Each week on #HallOfFameThursday, Horse Network recognizes members of the Show Jumping Hall of Fame with an inductee’s plaque, historical photos and, on the first Thursday of every month, an article written by a Show Jumping Hall of Famer. This week, we recognize the final member of the inaugural 1987 class: Bertalan de Némethy.
Bertalan de Némethy was the coach of the USET show jumping squad from 1955 to 1980.
His teams won the Silver Medal at the 1960 Rome Olympics, as well as the 1972 Munich Olympics. Under de Némethy, the teams were Pan American Games Gold Medalists in 1959, 1963, 1975 and 1979. Individual Pan American Gold Medals were won by Mary Mairs Chapot in 1963 and Michael Matz in 1979.
In all, de Némethy-coached teams competed in 144 Nations’ Cups, winning 71 and placing second in 36. His teams won the FEI President’s Trophy in 1966 and 1968.
His individual riders won 72 international Grandprix and over 400 international classes around the world. The most notable of the individual victories was Bill Steinkraus’s Gold Medal at the Mexico City Olympic Games and Neal Shapiro’s Individual Bronze Medal at the Munich Olympics.
A former Hungarian cavalry officer and riding instructor at the Royal Hungarian Cavalry School, de Némethy came to the U.S. in 1952. He is credited with originating a strict training regimen for American riders that emphasized dressage and gymnastics.
After his retirement from the USET, de Némethy became a noted course designer who planned the show jumping courses for the Los Angeles Olympics. He also conducted many training clinics in England, Ireland, Switzerland, Holland, Hungary, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela, and Colombia.
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