Larry Langer and Hap Hansen. Photo: LEG Up News
Langer Equestrian Group CEO Larry Langer and well known grand prix rider Hap Hansen winged off to Florida for the Gene Mische American Invitational, presented by G& C Farm, on April 7 to receive one of the highest honors our sport offers: they, along with Jane Clark and Gabor Foltenyi, were inducted into the Show Jumping Hall of Fame.
"This is the highest and most important honor one can receive for a lifetime of work in one's chosen field, and I am honored and humbled that I was selected," Larry commented. He and Hap join 70 other inductees, including William C. Steinkraus, Bertalan de Nemethy, Jimmy Williams, Kathy Kusner, Brigadier General Harry D. Chamberlin, Melanie Smith Taylor and George Morris, among many others.
"I felt very honored," Hap added. "It was kind of a surprise when they called me. I didn't know I was nominated, so that was pretty exciting. It's nice to be recognized by your peers like this."
The Hall of Fame opened in 1989, and each year the Election Committee, comprising the top riders, trainers and officials from across the nation, selects human and equine individuals whose contributions and influence have made a significant impact on the sport. It is a great honor for those who are chosen.
"When I look at the names of the 70 previous inductees into the Show Jumping Hall of Fame, they represent the epitome of the sport of show jumping throughout my lifetime," Larry stated. "The Show Jumping Hall of Fame is the only place where a person in our sport can have the history of show jumping laid out before him, along with those individuals who made that history happen."
Although Larry's current role is President and CEO of Langer Equestrian Group, one of the top horse show management companies in the country, his history in the sport shows a great breadth of influence. Through a lifetime of riding, training, teaching, officiating, and governance, Larry has gained insight into many areas of the industry that allows him great perspective. He has received numerous honors and awards for his accomplishments and service to the industry, including the California Professional Horsemen's Association's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008. In addition to the top quality shows that LEG puts on each year, Larry also served as the Show Jumping Competition Manager of the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and of the 1992 FEI World Cup Finals in Del Mar. Additionally, LEG served as Competition Management three times for the North American Junior & Young Rider Championships.
Larry has been intensely involved in the governance of the sport, serving on several boards and committees, has been on the USEF Jumper Committee for over 25 years, has served as either president or chairman of every major organization in California, and is currently chairman of the Zone 10 Jumper Committee. Larry has also held jumper judge and steward licenses with both the USEF and the FEI.
George Morris and Fran Steinwedell were on hand to present this year's inductees, whose names will be forever recorded on plaques at the Show Jumping Hall of Fame and Museum. "It's a fantastic thing," Hap remarked. "I've been to Kentucky and seen the Hall of Fame, and I've always been in awe of what it represents. I've never imagined I'd be up there myself on one of those plaques."
George Morris, Philip Cillis, Hap Hansen.
Photo: LEG Up News
No Surprise To Most
While the honor was a surprise to Hap, most would agree that he is the perfect addition to the Hall of Fame. His show ring accomplishments over the course of his career are too numerous to list, but they include 99 grand prix wins, starts in 12 FEI World Cup Finals (placing in the top 10 twice) and two dozen Nations' Cups, and seven victories at the FEI World Cup USA West Coast League. He was North American Champion at Spruce Meadows three times, and is one of the few members of the Million Dollar Club for earning over $1 million in prize money at Spruce Meadows. He is also a noted coach of top and up-and-coming riders, serving as chef d'equipe for over 10 Gold Medal teams at the North American Junior & Young Rider Championships and Harrisburg Prix de States.
The Show Jumping Hall of Fame and Museum was created to promote the sport of show jumping and to immortalize the men, women and horses who have made significant contributions to the sport. It is located at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. For more information about the Show Jumping Hall of Fame, please visit the website at www.showjumpinghalloffame.net.
LEG will hold a second ceremony to celebrate Larry and Hap's induction, which will take place during the Memorial Day Grand Prix (May 28) at Los Angeles Equestrian Center. For information on this and other LEG shows, visit www.langershows.com.