California Riding Magazine • January, 2011

Flying Changes

Gene Mische: Lost Legend

Legendary horseman Eugene "Gene" Mische, the founder of Stadium Jumping Inc., passed away on Dec. 3 at the age of 79, following a long, hard fought battle with cancer.

Born in Cleveland, OH, in 1931, Mische, more than any horseman in history, changed the face of horse sports in the United States.
Over the course of a stellar career that spanned more than 60 years, Gene Mische managed the most prestigious shows in America, including the Budweiser American Invitational, American Grand Prix Association National Jumper Championship, New Albany Classic, Lake Placid and I Love New York Shows, Charlotte Jumper Classic, the American Gold Cup, USEF National Jumper Championships, and the National Horse Show. Other Stadium Jumping Inc. productions included the Olympic Games Jumping Team Selection Trials in 2000 and 2004, and the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Jumping Team Selection Trials in 2002 and 2006.

Mische's crowning achievement was the creation of the largest and longest consecutively running sporting event in the world, the Winter Equestrian Festival, still going strong in Wellington, FL.

In 1980, Mische was part of the five-member organizing committee that brought the first FEI World Cup™ Jumping to the U.S. In 1989, Mische and Stadium Jumping, Inc. produced the second Volvo World Cup ever held in the U.S., this time hosting it in Tampa; in 1992, they were the organizers of the Volvo World Cup Final in Del Mar. In 2002, Mische produced the first-ever outdoor Nations Cup, hosting it at the International Arena in Wellington.

Mische was inducted into the Show Jumping Hall of Fame in 2000 and was also awarded the Jimmy Williams Lifetime Achievement from the United States Equestrian Federation, an award he was most proud of, "because it was voted on by my peers," he said.

Obituary provided by Phelps Media Group.