Leading jumping owner Hunter Harrison dies at 73

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Hunter Harrison with McLain Ward.
Hunter Harrison with McLain Ward.

US showjumping is mourning the passing of renowned owner and official E. “Hunter” Harrison, who owned Double H Farm.

Harrison, 73, died on Saturday, December 16. Double H. Farm, a jumper and breeding operation, has  facilities in Ridgefield, Connecticut and Wellington, Florida.

A USET Foundation Trustee, Harrison was Chief Executive of CXS, a Florida-based railway. Originally from a Tennessee, Harrison began his career as a rail car oiler for the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway and made his fortune turning around railway companies. Most recently, he was the President and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Pacific (CP) before joining CXS in March of 2017. He also served as President and Chief Executive Officer at Canadian National (CN) from 2003-2009 and before that was executive vice-president and chief operating officer.

Harrison bred many horses ridden by leading riders, including HH Azur , who won the 2017 Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final with McLain Ward, who also rode Sapphire for Double H Farms.

McLain Ward and HH Azur, who won the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final 2017.
McLain Ward and HH Azur, who won the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final 2017. © Liz Gregg/FEI

“For the sport as a whole, it is a great loss,” Ward said.

“Hunter was a phenomenal supporter of myself, my career and our entire operation for the better part of almost two decades. I think that we had a similar view of the sport and the horses, and we had similar goals. He was very, very committed to helping me and in turn trying to reach those goals, so that was a shared journey. We were lucky enough to come across some great horses and some great successes over the years, which I know brought him a great deal of satisfaction and joy.”

Harrison became a Trustee of the United States Equestrian Team Foundation in 2013, and was also chairman of the National Horse Show Association of America. He served as special liaison for horse show management to the North American riders group, and Harrison also served as an advisor or sponsor of Spruce Meadows, the Alltech National Horse Show, the Global Champions Tour, the American Gold Cup, and the Winter Equestrian Festival.

Double H Farm began in 2002 as a private show stable in Wellington for Harrison’s daughter, Cayce Judge, in her junior years. The farm moved into a business venture and has now developed to include breeding, buying, and selling horses, as well as supporting international show jumpers.

Hunter Harrison with Rodrigo Pessoa in 2009.
Hunter Harrison with Rodrigo Pessoa in 2009.

Earlier this year, Harrison’s son-in-law Quentin Judge rode as a member of the Hermès US Show Jumping Team aboard HH Conrad to claim the silver medal in the FEI Nations Cup CSIO4* in Coapexpan.

Olympic gold medalist Rodrigo Pessoa of Brazil represented the farm from 2006 to 2013, riding Harrison’s HH Rebozo at the 2012 Olympic Games in London and the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. In 2011, Pessoa and HH Ashley won Pan American Team Silver.

“I have learned a lot and been lucky enough to work with Hunter through this time,” Pessoa said. “His experience as a leader and as a partner is a unique and special situation, and I’m extremely appreciative for what he has done for me. We remained good friends and I look back fondly on the great success that we had together.”

Harrison is survived by his wife, Jeannie, and daughters Elizabeth (Libby) Julo and Cayce Judge, and their families.

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