Memorial fund in name of Jack Le Goff

August 1, 2009

Jack Le Goff © USEF Archives

The US Equestrian Team Foundation has established the Jack Le Goff Memorial Fund in the memory of the legendary USET Eventing Coach.

The fund will provide annual travel grant(s) to riders selected to represent the United States at the FEI Eventing World Cup Final.

The first major gift to start this fund in Jack Le Goff's name was made by Cindy and Larry Lippon of Cave Creek, Arizona, who knew Jack Le Goff and understood his passion for the US Eventing High Performance programme and the FEI Eventing World Cup Competition in particular. This FEI Eventing World Cup Championship event was the brainchild of Le Goff ten years ago.

This year's Eventing World Cup Final will be held in Strzegom, Poland, on August 21-23, and the United States will be represented by 25-year-old Kelly Prather on Ballinakill Glory. Prather was the winner of the World Cup qualifying event, CIC3*, held at Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, Montana.

"We cannot thank the Lippons and Trustee Rebecca and Sarah Broussard enough for their generosity in making sure that Jack's name and memory continue to help US High Performance Eventing athletes to compete internationally," said USET Foundation Executive Director, Bonnie B. Jenkins.

"In order to provide for future travel grants, individuals are encouraged to join the Lippons and Broussards in making gifts in Jack Le Goff's name to ensure that Eventers continue to benefit in the future."

Jack Le Goff came to the United States in 1970 and revolutionized the American equestrian programme and defined an era with medals and championships. Le Goff's coaching record at international championships was exemplary; he never missed winning a medal with any of the Eventing teams that he coached in his 14-year tenure in the United States. Eighteen medals in eight international championships is an outstanding accomplishment by which the U.S. team still measures itself. His innovative, intensive training changed the US Eventing programme forever.

His teams won Team Gold medals at the Olympic Games in 1976 and 1984 - proving the Americans were invincible at the highest level of sport during his reign.

"I'd say that in my run in the sport, he's one of a very small handful of what I call genius," said George H. Morris, USEF Show Jumping Chef d'Equipe.

"I first knew Jack in Rome as an accomplished competitor and later in the States. He's a very, very learned classical horseman in his methodology and background and intellect. He's a fantastic teacher and horse trainer. The icing on the cake is that he's a winner. You can't predict that in someone. You can't determine that. He's always been a winner. His success in the sport of eventing is unparalleled."

Le Goff died on Friday, July 24, in his homeland of France at the age of 78. A memorial service is tentatively planned for Le Goff, to be held in Gladstone on Monday, October 19. Additional information will be provided once plans are finalized.