Fargis and Sterling To Be Inducted Into Penn National Horse Show Hall of Fame

John "Jack" Sterling at the 1982 Pennsylvania National Horse Show AHSA Medal Draw Credits: Provided by PNHS
Joe Fargis won individual and team Gold Medals at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games Credits: Provided by PNHS

The Pennsylvania National Horse Show has announced that famed equestrians Joe Fargis and John "Jack" Sterling will be inducted into the Pennsylvania National Horse Show Hall of Fameduring a special induction ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 21.  

The induction will take place prior to the start of the $100,000 Prix de Penn National Grand Prix presented by the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund, the culminating event of the 72nd annual Pennsylvania National Horse Show which runs through Oct. 21 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg, Pa.

Started in 2013, induction into the PNHS Hall of Fame is an honor bestowed annually upon select individuals in recognition of their extraordinary efforts, commitment and dedication to excellence in Horse Showing and the Pennsylvania National Horse Show.

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"Both Joe Fargis and Jack Sterling have made significant contributions to the sport of show jumping and the PNHS for many decades, and we are delighted to welcome them both into the PNHS Hall of Fame," said Susie Webb, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania National Horse Show.

Fargis has been successful throughout his career as a rider, trainer, stable owner, clinician, judge, and Olympic gold medalists and has been inducted into the Show Jumping Hall of Fame, the Virginia Horse Show Association Hall of Fame and the Virginia Horse Center Hall of Fame. He has also been named AHSA Horseman of the Year and has received the USHJA Lifetime achievement award. Additionally, he has been named among the 50 most influential horsemen by the Chronicle of the Horse, and received the USEF Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013.

Fargis and Touch of Class, a Thoroughbred mare, won individual and team Gold Medals at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. In the 1988 Seoul Games, he rode Mill Pearl on Team USA to win the team Silver Medal and finish seventh individually.

In his career, Fargis rode on more than 30 Nations' Cup teams as well in some of the world's most important shows such as Aachen (where he rode on the winning team three times), Spruce Meadows, Rome, New York, Pennsylvania National, and Washington where he was named leading rider. He was also leading International Rider at the National Horse Show in New York in 1987.

In World Cup competition, Fargis won the USA-East World Cup League twice and finished fourth in the finals in Tampa, in 1989. He rode on the gold medal winning team at the1975 Pan American Games in Mexico City and rode on the fourth-place team at the 1990 World Championships of the initial FEI World Equestrian Games in Stockholm.

Among his Grand Prix wins were Hickstead, Zurich, the American Gold Cup, Ox Ridge, Tampa, Hampton Classic (twice) and I Love New York (three times).

His accomplishments at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show in Harrisburg include riding as junior; being Working Hunter Champion in the late 1960s on Dunraven; riding on the winning Nations Cup team in 1970; winning his first international class; and winning the Big Jump twice. Fargis has also judged hunters and the USEF Medal Finals (twice).

Sterling was a noted rider, owner, instructor, trainer, show manager, stable owner, and long-time Secretary of the Pennsylvania National Horse Show. When Sterling was Secretary, he managed the PNHS and made all decisions regarding the show operation. His legacy includes developing the Prix des States for junior jumper riders for competition between the USEF zones and developing the Grand Prix de Penn National.

As a rider, he showed jumpers and hunters. He also had broodmares and foals at his farm, Windswept Acres, and taught young riders. He hosted horse events including the Central Pennsylvania Junior Horse Shows Association (CPJHSA) annual show and developed the Beaufort Hunt One-Day Horse Trials. Sterling was active in show management including the CPJHSA and also hunted with the Beaufort Hunt in Dauphin County. He was a mentor to a number of his students who went on to careers in the horse business as well as judges/stewards and racetrack trainers.

PNHS directors, Ralph Alfano, who is Co-Manager, and Lloyd Longenecker, who is Show Secretary, began their journey with Jack Sterling.

Previous PNHS Hall of Fame inductees include: Gerry Hempt and Frank Chapot (2013); Irvin S. Naylor and Steve Stephens (2014); Mary "Polly" Gingrich Brand Caswell and Rodney Jenkins (2015); Mary Mairs Chapot and Harry Rittenhouse Gill (2016).

Further information, updates, promotions, ticket information and more is available at or by calling 717-770-0222.

Pennsylvania National Horse Show is Oct. 12-21

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