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'Leaping' Leslie Burr Howard Takes $10,000 Hunter Derby Memorial

Living show jumper legend and two-time Olympic medalist, Leslie Burr Howard, glides to victory coveting the trophy memorializing National Show Hunter Hall of Fame equestrian Joanie Walsh Hogan on Saturday at the Putnam Boston Equestrian Classic.

“Leaping” Leslie Burr Howard took first place presenting on “Zippzoo” at the second annual $10,000 3-foot Hunter Derby at the held at the Schooling Fields on Saturday.

Howard, a two-time Olympic champion in the show jumper class, graced the two round format with exuberance and style befitting a queen as she glided to victory. Howard won gold medal in show jumping on the American team in the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles and a silver medal in 1996.

To qualify for round one, entrants must have competed in at least one other hunter class at the Classic. Round two was open to the top 12 scoring horses from round one and needed to show over 10 fences approximately three feet in height. Judges could award up to 10 bonus points and additional points for riders showing on an additional four handy option fences set at 3-foot-3 inches.

The perpetual trophy was presented to Howard by Eddie H. Hogan in memory of his wife Hannah Joan (Joanie) Walsh Hogan, a legend in her own right in the equestrian world.

“We had quite a time trying to find the trophy,” quipped Hogan. “We finally located it in Pennsylvania just the night before the event.”

If you ever had the pleasure of watching Joanie Walsh Hogan in competition, then you have lived a full life. 

“Captain William Steinkraus said she was the best rider he had ever seen in the world,” beamed Hogan.

Steinkraus was a six-time show jumper Olympian.

Born as Hannah Joan Walsh who later married Edward H. Hogan, she was the daughter of the famous jumper, Mickey Walsh.

Hogan started riding at the age of seven and worked daily both riding and jumping horses on her father’s farm. She rode some of the top national hunters of all time including Glider for owner Eleonora Sears.

In 2009, Hogan was inducted into the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame.

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