The Question: Are women at a handicap competing against men in a horse show? (Asked at the National Horse Show)

November 26, 1956

GENERAL HUMBERTO MARILES
Captain
Mexican Army Team
In the national competitions they are at a handicap. The average women riders do not ride as well as men. Their sense of timing is not on a par with men. The best women riders are excellent indeed, and in the international horse shows, where only the best compete, they are not handicapped at all.

MRS. JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER III
No. Skill and sensitivity are more important than strength, even with jumpers, where weight is also a great factor. A woman weighs 110-120 pounds; a man, 150 or more. This gives women a great advantage. They may be at a disadvantage in a steeplechase, but not in a horse show.

BILLY STEINKRAUS
Captain, U.S.
Equestrian Team
No. We do give women a handicap in the international jumping events—which they don't need. The determining factor is a well-trained horse, not strength. The women are cool, levelheaded, determined competitors, and they're not soft. They take dead aim at you every time.

W. JOSHUA BARNEY JR.
Vice-president and secretary, National Horse Show
Women are at a handicap when competing with jumpers. They are not as strong as the male riders. Usually they are not as heavy, either, and they are given an additional weight handicap to compensate for their lack of strength. Only the top women riders don't need this handicap.

LIEUT. COLONEL DAN CORRY
Captain
Irish Army Team
The exceptional woman rider isn't at a disadvantage and doesn't need a handicap. She is the type who grows up with horses, knows them well and has muscles like a man. She is a beautiful specimen of womanhood. However, most women riders are not like that and they are at a handicap.

WALTER B. DEVEREUX
President
National Horse Show
Women are at a handicap with the jumpers, but they are top competitors with hunters. When competing with jumpers a woman must have an "easy" horse so she can control him. She is at a great disadvantage on an unruly horse. The really great jumpers have been ridden by men.

ARTHUR GODFREY
TV personality and sportsman
Do you mean: Should women be given a handicap at a horse show? Heck, no! They certainly don't need handicaps in the show ring. Some of the women I know outride me, but they've never suggested giving me a handicap. A beautiful woman on a stunning Thoroughbred is hard to beat.

J. VINCENT WHOLEY
Assistant, National Horse Show
No. Women are attractive. Riding a horse, they complete a beautiful picture. A horse is never as beautiful as when ridden by a beautiful woman. Men may have more ability, but women have advantages of their own. No judge can help but be influenced by such a beautiful picture.

GENERAL ALFRED G. TUCKERMAN
Vice Chairman of the Board, National Horse Show
Definitely not. There are three good reasons. First, women weigh less. Second, they have lighter hands than men; as a result the horses are quieter and easier to handle. Third, more women than men who love to be seen in a horse show are riding and developing into good riders.

GENERAL GUY V. HENRY
Member of Board of Directors, National Horse Show
I'd say that the average woman is at a handicap competing against men. But the really good women riders don't need handicaps. They are as good as the top male riders and better than the others. I mean riders like Pat Smythe, Carol Durand, Shirley Thomas and Joan Flynn.

RICARDO ECHEVERRIA
Captain, Chilean Equestrian Team
No. They are as good as men in all events. And that includes the jumpers because the horse is 80% and the rider is 20%. Women are not as strong as men, but sometimes that's better for the horse. If anything, the men need a handicap. A review of the top shows will prove it.

ELIZABETH BOSLEY
Rider of jumpers and hunters
Men are better over a long spell. Even so, I don't think women should be given a handicap. They shouldn't compete against men if they are not good enough. Actually, a lot depends on the horse. I happen to be lucky. I own one of the best jumpers in the country and win my share.

BOB BALLARD
Captain, Canadian Equestrian Team
No. In every horse event of any consequence, women are giving excellent performances. Percentagewise, they do as well as men. If a determined woman makes up her mind to be a top rider, nothing stops her, not even a man. That is, if she really has an image of a horse in her heart.

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