Check out this cool film of the USET core members 1957-1960. William Steinkraus, George Morris, Hugh Wiley, and Frank Chapot--they are all here, along with mounts Sinjon, Ksar D'Esprit, Riviera Wonder, Tally Ho, Master William, Diamant, Night Owl, and Nautical. Hope I didn't leave anyone out!
Love this old footage. That is the first recording I have seen of Steinkraus, he has some of the most beautiful hands I have ever seen on horse back. Actually, finished the whole thing and just in general probably the most beautiful rider I have seen, all parts.
Was the pan am games on a football field? Almost looked like the yard lines. The Aachen fairwell at the end looks rather exciting and enthusiastic.
Those of us who were around back in those days were able to see these wonderful horses and riders at the Penn National and the Garden along with the greats from Italy (D'Inzeo brothers), Germany (Winkler & Theidemann) and Mexico (Morales). Nautical flipped his tail in the air and because it was braided it was a crowd favorite. I loved Ksar d"Esprit with Bill Steinkraus as he looked like he was showing in a hunter class at a hunter pace but because of his long stride he usually had the fastest time.
When we were doing a lot of dressage videoing, I happened to be working in the ring that Cissy (Bill's wife) was judging. I was taping, and sensed someone walk behind me (within the restricted area) and open the door to the judge's booth. I thought "Oh crap - this isn't going to be pretty!" Before I finished taping, the man walked back out and away. I sort of looked over my shoulder and thought "Hmmm...is that Bill?" After she finished scoring, I said "Well, he didn't come flying out of there - so ... was that Bill?" She said "yes". I said, "OMG, I've just seen Elvis!!!" I thought she was going to fall off her chair! She asked if I'd never met him - no, 'known' him for years, but never had the honor. So the next day when he came, she introduced us. It was BETTER than meeting Elvis.
While I am just slightly too young to have actually seen Hugh Wiley and Nautical compete, I have many memories of watching Billy and Frank as well as Sinjon and Ksar d'Esprit compete at both the NHS at MSG and Piping Rock. The only way to describe Bill Steinkraus' riding is perfection.