LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — The 2019 Lake Placid Horse Shows, Sponsored by Bainbridge Farms, LLC and Presented by Sea Shore Stables, LLC, celebrated 50 years of show jumping in Lake Placid.
As part of the celebration, the Lake Placid Horse Shows held a reception for exhibitors and many representatives of the local community. Among the highlights was a display of historical photos and artifacts highlighting the horse shows' 50-year history, plus an entertaining video presentation where longtime exhibitors and officials recounted many of their favorite stories and memories from the horse shows' previous 50 years.
Lake Placid Horse Show Association Chairman, Philip Richter, reviewed some of the horse shows’ history and noted Lake Placid’s important role on the national show jumping scene, including its role as host of U.S. Olympic Selection Trials in 1984 and 1988 as well as USET WEG Selection Trials in 1998. He cited many of the stars who have competed in Lake Placid over the years including Show Jumping Hall of Famers such as Norman Dello Joio, Joe Fargis, Conrad Homfeld, Rodney Jenkins, Anne Kursinski, Michael Matz, Katie Monahan Prudent and Melanie Smith Taylor, as well as Olympic Gold Medalists such as Leslie Burr Howard, Chris Kappler, Laura Kraut, Beezie Madden, McLain Ward and Peter Wylde.
Richter also looked to the future, noting that the Lake Placid Horse Show Association is in the process of converting to a 501(c)3 charity and that the Association is starting an endowment fund to give the Lake Placid Horse Shows permanence. Richter announced that support for the endowment fund has gotten off to a great start and that a significant amount of money has already been raised.
The horse show also formally dedicated its new Kiki Umla Ring in memory of longtime official and VIP tent hostess, Kiki Umla, whose daughters, Linda and Wendy, were in attendance.
Richter, on behalf of the Board of Directors, also honored LPHS Executive Director Lori A. Martin, as well as Diana Feldman, widow of the horse shows' longtime Chairman, Richard M. Feldman, who passed away in 2018. Richter also made a special presentation to the Jacobs family for their many years of support to the Lake Placid Horse Shows.
The Lake Placid Horse Shows also presented its second annual “Outstanding Friend or Official Award” to David Distler who has been at the Lake Placid Horse Shows for 49 of the 50 years, first as a rider, then as jump crew, then as in-gate announcer, and finally, since 1986, as technical coordinator.
Considered by many as "The Best Two Weeks of a Horseman’s Summer," the Lake Placid Horse Shows have been designated by the US Equestrian Federation (USEF) as a "USEF Heritage Competition," an honor reserved for an elite group of exceptional shows. The Lake Placid Horse Shows plan on building on this honor over the next 50 years and solidifying their position among the most revered horse shows in America.
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