last year.

Sponsors of the Induction Gala included Charlie Jacobs and CMJ Sporthorse, who sponsored the attendance of all the inductees, plus Robin Parsky, Charles Ancona, Sally Ike, LAURACEA, Lisa Seger Insurance, Rood & Riddle and the Wheeler Family. Dandy Products also stepped forward to sponsor the production of Sapphire’s plaque.

Induction into the Show Jumping Hall of Fame is an honor bestowed annually upon select individuals whose contributions to the sport have set them apart and whose influence has had a significant impact on the sport of show jumping and the equestrian community. It is because of their talents, efforts, accomplishments, and what they have brought to the sport, that the Election Committee, comprising some of the nation’s top riders, trainers and officials, elected Engle and Sapphire as the class of 2020 and Madden and Phelps as the class of 2021.

Beezie Madden (USA)

Beezie Madden

For over three decades, Elizabeth “Beezie” Madden has been one of the nation’s – and the world’s – most successful riders. She has ridden in four Olympic Games (winning four medals), three World Equestrian Games (winning four medals), three Pan American Games (winning five medals) and 12 World Cup Finals, placing in the top 5 five times and winning the title in 2013 and 2018.

As a mainstay on four consecutive Olympic teams, Madden won team Gold medals in 2004 and 2008 (both with Authentic) in addition to team Silver in 2016 (with Cortes C) and the individual Bronze in 2008. She won team and individual Silver at the World Equestrian Games in 2006 and team and individual Bronze in 2014 when her mount, Cortes C, was named “Best Horse.” Madden is the only American rider to win an individual medal in show jumping World Championships more than once!

Madden’s team Gold medals at the Pan American Games came with Conquest II in 2003 and Coral Reef Via Vola in 2011 when she also won the individual Silver. She also won team and individual Bronze with Breitling LS in 2019. Madden has also ridden on 18 winning Nations Cup teams.

In addition to her World Cup wins on Simon (2013) and Breitling LS (2018), Madden has wins at some of the world’s biggest and most prestigious events including the Grand Prix of Aachen (2007), King George V Gold Cup at Hickstead (2014, 2015), $1 million International Grand Prix at the Spruce Meadows Masters (2005, 2019) and Spruce Meadows’ Queen Elizabeth II Cup (three times) in addition to virtually all of this country’s biggest Grand Prix including the President’s Cup, National Horse Show, American Gold Cup, Hampton Classic, $1 million HITS Grand Prix (three times), American Invitational (2005, 2007, 2014) and many of the various Grand Prix at the Winter Equestrian Festival.

Madden was the first American to be ranked in the top-three on the FEI Jumping World Ranking List and the first woman to pass the $1 million mark in earnings. She has won the USEF Equestrian of the Year award five times, including winning it back-to-back – the first rider ever to do so – in 2006 and 2007 and then again in 2013 and 2014. She also won the USET Foundation Whitney Stone Cup in 2006, 2007 and 2014. She is the only one to win the award in consecutive years and the only one to win it three times. Madden was named the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) Female Equestrian Athlete of the Year in 1989 and in 2020 she was inducted to the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) Hall of Fame. She also ranks second in career money won at Spruce Meadows.

In addition to competing, Madden runs a successful training and sales business with her husband John out of their Cazenovia, N.Y., and Wellington, Fla., bases. She has served on the boards of both the USEF and USET Foundation.

Mason Phelps Jr. (USA)

Mason Phelps, Jr.

Mason Phelps, Jr. was the epitome of a lifelong equestrian, maintaining an undeniable relevance in the sport that defined his personal and professional life. His contributions to the equestrian world included being an Olympic athlete, trainer, event manager, governance leader, media executive and philanthropy organizer.

Phelps’ passion for horses and equestrian sports started early. He successfully competed in eventing and in hunters and jumpers. In 1968, he was named USCTA Rider of the Year and was alternate to the U.S. Three-Day Team for the Mexico City Olympic Games. His career as a trainer began in 1972, working first as an assistant at Flintridge Riding Club and later developing his own training stable for hunter/jumpers until his retirement from competition in the late 1990s.

In 1970, Phelps created and produced the AA-Rated Christmas Show in San Antonio, an annual event that is still an integral part of the Texas equestrian community. In 1976, Phelps founded the American Jumping Derby (later the International Jumping Derby) in Newport, RI. The first of its kind, it was a major show on the East Coast jumping circuit through 1988. In 1977, Phelps created the New England Horsemen’s Association Hunt Seat Medal, also still a popular event to this day. In the late 1970s and 1980s, Phelps produced a driving event for the Newport Preservation Society. He was also one of the organizers of the first World Cup Final in the U.S., in Baltimore in 1980.

In the early 1990s at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, Phelps created innovative classes including the first equitation class for previous winners of the Medal and Maclay Finals; an equitation class for past U.S. Olympic, Pan American Games, and Nations Cup athletes; and the first hunter classic for the American Hunter Jumper Foundation, held in the International Arena. Phelps was Director of Equestrian Operations at Palm Beach Polo in 1993. He served several years as President of the National Horse Show, reestablishing its prominence at its new home in Lexington, Kentucky.

Phelps was Chairman of AHSA (now USEF) Zone I for eight years and served on the boards of the AHSA, USET and Show Jumping Hall of Fame. He also served as President of the New England Horseman’s Council and Rhode Island Horseman’s Association. As an AHSA judge, he judged many horse shows including the AHSA Medal Finals at Harrisburg.

Phelps was instrumental in numerous charity and fundraising events, starting with the famed Newport Roundup in the 1980s. He was one of the founders of the Equestrian Aid Foundation (EAF) in 1996 and in 1998, he produced the first Denim and Diamonds, a benefit gala for the USET Foundation that he produced again in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2004, raising millions of dollars that supported the USET.

In 2001, Phelps founded Phelps Media Group, Inc., an equestrian public relations firm that has grown to represent many important equestrian events, organizations, companies, athletes and businesses. 

Margie Engle (USA)

Margie Goldstein Engle

Margie Goldstein Engle is one of the most accomplished riders in U.S. history. She competed in the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, won the team Silver Medal at the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Aachen, and is a three-time Pan American Games medalist, with team Gold and individual Bronze Medals in 2003 and team Silver in 1999. She has ridden in 17 World Cup Finals and on numerous Nations Cup squads and has won over 200 Grand Prix including many of the nation’s and the world’s most prestigious events.

In the 1980s, ’90s and early 2000s when the American Grandprix Association (AGA) represented the sport’s highest level, Engle won the AGA Rider of the Year award 10 times; she is the only person to win the award more than four times. She was the first rider to place six horses in the ribbons, and the first to sweep the top five places, in a single Grand Prix.

Engle was one of 12 riders to contribute to the U.S.’s win in the FEI Nations’ Cup Series in 1997, the same year she rode Hidden Creek’s Laurel on USET squads that won Nations Cups at Rome and St. Gallen, along with an individual win in the Grand Prix of Rome.

In 1998, she tied for sixth place in the FEI World Cup Final in Helsinki and was first alternate for the U.S.’s World Equestrian Games (WEG) squad. She also won that year’s USET Show Jumping Championship. In 1999, Engle rode Hidden Creek’s Alvaretto to the team Silver Medal at the Pan American Games in Winnipeg. The following year she rode Hidden Creek’s Perin to a spot on the U.S. Olympic team in Sydney where she helped the U.S. place sixth while also finishing 10th individually, the highest U.S. finish.

In 2001, Engle swept the two Grand Prix events at Lake Placid, where she has won the Grand Prix seven times, and also won the U.S. Grand Prix League Finals in Culpepper. In 2000-2, she became the first rider to win the Hampton Classic’s featured Grand Prix three straight years. In 2003, Engle won team Gold and individual Bronze Medals at the Pan American Games in Santo Domingo.

In 2004, Engle had 11 Grand Prix wins despite a broken hip bone that sidelined her for two months. She added another 11 wins in 2005 and seven more in 2006 when she won the AGA award for the 10th and final time. That year she was also part of the U.S.’s Silver Medal WEG team at Aachen.

In 2014, Engle rode Royce on winning U.S. teams at the FEI Nations Cup Final at the Hickstead CSIO5* and at the Barcelona CSIO5*. Engle and Royce were named to the short list for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and competed in the La Baule CSIO5* where they produced double clear rounds to help the U.S. place second in the Nations Cup while also taking 5th place in the Grand Prix, finishing as the highest ranked American at the show. In 2018, Engle celebrated her 60th birthday by winning the $500,000 CSI5* Grand Prix at WEF aboard Royce. That spring Engle was named to the Short List for the U.S.’s FEI World Equestrian Games squad.

McLain Ward (USA) representing Sapphire

Sapphire

Sapphire had one of the most successful careers in show jumping history. The Belgian Warmblood mare carried McLain Ward to two Olympic team Gold Medals, a World Equestrian Games (WEG) team Silver and dozens of individual wins at many of the world’s biggest and most prestigious events.

Foaled in Belgium in 1995, Sapphire was recommended to Ward as a 7-year-old by Francois Mathy and was owned at different times by Ward in partnership with Harry Gill, Double H Farm, Blue Chip Bloodstock and Tom Grossman. “Sara” and Ward took to each other right away and had an immediate impact on the U.S. and international show jumping scene.

Sapphire and Ward quickly became mainstays on all major U.S. teams, winning Olympic team Gold Medals in 2004 at Athens and 2008 at Hong Kong where they also finished fifth individually. They added a team Silver Medal at the FEI World Equestrian Games at Aachen in 2006, where they placed seventh individually, and also helped the U.S. win the Samsung FEI Nations Cup Super League in 2005. They were also part of the U.S.’s WEG team at Lexington in 2010 when they again placed seventh individually.

Sapphire’s record in Grand Prix competition was equally impressive. Ward rode her in four FEI World Cup Finals, placing eighth in 2007 and second in 2009 when they jumped clear in all five rounds. Their long list of wins together includes the $1 million CN International Grand Prix at Spruce Meadows (2009), the $1 Million Grand Prix at Saugerties (2010), the $100,000 President’s Cup at the Washington International (2008, 2010), the Grand Prix of La Baule and Grand Prix of Rome in 2010, the $200,000 American Invitational (2008), and both the $50,000 Grand Prix qualifier and $250,000 Hampton Classic Grand Prix (2009).

Other big wins included the USEF National Show Jumping Championship (2006), the Devon Grand Prix (2007, 2009), and multiple major wins at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington including a record five wins in the Five-Star WEF Finale Grand Prix. Sapphire was named the American Grandprix Association (AGA) Horse of the Year in 2007 and the USEF Show Jumping Horse of the Year in 2009.

After her retirement in the spring of 2012, Sapphire lived a happy life at Ward’s Castle Hill Farm until her passing in 2014 at age 19.

Show Jumping Hall of Fame Inductees

Since 1987, the Show Jumping Hall of Fame has inducted William C. Steinkraus, Bertalan de Nemethy, Idle Dice (1987); Patrick Butler, August A. Busch, Jr. (1988); David Kelley, Ben O’Meara, Frances Rowe (1989); Arthur McCashin, Kathy Kusner, Brigadier General Harry D. Chamberlin, San Lucas (1990); Adolph Mogavero, Whitney Stone, Morton “Cappy” Smith, Pat Dixon (1991); Eleonora “Eleo” Sears, Mary Mairs Chapot, Barbara Worth Oakford, Snowman (1992); Dr. Robert C. Rost, Joe Green (1993); Frank Chapot, Gordon Wright (1994); Mickey Walsh, 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, Johnny Bell (1998); Rodney Jenkins, Sinjon, Franklin F. “Fuddy” Wing, Jr. and Democrat (1999); George Morris, Carol Durand, Touch of Class (2000); Eugene R. Mische, Lt. Colonel John W. Russell, Bobby Burke, Untouchable (2001); Harry R. Gill, Clarence L. “Honey” Craven, Calypso, Gem Twist (2002); J. Russell Stewart, Sr., Main Spring (2003); Snowbound (2004); Michael Matz, For The Moment (2005); Conrad Homfeld (2006); Joe Fargis, Karen Golding, Marcia “Mousie” Williams (2007); Dr. John Steele, Abdullah, Miss Budweiser, Riviera Wonder (2008); Neal Shapiro, Balbuco (2009); John D. Ammerman, Leonard A. King, Jr., Good Twist (2010); Jane Forbes Clark, Gabor Nicholas Foltenyi, Hap Hansen, Larry Langer (2011); Starman, Nautical, D. Gerald Baker, Charles “Sonny” Brooks (2012); Daniel Marks, VMD, Seamus Brady, Steve Stephens (2013); F. Eugene Fitz Dixon, Jr., Major General Guy Henry, I Love You (2014); Elizabeth Busch Burke, Katie Monahan Prudent, Susan Hutchison (2015); Anne Kursinski, Fran Steinwedell, Walter Devereux, The Natural (2016); Norman Dello Joio, Hunter Harrison, Authentic, Sympatico (2017); Peter Doubleday, Robert Ridland, Colonel John W. “Gyp” Wofford, Bold Minstrel (2018); Leslie Burr Howard, David Distler (2019); Margie Engle, Sapphire (2020); Beezie Madden, Mason Phelps, Jr.

The Show Jumping Hall of Fame was organized to promote the sport of show jumping and to immortalize the legends of the men, women and horses who have made great contributions to the sport. The Show Jumping Hall of Fame is located at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Plaques honoring those who have been honored with induction into the Hall of Fame can be seen at the Horse Park’s Rolex Stadium. Mementos and artifacts from the sport’s history are on display as part of the Show Jumping Hall of Fame collection at the United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) Wheeler Museum at the Horse Park.

For more information about the Show Jumping Hall of Fame, please visit the Show Jumping Hall of Fame website at www.ShowJumpingHallofFame.net.

Source: Press Release by Marty Bauman / Classic Communications for Show Jumping Hall of Fame

Photos: © KindMedia