THD Head

Steven Allen Hummel, loving son, brother and friend, passed away on October 27, 2012. Steven was born on October 20, 1962 in Houston, Tx. He is survived by parents Josephine & Leonard Hummel, sister Holly Hummel Brennan and husband Clarke, fiance Jessica Zienkievicz, and nephews Mason & Myles Brennan. A Memorial Service will be held 2:00 p.m., Monday, Novemeber 5, 2012 at Beck Funeral Home, Cedar Park, Texas.

Philip (Phil) Garrett Sawin (68) resident of Bellville, Texas since 1978 passed away March 18 (2011) from a ladder accident at his horse training facility, Pine Hill Farm, where he lived and worked.

Phil was born in Austin, Texas, August 26, 1942 and grew up in Houston, Texas. He fell in love with horses and the people around them while working at Almeda Stables in Houston in the 50's. Phil did computer programming for insurance companies in Houston to support his love of horses.

Phil is survived by his wife Ruth Cooper Sawin and Elizabeth Sawin (Ellie 10); his sisters Joan (and Emerson) Heald of Seattle, WA and Elizabeth (and Robert Wilson) of Holmdel, NJ, and his brother Tom (and Ruby) Sawin of Hesston, KS. He was predeceased by his parents Horace and Katherine Rhoads Sawin and his brother Fred C Sawin.

Phil enjoyed maintaining the horse training facilities at Pine Hill, designing jumps and courses and relating to the people that used and helped him construct and maintain his facility. Pine Hill was started in 1978. Phil brought the Olympic Equestrian sport of eventing to Texas in the 1980s. For 25 consecutive years he ran two USEA (United States Eventing Association) recognized horse trials each year as well as many schooling horse trials. Having achieved the United States Equestrian Federation license as Cross Country course designer allowed Phil to travel over the country and help others with their course designs.

Phil's Pine Hill Equestrian Facility has been home for many USPC (United States Pony Club) activities, Combined Driving Competitions and Hunter/Jumper Shows. Many equestrians have grown up competing at Pine Hill and now have children competing at Pine Hill. Other equestrians that had their first show, Pony Club or clinic experiences at Pine Hill have gone on to compete Internationally in the horse world.

Phil's other passion was traveling. Combining his love of horses with his love of traveling he made many trips to Europe, Scandinavia and Russia. Phil and Ruth met at the World Equestrian Games at The Hague in '94 and have attended all but one WEG together since then.

Phil's last big project and latest passion was overseeing the construction of his and Ruth and Ellie's new home at Pine Hill. Unfortunately he was unable to complete this project before his untimely death.

Phil will be missed by all those lives he has touched---family, friends, equestrians, builders, workers and all of his animals.

Pine Hill is Phil's legacy---an Equestrian Facility of great beauty and uniqueness. The horse community has spoken unanimously that they want his legacy to continue and have set up Memorial Fund to assist in maintaining his wonderful “peace of heaven for horsemen and women on earth”. Checks may be sent to "PHIL SAWIN MEMORIAL TRUST FUND".

By mail: Send a check, payable to "Phil Sawin Memorial Trust Fund", to Sterling Bank, Phil Sawin Memorial Trust Fund, 15000 Northwest Freeway, Houston, TX 77040. Please enclose a note with the check as to the fund you wish it be contributed to.

A Celebration of Phil's life will be held at Pine Hill on Saturday April 9th (2011) at 6:30 following the USEA event held that day. This celebration will be as only Phil would have wanted it---outdoors, at his beautiful place and surrounded by horses and horse people.

(FROM USEA SITE) I met Phil sometime in 1978 at Bear Creek Stables in Missouri City, TX. He was stabling his horses there temporarily until he finished his place in Bellville. Along with my trainer, Louie Plagge and his wife Su we made a number of trips to Bellville to see the beginning of Pine Hill Farm.

When Phil was ready to open he asked me to create a logo for him. I used one of his beautiful pine trees' pine cones and the rest is history. Phil built the first cross country course in this area and had the only field hunter course I ever rode on. He was always building and improving Pine Hill, adding dressage rings and show jumping rings. He hosted driving events and U.S. pony club rallies.

He finally married and settled down with Ruth Cooper, a perfect horse woman - horse lover match. Phil was always looking forward to bigger and better things at Pine Hill. He will be sorely missed.

In later years we had not seen too much of each other, being busy with our own lives but whenever I saw Phil his face would break into that big grin and I would get a bear hug. Phil seemed very happy with his life. I hope with our help Pine Hill can continue as a monument to Phil and his dedication.


Funeral services for Sandra "Sandy" Adams Harger, 63, of Richmond, are 2PM Thursday, February 19, 2009, at First United Methidist Church in Rosenberg with interment following at Morton Cemetery in Richmond, the Rev. John Black officiating.
Sandy was born March 9, 1945, in Ft. Worth, TX, to Goldie Winters Adams and Vivian "Jimmy" Adams. She was a member of First United Methodist Church in Rosenberg and helped her husband, Corky, at Fort Bend Saddlery.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Jimmy and Goldie Adams.
Sandy is survived by her husband of 19 years, C. Corky Harger, sister Susanne Miller Heimbrook and husband, William Dow; niece, Roxannw Herbert and numerous family and friends.
Memorial donations may be made in Sandy's name to the American Cancer Society, Houston Metro Area, P. O. Box 570127, Houston, TX 77257-0127. Tributes and words of condolence may be left for the Harger Family at website

• UNION JACK - February 27, 1976 - May 6, 2003. Not particularly famous, but well-known especially among the veterinarians at Texas A&M. He was a solid citizen, a good friend, and a great connoisseur of horse treats. He lived for several years at Windy Knoll Farm in Magnolia and for his last 14 years at Cy Creek Ranch in Cypress. Owner: Lou Caldwell

Horseman Jurgen Mainzer of Hearne,TX, died on May 28, 2000, after a brief battle with cancer. He was 70.
Mr. Mainzer was born in Bremerhaven, Germany, where he trained with several well-known instructors. For 14 years he competing in the highest levels of dressage, show jumping and eventing.
After earning a MBA in Germany, Mainzer moved to Burbank, California, (1980) where he managed an import and export business of wines and spirits.
Mr. Mainzer became very active with horses in California. He was a charter member of the California Dressage Society. As a director of the Flintridge Riding Club he organized selection trials for the Pan Am games and Olympics. Mr. Mainzer started a develpong judges program, from which he earned an I-rated license in dressage and judged many dressage shows around the country.
In 1990 Jurgen Mainzer retired to the Texas hill country where he imported and raised Hanoverians at his K2 Ranch and still gave riding clinics around the country.
He is survived by his wife, Margaret J.M. Ezell-Mainzer; and a nephew and an uncle both of Hamburg, Germany.
The Chronicle of the Horse, Friday,June 16, 2000

Texas and the eventing world of USCTA Area V lost a great supporter with the passing of Col. Allen Smith of Paige, Texas. He was 64.
While stationed in Virginia with the Army Corps of Engineers, Smith became interested in riding and hunted with the Bull Run Hunt. And later in Ft. Leavenworth, KS he was joint MFH.
When he moved to Texas he became interested in eventing and was Area V Chairman from 1991 to 1993 and later chairman of the USCTA Adult Riders Committee. Smith was Area V Treasurer and on the USCTA Board of Governers since 1996.
We were all familiar with his byline in The Chronicle of the Horse as Al Smith, covering the local area events, keeping Texas horse trials in the news.
Col. Smith is survived by his wife, Christine, his daughter, Tamsy Markham and her husband, George Markham and three grandchildren.

The Houston Dressage Society and all who knew him mourn the passing of Forget Not, known affectionately as: Chunky. He was an Anglo-Clydesdale gelding by Strider (TB) out of Lorna Doone, Clydesdale mare bred by Virginia Campbell Scott of Dalriada Farm in Pearland. The first of Virginia's "great experiment" to breed Texas Warmbloods. There were four offspring from this original TB/Cyldedale cross: three colts and one filly. Chunky was the one to leave home; shown in hunter, then in cross country and dressage by Cara Campbell, Virginbia's sister and trained to Grand Prix Dressage by Fran Dearing of Windy Knoll Farm, Magnolia.
Chunky upheld the Texas honor at the Insilco Dressage Championships under Cara at winning thrid place overall in a real head-to-head national dressage championship at Second Level.
Later he went on to be Fran Deaing's Grand Prix model winning the hearts of the audience with his wonderful freestyle to the strains of the Budweiser Beer commercial.
Chunky has been in his retirement years teaching a few lucky students what it was like to ride a Grand Prix horse. He will be missed.

• The Sport World Looses Two Equine Heroes.
BIG BEN - The world lost one of show jumping's great equine heroes in December, 1999 at the age of 23. Big Ben died from an untreatable case of colic.
Paired with Ian Millar, Big Ben represented Canada and brought home the individual and team medals in the Olympic Games in 1984, 1988 and 1992, the1986 World Championships and the 1987 PanAm Games. And won back-to-back World Cups in 1988and 1989.
Big Ben was a huge Belgian Warmblood over 17 hands. Even after retirement in 1994 he continued to receive honors. Big Ben was awarded a sports heroes' highest honor by being inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame along with Ian Millar. Ben was only the second non-human to receive this honor.the other being the great racehorse, Northen Dancer. In 1999 Canada issued a postage stamp to his honor.
Big Ben was buried on Millar's farm in Ontario. Read more about Big Ben on Wikipedia

• ABDULLAH - January 5, 2000, the sporthorse world lost a great performance stallion and sire as the result of complications from emergency colic surgery.
Abdullah is best known as the individual silver medal winner at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. Paired with Conrad Homfeld, the striking gray Trakehner stallion made Olympic history along with Homfeld's training partner Joe Fargis and the Thoroughbred mare, Touch of Class who won the individual gold, enabling the US to win the team gold for 1984. In 1985 Abdullah won the FEI World Cup and in 1986 won the team gold and individual silver in the World Championships. Abdullah was a breeding stallion throughout his career; a successful and popular sire of hunters, jumpers and event horses. Read more about Abdullah on Wikipedia


Texas' own Peter Pletcher riding Julie McGee Holmes' Geste, was winner of the 1991 $30,000 Madison Square Garden Hunter Classic and National Horse Show Regular Working Hunter Champion.
Peter Pletcher trains from his PJP Farms, Inc. in Magnolia, Texas, and is known not only for his hunter rider/trainer skills but also in the jumper division winning the 1991 President's Cup at the Washington International on Uncle Sam.

• "Horses, Kids & Ethics",
a new video for Youth Horse Programs released by TAMU

14 November, 1997
Texas A&M University has just released a new video entitled "Horses, Kids & Ethics."
This video shares "8 Ways to Better Your Youth Horse Program." Produced in the
innovative and entertaining style of Dr. Jeff Goodwin, 4-H and Youth Specialist at the
University of Idaho, kids and parents alike will have fun as they learn about rules, ethics,
and developing the people skills that will make your youth horse program even better.
The video was produced with the cooperation of Colorado State University.
Robin Devin, Youth Director for the American Quarter Horse Association, stated after
seeing the video, "Every young person and their parents who are involved in a youth
horse program should see this video."
To order a copy contact:
Instructional Materials Service
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX 77843-2588
Phone: 409-845-6601; Fax: 409-845-6608
Website with ordering information:
"Horse, Kids & Ethics" catalog #9563
$55.00 plus 10% for shipping and handling


Alton Stone had given too many conflicting reports. These discrepancies
were discovered during an investigation of the bankruptcy of First City
Bancorp of Houston. Eariler this month Stone was convicted by a court
in Houston on 2 counts of "making false statements to a grand jury".
The false and conflicting statements were made during a the original
grand jury investigation into the death of Alydar, second place to
Affirmed's 1978 Triple Crown Winner.

    Alydar was said to have broken his leg on the night of November 13, 1990.
The regular night watchman had been told to take the night off. Stone gave conflicting
versions of what happened that night at Calumet Farms and when exactly he
found Alydar's injury.

    Two days later the stallion had to be destoyed. He was insured for $20 million.

    Calumet Farms was deeply in debt. Three weeks before the accident,
First City Bancorp had threatened to foreclose. First City was calling in its loans
because it was close to bankrupcy. It had failed once in 1988.

    First City got their $20 million.

    Calumet Farms went bankrupt in the following year.

    First City failed again in 1992.

    Stone is scheduled to be sentenced on September 8. He faces a possible
5 years in prison and $250,000 fine for each count. It will be appealed.

    Would someone kill a famous racehorse and breeding stallion for $20
million in insurance? What makes him any different from the show jumper
Charisma that George Lindemann, Jr.* had killed for a piddling $250,000
in insurance money?

    The investigation continues.

    *George Lindemann, Jr. was convicted of insurance fraud in 1995.

Last Update: 1 January, 2016