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Whitaker, Bengtsson, Nathhorst and the Parmlers elected to Gothenburg Horse Show’s new Hall of Fame

Monday, 08 April 2019
CSI5*-W Gothenburg Horse Show 2019

Photo © World of Showjumping by Jenny Abrahamsson John Whitaker, Liz Parmler, Louise Nathhorst and Rolf-Göran Bengtsson. Photo © World of Showjumping by Jenny Abrahamsson.

 

Press release from Gothenburg Horse Show 

 


 

Gothenburg Horse Show is one of the world’s most popular indoor horse shows. From the very beginning in 1977 it has attracted both huge crowds and the world’s best showjumping riders, and later also the top names in dressage. This year Gothenburg again hosted the FEI World Cup™ Final in both showjumping and dressage, marking the 40th anniversary of the 1979 inaugural FEI World Cup™ Final in Gothenburg. 

To celebrate and honour equestrians and horses who have made their mark on the event, the organizers have launched the show’s own equestrian Hall of Fame. A ”Hall of Fame” celebrates exceptional achievements in a field, may it be sport, entertainment or industry. John Whitaker, Louise Nathhorst, Rolf-Göran Bengtsson, Liz and Lars Parmler and the horses Milton and Walk on Top are the first to enter the Hall of Fame.

In equestrian sport in Europe CHIO Aachen in Germany has two variations; a Wall of Fame listing the major winners through the history of the show, and a Walk of Fame, with horse shoes representing famous horses. 

As with other Halls of Fame, the GHS HoF will be extended every year, with more exceptional equestrians and horses being honoured. In the inaugural year the focus is on achievements during the first 25 years of the show, from 1977-2001. The Hall of Fame jury consists of Tomas Torgersen, Wiveka Lundh and Matilda Ljungberg representing the show organizer, plus equestrian writer Cecilia Lönnell. In addition the general public had the final say on the horses selected, by voting on the show’s website.

Incidentally the Gothenburg Horse Show was itself honoured earlier this year by the International Equestrian Federation FEI, being named ”Home of the World Cup”.

The 2019 Hall of Fame inductees were honoured in a ceremony Saturday evening April 6th. In addition, they were celebrated with a photo exhibition, open throughout the show at the main entrance of the Scandinavium arena.

 


 

The Gothenburg Horse Show’s inaugural Hall of Fame inductees are:

Showjumping:

John Whitaker, Great Britain 

A living legend who was only 23 in spring 1979 when placing fifth in the very first FEI World Cup™ Final with Ryan’s Son. With the phenomenal Milton he won the 1991 FEI World Cup™ Final in Gothenburg (defending their title from the previous year) and also the Gothenburg Trophy both 1987 and 1990.  

Rolf Göran Bengtsson, Sweden

In 1996 riding Paradiso he was the first Swedish rider in then 20 editions of the show to win the Gothenburg Trophy. He won the same class again in 2005 with Grandina. He has since then become a double Olympic silver medallist, and in 2011 Rolf -Göran was the first Swedish rider to become an individual European Champion. He is also so far the only Swede to be ranked World Number One and has more FEI World Cup™ qualifier wins than any other Swede (8).

Dressage: 

Louise Nathhorst, Sweden

Is the so far only Swedish rider to win a FEI World Cup™ Final, in Gothenburg 1998 with Walk on Top. In the previous year’s final they were bronze medallists. In 1997-98 Louise and Walk on Top also won European and World team bronze medals for Sweden. In addition, Louise has won Olympic and European team bronze with other horses, has been Swedish Dressage Champion seven times and today is a successful trainer.

Profiles:

Liz and (posthumously) Lasse Parmler (1943-2017)

Equestrian couple who in 1977 were driving forces in creating the Gothenburg Horse Show, together with the local Clareberg Riding School, which they had built and ran. Lasse Parmler was the first show director, and later had the unique distinction of also both competing in the international classes and commenting for Swedish Television from the show on air.

Horses:

The heart of equestrian sport is of course the horse. The 2019 four legged inductees in the Gothenburg Horse Show Hall of Fame will be exceptional horses who made their mark during the first 25 years of the show, 1977-2001. The jury made the nominations, but the public had the final say by online voting. The nominated horses have the distinction of meeting the criteria of both major wins in Gothenburg including its World Cup finals, and also winning medals at other international championships. The runaway winner in the showjumping category was Milton (John Whitaker), and in dressage Walk on Top (Louise Nathhorst). 

Nominated in showjumping (alphabetical order): Baloubet du Rouet, Big Ben, Boomerang, Dollar Girl, Gladstone, Milton, Ratina Z

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