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 Kathy Kusner’s incredible partner, Untouchable, Show Jumping Hall of Fame class of 1993.
Untouchable achieved great international success in the 1960s, teaming with Kathy Kusner to become one of the sport’s all-time great combinations.
Purchased by Benny O’Meara on a buying trip to the Midwest in the fall of 1962, Untouchable was an ex-race horse. With O’Meara in the saddle, he debuted on the Florida circuit in 1963 as an 11-year-old Green Jumper.
O’Meara had immediate success with the 16.1 hand, Thoroughbred, chestnut gelding by Bolero out of Kum. Untouchable wound up as Green Jumper Champion everywhere he went that spring before O’Meara turned him over to Kathy Kusner after her return from the 1963 Pan American Games. Kusner capped Untouchable’s undefeated green season with the Open Jumper Championship at that year’s National Horse Show at Madison Square Garden. She would stay with him for the rest of his career.
In 1964, O’Meara loaned Untouchable to the USET as a possible Olympic mount for Kusner. The combination went on to win five major classes in Europe that summer including the Grand Prix at Dublin (The Irish Trophy) and other wins against Olympic competitors at Ostend and Rotterdam. (He won the Grand Prix of Dublin again in 1965). Untouchable and Kusner helped the USET to Nations’ Cup wins at Dublin and Ostend before traveling to Tokyo for the Olympics where they placed 13th individually and helped the U.S. to a fourth place team finish.
Upon their return to the States, Kusner and Untouchable helped the USET to Nations’ Cup wins at the National Horse Show, where Kusner was Leading International Rider, and at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto.
Purchased from O’Meara by Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Butler, Untouchable continued to be a top mount for Kusner. He carried her to a second-place finish in the 1965 Ladies World Championship and to first place in the Ladies European Championship in 1967. In 1967, they also were part of the USET’s Silver Medal team at the Pan American Games in Winnipeg where Kusner was fourth individually.
Overall, Untouchable was on 12 winning Nations’ Cup teams. He won numerous major individual classes in Europe including the Grand Prix at Ostend (Belgium), Hickstead (England), Lucerne (Switzerland), twice the Grand Prix of Dublin (Ireland), the 1968 Pre-Olympic Competition in Rotterdam (The Netherlands), and the Puissance at Aachen (Germany). He also won at least 14 International classes on the North American fall circuit.
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