Four people, two horses and two horse shows will be inducted into the National Show Hunter Hall Of Fame for 2019.
Carleton Brooks, William Ellis, Meredith McLaughlin, Marguerite Taylor, Classic Importer, Watership Down, the Devon Horse Show (Pennsylvania) and the Deeridge USHJA International Hunter Derby (Florida) will all be honored at the annual National Show Hunter Hall of Fame banquet at the Merion Cricket Club in Haverford, Pennsylvania, on May 28.
Carleton Brooks and his wife Traci Brooks operate Balmoral Farm in West Los Angeles and Malibu, California. Carleton has judged top horse shows throughout the country, and his horses have competed at the top level and been champion many times at the premier horse shows from coast to coast.
Bill Ellis began his career with Hall of Fame member Bob Freels. He has turned out many outstanding horses and junior and amateur riders who have won championships at major horse shows including Devon and the fall indoor circuit.
Meredith McLaughlin showed many top horses in the amateur-owner division successfully. She’s best known for her great eye for picking out talented young prospects like Sandman, Sandsablaze and Barn Owl that went on to win with top professionals.
Marguerite Taylor nearly singlehandedly changed the face of the pony division in this country by breeding crossbred ponies of the highest quality. She and her daughter Marianne dominated the pony hunter breeding division at the major Virginia shows and Devon. Many of these ponies went on to great careers as performance ponies.
Classic Importer, owned and ridden by Danielle Torono, was American Horse Show Association Horse of the Year three times in the amateur-owner division. He dominated that division by winning championships at Devon and the fall indoor horse shows multiple times.
Watership Down earned the AHSA junior hunter horse of the year title with Karen Nielsen. He earned top prizes at Devon, the National Horse Show (New York) and Washington International Horse Show many times. Junior rider Jenny Belknap then took over and he continued his winning ways. He then went to another top junior, Megan Johnstone, where he was also a star.
The Devon Horse Show won best show, and the Deeridge USHJA International Hunter Derby won best derby.