2022 Horse Stars Hall of Fame Inductees Announced Including the First Mule

The Horse Stars Hall of Fame honors the contributions of amazing horses by sharing the stories of their athletic and humanitarian feats. It was established by the EQUUS Foundation and the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) in 2013 to celebrate the extraordinary talent of horses and their magical and powerful bond with people.

The USEF inducts the horses recognized annually as “Horses of Honor” for their stellar athletic performances. The EQUUS Foundation inducts horses who have had an inspirational impact on the public as companions, teachers and healers.

The 2022 Horse Stars Hall of Fame inductees are Aupollo’s Midnight Marquee, Balou du Reventon, Big Shot, Elmer, Happy Thoughts, HS Daydream’s Heads Up, Suppenkasper, and TDO Blackburn Hop. For the first time, the inductees included Elmer, the mule, to share the story about how all equines – not just horses – are stars and have a great impact on people.

EQUUS Foundation 2022 Inductees

Aupollo’s Midnight Marquee

(2014-   )

Tara Needham

 If ever there was a horse that was born to do therapy work, Aupollo’s Midnight Marquee would be that horse. His sire, Lazy Days Midnight Lightning, impacted thousands of lives over the course of his 12-year career and was inducted into the EQUUS Foundation’s Horse Stars Hall of Fame in 2019.

Owner Tara Needham, who founded and operates the therapy program Stampede of Love, was counting on “Kiwi” to follow in his father’s hoofprints. The 25-inch American Miniature Horse has not let her down, even if he didn’t exactly arrive in the package that Needham was expecting. READ MORE . . .


(2016-   )

Shepard Meadows Equestrian Center, Inc.

 Elmer doesn’t fit the description of a stereotypical therapy horse. His ears are a bit longer. His stature is a bit different. His whinny doesn’t quite sound the same. From time to time, he’s even been known to make a noise resembling a whimper. But make no mistake – he is just as capable of facilitating a therapy session as any horse is.

“Elmie” is a mule and the first mule inducted into the Horse Stars Hall of Fame. When he arrived, the frost-bitten tips of his ears conveyed a winter of neglectful care, but in the two years since his arrival, he has blossomed. READ MORE . . .

Happy Thoughts

(2011-   )

Caroline Moran

 2011 Hanoverian gelding Happy Thoughts was imported into the United States as a 6-year-old and had a successful career in the hunter arena before becoming a member of the team at Thorncroft Equestrian Center. The transition was a seamless one.

“When he retired from his hunter career, he was still sound and fairly young,” said Moran. “I thought immediately of testing him out at Thorncroft for their therapeutic riding program. He passed every test, fits in their program perfectly and has become a fan favorite at the farm.” READ MORE . . .

TDO Blackburn Hop

(1993-   )

Erika Berg

 Erika Berg first met the Quarter Horse gelding named TDO Blackburn Hop – affectionately known as “Bronco” – in 2011, when he joined the herd at Riding on Angels’ Wings (ROAW) as a therapy horse. When ROAW closed its doors in 2017, Erika was able to provide a home for two of the horses from the program. Bronco was one of them.

Later that year, a new equine assisted services program was founded at North Dakota State University – Bison Strides Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies. Naturally, Bronco was called upon to join its herd, where he has been an integral part of the team ever since. Erika described Bronco as the epitome of an equine assisted services horse. READ MORE . . .

 United States Equestrian Federation 2022 Inductees

 Balou du Reventon

(2006-   )

Ann Charlotte Thompson

 Balou du Reventon is no stranger to success in the show jumping arena. He has punched his ticket to international events all over the world and has proven to be a top competitor under several international riders. Although “Balou” was successful in 4* and 5* events with rider Darragh Kenny aboard, the pairing between Balou and United States rider Brian Moggre seems to be a magical one.

“Balou is really kind and sweet at all times.” she said. “For a stallion, it’s rare. I can go a long time not seeing him and he still knows exactly who I am. In 2019, when I was going to a lot of horse shows, I would be in the crowd and he would look right at me as he was going by. I’ve never had a horse do that before.” READ MORE . . .

Big Shot

(2011-   )

Dulcie Lou Morris

 Big Shot was a sale horse at Far West Farms when farm owner Jenny Karazissis first met the 2011 Holsteiner gelding. She immediately recognized him as a special horse and reached out to Gaby Morgerman and Dulcie Lou Morris to invest in him. As luck would have it, the stars aligned and “Dude” became family.

While the gelding certainly lives up to his name inside the hunter ring, he has a big personality outside of the show arena, too. He is always hoping for treats – mints are his favorite – and he likes to be engaged in what is going on around him. READ MORE . . .

HS Daydream’s Heads Up

(2009-   )

Hagan Saddlebreds, Inc.

 Scott Hagan’s American Saddlebred HS Daydream’s Heads Up has proven his talent in the show arena since his debut in 2011 at the Kentucky State Fair. Winning World’s Champion of the Two-Year-Old Three-Gaited Division II class, the fiery red gelding received the first of what would be many career championships.

“She was an ultra-tough and game show mare, known for doing things her way and Heads Up is definitely his mother’s son. He is explosive, smart, charismatic and athletic beyond belief,” Hagan said. “Very few thought an amateur could ever tame him.” READ MORE . . .


(2008-   )

Four Winds Farm and Akiko Yamazaki

 When Akiko Yamazaki and Four Winds Farm purchased Suppenkasper, the goal was to provide a mount for decorated American rider Steffen Peters, with the hope that he would qualify for both the World Equestrian Games in 2018 and 2020 Olympic Games teams. The 2008 KWPN gelding known as “Mopsie” played a vital role in making that goal attainable, and the partnership between Peters and Mopsie has proven to be a formidable force in the dressage arena.

Owner Akiko Yamazaki said that the 18.2 hand gelding is really just a humble, gentle giant who doesn’t know how special he is. “He never quits,” she said. “And he takes his job very seriously. He always gives 120% of himself.” READ MORE . . .

 “On behalf of the EQUUS Foundation and the United States Equestrian Federation, we wish to recognize the contributions of Jessica Lash in authoring the profiles of the 2022 inductees and to the many authors and photographers who have contributed over the years,” said Lynn Coakley, EQUUS Foundation President.

“The Horse Stars Hall of Fame is a wonderful way to demonstrate the staying power of horses — as athletes, companions, teachers and healers — and their unique abilities to move us through a spectrum of experiences from thrill and exhilaration to pure joy. By sharing the stories of these amazing horses, we hope to build a more informed and compassionate America that values the impact of horses in our lives.”

Visit the Horse Stars Hall of Fame here

 ABOUT EQUUS FOUNDATION: The EQUUS Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity established in 2002, is the only national animal welfare charity in the United States 100% dedicated to protecting America’s horses from peril and strengthening the bond between people and horses. Donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. Contact the EQUUS Foundation, Inc., at 168 Long Lots Road, Westport, CT 06880, Tele: (203) 259-1550, E-Mail: mail@equusfoundation.org, Website: www.equusfoundation.org.

ABOUT THE US EQUESTRIAN FEDERATION: Established in 1917, the United States Equestrian Federation (US Equestrian), the governing body of equestrian sport in the United States, is dedicated bringing the joy of horse sports to as many people as possible. Learn more about the US Equestrian at www.usequestrian.org/

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Contact: Lynn Coakley


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