View Full Version : Thoughts and prayers for Ralph Hill

Mar. 24, 2007, 08:37 PM
I'm reposting this with Ralph Hill in the title in case anyone has heard about his accident and is trying to find information.
This was my post under the "Poplar Place" thread
My daughter and I jump judged all day up at Poplar and we just got in.
The course was held for an hour when Ralph came off at a "corner" fence back in the back. We had radios and when they called for the starter not to start anyone else and then called for "the screens" to be put up, we really feared the worst. Then we caught a transmission that the medics were trying to establish a stable heart rhythm. They held the course up for an hour until they medevac helicopter came in an airlifted him out.
Roger Haller came around shortly after and spoke with each jump judge to let them know what was known at that point, that he had a very bad compound fracture of the femur ( not an easy bone to break) and was not responsive when they got to him but that his horse had NOT fallen on him. Later, at the competitors party, an announcement was made that he was in surgery but out of danger.
Many of the "big guys" had falls today, Buck Davidson came off at a water jump ( don't remember the horse but not Private Treaty), Karen O'Connor came off when her horse, "Hugh Knows" got stuck on a jump ( not sure what happened there) and Bruce Davidson, Sr had a very spectacular and so very scary fall at our jump, the Nutrena Livery. His horse, "In the Beat" stopped and launched and chested a vertical and flipped. He came off & hit the ground while she was still in the air flipping over and coming down and she hit right beside him, within a foot. I saw him hit the ground and her in the air over him and my heart stopped. She got up and was just shaking, he got up, I asked him if he was ok and held the horse and he got back on and retired this horse but rode about 3 more.
It was a very sobering day, in my mind. There were many more falls and near misses, quite a few calls for vets, at least one horse that required stitching after a fall, etc.
I'd love to hear an update on Ralph Hill but the last we were told was that he had a very bad injury but not life threatening, thank goodness...

Mar. 24, 2007, 08:43 PM
Sounds like a horrible day.
I hope Ralph's recovery goes smoothly. That is a very serious injury.
I'm glad to hear that he apparently is doing as well as can be expected.

Mar. 24, 2007, 08:45 PM
The horse he was riding was "Reprint", a grey and it was the Advanced Division. If I'm remembering correctly ( there were many falls today and horses who stayed, ran off, were injured, etc)his horse may have ended up running back to the barn, starting area, somewhere up front. I don't believe the horse was injured.

Mar. 24, 2007, 08:46 PM
Thanks so much for posting this--we got a call from a friend who was at the event about this, but it was terrifyingly short on details. We've been holding our breath all day. Going to call hubby right now and tell him, he's known Ralph a LONG time.

Funny aside--the first hing he said when we got the call was--"Check the BB and see what they know!"

Mar. 24, 2007, 08:48 PM
He has that great "can do" attitude, and inspires that same spirit in his students. Glad all the other horses and riders are okay.

Mar. 24, 2007, 08:59 PM
So now I hear he was not responsive because he had choked on his chewing gum. He was probably singing and chewing gum when it happened. New rule. no chewing gum while jumping. singing is opitional.

sure hope he is okay. there is only one Ralph Hill. Hang in there Ralph !!!

Mar. 24, 2007, 09:03 PM
I heard about the chewing gum, too, but it was secondhand so I didn't know if I should repeat it. The other information was firsthand but it would make sense that he could be unresponsive due to "sucking down" a wad of chewing gum when he hit..! Maybe someone else can confirm that first hand but it would make sense. I'm just glad that he's out of danger. That must have been some horrific force to fracture the femur, he must've hit the fence or the ground at very high speed.

Mar. 24, 2007, 09:07 PM
Ralph, we're thinking about you. We love ya man and know you'll pull through!

Mar. 24, 2007, 09:12 PM
Is Ralph Hill the one who sings his way around course?

***JINGLES*** from Texas for a speedy recovery. :)

Mar. 24, 2007, 09:20 PM
:yes: yes, jilltx, ralph is.
as austin said there is only one ralph hill.
all the best, ralph!!

Mar. 24, 2007, 09:31 PM
Jingling hard here for Ralph. I look forward to his clinic every summer as he's just such a positive and upbeat person to be around. I hope his recovery is a smooth one.

Lori T
Mar. 24, 2007, 09:38 PM
Hurry and get well, Ralph! My friend's daughter rides with him and they are at Poplar..we are playing telephone tag so I haven't heard what she has to say. So sorry to hear about so many falls. I heard that he was missing his first Rolex in something like 28 years...Billy had a bad reaction to a spider bite. Guess they can recuperate together!

Clear Blue
Mar. 24, 2007, 09:43 PM
Jingles for Ralph. I hope surgery goes well.


Mar. 24, 2007, 09:43 PM
{{{{{Jingles}}}}} from California!! Speedy recovery for ALL!! Wow, what a day...

Seb :)

Mar. 24, 2007, 09:43 PM
Best wishes to Ralph for a speedy and complete recovery!!

Mar. 24, 2007, 09:44 PM
Is Ralph Hill the one who sings his way around course?

Yes he is, every horse and every course!

:no: This is just tragic news! Ralph is one of the best horseman of all times, not to mention a fabulous teacher.

Please keep us posted as you hear how he is doing.

Mar. 24, 2007, 09:47 PM
Thinking of you Ralph and praying for your quick recovery.

Ralph is the best. His horses are everything to him.

Mar. 24, 2007, 09:49 PM
Does anyone know what hospital he is at?

Mar. 24, 2007, 09:59 PM
They did not tell us that. We do have the Hughston Orthopaedic Sports Hospital in Columbus, GA which is about 20 minutes by car from Poplar Place and much closer than Atlanta. They have sports injuries come in from all across the country as they specialize in sports related orthopaedic injuries. That would be a first guess but if not there, then second guess would be the Atlanta area since they were going by helicopter.
If I hear anything else, I will pass it on and if anyone else hears, please let us know.

Mar. 24, 2007, 10:13 PM
I do not have firsthand details, but I have good second hand details, and I do know that earlier this evening he was going into surgery and that the injuries were serious, but not life threatening.

Please continue good thoughts and jingles for Ralph -- we need him safe and sound and back singing!


Mar. 24, 2007, 10:26 PM
A quick update. Ralph has multiple fractures and is in surgery. There are several COTH regular posters who are being kept up to date on his progress. One of us will post an update in the morning as to his actual condition as we should know a lot more at that time. We will let you know when and where Ralph can receive cards and gifts etc as soon as that information is available. Until then we ask that you keep him in your thoughts.
We will update as it is appropriate.

Mar. 24, 2007, 10:29 PM
we posted at the same time.
You have a PM

One Star
Mar. 24, 2007, 10:36 PM
Thanks so much, Ruthie. The Ocala contingent is crossing every digit and jingling like crazy for the one and only Ralph.

Mar. 24, 2007, 10:38 PM
:) Thanks, Bensmom and sfir for the updates on dear Ralph. Now, at least there is a good reason for him to not be entertaining the masses via horseback at Rolex. No doubt, he will be there singing, doing the course via Gator - surely the folks broadcasting the event will "make hay while the sun shines"...on all of us just to see Ralph at Rolex! Hate if for you right now, Ralph, but you'll be back in the stirrups come Fall! :D :cool:

Mar. 24, 2007, 10:45 PM
Hi Ruthie,
If there are several COTH members that are being kept up to date on Ralph Hill's progress and you are sending out PMs, I'd much appreciate an update. It was a very long, draining day and if not for me, for my daughter, who is just starting out at the lower levels, witnessed all of this firsthand and was very anxious to find out how he is doing.

Mar. 24, 2007, 10:52 PM
Jingling for Ralph!! I hope everything goes/went okay in surgery, and his recovery is uneventful.

Thanks to everyone for the updates.

Mar. 24, 2007, 11:25 PM
Sending thoughts and prayers for a full recovery.
Wow, this sport scares the cr_p out of me at times.
Can't wait for our season to start here though...

Mar. 24, 2007, 11:32 PM
I remember him from Rolex last year. Very entertainng!!

more ***JINGLES*** and a healing song or two!!

Mar. 24, 2007, 11:40 PM
Sending thoughts and prayers out to Ralph!

Mar. 24, 2007, 11:49 PM
All the jingles I can muster for a speedy recovery!

Mar. 25, 2007, 12:24 AM
He's in my thoughts and prayers!

Mar. 25, 2007, 07:26 AM
I auditied his winter clinic at South Farm in January. He is the best! Jingles and Prayers from Ohio. AUBURN

Mar. 25, 2007, 07:56 AM
Oh Yuck!! how awful. I've always loved seeing Ralph flying around XC singing a song under his breath...

Fractured femur - that's what happened to Buck at Radnor - he was full of plates and pins for a year before having to go back in to surgery to have them taken out... icky stuff.

Jingling HARD from NH!!!

not again
Mar. 25, 2007, 08:06 AM
Prayers and jingles for Ralph. He is one of the first pony clubbers I coached through getting his "A" rating. I know Andy Gilbert is a guardian angel for him and his mom Millie too. Hang in there Ralph!

Reynard Ridge
Mar. 25, 2007, 08:13 AM
Jingles for Ralph!

Mar. 25, 2007, 08:26 AM
Hope he is ok, he is in my prayers

Mar. 25, 2007, 08:26 AM
Jingles for Ralph! My sister works in the emergency room at Grady so I just emailed to see if she knows anything in case he is there.

Mar. 25, 2007, 08:45 AM
Here's hoping a speedy and uneventful recovery for Ralph. When I saw this post my heart skipped a beat -- he's just an awesome guy and a true blue character with a capital C -- hate it that he had such an awful crash, but glad to hear things are not life threatening.

Mar. 25, 2007, 09:03 AM
Jingles for Ralph, he's one of a kind!

Mar. 25, 2007, 09:15 AM
Thanks for the update HJ Gin, I'm glad they decided to leave off that last element of the corners after Ralph's fall, there were a lot of penalties there judging from what we were hearing on the radios. I was also really surprised at how many people came off yesterday. That crash at our jump with Bruce Davidson was really scary. So glad more were not hurt at the corners.

Mar. 25, 2007, 09:31 AM
Adding my jingles for a full and quick recovery.

Painted Wings
Mar. 25, 2007, 09:33 AM
He is one of my favorites.

I just signed up for a clinic in May with him. Was really looking forward to it.

I'm hoping he will have a speedy recovery.

Mar. 25, 2007, 09:33 AM
So sorry to hear the news. We will be keeping him and his family in our thoughts

Mar. 25, 2007, 09:47 AM
Is he out of surgery yet?

Mar. 25, 2007, 10:11 AM
Major jingles!
Lighting a candle

Mar. 25, 2007, 10:20 AM
An admiring hunter rider over here *jingling* for Ralph. He amazed me when I saw him at Rolex two years ago - his cheer, his genuine joy at going around the cross country course. Amazing guy.

Mar. 25, 2007, 10:22 AM
best wishes and lots of jingles. Such a great guy!

Mar. 25, 2007, 10:34 AM
Loads and Loads of jingles from a fellow singer!

BTW - does anyone know what he sings? I have a song I used to sing when I kayaked class 5. But it really does not work well for eventing (it would infer that my horse was a cow - and the thought of riding cross country on a cow does not give me confidence :) )

Jingles to Ralph here's to a speedy recovery!

Mar. 25, 2007, 10:55 AM
4Martini - he sings whatever might move him at the time ;) I know I've heard of him singing Bad Boys (the song used as the theme for Cops..). and I've heard snippets of songs I didn't recognize as he went by me - Once at Rocking Horse I could've sworn I heard him singing about red rum barrels... breaking from his song only long enough to say "woah woah" coming into a fence...then met the spot perfectly and galloped away singing again :)

Mar. 25, 2007, 11:00 AM
There is a website that allows families to post progress online for everyone to read. I hate the rumor mill.


I hope they start a site

Mar. 25, 2007, 11:04 AM
Jingling for a quick recovery!!!
I don't know Ralph personally but from what I have seen of him, there is not another rider who has much fun with this sport and enjoys it as much as he does - gotta love that

Mar. 25, 2007, 11:16 AM
Major prayers and jingles for one of the sport's greats and greatest characters. Go Ralph! :)

basil's mom
Mar. 25, 2007, 11:19 AM
Jingles for you Ralph, Rolex wont be the same with out you. I'm sure we will see you next year.

Mar. 25, 2007, 11:32 AM
There is a website that allows families to post progress online for everyone to read. I hate the rumor mill.


I hope they start a site

Kim Meier has a page on www.Carepages.com
It's so helpful for updates.

Mar. 25, 2007, 12:16 PM
What Jimmy Wofford says about Ralph is if you hear him singing rock and roll things are going well, but once you hear the old time gospel songs, watch out! :lol:

Wild Thing is one favorite and he was belting that out as he took Buzzmonster around his first stadium course last year. :sadsmile:

The last update I had last night is that he was stable, but still serious, so please keep the thoughts and jingles coming -- when we know more about where he'll be and have some idea for how long, we'll let you know.


Lisa Cook
Mar. 25, 2007, 12:27 PM
From the USEA website:

Ralph Hill, who fell from his horse Reprint on the advanced cross-country course at Poplar Place Farm Horse Trials yesterday, is recovering in the intensive care unit at the Columbus Medical Center from surgery to repair breaks to his femur, wrist and humerus which he sustained in the fall. Ralph is expected to make a full recovery and the USEA Board, Staff and entire eventing community sends their very best wishes to Ralph at this time. Ralph can receive cards and letters at Columbus Medical Center, 710 Center Street, Columbus, Georgia 31901.

Best wishes to Ralph for speedy recovery.

Mar. 25, 2007, 01:48 PM
There has been a carepage set up for Ralph and the first post has been made. you can find it at carepages.com and his page is under RalphHill.
There are many rumours about this accident and his injuries that are false - including on this thread. His carepage has been set up by his friends and family to keep people informed with the true and current situation as it is appropriate to do so. We ask that you send your well wishes and post comments to him there as he will be getting them.
We will keep the carepage up to date.
Thanks for all the good thoughts for him!

Mar. 25, 2007, 01:57 PM
Thats what I get for not being on the Eventing forum for so long. I saw the title and freaked! I have ridden with Ralph in two clinics and just love him. what a super man and inspiring. PRaying and jingling that he is going to make a speedy recovery. Any news??:eek:

Mar. 25, 2007, 02:08 PM
Sounds like an awful day. Jingles and good thoughts too all.

Mar. 25, 2007, 02:15 PM
Carepage for Ralph
There has been a carepage set up for Ralph and the first post has been made. you can find it at carepages.com and his page is under RalphHill.
There are many rumours about this accident and his injuries that are false - including on this thread. His carepage has been set up by his friends and family to keep people informed with the true and current situation as it is appropriate to do so. We ask that you send your well wishes and post comments to him there as he will be getting them.
We will keep the carepage up to date.
Thanks for all the good thoughts for him!

Just went there, breathed a sigh of relief at the "NOT career ending" statement...Ralph will no doubt "kick on" :yes: :cool:

Full Stride
Mar. 25, 2007, 02:40 PM
I want to add my support and sympathy for Ralph. I often wish I'd never stopped working for him - he's a wonderful horseman and quite a personality! Can't wait to see him back again!!

Mar. 25, 2007, 05:27 PM
Many thanks for posting this thread.

I heard the news and headed for the COTH, and sure enough, it's here.

I think this is the first serious crash Ralph has had. He's had many, many of the usuall ones. I wish him a speedy uncomplicated recovery.

Many Jingles.

Mar. 25, 2007, 05:45 PM
ralph is the best trainer i have ever ridden with. i love to watch him teach. he is so talented as to picking up on where the problem is,either it being horse or rider and being able to fix it in one or two lessons and always giving the student something to work on at home.my heart fell when i got the call from poplar. i was worried sick and could not find anyone to talk to at poplar. finally got a call back and was told what had happened.i am sending my prayers and my jingles to ralph and his family and his exstended family:) i know in my heart this will not keep ralph down for long, even if he is hobbing around. he will be back in the saddle as soon as he feels up to it. if there is anything we can do, just ask.just praying everything heals up quickly and we all get to see and hear him on c.c again real soon. we love you ralph :)

Robby Johnson
Mar. 25, 2007, 06:17 PM
I'll tell you, I was very shaken up by Ralph's fall yesterday. I saw him in the morning - he walked past me on a horse - and we had a very warm greeting as it has been awhile since we'd seen each other. We chatted for a second and he told me a great story about a daughter of our own Winston's that he has, who turned out pregnant by a 2 year-old "fence jumping" colt of our own Fred! He said the resulting foal is a filly that he has named "Last Hurrah" and how excited he was with her. I also told him about some Fred horses that are now f/s in Canada, and he said, "Call me, I'm interested."

A few minutes later he offered Dorothy Crowell some fun remarks after her s/j trip when she said, "I really wanted to leave it out." He said, "I'm glad you didn't."

An hour passed and the next thing I knew he was in trouble. It's really terrifying and I am just thankful that he seems to've escaped by nothing short of a miracle. For this, I am thankful.

Ralph was the first BNT I ever cliniced with, and he taught me a lot. A world without Ralph would be empty indeed.

Get better soon Ralph! You need to buy some horses!

Mar. 25, 2007, 07:32 PM
Prayers and those awesome COTH jingles for Ralph!!!

I got an email today with short news about his fall and being in critical condition, and my heart hit my toes. Glad to hear it sounds like stuff that will heal.

rebecca yount
Mar. 25, 2007, 08:16 PM
Okay, I know people are going to resent this and think I don't know what I'm talking about...but when is enough enough, already???? Mr. Hill's injuries sound awful, and the other posts on the thread describing falls by others (I know I was not there, etc. and they may be incorrect or exaggerated...). I hope that he recovers and is fine and that his horse and the others and their horses recover and are fine. BUT--

There have been so many horrible accidents recently--what is wrong in this sport that it is killing and maiming people and horses? Why do you want to keep going so fast and jumping these immovable massive objects that just are so unforgiving? I know it's your choice...but it just seems that there have been so many terrible accidents since the Korean man was killed.

I am SO glad that my daughter didn't want to go this route with horses.

I'm ready to get flamed now. I would love to hear some feedback--maybe this isn't the appropriate place but my God--I just had to say NOT another one!

Mar. 25, 2007, 08:20 PM
this isn't the appropriate place to pound your chest and preach to the choir. It is for friends and admirers of a hellofa horseman that had a bad crash.

Mar. 25, 2007, 08:23 PM
rebecca, I think that this is not the right place for this.
There have been several threads including just recently where everyone has discussed the dangers and their fears and their reasons for participation in this sport. Perhaps reading some of those would answer your questions.

rebecca yount
Mar. 25, 2007, 08:26 PM
"Pounding my chest"????? What does that mean? I was expressing genuine concern. I am a very good dressage rider and very experienced horsewoman who is sincerely shocked at this latest awful accident. Maybe we're just hearing more about them lately because the internet can get us information so quickly.

I repeat--I hope Mr. Hill recovers fully and the others who had falls and their horses recover as well.

Mar. 25, 2007, 08:36 PM
We're ALL shocked and saddened. But this still isn't the place for questioning what makes eventers go out and do what we do. Dreadful things happen every day in every sphere of human existence. This particular place is for wishing one of our best and our brightest well, not to question why he straps on his helmet (do you?) and goes out there every weekend. :)

rebecca yount
Mar. 25, 2007, 08:44 PM
Yes, I certainly do. Every time, every ride. Even in competition. I am not a complete idiot--I am a Pony Club mom and have jump judged at Fair Hill, and have even jumped around a couple of cross country courses (Waredaca and Menfelt). Seeing the big guys go around certainly is thrilling and I hope that those who still want to do it are able to get back on and do it. As a psychologist, risk-taking intrigues me.

I am glad to hear that you all continue to consider the risks to life and limb of your horses and yourselves. I am sure your national and international organizations pay attention to those issues as well.

Sorry to have ruffled feathers. I guess I'll go away now. Thank you to the poster who kindly referred me to the other threads.

Mar. 25, 2007, 08:48 PM
Rebecca, you should be flamed here. You have a viable thread - this isn't it.

Mar. 25, 2007, 08:50 PM
I did a clinic with Ralph before and he was definitely a challenge for me and my horse, but I can clearly remember the weekend after the clinic at the Fork. I finished my stadium round and as I exited the ring, Ralph looked at me and said "Excellent ride, Ashley." I nearly died! I was so shocked that he had remembered me and was lucky enough to have such an amazing response from him!

I have watched him faithfully at every event including Rolex since then. LOTS of jungles from Bob and I!!!

And Deltawave, what an excellent way to put it :)

Here's to forgetting about the comments before and jingling even more for Ralph!!

Mar. 25, 2007, 09:00 PM
Jingles for Raph! One of the things that I think is so unique about him as a rider and clinician is that he hasn't lost one ounce of enthusiasm for the sport. I would imagine after years of doing clinics, riding courses, etc., you get jaded and it's hard to be as excited as when you start out. But this guy continues to bring energy to every ride, every clinic. I hope he recovers quickly and is back doing what he loves.

Mar. 25, 2007, 09:18 PM
Best wishes to Ralph. I have only heard wonderful things.

Deltawave- Well said.

Mar. 25, 2007, 10:38 PM
Wow! What a tragedy for Ralph- he is such a wonderful person to be around and a great horseman to learn from. As I read this thread, I realized how many people he has influenced in the sport of eventing in a postive way. I was fortunate enough to take a clinic with him last year and I am so glad that I videotaped it- I watch it still and learn things from it. He gave me great confidence in my riding and he really knows his stuff, but he is not "stuffy" about it! He is such a fun and postive person to be around- I wish him a speedy recovery!

KBG Eventer
Mar. 25, 2007, 10:40 PM
This is so sad! My first clinic ever was with Ralph Hill and Werner Geven at Poplar Place. Ralph gave me so much confidence *both* times I did a clinic. He had me jumping all sorts of big stuff, and I felt like I came away with "break throughs" each time. This is upsetting news, but everyone who has met Ralph knows he doesn't give up. I think he is a fighter! :)

Mar. 25, 2007, 10:40 PM
I understand that everyone would like to keep updated but his family has asked to allow us to inform what is going on his carepage. Please respect their wishes by not posting second hand information here. We know that everyone is concerned but we want the information to be circulated to be accurate and from the sources directly associated with Ralph. The carepage will be updated as his family wishes with information they would like to be printed.

Mar. 25, 2007, 10:42 PM
Ralph does indeed have family in Kentucky. I train often with his niece.

Mar. 25, 2007, 11:07 PM
SFIR- Gotcha. Had no clue there was such a page. Will take note. Thanks for saying something.

Mar. 25, 2007, 11:19 PM
Thank you. I sent you a PM. Everyone is grateful to you for the help and positive thoughts. I know you are concerned and we will keep the carepage updated daily.

Carol Ames
Mar. 25, 2007, 11:24 PM
Certainly sending jingles and prayers;:yes: Where is he hospitalized??? What is the ,mailing address?you know, I don't believe don't believe I've ever heard of him being injured :no: though I'm sure he has been; Does he have any immediate family?Please keep us updated on his condition; I'm sure his parents are jingling from across the Rainbow Bridge, too from their front row seats!,:winkgrin: :eek:

J. Turner
Mar. 26, 2007, 12:23 AM
There is a website that allows families to post progress online for everyone to read. I hate the rumor mill.


I hope they start a site

Just so everyone knows, it's www.caringbridge.net. I have a page for Malcolm, but I haven't updated it in forever.

Jingles for Ralph. Femurs are not fun to break. I hope all goes well and they keep infection away. Keep those nasty nosocomial (hospital type) ones at bay.

Mar. 26, 2007, 12:36 AM
Ruthie -- thanks so much for setting up the carepage and for keeping it updated. And, thank you to all the COTH'ers who care, and understand that allowing Ruthie to post information that we know is accurate and rumor free is the best way to help and support Ralph as he heals.

Robby -- Last Hurrah is actually a very handsome colt! Strut is a very nice surprise baby out of a really super Winston daughter. He promises to be a very special event horse someday!! :D :yes:

When I got home tonight (I was out of town, but not at poplar this weekend) Buzz met me in the pasture when I went out to check on the boys. Some of you may know that in his Training move up with Ralph in October, the silly boy hurt himself. Well, in the intervening months, he has stuck a nail in his knee, just shy of the joint, but requiring surgery nonetheless, and then, after that excitement, climbed a tree in my paddock (yes, *climbed into* a tree!) and drove a branch about six inches into his quadricep, but barely missing his patellar ligaments.

At RHHT at the beginning of the month, Ralph and I came up with a plan to get him fit and back to work, so that he could go back to schooling in a couple of months and then back to competition in the fall. Ralph was very nice about it, but frankly appalled to hear *just* how fat the monster was!! :lol: :lol:

So, back to tonight -- Buzz met me in the field and seemed to know something in his world wasn't right. I know that is probably silly, but I explained to him what had happened and that even he needed to send his Uncle Ralph as many good thoughts as his little brain could muster.

I'm sure he was just reading my mood, but he really seemed to understand. Many of you have followed this little horse's career from when he first came into my life, and to say he is "difficult, but talented" is an understatement.

He and Ralph have a really amazing bond. Ralph is terrific with him, where others would be horribly impatient. He is a frequently banged up, super cheap, no one else would ever want him, scrappy little TB with a HUGE HEART.

Ralph saw that from the beginning and told me early on "Let's see what this one can do. Sometimes if you believe in them, and give them the love and care that no one else has, they will give you the world."

No one else wanted to ride him, and no one else really believed.

Ralph did and even if I didn't think the world of him for everything else he is and does, I will always love him for that. He's brought the best out in that little piece of sh$#*t horse that no one thought was worth even trying with.

I am always proud of what Ralph's horsemanship and even more so his teaching ability, but he deserves his angel wings for what he has done for me and my little Monster.

Heal soon and well, Ralph, I want that silly boy to go Prelim someday and I want to see the two of you do it together!

We love you -- Libby & Buzz

Mar. 26, 2007, 01:00 AM
Perhaps I'm not overly internet skilled but I've seen a couple different urls being cited none of which I believe were correct. I assume we're talking about http://www.caringbridge.org/

(Not "caringbridge.net" and not "carebridge.com" which is medical IP provider)

After going there, you cannot access a caringbridge.org page unless you know the correct site name. www.caringbridge.org/visit/__________

Anyhow, wishing the best to Ralph and his family. I was really looking forward to meeting him again at Rolex and seeing him ride. Hopefully next year he'll be back in rare form.

Mar. 26, 2007, 01:18 AM
Ok, so after reading 5 pages of posts, someone asked what Ralph sings on couse... One year it was What a Friend I Have in Jesus. Must not have been a good course.

Another poster asked if Ralph had been injured recently... At Rolex 2 years ago he fell off, chased Billy down, finished the course and later went to the hospital where he was told he'd broken his ankle. I saw him a few weeks later at a clinic, he said if the owner had let him ride Stadium on Sunday he would have, he didnt want to miss finishing. he's such a trooper!

A friend of mine that grew up riding with Ralph had called me to tell me of Ralph's accident. I felt absolutely sick. I am waiting for my password to be emailed to me (i forgot it) so I can read his carepage and then call and update my friend. I do fear he had some mis-information that had been relayed to me. I am hoping so, as some of the things we had heard were awful. I will be happy to call him with an update after I catch up on the carepage, thanks for posting the link.

I've cliniced with Ralph for so many years. He's such a patient man. When we took my never-been-on-XC baby out several years ago he didnt want to go in the water. After a long and unsuccessful time, he finally grabbed the bridle and walked us in and out of the water in his paddock boots. I was so embarassed and yet so thankful that he didnt just give up on us. We laugh about it to this day. My horse doesnt behave very well on XC, either clinics or at events (long story not going to post here), and Ralph is always patient. He tells me that all the great ones have some kind of "quirk". I'm not sure if he's being nice or really thinks that, but he's still patient with us none-the-less... It doesnt matter if you've got a never-been-on-XC baby or if you're riding advanced, you get done riding with Ralph and he makes you feel like a superstar! And he gives all his riders, regardless of level, the same respect and time as the upper level riders. I really do respect that.

There is nothing like walking around at Rolex and having Ralph pick you out of the crowd as he's going to/from warm-up/stabling/where ever to say... "Hey Darlin' how's that big horse of yours?" and stopping for a quick chat about my horse. What? There are like 40,000 people here, you are competing and you're going to ask me about my horse? (melt) He's a great clinician, a great rider, trainer, and human being. I cant express how special it makes my husband and I feel when he remembers us when he's got so many other people, horses, and a major competition going on. he doesnt ever seem to forget a face or a horse. hell, i forget peoples names moments after they're introduced! LOL!

i wish Ralph all the best. He has such a wonderful attitude and it is very heartwarming to hear everyone's stories about him. Hopefully we'll all get to see him and wish him well in person as I have to guess he'll be scooting around Rolex in a golf cart. And if i happen to miss him there, I'll have to find him at his annual spring clinic here in May (god willing!)

GET WELL SOON RALPH! and everyone have a safe and event-ful season!

Mar. 26, 2007, 07:00 AM
HEs one of a kind. I bet it will be strange not seeing or hearing Ralph at Rolex this year. Get well soon Ralph!
Hey anyone know what Ralph was Singing on course before he got hurt?? What horse was he riding? Sorry, i am way out of the eventing loop these days. :eek:

Mar. 26, 2007, 07:59 AM
It's not the caring bridge site. It's www.carepages.com

Mar. 26, 2007, 08:03 AM
And the site is a little confusing at first, because when you click on "visit a site" it takes you to a registration page. I'm embarrassed to admit that this confused me for long enough to have to try a few times!!

But, you go through a quick registration process and then type in "Ralphhill" no spaces, in the bar to search for a site and it will take you straight to it.

Thanks again to Ruthie for setting this up!


Mar. 26, 2007, 08:31 AM
Foxhall Cup CCI*** website used to have a video of Ralph competing with a helmet cam....he fell off about halfway around x-c...so you see sky, grass, sky, grass....he was OK....

Mar. 26, 2007, 08:35 AM
ughhh...can't access Ralph's page right now on the site...

I was down at the AlternateUniverse known as Wellington when I got the news.

Ralph has been coaching the Fabulous Maria and my FatPaintMare this season. He turned to me at their first lesson and exclaimed, "That mare doesn't know she CAN stop, does she?" In a later lesson, when she sailed over a liverpool the very first time with no hesitation, he said, "GO BUY BACK THAT BABY!"

I am taking the FatPaintMare to Pine Mountain in 2 weeks, and had 3 lessons scheduled with Ralph. We're going to muddle through, but I'll miss the CONFIDENCE Ralph instills :(

Heal fast, and come back to us at Rocking Horse.

Mar. 26, 2007, 08:48 AM
More fun Ralph stories -- I think it was last year (the year of the infamous socks at the Rolex jog up...) he was singing "Bad Boys" on course as he went by, grinning for all he was worth as he tore up the course. Made you want to run out and jump on someone and start out of the box!

I was at the jump where he fell the year he broke his ankle -- very tricky double corner (2 years ago I think) where a TON of folks had problems. I think his horse left a leg, catapulted him out of the saddle, and kept going down the hill. He bounced up off the ground and went hobbling at top speed (and rather p.o.'ed as I recall) down to where someone had caught the horse, got on, kicked on, and kept going to finish the course.

He was maybe halfway through, with, among other things, the huge drop at the Head of the Lake still to come.
Unbelievable and inspiring.

Mar. 26, 2007, 08:55 AM
Still jingling, and just thought I would share my Ralph story. I've helped with the past 3 clinics at Waredaca, and it really is one of the highlights of my summer. The one year that I had a horse to ride, he was so encouraging and Jack went from jumping little BN stuff to confidently galloping over a log into the water. The next year I was just helping and he not only remembered Jack, but he asked about him. As I was giving him a tour of the XC course, he started asking about some of the horses in the field, and was shocked that some were school horses.

And he even gave pharmgirl's favorite mare her permanent nickname of "Rolling Thunder."

I always love how simple he makes everything seem. A friend's horse is notorious for knocking rails in stadium, Ralph's solution ... "Just kick him before every jump." And viola, the horse was jumping clean. And his solution of Rolling Thunder's lack of enthusiam for the BN fences ... just make them bigger. And viola, our big 'ol school horse was jumping through bounces w/ cross-rails set at the highest hole.

Ja Da Dee
Mar. 26, 2007, 09:08 AM
I've never been lucky enough to lesson with Ralph, but have had the pleasure to audit a few clinics. What an awesome horseman he is. Just a joy to be around.

Sending best wishes for a fast recovery.

Mar. 26, 2007, 10:11 AM
I audited a Ralph clinic.

he told us he likes that song by Guns and Roses: Sweet Child O' Mine

She's got a smile that it seems to me
Reminds me of childhood memories
Where evrything
Was as fresh as the bright blue sky
Now and then when I see her face
She takes me away to that special place
And if I stared too long
I'd probably break down and cry

Sweet child o' mine

Mar. 26, 2007, 11:36 AM
OH!:no: Jingles for Ralph!

Last year at Rolex, I met him and told him about Jimmy Wofford's Chron of the Horse prediction that Ralph would probably sing "Bad Boys" around the XC b/c of his horse's name Bad Boy Billy. He thought that was hysterical and asked what fence I was going to be photographing at, I tell him... So, along he comes and I hear him "Bad boy, bad boy, what ya gonna do?" It was great! I always felt alittle special that he sang for me! :D

Mar. 26, 2007, 01:01 PM
tex~ were you at the trakhener in the infield before the little water??? I was standing right at the landing spot for that fence and I got Ralph on video singing "Bad Boys" all the way down the hill and over the fence. And then when he cleared the water and was galloping away he turned to his audience and waved. LOL! It's a great video! I had tried to download it onto my computer for another COTHer last year and couldn't figure it out. (sorry!)

Personally I"ve never actually met Ralph. I remember one of the first times I ever jump judged I was at the big Water jump at Poplar and Ralph was on a Prelim? horse and when he went through the water, he got to the other side and circled his horse enough times to ask me how my day was going and if I was enjoying being a jump judge. lolol! I was BEYOND amused!!! What a nice guy! (I'm sure he was just way ahead of his minute markers, but still, to be so friendly!).

It was hard waiting in silence while they held the course for him on Saturday. I was in line at the concession stand and the guy behind me had a radio and all I heard was "We need EMT Immediately! Immediately!" I almost threw up. I've been praying for him every since. I know he's a strong guy with a great personality, and he'll bounce back with a bit of time. He has a strong support group to help him through it. :)

Mar. 26, 2007, 02:17 PM
While everyone else is sharing, I thought I'd share a fond Ralph story as well. I have had the opportunity to clinic with Ralph several times. When I was 15, I was competing a 15.1 hh long backed, downhill, QH at training. My trainer at the time adored him, but new I would need something else to move up with. I had a YR clinic with Ralph at Longwood, and went in so down, thinking I wouldn't be competing Cody much longer, and Ralph (and Andrew Harbison) both told me that I just had to work extra hard to get it done, but that I had an awsome horse, and I could do anything I wanted with him. I had an amazing time at the clinic and came home with renewed faith in my Little horse that could. Cody went on to compete at Prelim for almost 2 years, and is still sitting outside in my pasture keeping the babies company at 16. I am forever greatful for Ralphs words of encouragement. I had the joy of having his help at the Midsouh 3-day this past October, and it made going around that course so much easier. Ralph, you'll come out on top...you always do!


Mar. 26, 2007, 03:16 PM
These stories are hilarious! Jingling for a quick recovery for Ralph...hope to see him on the XC course again soon, maybe singing "Back in the High Life Again"?? :)

gully's pilot
Mar. 26, 2007, 03:39 PM
OK, time for my Ralph story. I took a clinic with him two years ago. Gully was going novice, pretty well--we were working on the ditch at Rolex, just the plain little ditch, and Ralph said, "and after you jump it, go up the hill and jump that little cabin up there." So we went up the hill, nice momentum to the cabin, Gully jumped and just kept going--up and up--serious hang time. I came back down and Ralph had the biggest sh!t eating grin. I said, "How big WAS that?" One of the other riders started laughing and said, "It was on the Prelim course at Mayfest last week," and the Rolex course builder, who was standing there, said, "jumped the other direction, Prelim. Jumped that direction, Advanced." And Ralph just kept grinning.

Gully's 15 hands.

Then I saw him last year at Mayfest, early on, and told him about Gully's surgery and how this was our first event back. Later in the weekend, he was driving by on a golf cart and said, "How's it going?'
"Second!" I said.
"When's cross country?"
"I've done cross country!"
"Baby," he said, "You are BACK!"

I think he's fabulous and am so so glad he's on the road to recovery.

Bascule Baby
Mar. 26, 2007, 03:49 PM
Glad he is expected to recover.

Are the results for this event online?

Mar. 26, 2007, 03:54 PM
Jingling for Ralph! I was entertained by his antics at Rolex last year! He seems like quite a guy!

Mar. 26, 2007, 04:37 PM
The results for Poplar Place can be found at the Poplar Place website www.poplarplacefarm.com , click on Horse Trials and scroll to March and click on results. I'm sure there are other places, too, but that's one sure place!

Mar. 26, 2007, 04:49 PM
I was hoping we might get an update on Ralph this afternoon. I drive by the Medical Center in Columbus, GA every day on my way home from work. I drove by there a little while ago on the way home and found myself wondering.
I never had the opportunity to do a clinic with Ralph, my eventing career ended as a teenager back around 1980. I used to read Practical Horseman like crazy and I think I remember him competing on a horse that I think was called "Seargeant Gilbert" or something like that? I had hoped that one or both of my daughters might be able to do a clinic with him when he came back to Poplar Place this summer.
I will say that as a mom with 2 daughters just starting out, seeing all the "wrecks" this past weekend can be quite scary but it just seems to be the nature of the sport. Of course, when I was doing it in my younger days, I never gave a second thought to the danger. Becoming a mom will sure change your perspective on risks when your children are involved!

Mar. 26, 2007, 05:15 PM
When I saw the title of this thread I just thought "oh no oh no oh no".
Devastating accident of course but very relieved to hear it is not fatal.
Best wishes to Ralph.

Mar. 26, 2007, 05:16 PM
Any updates will be posted first on Ralph's caring page -- Ruthie has promised to keep us abreast of what is going on with Ralph. Once you have signed on as a member there, the website will email you and let you know when the page has been updated.

Sergeant Gilbert was, in fact, the horse you would have read about.

From Ralph's website:

Ralph Hill grew up on his family's farm, Hill View, in Chester County, Pennsylvania. His father, Francis "Hilly" Hill, an accomplished horseman himself, developed Ralph's skills early, having Ralph ride every difficult horse they came across. Ralph foxhunted, evented, and was an A graduate of Pony Club. Additionally, Sergeant Andy Gilbert, who Ralph trained with in his early days, was very influential on Ralph's emerging riding style. Ralph and Hilly named a young horse they bought after Sergeant Gilbert, and this horse later became the horse that took Ralph to a fourth-place finish at the 1978 World Championships at Kentucky.

Ralph's website is: www.ralphhilleventing.com (http://www.ralphhilleventing.com) and there is also a link there to updates on his condition, but the caring page is going to be the main update center.

Keep those jingles and great Ralph stories coming!!


Mar. 26, 2007, 05:45 PM
Hi Libby,
I signed up on the carepages website yesterday. I didn't expect that anything would be posted directly to the COTH site. It's good that there is a centralized site and so glad Ruthie set it up. I saw the update this morning and hope they are better staffed today.
It's great to read all the wonderful stories, hopefully he'll be able to see them very soon and see how many people think so much of him:)
***Jingles*** for Ralph~!

Mar. 26, 2007, 06:01 PM
At some point, we'll have to get Ralph to dictate a Sergeant Gilbert (the horse) story for us and hopefully we can post it here -- I've heard him tell a few, and couldn't do them justice to relate for you guys, but he has some fabulous tales! We'll have to get him to start recording them for us! :D

I'm trying to take the "no recent news is good news" approach, but it is tough to not have an idea of what is going on. I know that if things took a bad turn, we'd hear something, so in a way, I'm glad it has been quiet -- hopefully that is a sign that he is resting comfortably.

Thanks to all of you for posting your stories and for caring -- he's the epitome of an event rider and a fantastic person and it is terrific to have so many folks pulling for him!! :D


Mar. 26, 2007, 06:11 PM
"I'm trying to take the "no recent news is good news" approach, but it is tough to not have an idea of what is going on. I know that if things took a bad turn, we'd hear something, so in a way, I'm glad it has been quiet -- hopefully that is a sign that he is resting comfortably."

Amen, Libby. The most gut wrenching thing about the incident was seeing Ralph not talking and lying absolutely still.

My thoughts and prayers are with him - and also with the Stegmans, the officials, Rusty, Maria (who luckily just happened to be there), the medics, the jump judges, the jump crew - everyone who was there and who functioned so beautifully through it all.

Mar. 26, 2007, 06:31 PM
being at Rocking Horse today and watching the girls pack everything up was very, very sad.

Horses are being shipped here and there; Andrew was picking up a load today and will be back tomorrow for another.

Mar. 26, 2007, 06:42 PM
I spoke with a member of Ralph's family this morning. Of course the whole thing has been pretty hectic, but she had a positive sound to her voice. She said Ralph had two surgeries already and would need another one, but the cell connection wasn't the best, so I'm not sure exactly what injured part the upcoming surgery will be on, but when I asked if he'd had surgery on his leg yet, she said he'd had two and needed a third, so I wasn't sure if that was altogether or just on his leg. Which for a compound fracture wouldn't be unusual. She said they either were going to move him to Atlanta or had, of course he is still in ICU, once again, the cell phone gremlins, and she was getting an incoming from the hospital, so she said she would give me a call when she had time for a couple of deep breaths and ten spare minutes. If I hear anything else, I'll post it here.

Mar. 26, 2007, 07:21 PM
Michelle asked that info not be posted here but on his carepage. If there is something you would like posted there email me at sfieventing@earthlink.net. Everytime someone posts on bb's with second hand info it starts a wave of emails and frantic calls.

Flutie - yes no news is good news. There has been nothing to report because not much has happened in the last 24 hours but planning. I should have a better update on his carepage tonight

Mar. 26, 2007, 07:35 PM
Sorry Ruthie,I didn't realize you had been speaking with Michelle, she phoned me this morning. So you'll probably have more contact and better updates than I would. I only posted here at all because the care page site was so difficult to get to work properly. Thanks for all your updates.

Mar. 26, 2007, 07:44 PM
Sometimes that site moves really, really slowly but if anyone cannot get through to his page let me know.
2yndyrgal - no harm done. I am going to speak to her a little later and get tonights installment. I know everyone is anxious for news.....
People have been sending me lots of great pics to put up. Keep them coming!

Lori T
Mar. 26, 2007, 08:22 PM
Sometimes that site moves really, really slowly but if anyone cannot get through to his page let me know.
2yndyrgal - no harm done. I am going to speak to her a little later and get tonights installment. I know everyone is anxious for news.....
People have been sending me lots of great pics to put up. Keep them coming!

I get through, but my message I wrote this morning has disappeared! Oh well. Still sending positive thoughts for Ralph. His updates are the first thing I check.

Mar. 26, 2007, 08:58 PM
i too am on that care page first thing in the a.m. and several times during the day, and of course last thing at night. i feel it is the only link to ralph at this point.i also want to thank ruthie for setting this up and for taking on the huge task of keeping us all updated:) i just get a tearry eyed reading all of the messages on the care page and then to come here and see all of the stories,it just proves how many people love and respect ralph as a trainer,teacher, friend and rider.i for one cannot wait for him to get better and get back down here and get back teaching, we will be lost without him at the championships in june at poplar. i am still hoping he will be able to attend. my prayers and thoughts are with you everyday ralph.

Carol Ames
Mar. 26, 2007, 10:49 PM
Ralph is a true horseman and a "mensch" sent to us I am sure by our /'horse angels", and remember now secretariat, Settle Slew and Barbaro are up there puling for him:yes:

Carol Ames
Mar. 26, 2007, 10:56 PM
If someone from the BB goes to visit him, please print out these posts and take them to him! It meant a great deal to me when I was hospitalized:yes: ;)

Carol Ames
Mar. 26, 2007, 11:12 PM
Please post the link to the care page again


Mar. 26, 2007, 11:22 PM
Memories ( mine ) of Ralph " whipping-in" on Sargent Gilbert while hunting with the Foxcatchers.

He is one of the most intuitive instuctors I've ever known. Never pushing a rider or a horse past their capabilities. Heaven help the under riders tho. :) :) ;)

Mar. 26, 2007, 11:32 PM
Please post the link to the care page again


Carol it's www.carepages.com (http://www.carepages.com) . Type in ralphhill with no space.

Carol Ames
Mar. 27, 2007, 12:16 AM
The care page for Ralph just worked beautifully for me, though I could not reach Kimmoranis'; What a great idea!:yes:

Mar. 27, 2007, 12:27 AM
try kim meier to reach her page

Mar. 27, 2007, 07:17 AM
Sending most positive healing thoughts, prayers, and very loud jingles to Ralph.
I was just wondering if there was a song he would like us to sing for him? Born to Run came to mind. we could sing it very loud.

Mar. 27, 2007, 02:01 PM
Fred - I like your idea of singing Born To Run very, very loud!

There will only be one Ralph Hill in this universe - I adore the guy.

Some Ralphisms from him to me over the years;
- Shake it baby!
- Now you're cookin' with gas!
- Felt like you were in a washing machine, didn't it?
- Ooooo....he LIKES to jump!
- Weelllllll....isn't he a clever jumper!
- Go baby go!

Without Ralph at Rolex....I think it should be cancelled! Just kidding...sort of!

Jingling as much as I can!

Mar. 27, 2007, 03:02 PM
Another favorite Ralphism -
"Take a deep seat, get a faraway look in your eye and kick on."

gully's pilot
Mar. 27, 2007, 04:11 PM
After a bad fence: "Wow! Your not gonna want to buy that photo!"

Mar. 27, 2007, 04:23 PM
Jingles and a card on it's way from Texas!

Mar. 27, 2007, 04:23 PM
To inspire a rider on x-c "Ride him like you stole him!" and "Go get it!"

When you miss your takeoff spot "You should have called for it, as in 'Here Spot!' "

And of course his #1 rule (really his dad's) "Keep the horse between you and the ground!"

Carol Ames
Mar. 27, 2007, 10:44 PM
I just saw the photo of Ralph and "Howie" on the carepage, made me smile ;) and feel much bette:yes: r; It's been a long road from there/then to here/now,:winkgrin: i'm sure, in time this will be considered merelya "bump" in the road or, as a friend of mine always says "remember, in a hundred years no one will remember this,

Carol Ames
Mar. 27, 2007, 11:00 PM
My favoriteRalphism said at a clinic after a particularly frightening :eek: effort (?) at a ditch and rail Ralph said , hat in hand, "Thank you, God" followed by "You get only so many of those fences don't use them up;)

Platinum Equestrian
Mar. 28, 2007, 11:15 AM
My favoriteRalphism said at a clinic after a particularly frightening :eek: effort (?) at a ditch and rail Ralph said , hat in hand, "Thank you, God" followed by "You get only so many of those fences don't use them up;)

I'm enjoying all of the Ralphisms...

Mar. 28, 2007, 11:26 AM
One time I was videotaping at Morven Park in the indoor dressage ring, and Ralph did a really bad dressage test, salutes to judge Susan Carr, and says "I'm sorry" and leaves. I don't recall ever hearing an apology from a rider before!

Mar. 28, 2007, 12:17 PM
Another great Ralph moment -
He had a particularly gruesome dressage test. The judge's comment on the bottom of the test was "Tactfully ridden, but why did you bother?" He tells that story a lot.

Mar. 28, 2007, 12:45 PM
I have also had a judge say. out loud. "I hope he is a good jumper."

I don't go to the events much anymore, but I watched the whole *** at Red Hills in 2006 and Ralph and Billy had a beautiful dressage test.

Mar. 28, 2007, 02:01 PM
My favorite moment with Ralph was when I took my first clinic on my horse Riley who show under the name "All Riled Up". After a less than quiet effort over a series of jumps, Ralph said "Man! You've got to ride this horse like you've got a hang over!" We all enjoyed a good laugh.

Mar. 28, 2007, 05:15 PM
The first time I ever rode Ben with Ralph, the silly horse stopped the clinic three times, demanding that we find him a private place to go off and pee. Ralph thought his modesty was hysterical, and for a long time I was known as the rider with the horse that won't pee in public :lol: :lol: I was only competing at BN at that time (which now seems like an impossible mountain to climb to get back there! :eek: ) and by the end of that weekend, I felt like I was really going to be able to do this sport someday. Like many people have mentioned here, Ralph always remembered me and helped me with Ben right up until the painful decision was made to retire him. He helped me make that awful choice and helped me to know it was the right thing to do. One of my favorite things about working with Ralph is that he always makes me feel like a better version of myself -- as a rider and a horseman. :)

Thanks, guys for the Ralph stories and Ralph-isms. Ruthie will be updating the care page, but it is nice to be able to come here too for support and to commune with the huge contingent of Ralph "groupies."

This waiting is hard, but as he heals, there will be more just waiting, with nothing much happening and everyone is very appreciative of all the support shown by the eventing community.

So, keep those stories coming and please keep posting on the care page. I know it will mean so much to him.

More positive thoughts and jingles,


Mar. 28, 2007, 05:28 PM
I have my fingers, toes, and eyes crossed for Ralph's quick and painless recovery. Ralph is by far one of the most generous, caring, intrensically GOOD people I know. Beyond being one of the best riders in his sport and knowing horse upside down and backwards, he is such a great guy just to hang out with. Never a dull moment and he always keeps you smiling. As for RalphIsms:
-Sit Chilly...we're talking 'Antartica' on this guy
-Your breeches are still white, so the dismount was successful. (After my dear beast of a baby faceplanted on his first stadium course and I was sent cartwheeling)
-She'll never see us out there, she's getting old and her eyes aren't what they used to be. (Speaking of someone perhaps ten years YOUNGER than he)
-I bought him for a dollar and thought the name 'Four Quarters' was only fair!
-Hold on to your knickers!
-The infamous "Ride It Like You Stole It" Jacket
-Slimey SOB!

Mar. 28, 2007, 05:45 PM
I'm jingling for a fast and complete recovery for him! I'm glad noone else was seriously injured!

Mar. 28, 2007, 09:42 PM
I'm jingling too. I was SO hoping to do the clinic with him here in May. Reading the "Ralphisms" made me want to do it all the more. Here's signing on for next year!!!! :)

Mar. 29, 2007, 01:03 PM
Anyone think there will be a benefit auction for Ralph??? I love auctions for a good cause!!

Mar. 29, 2007, 01:09 PM
I'm jingling too. I was SO hoping to do the clinic with him here in May. Reading the "Ralphisms" made me want to do it all the more. Here's signing on for next year!!!! :)

Hey! He broke some bones, but if I know Ralph, his mouth still works. You may still have your clinic. Think positive!:) :) :)

Mar. 29, 2007, 06:16 PM
My best personal Ralph experience was at the XC clinic on the course at Wayne about 12 or 13 years back. The clinic was running late (surprise!) and I was in the last group. My trusty mare and I schooled our first ever prelim water in the rain, in the dark. Various auditors and officials parked their cars nearby and turned the headlights on, and Ralph stood by the first element, a big honking log that dropped into the water, with a longe whip. Did I ever for a moment stop to consider that this was insane? NEVER.

Favorite Ralphism at a clinic, spoken to a horse/rider combo having lots of rails in a stadium school: "We call that bowling for dollars! Now, let's see if you can pick up the spare!"

And of course: "May the force be with you."

He is a fabulously gifted teacher, and I hope he recovers speedily and completely!

Mar. 29, 2007, 10:35 PM
Jingling like mad for Ralph. Can't imagine Rolex without him!

Mar. 30, 2007, 09:55 AM
I have also had a judge say. out loud. "I hope he is a good jumper."
+1 (geek for "me too")

Mar. 30, 2007, 08:59 PM
Okay, sorry if someone's posted these before...but I'm ALWAYS hearing:

"That's money in the bank, baby."
"Who showed up for the dance?"
"Good onya, girl."
That's just a start...we should collect them all.

Also, I have to give credit to my friend, Kathy Hartwell, for one of the photos on his carepage. She accompanied me in a lesson and she was completely and utterly swept up into 'Ralph groupie fever'. She took the pic of him sitting in his golf cart with Charlie and Gator...it's just the best pic. I love that guy! When he moved to RH as our resident trainer, I thought I had died and gone to heaven! I really, really thought I was in horse heaven.

Ms. Ruthie Harbison wrote on the carepage that his Recovery Fund should be organized soon, so hopefully everyone who has been so vocal on this board and the others will contribute to get the best man in the sport back in the saddle.

Mar. 30, 2007, 09:19 PM
just wanted to send out a BIG thanks to Bill Hoos!

Ralph had a clinic scheduled by me in May, and Bill is going to do the clinic instead and donate all the money to Ralph.

what a sweetie :)

Mar. 30, 2007, 09:40 PM
Oh wow!

Many thanks to Bill for such a generous offer!!

We are working on providing you guys with the information for the recovery fund -- if everyone who has information for that campaign could email me, I can see that the information is properly processed and provided to the person who will ultimately be in charge of collecting and organizing the funds.

I can be reached at lduffy at nettally.com



Mar. 30, 2007, 09:53 PM
Who is quite charming and funny himself (I must say).

I have gone to the "dark side" and now only focus on Dressage, but I evented for many years and event people are the greatest.

I was so impressed by all the trainers who donated lessons (for many, a whole week with stabling), and all the others who donated goods and services in Kim's auction.

Mar. 30, 2007, 10:23 PM
thanks bill, that is really cool of you to do.:) it just shows what a great guy ralph is and how easy it is to get swept up in his engery for a sport that he loves so much. here's to ralph getting well soon and back in the saddle where he belongs. we can't wait to see you sweetie, get better. we miss you tons!

Mar. 31, 2007, 02:47 AM
Ralph has an amazing, infectious exuberance about him that we have all been inspired by. He has that quality about him; you absorb his enthusiasm and confidence in what we are trying to do. And it is the same whether it be a beginner rider or an advanced rider preparing for Rolex.
Reading all of these posts reminds me of all of the Ralphisms and the many times he inspired me and anyone in close proximity. We all know what he can do with a horse, ANY horse. He has the amazing ability to see in their brain and understand what that horse needs from us mere mortals to make their job easier. Often he can tell us one minor little change we can make in our riding or with a horse that makes an incredible difference. There is never a lesson that encompasses simple position corrections or simple repetitive verbage…you actually feel the moments rather than just completing a task. You feel his sincerity, the love, and understanding he has for these wonderful animals and he tries to transmit this to riders. Ralph is a breed all of his own, as we all know, and that is what makes him so special. He doesn’t conform to the status quo, and don’t we all like to root for the renegades?! (Didn’t we all think that ‘Bad Boy Billy’ was an appropriate horse for Ralph to be riding?)
That is why we all appreciate and love Ralph and want him back in our midst.
So Shake it Baby!

Lori T
Mar. 31, 2007, 07:26 AM
Reading all these posts and stories here and on carepages, I really think that while Ralph is recupperating, somebody needs to line him up with an agent and a publisher and he needs to spend that time getting a book written!

Mar. 31, 2007, 07:54 AM
I second Lori T's motion, and vote for Reynard Ridge to help out!!

Mar. 31, 2007, 09:27 AM
If Ralph wrote a book our laugh muscles would never be the same!

Mar. 31, 2007, 03:50 PM
:winkgrin: I was thinking the same thing the other day after reading all the wonderful stories !!!
Wouldn't it be great if a book could be written/ done in such a way that the proceeds would go to help pay his medical bills..It certainly would be a great project while he's laid up and in one place...:).I know there is SOMEONE out there who would know how to get this ball rolling....I bet there would be a lot of people who would buy it especially knowing the proceeds would help with all these expenses and lost income.

Mar. 31, 2007, 09:45 PM
we used to call Ralph the Illinois Cowboy- thats what I knew him as, and this was long before I was lucky enough to ride! His place was right off of I-90 and I would look longingly over....

Hey! Hi sue!! Welcome!!

Apr. 2, 2007, 01:46 PM
Being Canadian and somewhat new to the sport, I hadn’t had the pleasure of seeing Ralph Hill ride until this past fall when he came up show at WitsEnd. I was working the event and near the out gate for stadium when he finished his round. He came out with a whoop and “Hot damn! I don’t usually get to catch ride a horse this nice!” I immediately decided he must be a pretty cool guy. :winkgrin:

Heal well and quickly, Ralph.

Apr. 3, 2007, 12:50 AM
For all of you that may not be aware there is a site where you can get updates on Ralph, share your stories, photos, and send Ralph a message. There is also a fund being set up for donations. The site is carepages.com. Click on Carepage and enter ralphhill. A big high five to Ruthie Harbison for organizing all of it!!:)

May. 4, 2008, 03:51 AM
MOD 1 NOTE: We have removed a prior post, which several subsequent posts referenced. Please see my post on next page for further clarification. Thanks.

Truth or no in what was written, I've no sympathy for cowardly, anonymous posters who take cheap shots.

edited to add that I have reported this post.

May. 4, 2008, 04:03 AM
I have reported this post.

If you feel so strongly that something that happened 27 years ago...oh, never mind. I will not feed the troll.

May. 4, 2008, 07:53 AM
God bless you..I hope you get the help you need.....


Evalee Hunter
May. 4, 2008, 08:01 AM

I don't know the details but it is certainly well-know & talked about (to this day) in this area [edit]. I heard roughly that story around 14 years ago from people directly involved.

May. 4, 2008, 08:05 AM
Fair enough, the incident may have happened.

But coming on the board with such a tasteless alter and making the post--that person can take that behavior elsewhere.

May. 4, 2008, 08:07 AM

Evalee Hunter
May. 4, 2008, 08:26 AM
I have reported this post.

If you feel so strongly that something that happened 27 years ago...oh, never mind. I will not feed the troll.

Why is it any more wrong for someone to post this about Ralph Hill than it was for someone else to post the "truth" about Mike Plumb on the thread (Off Course) promoting him for the Olympic Hall of Fame? The allegations about Mike Plumb could be substantiated only with eye-witnesses, as far as I understand, & no eye-witnesses came forward on the bulletin board, although someone else reported a somewhat similar incident. I think this Ralph Hill incident can very much be substantiated with old news reports, etc.

This "something that happened" would be called manslaughter & treated & tried as such today.

May. 4, 2008, 08:35 AM
Serious problem there.
Where do these people come from? :eek::confused::no:

May. 4, 2008, 08:43 AM
As much as everyone here may love Ralph Hill, if the story is true and I were Natalie's mother, sister, friend, aunt, etc, I might not be so excited to read all the great stuff posted here. I might be remembering the bad stuff. And I might be angry enough (however many years later) to register a protest.
Fair enough. But I hope you'd have the strength of character and the respect for the memory of your loved one to say "I'm Natalie's mother/sister/best friend and...."

Where do these people come from? :eek::confused::no:
Hopefully not from our state!

May. 4, 2008, 08:43 AM
I live in Illinois. I was around when this happened. It was a serious incident, but Ralph paid for it legally with jail time.
Because of this, then, we should wish that he not recover from an accident? How many of us have led perfect lives? I don't get it!
I don't object the incident being brought up. It's on record. I just feel the way it was done was in the very very poorest of taste. Therefore I stand by my "sick" comment.

Anne FS
May. 4, 2008, 08:47 AM
How do you know he is "unrepentant"? Because he survived and went on? Perhaps it haunts him every day.

God bless you and heal your grief.

Reynard Ridge is right.

May. 4, 2008, 08:50 AM
I live in Illinois. I was around when this happened. It was a serious incident, but Ralph paid for it legally with jail time.
Because of this, then, we should wish that he not recover from an accident? How many of us have led perfect lives? I don't get it!
I don't object the incident being brought up. It's on record. I just feel the way it was done was in the very very poorest of taste. Therefore I stand by my "sick" comment.

Had two really great clinics with him! HE really built up my confidence.
We all have somethings in our past I am sure! Obviously it was a terrible accident. And the price was paid.
But that person coming on here was just wrong.

On a lighter note, I was sorry I did not get to see Ralph at Rolex Last week.
I am glad to hear he is doing so much better!
Good on ya Ralph!!! ;):D

Carol Ames
May. 4, 2008, 08:56 AM
Didn't he do prison time :eek:for that offense? I am terribly sorry for your loss; Ralph is still agood person who, made a very bad:no: decision; Who of us hasn't done that, made a bad decision?

May. 4, 2008, 09:25 AM
I don't know about anything else, but it just might have to be pistols at dawn for your opinion about fuschia.

SR Rider
May. 4, 2008, 09:27 AM
I am sorry for anyone's loss in such a tragic manor and the repercussions it created through
the family. Thankfully we have a forgiving God who will lovingly forgive us all our sins.

I don't think it right however to use this forum to bring up this past tragedy....I am sure
it still haunts everyone it affected particularly Ralph...if it did not he would not
be human. God bless all involved and bring them comfort and peace.

Moderator 1
May. 5, 2008, 01:16 PM
Following an earlier graphic anonymous post regarding the details of an accident that Ralph Hill was apparently involved with 27 years ago that may have involved the death of one of his passengers, we temporarily removed this thread for evaluation.

We do not have any official documentation of the facts of this non-horse-related incident and therefore cannot support further discussion of the specifics of the accident or its repercussions. As a result, we've removed the post in which the original assertions were made (and contacted the poster regarding substantiation), and edited subsequent references to the accusations made in that post.

This thread was begun as a means to provide updates on the condition of a horseman and provide wishes of support for his recovery. In light of this, one person was compelled to inform others of an event in Ralph Hill's past that in their opinion made him undeserving of such support. "...what goes around sometimes takes a while to come around, but it does and justice happens eventually," in their words. There are evidently those who disagree with this opinion and they are encouraged to refocus their comments on the original topic.

This is a horse board and not the place to debate the larger question of ultimate justice for past deeds, particularly when based off of undocumented, anonymous accusations of non-horse-related criminal activity related to a tragic incident nearly 30 years ago.

We welcome continued horse-related commentary and discussion and apologize for the heavy hand needed to address the statements made in this thread.

Thanks for your understanding,
Mod 1

May. 5, 2008, 02:14 PM
So glad I missed the train wreck that apparently ended here just a post ago! Good news for those of you in Florida- Ralph moved back down your way from KY on Friday!! (Bad news for us and for my good friend who has been riding with him here, but good news for you ;))

May. 5, 2008, 02:20 PM
My old trainer had worked with him when she was a YR. He was always super nice when I met him, and I am glad he is back from his injury. I hope he comes up this way, because I would love to ride in a clinic with him.

May. 5, 2008, 02:25 PM
i know, i know. i am sooo excitied to see him. cannot wait for a lesson!!!!! can you tell i missed him terrible? hoping he will be at chatt.hills in 2 weeks, would love to sit down again and talk to him. have not seen him since jan.
welcome home sweetie, we are glad you are back.

May. 5, 2008, 02:50 PM
I saw that a horse named "Ralph's Resilience" placed fourth at Poplar this past weekend. No coincidence, I imagine? Nice tribute.

May. 5, 2008, 02:52 PM
Hey now I am partial to Fuschia ......particularly when it is done in sequin and a Boa is involved.

May. 5, 2008, 03:00 PM
(Well put Mod_1)

We meet Ralph this weekend at Poplar. Our trainer was mentored by him (we don't know the whole story) and they're still quite close.

He seemed to be doing very well and was in good spirits. He had a bit of a limp and was working very hard to be able to ride more. In his words, "come on leg and heal so we can get going!"

May. 5, 2008, 05:01 PM
I saw that a horse named "Ralph's Resilience" placed fourth at Poplar this past weekend. No coincidence, I imagine? Nice tribute.

It's my understanding that his name is a tribute and I can confirm that he is a gorgeous boy ably piloted by a lovely young lady who somehow manages to volunteer as well as ride multiple horses whenever she comes to Poplar..:)

May. 5, 2008, 06:46 PM
I had a great chat with Ralph last weekend at Rolex. He was in good spirits, and determined to get back into competing.
We decided that we would meet again some fine day in head to head competition, even if it was at beginner novice!

Jul. 3, 2008, 08:05 PM
Area II is sad to report that we have lost a wonderful trainer and friend, Kari Barber-Arnold. Kari was a student of Ralph's for many years and was on the Area II young rider team in the 80's when he coached them to a gold. She died unexpectedly in her home last night.

Jul. 3, 2008, 08:09 PM
I had a great chat with Ralph last weekend at Rolex. He was in good spirits, and determined to get back into competing.
We decided that we would meet again some fine day in head to head competition, even if it was at beginner novice!

I think there should be a charity event at some big HT with yourself, The Woff, Ralph, and whomever else would draw a good crowd. Get all the old warhorses together again and raise some money for good causes. :)

Jul. 3, 2008, 08:57 PM
I think there should be a charity event at some big HT with yourself, The Woff, Ralph, and whomever else would draw a good crowd. Get all the old warhorses together again and raise some money for good causes. :)

And they have to go BN!!! What a hoot that would be watching Denny et al, go over 18 inch fences. Maybe ride a students green bean, or on an old comp horse. . .???:lol::lol::lol::lol: I would definately watch and volunteer.

Carol Ames
Jul. 3, 2008, 11:08 PM
If you could find a division at the speed of a walk,:winkgrin: and a schoolie :yes:for me to ride, I might take you on!:lol:

Jul. 3, 2008, 11:10 PM
amyg, I think your post may have gotten lost here. I'm very sorry to hear about your friend.

Toadie's mom
Jul. 4, 2008, 02:04 AM
Area II is sad to report that we have lost a wonderful trainer and friend, Kari Barber-Arnold. Kari was a student of Ralph's for many years and was on the Area II young rider team in the 80's when he coached them to a gold. She died unexpectedly in her home last night.

I'm so sorry and my sympathies for you, her friends and family. Would you please post a new thread about this? I have to ask, did she live (or used to live) in Arkansas and compete in Area V? Must be the same person that I know, although the last name Arnold has thrown me.

Jul. 4, 2008, 07:36 AM
Sorry to hear about the loss of your friend.
Where was Kari from? Her name sounds familiar.

cyriz's mom
Jul. 4, 2008, 06:47 PM
TM - I was thinking the same thing. There used to be a Kari Barber in Area V who rode awesome sport Morgans.

Anyone know if it's the same Kari?

Jul. 6, 2008, 04:06 AM
to those who were wondering about Kari - I am sorry to say this is the same woman who recently passed away suddenly. You may read her obituary (affiliated with Roller Chenal Funeral home). It lists some of her accomplishments as an eventer, and yes, she was a student of Mr. Hill. Here is the link:

Jul. 6, 2008, 10:16 PM
I posted a new thread under Kari's name. My first try at this obviously was completely wrong, but I am glad it reached some of you. I also got the area wrong. I rode so long in Area II that I never got V right.

Sorry for interupting this discussion.