William Steinkraus

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William Steinkraus
Medal record
Men’s equestrian
Competitor for the  United States
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1968 Mexico City Individual jumping
Silver medal – second place 1972 Munich Team jumping
Silver medal – second place 1960 Rome Team jumping
Bronze medal – third place 1952 Helsinki Team jumping

William Clark Steinkraus (born October 12, 1925) is an American show jumping champion.

Olympic Record[edit]

Steinkraus participated in five Olympic Games. At the 1968 Summer Olympics held in Mexico City, he won a gold medal in Individual Jumping with the horse, Snowbound.[1] He obtained two silver medals in Team Jumping, first in 1960 on his mount, Ksar d'Espirt, and 1972 on Main Spring. Steinkraus also won a bronze medal in Team Jumping at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, Finland on Hollandia. He was also slated to ride on the 1964 Olympic Team until his horse, Sinjon, was injured.[2]


Steinkraus first rode at the age of ten while at summer camp, after which he took lessons with such well-known horsemen as Gordon Wright and Morton W. "Cappy" Smith. He rode sales horses for Smith, allowing him to hone his skills on various mounts. In 1941, Steinkraus reached the highest level of hunt seat equitation when he won the ASPCA Maclay Cup and the Good Hands Finals at the National Horse Show.[2]

Following his early successes, Steinkraus left to attend Yale University. After his first year of college, he joined the cavalry branch of the Army and was one of the final classes to receive their training on horseback. He was then shipped to Burma during World War II, where he served as part of the 124th Cavalry Regiment from 1943-1945.[2] He then returned to the United States and finished his education at Yale, being graduated in 1949.[2]

After college, Steinkraus focused on his riding career, and went on to join the Olympic team at the 1952 Helsinki Games. He also was a true amateur during this time, working as a businessman.

Steinkraus retired from international competition at the end of 1972, following the show season, but continued to remain involved in the horse showing industry. This included involvement in the USET, either as president or chairman, from 1972–1992, and as an "Honorary Member" of the FEI Bureau.[2] He also was a television commentator from 1976–1988, and a judge at the 1992 Olympic Games. Today, he still rides and plays chamber music.[2]

Publications by Steinkraus[edit]

  • Riding and Jumping (1961)
  • The U.S. Equestrian Team Book of Riding (1976)
  • The Horse in Sport (1987)
  • Reflections on Riding and Jumping (1991)


  1. ^ Profile: "William Steinkraus" databaseOlympics.com (Retrieved on January 8, 2008)
  2. ^ a b c d e f Bryant, Jennifer O. Olympic Equestrian, A Century of International Horse Sport. Lexington, KY: Blood-Horse Publications, 2008.

See also[edit]