Classic Hunter Round From Back In The Day

Written by Bernie Traurig

Take a step back in time with me and see how impressive Thoroughbreds were “back in the day.” You will see some of the famous hunters I was privileged to ride who were responsible for my 2009 induction into the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame.

The below video is of me aboard “Circuit Breaker” winning the Working Hunter Classic at Chagrin Valley, Ohio in the late 1970’s. What fun it was riding hunters back then.  The working division really was a professional sport, especially the classics as depicted on this video.  My father took this footage on his Super 8 Camera, and although not the best quality, it seems to be the only footage I can find of the classics.  As you see in the video of the Classic in Chagrin, the fences were quite formidable. Beautiful wide jumps, 4′ to 4’6 in height, liverpools, and even triple combinations.

Brilliance or pace was really rewarded, and looking back I am even surprised at the pace we carried. This was a division of Thoroughbreds and they did rule the roost.

The classics died out for a long time and it’s nice to see them coming back in a popular way in the form of Derby’s. Maybe not as high as they were, but the fence designs are outstanding as are the quality of horses. Brilliance is again being rewarded. This is so refreshing, as for so long the “sleepy hunter” look in small rings with horses going like dead animals seemed to be the norm. What a great job the USHJA is doing with the derby’s and everyone seems to love them.

All of these horses are Thoroughbreds and show that back then, they really did “rule the roost!”

Bernie Traurig, Royal Blue, 1974, Hunter Horse
Bernie Traurig, Royal Blue, 1974, Hunter Horse

Bernie Traurig & Royal Blue

Bernie Traurig, Mink N Pearls, Hunter Horse,

Bernie Traurig & Mink n Pearls

Bernie Traurig, Royal Blue, Hunter Horse,

Bernie Traurig & Royal Blue

Bernie Traurig, Royal Blue, Hunter Horse, Indoors

Bernie Traurig & Royal Blue

Bernie Traurig, Gozzi, Hunter Horse

Bernie Traurig & Gozzi

Bernie Traurig, Riot Free, Hunter Horse,

Bernie Traurig & Riot Free

Bernie Traurig, Royal Blue, Hunter Horse,

Bernie Traurig & Royal Blue

Bernie Traurig, Circuit Breaker, Hunter Horse.

Bernie Traurig & Circuit Breaker

Bernie Traurig, Circuit Breaker, Hunter Horse

Bernie Traurig & Circuit Breaker

Bernie Traurig, Gozzi, Hunter Horse

Bernie Traurig & Gozzi

Bernie Traurig, Gozzi, Hunter Horse, Bank Jump

Bernie Traurig & Gozzi at Upperville

Bernie Traurig, RoyalBlue, Hunter Horse, OxRidge, 1973

Bernie Traurig & Royal Blue at Ox Ridge in 1973

Bernie Traurig, Gozzi, Hunter Horse

Bernie Traurig & Gozzi

Bernie Traurig, Royal Blue, 1974, Hunter Horse Bernie Traurig, Mink N Pearls, Hunter Horse, Bernie Traurig, Royal Blue, Hunter Horse, Bernie Traurig, Royal Blue, Hunter Horse, Indoors Bernie Traurig, Gozzi, Hunter Horse Bernie Traurig, Riot Free, Hunter Horse, Bernie Traurig, Royal Blue, Hunter Horse, Bernie Traurig, Circuit Breaker, Hunter Horse. Bernie Traurig, Circuit Breaker, Hunter Horse Bernie Traurig, Gozzi, Hunter Horse Bernie Traurig, Gozzi, Hunter Horse, Bank Jump Bernie Traurig, RoyalBlue, Hunter Horse, OxRidge, 1973 Bernie Traurig, Gozzi, Hunter Horse

Bernie Traurig

As a Horseman, Bernie is renowned for not only his riding talents but for his teaching and coaching gifts. As a competitor, Bernie has represented the United States Equestrian Team both at home and abroad on many occasions and reached the top of the sport in all 3 of the International Equestrian Olympic disciplines: Show Jumping, Dressage, and Eventing.After amassing 55 years worth of training and riding techniques and experiences with thousands of horses, Bernie is driven to give back to the sport that has given him so much fulfillment and success.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Love these stories. I poured over The Chronicle each week and just loved the form and beauty of these top thoroughbred hunters and the talented riders that piloted them so seemingly effortlessly around those hunter courses.

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