Although Craighead Farm has been known for showing horses throughout the years, it is the renowned All the Gold who has been their shining light, putting Billie Steffee and Craighead Farm on the map. The elite Hanoverian stallion achieved remarkable accolades during his career as a champion hunter, and Tuesday night he was inducted into the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame. It was a remarkable night for Steffee as SBS Farms’ Susie Schoellkopf inducted the stallion into the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame. Steffee listened to his numerous accomplishments, heard testimonies from colleagues and friends, and the audience was nothing but smiles and applause as she accepted the honor.
On September 19, 2011, All the Gold passed away at 29 years of age. During his competitive years All the Gold was trained by Jessamy Rouson, Otis Brown, Jr. and Philip DeVita, Jr. With insightful trainers and two talented riders, Patty Stovel and Sarah Steffee, he won back-to-back Grand Circuit Champions at the Winter Equestrian Festival in the Regular Working Hunters in 1992 and 1993. He also earned the Reserve Champion in the Amateur Owner 18-35 Hunters at the very same Winter Equestrian Festival. In 1990 and 1991, the chestnut stallion was awarded the Circuit Reserve Championship in the Regular Working Hunters for the Arizona Winter Circuit. Although he retired in 1994, to devote all of his time to breeding, he was the leading sire based on earning for seven consecutive years.
“I don’t think it gets any better than this,” Steffee remarked. “I think any time when you receive an honor like that from all the people in the industry that you admire, it is monumental. He was such a special horse, both when showing and breeding, and to have had such an elite group select your horse to be part of the history of the show hunter world, there is no way to describe it, it’s the biggest honor somebody could bestow on a horse you thought so much of.”
In 2004, All the Gold’s offspring won in every category at the International Hunter Futurity in Lexington, Ky. All the Gold won the Grand Champion Sire award five times at the International Hunter Futurity in Lexington, Ky., and his offspring won the Three-Year-Old Grand Hunter Championship four times, as well as the Four-year-Old Grand Hunter Champion three times. His offspring earned over $300,000 in prize money, which is an achievement that is difficult to accomplish and surpass. In 2008 and 2009, All the Gold was second in the USEF Hunter Sire Rankings. All the Gold dominated the breeding industry, winning numerous awards for his prodigy’s success in the show ring.
“He was a real gentleman’s gentleman,” Steffee explained. “Goldie knew his job very very well. He was just delightful and we miss him so much. He was the whole spirit of this farm. All the mares that were here were his girls, and all the babies were his. He was the king. He handled his responsibilities in such a wonderful way, and brought joy into so many hearts.”
After two decades of showing and siring, All the Gold has etched his name in history, and his legacy is one that will never be forgotten. His incredible achievements have left footprints in the equestrian world, from influencing the acceptance of Warmbloods in the hunter ring, to reshaping the breeding industry. His descendants continue his legacy, and his name will forever be remembered in the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame.
“All the Gold was an incredible horse, and not only did he excel as a top show horse, but also as a breeder stallion. There were so many influential people involved in his career, and Billie had an incredible way with of all of it,” Susie Schoellkopf explained. “I was so honored and touched to have been the one to induct All the Gold, he was a true character, and he is a horse that truly deserves the honor.”
“There has never been and may never again be a more talented and beloved hunter stallion than All The Gold,” DeVita said. “He was for so many years and for many different riders a consistent winner and competitor. He was a very special and interesting horse to train, so very smart and clever, one who rarely ever touched the depths of his talents and abilities. To me the driving force and real hero of Goldie's fabulous career is his owner Billie Steffee. She believed in his abilities and his future from the beginning, as a show horse and a breeding stallion. Goldie will always be in our hearts and remembered as the true Champion he was, and sire of so many incredibly talented show horses!”
Steffee concluded, “I will never hope to have another one like him. Nobody could replace him.”
Based out of Buffalo, N.Y., SBS Farms’ Susie Schoellkopf and Jennifer Alfano run one of the foremost show hunter training operations in the country, and travel nationwide to compete in the nation’s most prestigious horse shows. SBS Farms, Inc. continues the proud tradition of the Saddle and Bridle Club as one of the top show stables in the northeast. Schoellkopf is also the Executive Director of the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center, which houses both The Buffalo Equestrian Center as well as SBS Farms. Built in 1922, the 160-stall facility is a historical landmark, with its unique English Tudor and gothic style architecture. For more information on SBS Farms and the Buffalo Therapeutic Riding Center, please visit www.thebtrc.org.
Press release courtesy of Kendall Bierer, Phelps Media Group.
Photo: All the Gold, © James Parker/The Book.
Photo: Billie Steffee and Susie Schoellkopf accept the award for All the Gold's induction into the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame, © James Parker/The Book.