From Jeff Papows
After Kevin’s tragic fall, the entire sport of Show Jumping collectively held our breath.
Not only was Kevin an Olympian and one of the top talents in the sport, but it brought home the reality that it could happen to any of us.
A star had fallen.
What galvanized so many was the memory of the many kind, unselfish, and generous things Kevin had done for any student with a desire to learn, to participate and to be a part of the love affair that is our horses.
I heard story after story of Kevin rescuing somebody with a flat tire from the side of the road to a ribbon tossed to a child, all had the same theme, kindness.
Given my lack of natural talent, I had often experienced it myself in the form of his endless patience.
LAST YEAR the SOJT, in Traverse city with the help of the Morrissey Management Group, held the first “Kevin Babington Benefit Classic”.
We had riders from Olympic fame to mere mortals all entering the same class together to honor Kevin with the entry fees dedicated to “The Babington Family Trust”.
It was a hit; I have never seen more emotion or more enthusiasm.
An Irishman won that class, cosmic justice.
This year I am proud that Coast-to-Coast horse show management is organizing to do the same.
This season Silver Oak will repeat the original affair in September.
More exciting, The Tryon Horse Park, The Split Rock Jumping series in Colorado, The Hampton Classic Horse Show, The World Equestrian Center, the reinvented Desert International Horse Park in California, Lake Placid, Live Oak in Ocala, The Fairfield Hunt Club, Princeton Show Jumping, The Riverview Summer Spectacular, The Ridge Shows of Wellington, Bromont International, Saratoga Horse Shows and a growing list of our greatest shows will all run a like class in Kevin’s honor.
The money raised will of course aide in his recovery and the enormous cost of his care.
As, or more important in was that are hard to describe, it keeps Kevin involved in the sport he loves to this day.
That, and seeing his daughters compete and succeed are an inspiration to both Kevin and Dianna.
Ask your favorite horse show to join the list.