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 first horse to be inducted into the Hall of Fame: the legendary Idle Dice.
When the Show Jumping Hall of Fame was choosing its first inductees in 1987, candidates from nearly a century of show jumping history were reviewed. It quickly became obvious that famed mount of Rodney Jenkins stook head and withers above the rest as the clear-cut choice for the Hall of Fame’s charter class. This is his story.
Sired by Hayhook and foaled in Oklahoma in 1962, Idle Dice won over $400,000 in his show jumping career. By today’s standards, that sum would be more than triple that amount.
Originally a failure on the race track, he was campaigned as a hunter by Bernie Traurig and later purchased by Harry Gill. Idle Dice was ridden in the show ring by many riders, including Terry Rudd, Michael Hunter, Steve Stephens, and Buddy Brown. But his greatest accomplishments were with Rodney Jenkins.
Among Idle Dice’s 31 Grandprix victories, he captured the American Gold Cup three times, the American Invitational, the Grandprix of New York, Florida, Upperville, Ox Ridge, Detroit, Cleveland, and he was the only horse to win the President’s Cup at the Washington International Horse Show twice.
In addition, Idle Dice was the 1977 Grandprix Horse of the Year and represented the USET for five years, including competing at the World Championships in Europe in 1974.
In his final full season, Idle Dice won the Grandprix in Lake Placid, and Southampton, New York. At the age of 21, he won three Grandprix and was named a “champion jumper” by the FEI.
Idle Dice was formally retired in 1986 at the American Gold Cup. He lived out his days on Harry Gill’s Pennsylvania farm.
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