On Saturday, October 6, 2012 the country’s leading riders, trainers, owners, and equestrian supporters gathered at the USET Foundation’s Hamilton Farm Stable for a historic day in equestrian sport; the dedication and naming of the courtyard in honor of Frank D. Chapot, George H. Morris and William C. Steinkraus, and their Team Silver Medal at the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome. The courtyard is now called, “The 1960 Courtyard.” The dedication and naming was made possible through a generous gift made to the Gladstone Fund by Jane Forbes Clark, USET Foundation President & CEO.
Clark led the dedication ceremony by recognizing the important contributions made to the sport by Chapot, Morris and Steinkraus, as well as the history at Hamilton Farm. “Since 1952, when the cavalry was disbanded and civilians first fielded our U.S. Equestrian Team, these men have ridden on, coached or been Chef d’Equipe for every U.S. Olympic Show Jumping Team,” she stated. “Their leadership and influence has been at the forefront of this country’s show jumping program and our United States Equestrian Teams. There is no one of you here today whose riding these men have not impacted.”
“They won the Team Silver Medal at the Rome Olympic Games in 1960 behind the formidable German team of Alwin Schockemohle, Fritz Thiedemann and Hans Gunter Winkler,” continued Clark. “At this time this was the best placing ever in Olympic competition for the United States Show Jumping Team. It is with great admiration, and appreciation, that we dedicate the Hamilton Farm Stable Courtyard to Frank, to Bill, to George not only for their numerous contributions but their Silver medal at the 1960 Olympic Games. Starting this afternoon, it is ‘The 1960 Courtyard.”
The dedication took place at Hamilton Farm in Gladstone, NJ, in conjunction with the USEF Talent Search Finals – East where approximately 100 of the top young show jumping riders in this country were competing in this prestigious championship. The importance of recognizing Frank, George and Bill in front of this country’s aspiring young talent was a wonderful opportunity for the past, and the future, generations of show jumping to come together in honoring these iconic men and their accomplishments.
“Having ridden on our country’s first civilian Olympic equestrian team in l952, before we had a permanent training base, I am totally aware of the huge contribution Hamilton Farm has made to our subsequent international equestrian success,” commented Steinkraus. “As a team rider for twenty years, USET President or Chairman for another twenty and now Chairman Emeritus, I’m delighted that part of the facility now bears my name, together with those of my lifelong friends and former teammates Frank Chapot and George Morris. It has been very gratifying to witness Gladstone’s evolving role for more than half a century, and I am confident that it will continue to play a key role in meeting future challenges.”
Morris added, “After the military, Gladstone was our first common base. Gladstone is very important because it represents our first home. It was a very historic property before the Team became based there. It’s a great honor to be associated with Gladstone, the USET, the USEF, and especially Billy and Frank. I am very lucky that I was the new kid on the block when they were there and they were my mentors.”
In honor of the 100th Anniversary of the Hamilton Farm Stable (2017), the USET Foundation established “The Gladstone Fund” to preserve this important legacy and historic facility. The Hamilton Farm Stable is central to supporting the Foundation’s mission through providing a world-class facility for Olympic, Pan American and World Championship Selection Trials, National Championships, Training Sessions and special equestrian events and exhibitions. The USET Foundation’s headquarters and the High Performance division of the United States Equestrian Federation remain at the facility in Gladstone, NJ.
The United States Equestrian Team Foundation (www.uset.org) is the non-profit organization that supports the competition, training, coaching, travel and educational needs of America’s elite and developing international, high-performance horses and athletes in partnership with the United States Equestrian Federation.
For more information on the USET Foundation, please call (908) 234-1251, or visit USET ONLINE at www.uset.org.