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 pay tribute to Dr. John Steele, DVM, Show Jumping Hall of Fame class of 2008.
Dr. John Steele, DVM has been responsible for the care of some of this country’s top show jumping horses.
Owners of world-famous mounts such as Beezie Madden’s partner Authentic, with whom she won three Olympic Medals including Team Gold at both the 2004 and 2008 Games; the legendary Gem Twist, who carried rider Greg Best to double Silver Medals at the 1988 Olympic Games, and Anne Kursinski’s Olympic partner Eros, with whom she won Team Silver in 1996, entrusted their horses’ care to Dr. Steele.
One could say that rather than Dr. Steele finding his way into the show jumping world, the show jumping world found him. Following his graduation from Cornell University, Dr. Steele developed a very successful practice specializing in Standardbred race horses, which he maintained from 1965–1985. In 1985, John and Beezie Madden and Michelle Grubb, aware of his reputation with Standardbreds, recruited Dr. Steele to evaluate some of their most prized show jumping horses. From there, Dr. Steele’s career on the show jumping circuit exploded and quickly began to encompass some of the biggest names in the sport.
Riders and trainers such as Beezie and John Madden, Anne Kursinski, Susie Schoellkopf and Missy Clark all involved Dr. Steele in the care of their horses. Dr. Steele has cared for horses at some of the nation’s most prestigious horse shows, including the American Invitational, Winter Equestrian Festival, Hampton Classic, Lake Placid Horse Shows, Pennsylvania National and the Syracuse Invitational Sporthorse Tournament. He has also gone with clients to such international events as Spruce Meadows in Canada to perform pre-purchase veterinary exams. He has had an impact on the health of some of the country’s most important equine athletes, whose success can be attributed, at least in part, to Dr. Steele’s work.
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