Documentary “A Life of Equestrian Substance: Conversations with Major General Jonathan R. Burton”
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Posted by Mary Phelps
In a one hour production this project was a collaborative effort that resulted in a documentary that provides current and future equestrians with an important glimpse of America's equestrian past. Maj. Gen. Jonathan (Jack) Burton, who served his country in both World War II and Vietnam, is a legend in the U.S. equestrian world. A former U.S. cavalry officer, he represented America in numerous international equestrian competitions, including the 1948 and 1956 Olympics. Skilled in both jumping and dressage, Gen. Burton is perhaps best known for being one of the key figures behind the development of eventing in the U.S.
Packed with conversation, historical photos and commentary added by some of America's top influences in the equestrian scene, Maj. Gen. Jonathan (Jack) Burton related stories of his life as a member of the U.S. Military’s Equestrian Team. Burton tells of how the U.S. military “acquired” horses from the Germans during the years that U.S. forces occupied Germany. The American military officers who made up the U.S. teams engaged in international competition used these “captured” horses with much success in international events in the first year’s following World War II. “We were short of horses, especially dressage horses,” Burton said. “The horses were considered captured military material.”
"Of all of the things I have accomplished in our 30 year business in the sport." said producer Mary Phelps, "I am most proud of this documentary, honoring this man, and I want to thank him, The Dressage Foundation and Karin Offield for their support, as well as everyone else who contributed to this effort."
A very special thank you to Melvin Cox of Sports Quest International who worked together with us to produce this program.