International show jumper Gem Twist was humanely destroyed on Nov. 18. He was 27.
Inducted into the Show Jumping Hall of Fame in 2002, Gem Twist’s career highlights included winning team and individual silver medals at the 1988 Seoul Olympics and the Best Horse title at the 1990 FEI World Equestrian Games in Stockholm, Sweden.
He was the only horse to win three American Grandprix Association Horse of the Year titles. He earned more than $800,000 in prize money over his career.
Gem Twist was a Thoroughbred (Good Twist—Coldly Noble, Noble Jay) bred by Frank Chapot. He was sold to Michael Golden in 1981, and was started by Chapot. Greg Best got the ride on him in 1984, and they won their first gold medal together at the 1985 North American Young Riders Championship. They also won the USET Talent Derby that year.
Best competed Gem Twist at the Olympics and the WEG, but Leslie Burr Howard took over the ride in 1992 when Best injured his shoulder. She rode him to the 1993 Budweiser/AGA Championship.
Laura Chapot started competing Gem Twist in 1995 after he had time off for an injury, and that same year the pair took the $100,000 Autumn Classic. Laura also rode him to his third win in the AGA championship.
Gem Twist was retired in 1997 at Madison Square Garden and spent the rest of his days at Chapot’s Chado Farms in Neshanic Station, N.J., although he continued to travel to Palm Beach, Fla., for the winter circuit.