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Gem Twist

Gem Twist
Breed Thoroughbred
Sire Good Twist
Dam Coldly Noble
Damsire Noble Jay
Gender Gelding
Foaled 1979
Country 22x20px United States
Color Gray
Breeder Frank Chapot
Owner Michael Golden[1]
Trainer Frank Chapot

Medal record
Silver 1988 Seoul Individual jumping
Silver 1988 Seoul Team jumping
Pan American Games
Silver 1987 Indianapolis Team Jumping

Gem Twist (1979 - November 18, 2006) was a world champion American Thoroughbred show jumping horse registered under the name Icey Twist.[1] Bred by equestrian Frank Chapot,[2] Gem Twist had an incredible career at the Grand Prix level. The gelding is the only horse to have won the "American Grand Prix Association Horse of the Year" title three times,[3] and is regarded as one of the best show-jumpers in history.[4]



Gem Twist had an extensive show jumping career between 1985 and 1997 under three different international level riders: Greg Best (up to 1992), Leslie Howard (1992-1995), and Laura Chapot (1995 onward).

With Greg Best

Gem Twist began winning early in his career with rider Greg Best, including the 1985 USET Talent Derby as a six-year-old. He went on to win his first two competitions at the Grand Prix level, the Grand Prix of Tampa and the Grand Prix of Florida, in 1987. He finished the year with his first American Grand Prix Association (AGA) Horse of the Year honor, as well as a team silver medal from the Pan American Games. Best continued to ride Gem Twist for several years with great success, including earning two silver medals at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul. In 1989, Gem Twist was named the American Grand Prix Association Horse of the Year for the second time. In 1990, he was named the "World's Best Horse" at the World Equestrian Games in Stockholm. However, Best injured his shoulder in 1992, and the ride was turned over to Leslie Burr Howard (then Leslie Burr Lenehan).[3]

With Leslie Howard

Howard continued the gelding's career, winning both another AGA Horse of the Year title and the AGA Championship in 1993. The team qualified for the 1994 World Equestrian Games, but an infection at the Games disqualified Gem Twist from the championship round and put him out of competition for almost a year.[3]

With Laura Chapot

In 1995, after a lengthy recuperation period, Gem Twist came back into the show ring with Laura Chapot. Although Chapot was still a Young Rider (21 and under), her first year with Gem Twist was very successful. She won the World Cup class at the $100,000 Autumn Classic, earning her the Budweiser Rookie of the Year award, and rode the horse to his third win at the Budweiser AGA Championships. Her second season continued to be successful, with wins at three World Cup qualifying classes, including Tampa's Volvo Grand Prix of Florida-- whose starting field of over 80 horses made it the largest grand prix jumper class of all time! She finished Gem's career with a win at the World Cup USA East League Championship (which was held at the same venue at which he won his first Grand Prix with Best nine years earlier). Chabot formally retired Gem Twist at the National Horse Show at Madison Square Garden on November 1, 1997.[3] During his career, Gem Twist accumulated more than $800,000 in prize money. In 2002, Gem Twist was inducted into the United States Show Jumping Hall of Fame.[5] He was euthanized November 18, 2006 at the age of 27.[2]

Clone of Gem Twist

In early 2006, Practical Horseman magazine first leaked a report that Gem Twist was to be the subject of a cloning experiment by a then-undisclosed international laboratory.

On September 15, 2008, the French genetic bank Cryozootech announced the successful birth of a healthy clone[6] of Gem Twist. As was Gem, the foal was born bay, with a star and sock on his right front; and is expected to dapple/grey-out in relative short order.

The foal's name is Gemini, though whether or not he will carry the "Twist" surname has yet to be revealed.


Pedigree of Gem Twist [7]
Good Twist
New Twist
Bonnie Nuit
Royal Canopy - 1914
Bonne Cause - 1915
Sisterly Love
Great War - 1938
Brave Bonnie - 1933
Ethnarch - 1922
Ellanvale - 1926
Flying Salmon
King Salmon - 1930
Ballyhurry - 1922
Coldly Noble
Noble Jay
Double Jay
Balladier - 1932
Broomshot - 1926
Noble Nurse
Count Fleet - 1940
Gallant Nurse - 1946
Eskimo Princess
Arctic Princess
Prince Chevalier - 1943
Arctic Sun - 1941
Ultra Royal
Royal Note - 1952
Ultra - 1947


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Gem Twist, U.S. Star, To Take His Final Bows". Finn, Robin. The New York Times. 10/28/97. Referenced January 2, 2008.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Show Jumping Legend Gem Twist Dies". Equisearch. Referenced January 2, 2008.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "The Legend of Gem Twist". Chado Farms. Referenced January 2, 2008.
  4. "Glorious Gem Twist Euthanized". Hale, Cindy. Horse Channel. 12/4/06. Referenced January 2, 2008.
  5. "Gem Twist". American Show Jumping Hall of Fame. Referenced January 2, 2008.
  6. http://www.horsetalk.co.nz/news/2008/09/105.shtml
  7. "Gem Twist". All Breed Pedigree. Referenced January 2, 2008

External links


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