“Being inducted into this year’s National Show Hunter Hall of Fame gave me a similar feeling as to the one I experienced the first time I won at indoors,” shares Danny Robertshaw. “It was a huge thrill for me.” Danny grew up in Wilmington, NC, and was ‘discovered’ by legendary hunter and equitation trainer, Nora Cooke, of Cedarhill Farm in Charlotte, NC, who was judging him at a local horse show. He became a working student for Nora in the late 1960’s-early 70’s which gave him the opportunity to polish up his natural riding skills through her instruction and spend more hours in the saddle. “When riding a horse for the first time, I always had the mentality that it was going to be good,” he shares. That positive attitude worked toward Danny’s benefit throughout his career as many brought him their more difficult horses to ride.

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“When I first started out as a young professional I would watch from the sidelines and study the way Danny rode, schooled and showed his horses,” offers top show hunter professional rider Scott Stewart. “I wanted to emulate his style and strived to be the horseman and professional he was. One of the biggest advantages I received in my early career was when Danny started to help me with my horses. Danny's influence on me changed the course of my professional life and I can't thank him enough for taking a chance on me. To this day the way I ride in the show ring to the type of horses I pick out are a direct reflection on Danny. There isn't a more deserving, gracious, kind, and hard-working recipient that has devoted his life to bettering our sport. It's a privilege to be a part of his induction."

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“I’m so proud of Danny for being inducted into the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame,” adds partner Ron Danta. “Anyone who truly knows him knows how gifted he was on a horse. He became a part of the horse and always rode them so well by communicating and becoming their friend. Danny always wanted the horse to understand and be happy. Even today as a judge he judges as a true horseman.”

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Notable show hunters such as ‘Lestat’ and ‘Bib N Tucker’ successfully partnered with Danny in earning a number of national championships that put him on the map, so to speak; but Mardie Faucette’s ‘Protocol,’ who was also inducted into this year’s Hall of Fame, was perhaps the most memorable.

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“It was an honor to own a once in a lifetime horse like‘Protocol’,” offers Mardie. “His story was a true ‘Cinderella story.’” ‘Protocol’ was an off the track Thoroughbred purchased by Nancy Baginski in Illinois for $300 and ultimately ending up in North Carolina withMichael Newman andAshley Weaver Hodges. Mardie bought him from Ashley in 1986. “Danny and‘Protocol’ were literally like poetry in motion to watch, and breathtakingly beautifulround after another.

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People would make a point to see ‘Pro’ show, and when he entered the ring there was dead silence.” ‘Protocol’ was complicated and difficult to prepare, but once in the ring, he really was on stage. “The four foot was effortless for him and he stayed inthe air over the jumps for what seemed like an eternity. ‘Protocol’ had great trainers and many great riders his entire career and made so many people so very proud.”

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Photos courtesy of Ron Danta and Mardie Faucette