Mill Spring N.C. – Nov. 3, 2021 – M. Michael Meller of MMM Horseman and QBS Equestrian was proud to present the third annual “Doc Spirit” Award during the Washington International Horse Show in Tryon, North Carolina, to Royce, a 17-year-old Oldenburg stallion owned by Gladewinds Partners LLC and shown by Olympian Margie Engle.
The “Doc Spirit” Award is presented annually in honor of the late Dr. John R. Steele to the horse that best exemplifies the heart and athleticism necessary to be competitive at the highest levels of show jumping. Dr. Steele, lovingly referred to by many as “Doc,” passed away last year at the age of 91. He was a top-level sport horse medicine pioneer and boasted a renowned career as an acclaimed equine veterinarian. The purpose of this award is to recognize his tireless dedication, passion and countless contributions to the sport, and his love for horses.
Engle of Wellington, Florida, was honored to find out that her veteran partner would be receiving such a prestigious award. The pair have been competing together for almost 10 years, winning countless grand prix competitions, including the $500,000 Saugerties Grand Prix CSI5* and the $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI5*. Engle and Royce have also represented the United States during multiple international Nations Cup competitions.
“He’s a really great horse,” expressed Engle. “Royce has always been one of my favorites – he’s like my best friend. Even when I first saw him showing, I always thought he has a huge heart, power, scope, carefulness. It took me a year to buy him, but I always thought he was the epitome of what you’re looking for in talent. His personality is one of the best I’ve been around.”
While Meller could not be on-site to present the award, Dr. Steele’s longtime friend Missy Clark accompanied grand prix athlete Catherine Tyree, who competes for QBS Equestrian, during the presentation in front of a packed crowd at the Tryon International Equestrian Center prior to the start of the evening’s highlight class, the $215,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Washington, where Engle and Royce finished in ninth place.
“I was very honored to present the Dr. John R Steele Spirit Trophy to Margie Engel’s Royce at the Washington International Horse Show in Tryon,” said Clark. “Royce and Margie were two of Doc’s favorites, so it was quite fitting to be able to present this beautiful trophy in Doc’s honor. Many thanks to Michael Meller for sponsoring this wonderful award to commemorate Dr. Steele, who undoubtedly will forever live on in our hearts.”
Meller will again take center stage to present the M. Michael Meller Style Award at the 2021 National Horse Show in Lexington, Kentucky, on Saturday, November 6, prior to the evening’s highlight event, the $213,300 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Lexington. The M. Michael Meller Style Award is presented each year to the international equestrian who exemplifies the best style of riding along with maintaining a sportsmanlike composure.
To learn more about the “Doc Spirit” Award, MMM Horseman and QBS Equestrian please visit www.mmm-horseman.com.