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

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2017-10-10
  • Publisher: Trafalgar Square Books

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Supplemental Materials

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In the 1970s, a French coach was commissioned to lead the United States Eventing Team, then in its infancy. Jack Le Goff arrived knowing little English but much horsemanship, and it wasn’t long before his intensive, innovative methods built the foundation of a team that would dominate the sport for much of his 14-year tenure. With an astounding eighteen medals in eight international championships and team gold medals at the Olympic Games in 1976 and 1984, Le Goff created the standard by which modern-day 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, Jack Le Goff tells the whole story, from impoverished beginnings in Morocco to the tragic death of his father; from his successes as a competitive equestrian to the partying and womanizing that threatened to derail his career before it even began. We come away with a behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of high-level international equestrian sport. We meet the elite riders and horses of past decades, seeing up-close-and-personal how they achieved their successes, faced their failings, and in the end rode for glory under of one of the world's greatest coaches.

Author Biography

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.

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