USHJA Wheeler Museum: Past Exhibits

The Wheeler Museum has featured a variety of exhibits throughout the years. If you missed one of our earlier exhibits, below are snapshots of some of our more recent exhibits. Please come back and visit the site as we continue to expand our past exhibit archives.

Medals, Memories & Milestones: Great Moments in American Show Jumping Exhibit


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Medals, Memories & Milestones: Great Moments in American Show Jumping

October 2017 - December 2019

The exhibit traces the development of show jumping as an international and national sport following the history of the United States Equestrian Team from its founding in 1950 through the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. The exhibit explores the sport from the days of the “High Jump” through “Open Jumper” divisions to the thrilling Grand Prix events seen at horse shows across the country today.

Also featured is the history of course design and fun facts about special classes such as the Puissance and bygone pairs and "doubles and trebles" classes. The exhibit showcases the legendary horses and people who made show jumping history at the highest levels and brightest moments.

USHJA extends special thanks to Pennington Galleries for use of their imagery in the 'Medals, Memories & Milestones' exhibit. To contact Pennington Galleries visitwww.penningtongalleries.com.

For a sneak peek into the "Medals, Memories, & Milestones" exhibit,
check out actual photos from the exhibit below.

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The 1964 United States Equestrian Team riders bound for a European tour. (L-R) Carol Hofmann, Bill Robertson, and Show Jumping Hall of Fame members Mary Mairs (Chapot), Bill Steinkraus, Frank Chapot, Kathy Kusner, and USET Coach Bert de Némethy. (Photo Credit: Dublin Evening Argus)

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United States Equestrian Team Coach Bertalan de Némethy schooling San Lucas (loaned to the USET by P. de la Tour d’Auvergne). In his years as USET Coach (1955-1980), de Némethy introduced a program of cavaletti, gymnastics, and flatwork as the key to training jumpers. De Némethy and San Lucas are both inductees in the Show Jumping Hall of Fame. (Photo Credit: Dublin Evening Argus)

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Harry R. Gill’s Idle Dice stands among the most successful American show jumpers. With Rodney Jenkins, Idle Dice dominated in the 1970s, winning the American Gold Cup three times, the Puissance at every major indoor show, the President’s Cup at the Washington International twice, and the I Love New York Grand Prix at age 18. He was retired at the 1986 American Gold Cup. Gill, Jenkins, and Idle Dice are all Show Jumping Hall of Fame members.

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The 1984 Los Angeles Olympics Team Gold grooms taking part in the medal ceremony. From left are Noel Solomon (Show Jumping Hall of Fame members Joe Fargis/Touch of Class), David Snyder (Leslie Burr/Albany), Terry Williams (Show Jumping Hall of Fame members Conrad Holmfeld/Abdullah), and Syd Eustace Goodrich (Show Jumping Hall of Fame members Melanie Smith/Calypso). (Photo loaned by Melanie Smith)

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Three-time Olympian and Show Jumping Hall of Fame member Kathy Kusner and Aberali excelled at the Puissance in the 1960s. Kusner and Aberali provided the long-distance shots for the scenes at the Washington International Horse Show in the 1968 Disney film The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit. Note the weight pads in front of the saddle; international jumpers were required to carry 165 pounds. (Photo courtesy Kathy Kusner)

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The United States team of (L-R) Chris Kappler (Royal Kaliber), Peter Wylde (Fein Cera), Beezie Madden (Authentic), and McLain Ward (Sapphire) won Team Silver at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. After the German team was disqualified a few months later, the Americans were awarded Team Gold, and Chris Kappler and Royal Kaliber saw their Individual Bronze turn Silver. (Photo loaned by Beezie Madden)

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Recent Show Jumping Hall of Fame inductee Susie Hutchison with Madeleine Paulson’s America 1. (Photo credit: Pennington Galleries)

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Current US Chef d’equipe Robert Ridland and Almost Persuaded in 1971 over an impressive water jump on Ridland’s first international tour with the United States Equestrian Team. With Almost Persuaded (donated by to the USET by Mrs. W. K. Day), Ridland met success abroad and at home, winning the Grand Prix at the National Horse Show that fall. (Vintage photo postcard loaned by Denise Quirk)

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The Team Silver Medalist show jumping team pre-competition at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. (Back L-R) Greg Best, Show Jumping Hall of Fame members Chef d’equipe Frank Chapot and Joe Fargis; (Front L-R) Lisa Jacquin, Anne Kursinski, Katherine Burdsall. Greg Best also won Individual Silver. (Photo loaned by Anne Kursinski)

A Sporting Tradition: Iconic Horse Shows Across the United States Exhibit


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A Sporting Tradition: Iconic Horse Shows Across the United States

June 2014–December 2015

The exhibit features photographs, artifacts, and other memorabilia to showcase some of the most historically significant and storied competitions that featured hunter and jumper classes across the United States.

Old traditions come to life as you revisit the heritage of these iconic horse shows. Explore their pageantry, relive their legendary moments, and celebrate their contributions to their respective communities.

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The Thoroughbred Show Horse Exhibit

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The Thoroughbred Show Horse

March 2013–March 2014

Known for its stamina, power, speed, and agility, the Thoroughbred dominated the world of show jumping for decades. Likewise, the breed’s beauty, grace, and elegance proved instrumental in shaping and defining the show ring hunter.

Museum visitors were invited to explore this exhibit, relive the storied athletes of our past, view some of today’s show ring competitors, and share in the special bonds these horses have had with their owners and riders. Few horses exhibit the heart and bravery inherent in the Thoroughbred, and these qualities have resulted in heroic triumphs in international competition, as well as touching personal moments shared only between these horses and their riders and owners.

Revisit yesterday; and celebrate today with the elegance, power and heart that are the Thoroughbred show horse.

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Equitation: A Foundation for Life Exhibit

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Equitation: A Foundation for Life

October 2012–February 2013

The USHJA Wheeler Museum’s fall/winter 2012/2013 exhibit, Equitation – A Foundation for Life, brought to life the history of equitation through some of the greatest names in our sport, sharing how and why equitation remains the foundation of their illustrious careers. Museum guests revisited all the glory days of the ASPCA Maclay, AHSA/USEF Medal, and USET Talent Search Finals, as well as other pivotal moments in equitation that led to hallmark accomplishments such as Conrad Homfeld’s and Michael Page’s Olympic Medal wins and the evolution of George Morris’ American Forward Riding System.

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Ponies Through the Decades Exhibit

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Ponies Through the Decades

May 2012–September 2012

It all starts with a pony…

Some of equestrian sport’s greatest athletes and moments can be traced back to a PONY! Throughout their history ponies have often been referred to as the Wee Warriors of the horse world, but many of these half-pint equines have achieved their discipline’s highest honors and often started their riders’ Olympic dreams.

The 2012 Wheeler Museum exhibit, Ponies Through the Decades, paid homage to a vital part of both the sport of horse showing itself and the people and ponies throughout history who influenced us all.

Spectacular sterling silver goblets, gorgeous ribbon displays, specially created Breyer® Horses, wardrobe items, and exquisite retired trophies from such prestigious shows as Devon, were just a few of the precious items the USHJA received from people all over the country who support the USHJA’s efforts to perpetuate our sport’s origins.