2017 Horse Stars Hall of Fame Induction


A Beautiful Day for Horse Stars To Shine for the 2017 Horse Stars Hall of Fame Induction at Old Salem Farm

Ten horses were inducted into the Horse Stars Hall of Fame on Sunday, May 21st, at the Old Salem Spring Horse Shows before crowds gathering for the $130,000 Empire State Grand Prix CSI3* that followed the induction ceremony.

The EQUUS Foundation inductees selected for their inspirational and life-changing impact on people included Billy White Shoes, owned by Roxane Lawrence Durant, Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA), honored posthumously, Dancer owned by JoyRide Center, GTR Patricks Vindicator, owned by Sarah Schaaf, Sutter, owned by Neda DeMayo, Return to Freedom and Twin Pond Camotion, owned by Debi Demick, Horses Helping Heroes Project, honored posthumously.

The five horses selected by US Equestrian for their athletic achievements included Catch Me owned by David and Becky Gochman, HH Azur owned by Double H Farm & Francois Mathy, Mighty Nice owned by HnD Group, Sjaantje owned by Gail Aumiller & Dreams Come True Farm and WGCTop Of The Mark owned by Mary Gaylord McClean.

2017 Horse Stars Hall of Fame Induction
Left to Right: Ringmaster Alan Keely, Caroline Moran representing Mighty Nice, Lynn Coakley, EQUUS Foundation President, David Gochman representing Catch Me, Roxanne Lawrence Durant representing Billy White Shoes and Gail Aumiller & Thomas Heverin representing Sjaantje. Also on hand were Quentin Judge and McLain Ward representing HH Azur. Photo courtesy of The Book.

The Horse Stars Hall of Fame is a fun interactive website (horsestarhalloffame.org) all about horses that was established in 2013 to celebrate the extraordinary talent of horses and the magical bond between horses and people by sharing the stories of their athletic and humanitarian feats.

2017 Horse Stars Hall of Fame Inductees

2017 Horse Stars Hall of Fame Inductee Billy White Shoes
Billy White Shoes
Billy White Shoes

A champion among lesson horses, Billy White Shoes was “the first horse of the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA)” and helped introduce thousands

The handsome chestnut with four white stockings and a blaze in the shape of the number “1” won the first IEA Varsity Open Championship in 2002, and 10 years later, at the age of 23, was still winning classes. Read More . . .

2017 Horse Stars Hall of Fame Inductee Catch Me
Catch Me. Photo courtesy of The Book LLC.
Catch Me

Rebounding from illness to greatness, Catch Me earned the title of 2016 US Equestrian National Horse of the Year. In 2015, after the Holsteiner gelding was diagnosed with a rare neurological disease, it was unknown whether he would be able to succeed in the show ring.

Succeed he did —finishing the year with multiple victories at the major indoor competitions and continuing to be “uncatchable” in 2017 – claiming the blue at WCHR Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular for the 2nd year in a row. Read More . . .

2017 Horse Stars Hall of Fame Inductee Dancer

What makes a great therapy horse? Dancer is intelligent, loving and strong. Never startling or responding negatively, even amidst emotional outbursts, he calms his riders and teaches them tolerance. He’s done it all, from giving a steady first ride to apprehensive new clients, to working in competition with independent riders.

Dancer’s a “joy to ride” at the JoyRide Center and makes the impossible possible for so many. Read More . . .

2017 Horse Stars Hall of Fame Inductee GTR Patricks Vindicator
GTR Patricks Vindicator. Photo courtesy of Marion Yingling
GTR Patricks Vindicator

Mini Extraordinaire! That is how GTR Patricks Vindicator is described by his 30,000 social media fans. The miniature horse gelding started showing with his owner Sarah Schaaf in 2002, when Sarah was only five years old. But he’s not just a show horse who can jump 4 foot verticals, he’s also an equine ambassador for the American Miniature breed, and a registered therapy horse.

Patrick inspires thousands of people and has shown that it’s only the size of your heart that matters. Read More . . .

2017 Horse Stars Hall of Fame Inductee HH Azur
HH Azur. Photo courtesy of Shannon Brinkman.
HH Azur

McLain Ward and HH Azur racked up win after win starting in 2015, but the pair’s biggest accomplishment in 2016 came when they helped bring home the Team Silver medal for the US at the Rio Olympic Games. Not a horse to rest on her laurels, in February 2017, Ward & superstar “Annie” won the $380,000 CSI5* in Wellington for the second year in a row. Not to be out done, with a faultless score, HH Azur & Ward claimed the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final in April 2017 – a win Ward has coveted for decades. Said Ward, “When you have a horse like HH Azur, you just try and stay out of her way.” Read More . . .

2017 Horse Stars Hall of Fame Inductee Mighty Nice
Mighty Nice. Photo courtesy of Shannon Brinkman.
Mighty Nice

Rio was not going the way the US Eventing Team had hoped. That is until Mighty Nice stepped up to earn Phillip Dutton the Eventing Individual Bronze Medal. It takes a lot of dedication and hard work for a horse to be a successful eventing horse – perfect harmony between horse and rider in dressage, the stamina essential for cross country, and precision, agility and technique in jumping.

Said Dutton, “Happy’s a pretty cool horse to be around . . . and very special to me.” Read More . . .

2017 Horse Stars Hall of Fame Inductee Sjaantje
Sjaantje. Photo courtesy of PicsofYou.com.

Imported as a foal from The Netherlands in June 2005, Sjaantje grew up in the rolling hills of Dreams Come True Farm in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Named a 2016 US Equestrian National Horse of the Year, dreams did come true for SJ and owner Gail Aumiller. SJ wrapped up a triumphant year earning an incredible nine World Championship titles at the IFSHA World and Grand National Horse Show, as well as claiming the High Point Driven Dressage Trophy, High Point Driving Trophy, and High Point Show Horse Trophy. Read More . . .

2017 Horse Stars Hall of Fame Inductee Sutter

Sutter’s story is emblematic of tens of thousands of nameless and faceless wild horses in America that are routinely captured, taken from the home ranges in helicopter roundups, separated from their family bands, and transported to long-term government holding facilities. But, Sutter’s is also a survivor’s story with a happy ending. The heroic palomino mustang serves as a wild horse ambassador at Return To Freedom American Wild Horse Sanctuary. His story is a tribute to what’s possible when the right environment and treatment prevail. Read More . . .

2017 Horse Stars Hall of Fame Inductee Twin Pond Camotion
Twin Pond Camotion
Twin Pond Camotion

At an early age, Twin Pond Camotion, known as Max, endured abuse, learned to distrust humans, and was never trained to carry a rider. Given a second chance by owner Debi Demick, remarkably, he found his true calling as a therapy horse to veterans with special needs. Max battled his issues while the veterans battled theirs and together they healed. Max was laid to rest on January 26, 2016, but he lives on in the memories of the veterans and volunteers of the Horses Helping Heroes Project who loved him. Read More . . .

2017 Horse Stars Hall of Fame Inductee WGC Top of the Mark
WGCTop of the Mark. Photo courtesy of Howard Schatzberg.
WGCTop Of The Mark

The American Saddlebred’s graceful gaits are a joy to watch, but it’s breeding and expert training that makes “show stoppers”. WGCTop Of The Mark had the best in owner and breeder Mary Gaylord McClean and trainer Tre Lee. WGCTop Of The Mark was crowned 2016’s Five-Gaited World’s Grand Champion, the breed’s highest honor, as well as a US Equestrian National Horse of Honor. No doubt Show stopper WGCTop Of The Mark will generate excitement and drama in the show ring and captivate admirers for years to come. Read More . . .

About EQUUS Foundation: The EQUUS Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity established in 2002, also known as Horse Charities of America, the only national animal welfare charity in the United States dedicated solely to horse welfare and the horse-human bond. Donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. Contact the EQUUS Foundation, Inc., at 168 Long Lots Road, Westport, CT 06880, Tele: (203) 259-1550, E-Mail: mail@equusfoundation.org, Website: www.equusfoundation.org.

About US Equestrian: Established in 1917, the United States Equestrian Federation (US Equestrian), the governing body of equestrian sport in the United States, is dedicated bringing the joy of horse sports to as many people as possible. Learn more about the US Equestrian at www.usequestrian.org/