September 20, 2006 — The United States Eventing Association (USEA) has announced the newest inductees to the USEA Eventing Hall of Fame. The official induction will take place during a gala dinner at the USEA Annual Meeting and Convention in St. Louis, Mo., on December 8, 2006.
The ceremony will honor eventing greats, both horse and human. Inductees include Edward “Denny” Emerson, Michael Page, Karen Stives, Kilkenny and Biko.
Edward E. “Denny” Emerson is a two-time USEA President and active competitor, trainer and teacher. A gold medal World Champion, Emerson was also named USEA Rider of the Year in 1972. His immense contributions to the sport include his gymnastic jumping exercises, which are considered gospel to many eventers. Emerson currently trains students and horses on his Tamarack Hill Farms in Vermont and North Carolina.
Michael Page is well known as the rider in one of the most successful combinations ever with the horse Grasshopper. Grasshopper was inducted into the Eventing Hall of Fame in 1999. As a four-time gold, two-time silver and two-time bronze medalist, Page has competed in three Olympic Games and three Pan American Games. Page is in great demand as a clinician, and his expertise and generosity with his knowledge have provided the strong base of equestrian education for many adult riders.
Karen Stives earned her place in three-day eventing when she rode her mother’s big grey gelding, Ben Arthur, to win the individual silver medal in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Karen became the first of two women ever to win an individual Olympic three-day event medal. Following her retirement from international competition, Karen became an FEI judge and chaired the USET Three-Day Event Selectors Committee for many years.
Kilkenny, a bay gelding that was owned by Dorothea Wofford, is only one of six event horses to have competed in five or more CCIOs (International Team Competitions). Kilkenny (stable name: Henry) competed in two Olympic Games with rider James Wofford, in 1968 and 1972, where the pair won two team silver medals. He won the individual bronze at the 1970 Eventing World Championship in Punchestown, Ireland, and competed at the Badminton Horse Trials in 1968.
Biko, a large, bay Irish Thoroughbred with a lovely white blaze holds the number six spot on the Top Ten All American High Point Horses of the Century, and won the Horse of the Century Award from the USCTA (now USEA). Biko, owned by Richard and Vita Thompson, was the stalwart of the U.S. Team in the 1990s. With rider Karen O’Connor he helped the U.S. win bronze at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. The gelding was an ambassador for the sport of eventing and was retired in 1999 at age 15.
The USEA Eventing Hall of Fame Gala will take place at the Hyatt Regency at Union Station on December 8, 2006, in St. Louis, Missouri at 7 p.m. Tickets are available by visiting www.useventing.com.