Horses are perhaps one of the most loved animals because they beautiful, noble and athletic, which makes them a rather popular choice for sports. We know that racehorses have dominated the scene for quite a long time but another sport that stars horses is show jumping.
It is a type of equestrian competition that has English riding which is basically riding with a flat saddle. Participants have to jump over fences without tumbling over the obstacles that are placed strategically to impede the way. Points are awarded for precision and speed portrayed in the sport.
Every horseman is aware of the fact that in order to ace a show jumping competition, their horse has got to give its best. The competition cannot be won without the right horse irrespective of how talented the rider is. This is why horses for show jumping have got to be skilful, brave and immensely agile. Majority of the show jumpers happen to be warmbloods who have a tendency to dominate the international equestrian scene. These breeds have to be given special care and horse clippers are used to groom them.
Mostly, the horses chosen for this particular sport are of European origin and they are of different breeds, each equipped with its own unique characteristics. This sport has brought together various brilliantly gifted pairs of riders and horses who have gone ahead and achieved glory and recognition.
So, we’ve put together a list of some of the best show jumping horses of this very popular sport.
Formerly a plough horse, Snowman was noticed by Harry de Leyer when he was being ushered to a slaughterhouse. De Leyer bought it on the spot and started training it as a jumper. It went on to win the National Horse Show in 1958, crowning it as the champion that it was. Snowman made several appearances on the television and was an equine liked by all. He was one of his kind and a brilliant jumper till date and is remembered as one of the finest horses in show jumping history.
Stroller was a small horse born in 1950 and was ridden by Marion Coakes at the time of the 1968 Olympics where the pair bagged the Silver medal. Stroller was also known for winning Queen Elizabeth II Cup in 1965 and 1971, the Hickstead Derby in 1967 and the Hamburg Derby in 1970. In 1986, this magnificent horse died at age 36. Also, it was a part of the British Horse Society Hall of Fame.
- Gem Twist
Michael Gordon was Gem Twist’s owner and this wonderful equine had been ridden by several riders like Laura Chapot, Greg Bets, Leslie Harvard etc. In 1988, Gem Twist won the Silver medal at the Olympics. It was chosen as the American Grand Prix Association Horse of the Year thrice, which is a record in itself. Gem Twist was a celebrity horse who is well remembered by the followers of this sport and was even titled as the “World’s Best Horse”.
Snowbound was a racehorse from the US and he was retrained as a hunter in the 60’s. Bill Seinkraus was Snowbound’s rider and this amazing pair led the US to bag many victories which included winning a Gold medal at the 1968 Olympics. Later on, Snowbound developed a condition related to tendon tissues that put an end to his career. He was known for his ability and utter power and his pairing with Seinkraus is regarded as one of the best that the world has ever seen.
- Big Ben
Big Ben was a lively chestnut coloured Belgian horse and he had Canadian rider, Ian Miller astride. Big Ben was a rather large horse when it was bought by Miller and he started taking part in show jumping competitions in 1984. It has 6 Spruce Meadows Derbies awards to his credit along with more than 40 Grand Prix titles.
Huaso was a horse from Chile and was trained under the tutelage of Captain Alberto Larraguibel Morales to take part in show jumping events. Later on, he was trained to high jump after he came to the attention of an army officer. He set a world record in 1949 for the largest leap which remains unbroken till date. He is remembered by everyone for his legendary leap.
So, this concludes our list of the legendary show jumping horses of all time. These horses were celebrated for the talent they possessed and the skills they displayed on the field.