Robert Ridland, Peter Doubleday, Colonel John W. “Gyp” Wofford and Bold Minstrel to be Inducted in Annual Ceremony at Devon Horse Show
Lexington, KY – March 26, 2019 – The Show Jumping Hall of Fame is pleased to announce the results of its annual elections which resulted in the election of four new inductees – Olympic veteran and current U.S. Chef d’Equipe, Robert Ridland; horse show manager and legendary announcer, Peter Doubleday; Olympic rider and coach and the first President of the USET, Colonel John W. “Gyp” Wofford; and Bold Minstrel, the only horse in history to win medals for the U.S. at the Pan American Games in two different disciplines. The four will be honored at the Hall of Fame’s annual induction ceremony at the Devon Horse Show in May.
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, voted them as the class of 2018.
From Olympic rider and network broadcaster to international official, award-winning course designer, and U.S. Chef d’Equipe, Robert Ridland has had a career in show jumping that is virtually unparalleled.
While still an undergraduate at Yale, Ridland was selected for his first Olympic team for the 1972 Games in Munich. Four years later, he helped the U.S. to a fourth place finish at the 1976 Games in Montreal.
Ridland achieved great success in the ring throughout the 1970s and ’80s. Among his more noteworthy accomplishments were wins in the American Invitational in Tampa Stadium, the Grand Prix of the United States at the National Horse Show in Madison Square Garden, and the Grand Prix of Switzerland at Lucerne.
Ridland rode on winning Nations Cup teams at Lucerne (1976), Rotterdam (1978), Toronto (1978) and Spruce Meadows (1986) and also rode in the FEI World Cup™ Finals in Gothenburg in 1981. Twice he finished in the top 10 of the AGA Rider of the Year standings, including 1986 when he was third. In 1985, he set what were then AGA records by winning three straight events and placing four horses in a single Grand Prix.
Expanding his career into television, Ridland served as analyst for show jumping telecasts on ESPN and for the 1986 World Championships on CBS. He had the same role for NBC during the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona and the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.
Turning to course designing, Ridland was equally successful and he was selected to design courses for major events such as the U.S. Olympic Trials (1992 & 1996), Hampton Classic, Paris CSI, and Central American Games. Twice he was honored as the U.S. Equestrian Federation’s Course Designer of the Year.
As an FEI official, Ridland served as FEI Technical Delegate at four FEI World Cup™ Finals including Gothenburg (1995), Helsinki (1998), Milan (2004) and Kuala Lumpur (2006). He has served on the FEI Jumping Committee and on the Board of Directors of the AHSA, USET, USEF and Show Jumping Hall of Fame.
With the start of the new millennium, Ridland established and became President of Blenheim EquiSports, a management company that produces approximately 20 show jumping competitions a year and more FEI Championship events than any other equestrian management company in the U.S. In that role, Ridland managed the Olympic show jumping Trials in 2000 and 2004 and the World Equestrian Games Trials in 2002. He also produced the Oaks Blenheim International CSI**** in 2001-2003 and was Competition Manager for the FEI Children’s Jumper Finals in 2004-2006 and the highly-acclaimed FEI World Cup™ Finals in Las Vegas (2000, 2003, 3005, 2007, 2009). In 2008, he was named co-manager for the 50th anniversary Washington International Horse Show, a role in which he continued through 2012.
In 2013, Ridland was named the U.S. Show Jumping Chef d’Equipe/Technical Advisor, following legendary predecessors Bertalan de Némethy, Frank Chapot and George Morris. Since he assumed that role, the U.S. has won at least one medal in every Pan American Games, World Equestrian Games and Olympics, in addition to winning three FEI World Cup Finals! The success of his program was highlighted in 2018 when the U.S. won team Gold at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ and claimed first, second and fourth places at the FEI World Cup Finals.
Peter Doubleday has been a prominent figure on the nation’s horse show circuit since 1975. As the show announcer for 30 or more horse shows a year, his voice has been heard by millions over the years.
In addition to announcing many of this country’s leading horse shows such as the Winter Equestrian Festival, Hampton Classic and Lake Placid Horse Shows, Doubleday has also announced the world’s biggest international events – the FEI World Cup™ Finals (seven times), Pan American Games (1999 and 2015), FEI World Equestrian Games (2018) and the Olympics (1996).
Known to many as “The Voice,” Doubleday has also been an announcer on show jumping telecasts on ESPN, Outdoor Life Network (OLN) and Canada’s TSN. Additionally, he has served as manager of many of the nation’s top horse shows including the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, Devon Horse Show and the National Horse Show, in addition to the Royal Horse Show in Canada. He also coordinated production of the Show Jumping World Championships at the 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky.
A USEF and FEI rated judge, Doubleday has served on the USEF Jumper and Show Management Committees, as a Director of the Pennsylvania National Horse Show and was also a founding Director of both the American Grandprix Association (AGA) and the Show Jumping Hall of Fame of which he has been Chairman since 2011. Doubleday appeared in the movie, “Harry and Snowman,” the real life story of the partnership of Harry de Leyer and the legendary grey show jumper, “Snowman” who was inducted into the Show Jumping Hall of Fame in 1992.
Colonel John W. “Gyp” Wofford
Born in Laurens, South Carolina, in 1898, Colonel John W. “Gyp” Wofford left his mark on the sport of Show Jumping as an Olympic rider and coach and as the first president of the United States Equestrian Team (USET).
He was a keen horseman from an early age. He attended South Carolina Agricultural and Mechanical Military College and graduated from Clemson University in 1918 before attending West Point from which he graduated in 1920. He then attended the Cavalry School at Fort Riley, Kansas. He exhibited talent and enthusiasm for the sport and was selected by General Harry Chamberlin for the US Army Horse Show Team in 1929. Three years later, he rode as a member of the Show Jumping team at the 1932 Olympic Games.
After World War II, the Army withdrew from competitive equestrian activities, but Wofford continued his enthusiasm for the sport. He played a lead role in the founding of the United States’ first civilian equestrian team, and became the USET’s first president. In this role he faced, and overcame, many challenges. Besides finding ways to finance the team, he also developed an organizational structure, found top horses and riders willing to commit to the extensive training and traveling involved, and conquered the logistics of sending teams across the Atlantic to compete. He used his family’s Rimrock Farm near Fort Riley as a training center and provided the team with three Event horses and Bill Steinkraus’s show jumping mount, Hollandia.
Wofford coached the Show Jumping and Three-Day Event teams in the USET’s initial Olympic appearance at the 1952 Games in Helsinki, Finland, winning team Bronze medals in both disciplines with his eldest son “Jeb” riding on the Eventing team at only 19 years of age. The team also placed sixth in the dressage competition. In 1953, Wofford was elected to the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) executive committee.
Wofford and his wife, Dorothea, had four children – John Edward “Jeb”, Dodie, Warren, and James “Jimmy” Wofford, all of whom learned to ride almost as soon as they could walk. Gyp passed away in 1955, but the family legacy was carried on. Warren was first reserve to both the U.S. Show Jumping and Eventing teams at the 1956 Olympics and Jimmy went on to a Hall of Fame career in Eventing, riding on the 1968 and 1972 Olympic teams as well as being named to the 1980 team prior to the US boycott. Jimmy won two Olympic team Silver medals and one individual Silver medal. He also competed in the 1970 and 1978 World championships, winning individual and team Bronze medals.
Bold Minstrel is the only horse in history to win medals for the U.S. at the Pan American Games in two different disciplines. The king of versatility, the 16.3-hand stunning grey Thoroughbred-cross was supremely talented and bold and he achieved amazing success in both eventing and show jumping in addition to excelling in the hunter ring.
Affectionately known as “Fatty” because he was an easy keeper, Bold Minstrel was bred in 1952 by Oliver DeGray Vanderbilt, the Master of Foxhounds of the Camargo Hunt in Ohio. William “Billy” Haggard III, a master of several disciplines himself, acquired Bold Minstrel as a 5-year-old and started the horse’s career in foxhunting, hunters and eventing.
With a quick rise through the eventing ranks, Haggard and Bold Minstrel were chosen for the U.S. team for the 1959 Pan American Games in Chicago where they helped the U.S. win the team Silver Medal and also finished ninth in the individual competition. Haggard and Bold Minstrel again represented the U.S. in eventing at the 1963 Pan American Games in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where they helped the U.S. win the team Gold Medal while placing sixth individually.
The pair was chosen as alternate for the U.S. eventing team for the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, but Haggard opted to stay home. When Mike Plumb’s horse was lost, Haggard generously loaned Bold Minstrel to the team for Plumb to ride and he flew over to Tokyo with him. Although Plumb and Bold Minstrel had only two weeks to get to know each other, the pair put in a superb performance to help the U.S. win the team Silver Medal and also finish 15th individually.
Bill Steinkraus, a good friend of Haggard’s who had strongly encouraged him to buy Bold Minstrel initially, pleaded with Haggard for years to let him compete him as a jumper. Haggard eventually gave in and Steinkraus took over the ride.
From 1966 to 1970, Steinkraus and Bold Minstrel were a force to be reckoned with both nationally and internationally. They were part of winning U.S. Nations Cup teams at the National Horse Show in New York (1966, 1968, 1969) and at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show in Harrisburg (1969). They won international classes at the Penn National (1967, 1969), National Horse Show (1967, 1969, 1970), Cologne, Germany (1967) and three classes in Lucerne, Switzerland (1970) when Bold Minstrel was 18 years old.
At the 1967 Pan American Games in Winnipeg, Canada, the pair was part of the Silver Medal winning U.S. team and finished 9th individually. They also finished 9th individually at the 1970 World Championships in LaBaule, France.
Bold Minstrel was well known for his limitless scope and was a top contender in Puissance classes. He and Steinkraus topped the class at the Pennsylvania National at Harrisburg in 1967, and broke the record at the National Horse Show in Madison Square Garden by clearing the wall at 7’3″. A statue commemorating this great accomplishment stands at the Carolina Horse Park.
Bold Minstrel , who among other titles, won the Working Hunter and Conformation Hunter Championships at the National Horse Show, has been inducted into the National Show Hunter Hall Of Fame.
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).
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, including the Hollow Brook Wealth Management Show Jumping Hall of Fame Jumper Classic Series, please visit the Show Jumping Hall of Fame website at www.ShowJumpingHallofFame.net.