Billy White Shoes

(1994 – 2016)
Owned by Roxane Lawrence Durant
Inducted: 2017

Photos

Thanks to the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) thousands of middle school and high school students have taken their riding and horsemanship to a new level through equestrian competitions. The IEA is unique in that horse ownership is not required—-instead horses and equipment are provided to each rider by random draw at every event. This special format levels the playing field, encouraging sportsmanship and horsemanship while maintaining affordability for participants.

But because of this format, the horses are even more essential to the success of the competition and the riders. Known as "the first horse of the IEA," Billy White Shoes was a childrens/adult jumper when he was donated to the Andrews School at the young age of six. Friendly, outgoing, and intelligent, Billy demanded he be the first horse fed in the morning, and the first turned out. He knew he was great, and always turned it on in the show ring with a consistent, even rhythm and a perfect jump every time.

The handsome chestnut with four white stockings and a blaze in the shape of the number "1" was the "wonder draw", able to teach young riders the basics and let the more advanced riders shine over higher jumps.

He was the winning draw in the first IEA Varsity Open Championship in 2002 - and 10 years later at IEA's 10th Anniversary show, at the age of 23, he was still winning classes!

"One of my most favorite memories of Billy," said Roxane Lawrence Durant, IEA Co-Founder and Executive Director, "is from 2003 when Billy stepped in to substitute for the horse of a young rider who qualified for the Maclay Finals. With just three weeks to prepare, Billy and his rider completed the course that was so difficult that 50% of the horses were eliminated. His big heart got him around that day, and has no doubt made him the durable horse he has proven himself to be."

The IEA has come a long way, and none of it would have been possible without horses like Billy. Billy White Shoes is a great representative of the wonderful lesson horses in the IEA program and in lesson programs throughout the country. Instructors and riders alike are blessed to have such wonderful teachers and equine friends, like Billy White Shoes.