Thursday, June 26, 2008

It Was Pretty Neat... watch my equestrian idol from my younger years teach a show jumping clinic at a nearby farm yesterday. In 1988, Greg Best rode his incredible horse Gem Twist in the Seoul Summer Olympics. They earned the individual and team silver medals for show jumping. I have it on video....If you are a horse person, you have to admit they were totally incredible.

Excerpt from Wikipedia:

With Greg Best [as the rider]
Gem Twist began winning early in his career with rider Greg Best, including the 1985 USET Talent Derby as a six-year-old. He went on to win his first two competitions at the Grand Prix level, the Grand Prix of Tampa and the Grand Prix of Florida, in 1987. He finished the year with his first American Grand Prix Association (AGA) Horse of the Year honor, as well as a team silver medal from the Pan American Games. Best continued to ride Gem Twist for several years with great success, including earning two silver medals at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul. In 1989, Gem Twist was named the American Grand Prix Association Horse of the Year for the second time. In 1990, he was named the "World's Best Horse" at the World Equestrian Games in Stockholm. However, Best injured his shoulder in 1992, and the ride was turned over to Leslie Burr Howard (then Leslie Burr Lenehan).[3]

I was only able to watch the clinic for about an hour and half, and I was not able to introduce myself or talk to him, but never-the-less, it was too neat to see him in person. He was very kind and polite to his students and was a pleasure to be around.

Here are some photos of Greg working with my friend's daughter E. This was the cutest pony!!! I didn't get to see them do much jumping, so these are all on the flat.

After watching the clinic, I made Drew ride his pony, Tonto. :)

These two make such a cute team.


BaxtersMum said...


I got to go to the Washington National last fall - it was AWESOME to see these big name people jumping these obscene jumps!

And I remember coming over to your house to watch Greg Best in the Olympics - remember how Gem Twist would always buck a bit after a jump because he felt good????

This takes me back!

fssunnysd said...

Thanks for visiting! And I think I'm going to fall in love with Tonto -- what a cutie!

I remember jumping being absolutely terrifying and so thrilling all at the same time. It's a trip!

I look forward to reading more.

Hollie said...

Hi - we are HUGE Greg fans at my barn. We are luckily enough to have him come and clinic every year. Would it be possible to have you make a copy of your tape of Greg and Gem from the 1988 Olympics? I've looked everywhere and cannot find any video archive of the equestrian events.

buckpony said...

Hi Hollie!

I am so sorry - I never saw your comment added or I would have responded! I tried to set my account up so I would receive notifications in my e-mail.

If you ever check back, let me know. If I can figure out a way to copy my old VHS tape, I will gladly do so. Greg and Gem were SUCH an amazing team - I just don't think there have been any better since. You are fortunate to have Greg come to your farm every year!!! Do you get to ride with him or do you just audit? I would LOVE to ride with him one day...

Thank you for your post and if you let me hear from you, I will see if I can make a copy of that tape for you.