Categories: USHJA Hunter Derby 2009
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Interview with George Morris on the start of Day 2 of the 2009 USHJA Hunter Derby Finals
About George Morris
Courtesy of http://www.showjumpinghalloffame.net/inductees/g_morris.shtml
George Morris conquered a childhood fear of horses to become a world-renound hunter and jumper instructor, and is considered to be one of the most influential trainers in the history of equestrian sports. A rider with a long list of impressive wins himself, Morris first caught the attention of the equestrian world in 1952 when he won both the AHSA Hunter Seat Medal Final and the ASPCA Maclay Final - the two most prestigious junior equitation titles in the country - at the age of 14, the youngest rider ever to do so.
He went on to represent the U.S. as a member of the Gold Medal-winning USET squad at the 1959 Pan American Games and the Silver Medal-winning team 1960 Rome Olympics. Between 1958 and 1960, he rode on eight winning Nation's Cup teams, and in later years served as Chef d'Equipe for numerous Nation's Cup teams as well. In 1988, Morris won the biggest purse in Show Jumping history at Spruce Meadows, Canada.
In 1963, Morris began training junior equitation riders. Morris's former students include some of the sport's top riders, including Leslie Burr Howard, Norman Dello Joio, the Leone brothers, Chris Kappler and Katie Prudent. At the 1984 Olympics, the Gold Medal-winning team included three former Morris students: Howard, Conrad Homfeld, and Melanie Smith-Taylor, while the 1992 team had Morris studenets Lisa Jacquin, Anne Kursinski, and Dello Joio. In 1996, Morris was Co-Chef d'Equipe of the USET's Silver Medal Olympic team, whose four riders riders included three former Morris students - Howard, Kursinski, and Peter Leone. Another former student, Nona Garson, rode on the 2000 Olympic team of which Morris was again Chef d'Equipe.
A well-know author, Morris's first book "Hunter Seat Equitation" sold over 40,000 copies. A second book, "George H. Morris Teaches Beginners to Ride," was also highly in demand. Another book,"The American Jumping Style" was equally well received.
Morris also branched out into the world of video with "The Science of Riding," describing his approach to riding and teaching.
Morris served as a Director for both the USET and AHSA; Vice President of the American Grand Prix Association; and director of the National Horse Show Association.
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