Horses Came First, Second and Last: My Unapologetic Road to Eventing Gold

Horses Came First, Second and Last: My Unapologetic Road to Eventing Gold

Horses Came First, Second and Last: My Unapologetic Road to Eventing Gold

Horses Came First, Second and Last: My Unapologetic Road to Eventing Gold


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With an astounding eighteen medals in eight international championships and team gold medals at the Olympic Games in 1976 and 1984, Jack Le Goff created the standard by which modern–day equestrian teams are measured. But Le Goff's techniques could be unforgiving–tough, brutal, and abrasive–earning him critics as well as converts. In this, his autobiography, Le Goff tells the whole story, from impoverished beginnings in Morocco, to the tragic death of his father, to his successes as a competitive equestrian. Readers will enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of high–level international equestrian sport, as well as an entire section devoted to Le Goff's much admired and extremely successful training philosophy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781570768279
Publisher: Trafalgar Square
Publication date: 11/15/2017
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Louis Jean "Jack" Le Goff (1931–2009) was a French equestrian, best known as the coach of the American three-day eventing team from 1970 to 1984. He coached the team to multiple international championships, winning 18 international medals, including several in the Olympics. Le Goff is known for having a large impact on the American eventing world, and the era in which he coached has been called the golden era for American equestrianism.

Prior to becoming an American coach, Le Goff served in the French Army and competed in three-day eventing for France. He rode in the 1960 Summer Olympics, winning a team bronze medal, and the 1964 Summer Olympics, where he did not win a medal. He subsequently acted as the coach for the French national team, winning multiple regional and international medals. After retiring as the American coach, he acted as a consultant to the United States Equestrian Team (USET) for finding new riders, helped to coach the Canadian national team, and served as the director for the USET Training Center. He also served the Federation Equestre Internationale as an eventing judge, committee member and Olympic appeals judge.

Jo Whitehouse retired in 2015 from the position of CEO of the United States Eventing Association, which she held for over twenty years.

Table of Contents

Foreword David O'Connor xi

Preface xiii

Acknowledgments xvi

Part I The Learning Years 1

1 Twenty Kilos Is All! 3

2 A Horseman Is Born 14

3 Making the Team! 23

4 And Off to War I Went 29

5 Women and a Changing Sport 34

Part II The Coaching Years 37

6 The Best Laid Plans 39

7 Coming to America 52

8 I Meet the Queen and the US Team Becomes "A Threat to Be Reckoned With" 60

9 The System 69

10 1975 Pan Am Games 80

11 The Road to Montreal 86

12 Might Tango 96

13 Badminton and Burghley and the Olympic Games-Oh My! 107

14 Luhmuhlen and Los Angeles 114

15 A New and Different Role 121

Part III The FEI Years 131

16 Judging 133

17 The FEI Three-Day Eventing Committee 136

Part IV The Le Goff Philosophy 147

18 On Dressage 149

19 On Conditioning the Event Horse 163

20 On Preparing for Cross-Country 175

21 On Show Jumping 184

22 On the Riders 190

23 On Cross-Country Courses 196

Part V The Past and the Future 201

24 The Crossing of the Desert: The US Three-Day Event Team 1984-1996 203

25 Where the Sport Is Going 209

26 What It Means to Be a Coach, What It Means to Be Disciplined 213

Afterword: Retirement, This Time for Good 223

Appendix 1 The Circle of Champions 225

Appendix 2 Lifetime Achievement Record of Jack Le Goff 239

Appendix 3 Development of the Olympic Eventing Format 241

Index 243

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“There are very, very few people in the horse business whom I would label ‘genius.’ Jack Le Goff was a genius on all fronts: intellect, horseman, rider, teacher, trainer. And the icing on the cake was Jack Le Goff was a winner.” — George H. Morris, Former Chef d’Equipe US Show Jumping Team, author of Unrelenting and Hunter Seat Equitation

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