Esteban

Photo courtesy of USEF Archive
(2001 – )
Owned by Deb Goldmann
Inducted: 2013
Esteban, more affectionately known as Bon, entered Deb Goldmann's life right after September 11, 2001, and owning him marked her return to the horse world. He began showing in-hand as a two year- old and always relished his time in the spotlight.

The gentle and quiet horse is "a ham and loves to be the center of the show once he enters the ring," said Goldmann. "He's an incredible presence and an incredible horse."

Esteban proved these words to be true at the 2007 International Friesian Show Horse Association World (IFSHA) and Grand National Championship Horse Show.

When shown in-hand with handler Steven Stiller, he was all class, topping the gelding ranks. When it came to the driving classes, Esteban demonstrated that he was not only ideal in conformation, but had talent as well.

Esteban won an unprecedented 26 out of 28 U.S. Driving classes, shown primarily by trainer David Hennen, but also by Goldmann on a handful of occasions. In-hand, Esteban was just as successful, and Goldmann appreciates his will to show-off in the ring. Winning 15 of 17 in-hand classes proved that his presence and conformation on stage were extraordinary.

Handled by Hennen and Stiller in-hand, Esteban exuded class and style, both in the regular halter classes that judge form to function and movement, and the Baroque classes, which reward a rounder body type and movement as opposed to a sport horse-type Friesian. Esteban picked up championship titles at the Baroque Horse Classic and the Baroque Horse Festival, both in Wisconsin, as well as the Andalusian Region Three Championships, where he was undefeated in eight classes.

In faultless driving performances, Esteban continued from success to success and his consistent brilliance and forward movement made him extraordinarily difficult to beat. He was crowned both national and world champion at the International Friesian Show Horse Association World (IFSHA) and Grand Champion National Horse Show in Missouri, exemplifying all the versatility of the Friesian breed.

His ability to adapt was showcased as he was awarded national champion titles with three different drivers including Hennen, Gwyneth Rausch, and Goldmann. As the competition year ended, Esteban held the 2007 National Horse of the Year titles for both Friesian in-hand and driving divisions. The United States Equestrian Federation recognized his outstanding accomplishments by naming him a Horse of Honor for 2007.

Esteban retired from show driving in 2009, but stayed active by competing in combined driving. "When he tore a suspensory, he was grouchy since he couldn't do anything," said Goldmann. "He was the happiest I've seen him when I took him back out. He loves his job." There's no holding back a true Champion.