Thursday, Jun. 6, 2024

National Show Hunter Hall Of Fame Honors Inductees

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On May 28 the National Show Hunter Hall Of Fame welcomed five inductees during a dinner in Haverford, Pennsylvania: Peter Pletcher, Maryann Steiert Charles, the Jacobs family, John Roper and Rumba.

Pletcher, who runs PJP Farms in Magnolia, Texas, rode horses like Sambalino, January’s Best, Geste, Davenport and Above All to great acclaim, and earned three World Champion Hunter Rider Professional Finals titles. In 1998 he was named the Chronicle’s Hunter Horseman of the Year.

Walter “Jimmy” Lee (right) presented Peter Pletcher with his plaque for his induction into the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame. Mollie Bailey Photos

Maryann Steiert Charles, Southern Pines, North Carolina, enjoyed a storied junior career riding with the likes of Debbie Buchannan and Walter “Jimmy” Lee, riding many ponies bred by Jean Liseter Austin du Pont at Liseter Hall Farm. After graduating to horses she continued to ride champions, including Sketiton and NSHHOF member Scot To Do.

Betty Oare (right) gave a speech inducting Maryann Steiert Charles into the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame.

The Jacobs family has been a force to be reckoned with in the show ring for decades, with more than half a dozen competitive riders in the family. Patriarch Jerry Jacobs Sr. and his wife Peggy were major supporters of Stadium Jumping, Inc., which created the American Grandprix Association, and were among the first to invest in land in Wellington, Florida. Jerry and his brother, neurologist Dr. Larry Jacobs, MD, also advocated strongly for safety helmets. They also supported a long list of professionals, many at the start of their careers, including Norman Dello Joio, Chris Payne, David Belford, Geoff Teall, Tom Wright and Skip Thornbury, who trained many top horses.

Three members of the family—Lou Jacobs, his brother Charlie Jacobs and Lou’s daughter Charlotte Jacobs—have all represented the U.S. Equestrian Team, and Charlie and Lou’s sister Katie Robinson and their niece Melissa Jacobs, among others, are decorated hunter riders.

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“This family has a shared determination, generosity, leadership, loyalty, a strong sense of family unit and overwhelming desire to improve our sport in all aspects,” said NSHHOF member Wright during his induction speech.

John Roper, Franklin, Tennessee, has trained many horses to tricolors at the fall indoor circuit and Devon (Pennsylvania), and he’s become a sought-after judge who’s presided over major hunter and equitation championships. He’s also an unofficial historian of the sport, putting together albums for people which include memories of past horses.

Rumba reached the pinnacle of his career while owned by the Siebel family’s Mountain Home Stables, winning the inaugural ASG Software Solutions USHJA International Hunter Derby Final with NSHHOF inductee John French aboard. In 2009 he was named the Chronicle’s Hunter Horse of the Year.

“He just knew when it was an important class, and he rose to the occasion,” said French while inducting the Danish Warmblood (Carano—Brandibah). “He loved being under the lights; he loved being with the crowd. He would just puff up. You could feel him.”

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