Tuesday, May. 28, 2024

JOHN JAMES AMON

John “Jack” Amon, noted Long Island horseman and trainer, died Nov. 4 in Syosset, N.Y. He was 76.

Mr. Amon began riding as a young man at Paddy Divine’s stable in Bayside, N.Y. After serving in Korea as a United States Military Policeman, he returned to Long Island to begin his professional riding career working for Albert Merkel Sr., riding Merkel’s Gray Dawn to the PHA open jumper championship in 1954.

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John “Jack” Amon, noted Long Island horseman and trainer, died Nov. 4 in Syosset, N.Y. He was 76.

Mr. Amon began riding as a young man at Paddy Divine’s stable in Bayside, N.Y. After serving in Korea as a United States Military Policeman, he returned to Long Island to begin his professional riding career working for Albert Merkel Sr., riding Merkel’s Gray Dawn to the PHA open jumper championship in 1954.

His eye for talent set many successful partnerships in motion. In the 1960s, while training jumpers for Donald “Doc” Shapiro and his son, future Olympian Neil Shapiro, Mr. Amon came across a horse so special he traded Doc’s pleasure riding mount for the animal without even asking permission. That horse, Uncle Max, became the best mount of Neil Shapiro’s early career.

Under Mr. Amon’s tutelage, the pair went on to win the 1961 PHA Horsemanship class at the National Horse Show (N.Y.) and the 1964 PHA open jumper championship.

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Mr. Amon managed Jericho Stables, where he continued to identify and train top jumpers. His next big find was The Senator for Frank A. Andrea Jr., who together won the 1969 PHA open jumper championship. It was Mr. Amon who proposed that the horse would also partner well with Gay Wiles (now Gay Senk, DVM). Aboard The Senator, Wiles represented the U.S. Equestrian Team at the Pennsylvania National and Washington (D.C.) International horse shows.

In the late 1970s, Mr. Amon continued his association with horses, transporting race horses back and forth across the Atlantic, which he continued to do until he retired.

“Jack had a keen eye and astute perception for talented horses that could progress from a hunter or race horse to the demands of the grand prix jumping ring,” recalled Gay Senk. “His character and attitude reflected in his calm training style, making training the horses and preparation for a class, as a rider, enjoyable and fun.”

He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Jane Amon; three children, Suzanne Nikolas, John Amon Jr., David Amon; and nine grandchildren.  

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