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Kathy Kusner in COTH

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  • Kathy Kusner in COTH

    Although a show jumper, I remember Denny using Kathy Kusner as an example of classically correct form and function at Camp a few years ago. And using her expression " don't go forward more than you need to not get left behind." Jeez, I hope I got that right! Anyway, a fabulous article about her in the latest COTH.

  • #2
    About every 10 years she gets some press for some reason. IMHO there are lots of really great horse people out there doing more than she is and deserve more ink. And speaking from first-hand knowledge, having met and interviewed said person in the past. Not news.
    Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
    Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      I don't really know the politics of upper level/Olympic riders and I'm glad I don't. Kathy was held up as a stylish, classic rider that could possibly through example help me become a better rider. I thought the article was good too, she seems like a very interesting ,accomplished person. Perhaps it is a bit "unfair" that she gets more press coverage than other deserving riders, I don't know. As we all know, there is very little about life that is fair. And that's not always bad. If life were totally fair someone smarter than me woud have my job, and someone better looking and richer than me would have married my wife!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by retreadeventer View Post
        About every 10 years she gets some press for some reason. IMHO there are lots of really great horse people out there doing more than she is and deserve more ink. And speaking from first-hand knowledge, having met and interviewed said person in the past. Not news.
        I disagree with your assessment Retread. i too have met and interviewed Kathy and found her both dedicated and interesting. She was an enormous talent in her day, and her inner city program in L.A. was innovative and useful to many young and largely forgotten lives.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by flutie1 View Post
          She was an enormous talent in her day, and her inner city program in L.A. was innovative and useful to many young and largely forgotten lives.
          THIS is true. She was a pioneer for women in the world of horse sports (especially racing) and the Horses in the Hood was also groundbreaking.

          1. The Olympic thread is simultaneously bemoaning the fact that it takes so much money to get to the top of this sport. The truth is that for MOST people it takes a ton of money to get IN to the sport. Kusner has made horses accessible to a group of people who otherwise would not have access to them. That, IMHO, does not get ENOUGH press!

          2. 10 years is considered a generation. There are a lot of people in this forum who express their disappointment that the "younger generation" doesn't know anything about or appreciate the history of horse sports in America. Kusner was a part of that history.
          "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals" Immanuel Kant

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by retreadeventer View Post
            About every 10 years she gets some press for some reason. IMHO there are lots of really great horse people out there doing more than she is and deserve more ink. And speaking from first-hand knowledge, having met and interviewed said person in the past. Not news.
            Perhaps you don't know her history.....or the history of eventing and that for many years women weren't allowed to ride in 3-day as it was "too dangerous" for the little ladies.

            Kusner's pioneering efforts are the reason female jockeys are now granted licenses to race horses. She was a successful jockey on the flat. She was a successful steeplechase jockey. She was a member of the USET Olympic squad and a successful show jumper.

            She has nothing to prove to anyone. I have not seen the COTH article as the pony express has not arrived. Considering that the majority of event riders are women, perhaps its good that she resurfaces periodically. People need to be reminded of what it took to let the current generation do what they take for granted and to remind folks of the equestrian talent of the top level riders of any generation.

            She rode anything she could get her hands on......and won.....at multiple equestrian disciplines. That's what makes a rider worthy of being sponsored at the highest levels.
            Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.
            Alfred A. Montapert

            Comment


            • #7
              Anyone who belittles Kathy in any way, I can absolutely guarantee you they never watched her ride.
              http://www.tamarackhill.com/

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by retreadeventer View Post
                About every 10 years she gets some press for some reason. IMHO there are lots of really great horse people out there doing more than she is and deserve more ink. And speaking from first-hand knowledge, having met and interviewed said person in the past. Not news.
                Originally posted by denny View Post
                Anyone who belittles Kathy in any way, I can absolutely guarantee you they never watched her ride.
                Damn straight. She was one in a million. Still is!

                Comment


                • #9
                  I had the pleasure of watching her ride in Madison Square Garden when the National was held there, and when I was a little young thing.

                  I absolutely idolized her. She was this tiny, brilliant rider on these gigantic creatures leaping things that made my head spin...and one of the few females riding Grand Prix level.

                  I'll never forget that.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    About every 10 years she gets some press for some reason. IMHO there are lots of really great horse people out there doing more than she is and deserve more ink. And speaking from first-hand knowledge, having met and interviewed said person in the past. Not news
                    It may not be news to you, but I have always admired her efforts to bring riding (and all the positives it brings) to kids who don't have much else.

                    On top of that, it is always wonderful for me to read about women who accomplished much back in the day- its inspiring and she lead the way for many. I'll always take the time to read about a classic, historically relevant sportsman, even if it gets repetitive.

                    It takes a lot of errr...cajones to be so petty.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      It takes a lot of errr...meow to be so petty.

                      There. I fixed it for you.

                      CSSJR

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        There are other horses in the hood programs. Hers was not the first. The people doing them are every bit as dedicated and perhaps not as accomplished. But very worthy of press nonetheless. There are such programs in NY, Philly, Baltimore, Wash. DC and more I am sure I haven't heard of yet. Because they all may not have a USET rider helping them, or haven't been featured in COTH, doesn't mean they are not as important her program, or as effective, or as needy.

                        There are great and accomplished horse people all over this country. For example: can we talk about people like Jane Cory who promoted eventing on her own place for a couple of decades, sold that, and now stepped in and helps at Jersey Fresh. Why without her, and an incredible effort last year to fund the course and event, the US would have lost a major event. Last year, not 30-40 years ago. And there are more. Many more. Our own LAZ for example, who took an idea from some place else in the country and made it work for her region when everyone said it wouldn't work, last year. (The Indiana T3D). These people are working for our sport right now, today. I'd like to read about these people, too.

                        Kathy was not an eventer to my knowledge. I am not old enough to have seen her ride, that was many decades ago (maybe 30 or 40 years?). I have seen beautiful pictures. When I knew her she did not ride.

                        Nothing against her. Not being catty. Just wondering about the relevance.
                        Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
                        Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by retreadeventer View Post
                          There are other horses in the hood programs. Hers was not the first. The people doing them are every bit as dedicated and perhaps not as accomplished. But very worthy of press nonetheless. There are such programs in NY, Philly, Baltimore, Wash. DC and more I am sure I haven't heard of yet. Because they all may not have a USET rider helping them, or haven't been featured in COTH, doesn't mean they are not as important her program, or as effective, or as needy.

                          There are great and accomplished horse people all over this country. For example: can we talk about people like Jane Cory who promoted eventing on her own place for a couple of decades, sold that, and now stepped in and helps at Jersey Fresh. Why without her, and an incredible effort last year to fund the course and event, the US would have lost a major event. Last year, not 30-40 years ago. And there are more. Many more. Our own LAZ for example, who took an idea from some place else in the country and made it work for her region when everyone said it wouldn't work, last year. (The Indiana T3D). These people are working for our sport right now, today. I'd like to read about these people, too.

                          Kathy was not an eventer to my knowledge. I am not old enough to have seen her ride, that was many decades ago (maybe 30 or 40 years?). I have seen beautiful pictures. When I knew her she did not ride.

                          Nothing against her. Not being catty. Just wondering about the relevance.
                          In bold -- because the past affects the present, maybe? In any case, it's the first article I've seen on her in COTH.

                          I thought it was one of the best articles I've read in COTH in a long time. Would you be happier if this thread was posted in the Hunter/jumper forum?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by retreadeventer View Post
                            There are other horses in the hood programs. Hers was not the first. The people doing them are every bit as dedicated and perhaps not as accomplished. But very worthy of press nonetheless. There are such programs in NY, Philly, Baltimore, Wash. DC and more I am sure I haven't heard of yet. Because they all may not have a USET rider helping them, or haven't been featured in COTH, doesn't mean they are not as important her program, or as effective, or as needy.

                            There are great and accomplished horse people all over this country. For example: can we talk about people like Jane Cory who promoted eventing on her own place for a couple of decades, sold that, and now stepped in and helps at Jersey Fresh. Why without her, and an incredible effort last year to fund the course and event, the US would have lost a major event. Last year, not 30-40 years ago. And there are more. Many more. Our own LAZ for example, who took an idea from some place else in the country and made it work for her region when everyone said it wouldn't work, last year. (The Indiana T3D). These people are working for our sport right now, today. I'd like to read about these people, too.

                            Kathy was not an eventer to my knowledge. I am not old enough to have seen her ride, that was many decades ago (maybe 30 or 40 years?). I have seen beautiful pictures. When I knew her she did not ride.

                            Nothing against her. Not being catty. Just wondering about the relevance.
                            The relevance is she was the first to challenge "the system" to allow women to get licensed to ride as flat jockeys and steeplechase jockeys.....and won that fight because she was so good that people went to bat for her. The relevance is that she rode successfully in every equestrian discipline....as a jockey on the flat, as a jockey over timber, as a jumper rider in the Olympics, as a jumper rider in puissance classes.....and did this exceptionally well.....methinks you have no clue what this lady did. Horses in the Hood is just a small part of her legacy.

                            Sorry.....the relevance is that this lady broke a lot of ground that is important still today. The fact that you and other women can ride in cross country competitions today is in no small part due to this rider's efforts.
                            Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.
                            Alfred A. Montapert

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Well, actually the "relevance" happens to be, as I said, that Denny Emerson held Kathy up as an example of how we, as eventers, need to show jump. That is one of our three phases, is it not. Denny has long derided the current "praying mantis" form over fences so popular in the H/J world. I learn by example from people smarter and better than me. Denny is one, Kathy is another.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                For me, the relevance isn't so much in the jumping. It is the fact that she was so successful at so many disciplines. And ever the feminist, that she broke gender barriers in horse racing.

                                For eventers, her relevance is she was a successful flat and steeplechase jockey. If I recall, Bruce Davidson used to recommend that aspiring eventers go off to learn to be comfortable at a gallop and spend time as exercise riders and fox hunters. Jumping big fences at speed and galloping over mixed terrain seem to be key skills for eventers.....along with the stadium jumping, of course.
                                Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.
                                Alfred A. Montapert

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by retreadeventer View Post
                                  There are other horses in the hood programs.
                                  I am aware of that. I have awarded prizes to the "Work to Ride" kids in Philly. Isn't it GREAT that Kusner has brought so much publicity and funding to these types of programs?

                                  There are great and accomplished horse people all over this country.
                                  Maybe you should suggest these topics to the COTH. Kusner is a legend and totally worthy of the page space IMHO. I would be happy to see those articles as well but not at the expense of ever celebrating those who came before.
                                  Last edited by VicariousRider; Feb. 21, 2010, 11:44 PM. Reason: fixed quote function
                                  "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals" Immanuel Kant

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I was lucky enough to see Kathy Kusner ride at the National Horse Show back when I was a kid. She was someone I always admired and loved to watch ride. After reading the article on her, it made me appreciate her even more to know just how hard she had to work to make it on the USET (which at that time was a boy's club). She worked hard and was happy to do whatever it took to be able to ride better horses. The idea of having to be "horseman" and not just a "rider" is something that most of us who were around when Kathy was riding would like to see more of these days. I would welcome more articles on the great horseman and horses of the past.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      The article actually focused on some of her horses that she had success with. On occasion COTH covers that type of story. The good thing is you can skip the article without saying the subject is somehow unworthy of press. It's definitely worth a read if you are interested and there is a nice video at the end of the article.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        There is a "Riders in the Hood" program in Baltimore? That's news to me.
                                        The truth is rarely pure, and never simple. Oscar Wilde

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