The Show Jumping Hall of Fame has announced the three new inductees that will be honored at the $200,000 American Invitational in Miami, Fla., on April 5. Honored with induction are Steve Stephens, Seamus Brady and Daniel Marks, VMD. The ceremony will take place during the international competition at its new location at Sun Life Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins NFL team.
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 world of show jumping and on the equestrian community. It is because of their talents, efforts, accomplishments, and what they’ve brought to the sport that the Election Committee, comprising some of the nation’s top riders, trainers and officials, voted them as the inductees for 2013.
The three new inductees will join the 78 previously enshrined in the Show Jumping Hall of Fame since its inception in 1987.
Steve Stephens started riding in and winning at the grand prix level while still in high school. After a successful career that spanned nearly two decades, he went on to achieve great success as a horse show manager, course designer and proprietor of Stephens Equestrian Designs, one of the world’s most respected companies specializing in the design and manufacture of jumps for competition.
Stephens trained with the U.S. Equestrian Team and competed from 1968 through 1986. During that time, he won such major events as the Cleveland Grand Prix (1970), American Gold Cup (1971), Grand Prix of Montreal (1977) and American Grand Prix Association Championships (1986).
Analyzing courses piqued his interest in building jumps and designing courses. He studied course design under Bert de Némethy and Dr. Arno Gego and served as an assistant to de Némethy when he was course designer at the FEI World Cup Final in 1980 in Baltimore and in 1989 in Tampa, Fla., as well as at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. Stephens was also an assistant to Gego when he was course designer at Aachen, Germany, in 1996 and 1998 and also to Leopaldo Palacios at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
In the 1980s, Stephens emerged as one of the nation’s and the world’s most respected course designers, working dozens of shows such as the Washington International (D.C.), National Horse Show (N.Y.), Royal Winter Fair (Ontario), Winter Equestrian Festival (Fla.), Devon (Pa.) and the American Invitational (Fla.), for which he has been the only course designer for nearly 30 years. Internationally, he has designed courses in Canada, Germany, the Netherlands and Mexico and at the 1987 Pan American Games in Indianapolis and 2008 Olympic Games in Hong Kong. In 2004 he was certified through the Aachen School of Course Design.
Stephens has served as U.S. chef d’equipe five times. His teams won the Nations’ Cup four of those times, most notably the Nations Cup World Final in Lanaken, Belgium, in 1991.
In 1992 Stephens opened Stephens Equestrian Designs, which provides jumps to dozens of the nation’s most prestigious events including the Winter Equestrian Festival, American Invitational, Devon and the Hampton Classic (N.Y.). In 2013, the U.S. Hunter Jumper Association honored Stephens with its Lifetime Achievement Award.
The late U.S. Equestrian Team farrier Brady was considered by many of the world’s best equestrians to be the “guru of horseshoeing.” Brady, who trained at the Irish Army Equitation School in Dublin, immigrated to the United States more than 50 years ago from his native County Cavin, Ireland.
After relocating to the United States, Brady worked for USET Director and Hall of Fame inductee Arthur McCashin at his Four Furlongs Farm in Pluckemin, N.J. Brady was later drafted into the U.S. Army where he served as chauffeur to generals and also learned intricate details of welding and metalworking—skills that would later help to jump-start his successful career in the horseshoeing world.
Following his time with the Army, Brady returned to Four Furlongs Farm, where it is said that McCashin gave him his first set of tools to start shoeing horses on his own. From there Brady went on to rise to the top of the horseshoeing world, and he worked for many of this country’s biggest and best barns. Among Brady’s clientele were Ronnie Mutch and his Nimrod Farm, the Leone family’s Ri-Arm Farm and Hunterdon Farm, owned and operated by Show Jumping Hall of Fame president and inductee George Morris. Brady was the farrier at Hunterdon Farm for 34 years.
“He was a real old-fashioned Irish horseman,” Morris said of Brady. “He was a horseman first. He was innovative and very imaginative. I would often listen to him after conferring with him and the veterinarians, and sometimes use his advice and opinion over those of the veterinarians. He was the guru teacher and subsequent generations owe him. He was one of the greatest that I ever worked with. I can’t say enough about him.”
In addition to working for many of the nation’s top show barns, Brady also worked for the USET as the team farrier for all three disciplines including serving as the team farrier at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games. Brady was inducted into the International Horseshoeing Hall of Fame in 2002. He died in 2009.
Daniel Marks, VMD
For 24 years, Dr. Daniel Marks served as the team veterinarian for the USET and U.S. Olympic teams in show jumping and dressage. Highly respected around the world, Marks was a consultant to over a dozen foreign jumping and dressage teams, and was the team veterinarian for the Canadian team at the Olympics and World Equestrian Games, as well as for Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Japan, Virgin Islands and the Bahamas.
Prior to becoming a veterinarian, Marks was a professional horseman, competitive rider and trainer. He began as a hot walker, groom and exercise rider at the New York racetracks, eventually becoming a licensed jockey. He rode races, including the Maryland Hunt Cup. He was one of the few U.S. riders to be accepted into the Spanish Riding School of Vienna, Austria, at the time, and then he turned his talents to competing jumpers and hunters at major national horse shows.
Graduating Summa Cum Laude and first in his class from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, Marks became a founding partner of the Delaware Equine Center, which grew into one of the largest private equine clinics in the world. He has had many principal equine veterinary contributions and credits the majority of those developed with his decades-long partner and friend, Dr. Matthew MacKay-Smith.
Marks was the first to devise laryngoplasty surgery for laryngeal hemiplegia, which continues to this day as the surgery of choice, and he was the first to devise interspinous back injections for diagnosis and treatment of dorsal spinous impingement or “kissing spines”. Considered an expert in all aspects of equine medicine, Marks has had more than 40 articles featured in professional publications and continues his consulting equine practice.