WELLINGTON, Fla.--Award-winning rider, trainer, and course designer, Anthony D’Ambrosio, and official and clinician, Linda Allen, were inducted into the Show Jumping Hall of Fame during the Hall of Fame’s Induction Gala in Wellington on March 5.
The Hall of Fame also honored Canadian show jumping legend, Ian Millar, as recipient of the Hall’s inaugural International Award.
“This was our second year hosting our annual induction ceremony as part of a sit-down dinner in Wellington and once again it was an incredible night that most of us will never forget,” said Show Jumping Hall of Fame chairman Peter Doubleday. “Our sport’s history was on display with so many of our sport’s legends in attendance. It was truly a thrill and something we plan to build on each year.
“While induction into the Hall of Fame is for Americans who have had a significant impact on the sport, we wanted to recognize some of the great international riders who also impact show jumping in this country,” Doubleday said. “With that in mind, we initiated our new International Award and we felt that there was no more worthy candidate to be the initial recipient than ‘Captain Canada,’ Ian Millar.”
Millar is the most decorated equestrian in Canadian history.
A two-time World Cup champion, he competed in 10 Olympic Games, more than any athlete in any sport.
He was awarded the Order of Canada in 1986, Ontario’s Athlete of the Year in 1989, and an honorary doctorate by the University of Guelph in 2005.
Together with longtime partner, Big Ben, he was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame and the Jump Canada Hall of Fame.
Millar was also inducted into the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame.
THE INDUCTION dinner, held at the Wanderers Club in Wellington, also recognized 12 others in attendance who have previously been inducted into the Hall of Fame including Olympic veterans Mary Chapot, Norman Dello Joio, Margie Engle, Leslie Howard, Anne Kursinski, Beezie Madden, Michael Matz, and Melanie Smith Taylor as well as David Distler, Peter Doubleday, Steve Stephens and former Olympic rider and current U.S. chef d’equipe Robert Ridland.
Others in attendance included Olympic veterans Will Simpson, Peter Leone, Nona Garson and Mac Cone and Grand Prix riders Carly Anthony, Heather Caristo-Williams, Natalie Dean, Lucas and Wilton Porter, and Mavis Spencer.
Induction into the Show Jumping Hall of Fame is an honor bestowed annually upon select individuals whose contributions to the sport have set them apart and whose influence has had a significant impact on the sport of show jumping and the equestrian community.
It is because of their talents, efforts, accomplishments, and what they have brought to the sport, that the Election Committee, comprising some of the nation’s top riders, trainers and officials, elected D’Ambrosio and Allen as the class of 2022.
Anthony D’Ambrosio is an award-winning rider, trainer, and FEI “I” 4*-level course designer with more than 50 years of experience.
As a rider, he had many successes, winning more than 30 Grand Prix and set the Puissance high jump record twice – first in 1973 at the National Horse Show in Madison Square Garden where he jumped 7’4” aboard Sympatico, and then at the Washington International Horse Show in 1983 riding Sweet ‘n Low, clearing the wall set at 7’7 ½”, a record that still stands!
A member of the USET, D’Ambrosio began designing courses in 1995 and has created tests at some of the best venues in the sport as well as serving as Technical Delegate at numerous international competitions.
In recognition of his work, D’Ambrosio was named the USHJA Course Designer of the Year in 2008 and 2010.
D’Ambrosio has sold four Olympic horses, three of which he developed from an early age, as well as many other Grand Prix winners.
He also has a consulting business which provides guidance and knowledge to many of the top equine facilities in the country.
He and his wife, Michael, are based out of Wild Horse Ranch in Red Hook, N.Y., have a son, Cody and welcomed their granddaughter, Antonetta, in 2021.
Linda Allen has spent more than 60 years in equestrian sports, beginning as a rider, reaching the Grand Prix level where she represented the U.S. in international competition.
She judged and designed courses for some of the world’s premier events including the FEI World Cup Finals and Olympic Games as a USEF ‘R’ Jumper Course Designer and Judge, FEI Level 3 Judge and an FEI Level 4 Course Designer.
She designed courses at major events around the world including the 1996 Olympic Games.