June 19, 2021
By Amy Hull
LVHPA Board President
The Longview Charity Horse Show will take place Friday and Saturday, Jun. 25 and 26 starting at 6:30 p.m. at Longview Horse Park located at 12600 SE Raytown Road in Kansas City.
The event, sponsored by Saddle Up, Inc., will be judged by Ray Krussell of Richmond, IL and is a benefit for the Longview Horse Park.
R.A. Long’s plan for Longview Farm was to have a country estate that profited farmers by showing how to raise better livestock and crops and proving it would pay to do so. The 1800-acre farm, finished on June 1st, 1914, raised hogs, dairy cattle, beef cattle, hay and row crops as well as being a famous “horse heaven” consisting of the Show Horse Barn and the Saddle Horse Barn which once housed the largest horse operation west of the Mississippi.
John T. Hook became Longview Farm Saddle Horse Department Manager in 1913 and developed a Saddle Horse operation whose annual horse sales attracted buyers from across the United States and Canada. Longview Farm had fifty of the best broodmares in the United States and fine mares were brought by their owners to the Farm for stallion service by Easter Cloud, Independence Chief and My Major Dare who were Grand Champions at American and Canadian national shows prior to being stood at stud. John Hook rode Easter Cloud in 1917 to win the first $10,000 stake ever offered at the Kentucky State Fair and in his five-year show career, Easter Cloud was only defeated once at the age of thirteen.
John, inspecting a group of colts before they were gelded, liked the way Chief of Longview looked at him and moved and John’s good judgement stopped the veterinarian from gelding him.
John Hook originated the famous hat trick in which he would lose his hat on purpose as the horse he was riding was starting to rack, which made it appear that his horse was racking faster than the others.
The Longview Farm Saddle Horse Department had other well-known assistant trainers such as Don Reavis, Charlie Bishop and Lonnie Hayden. At the zenith of its operation in 1921, Longview Farm had 109 saddle horses in different stages of training and breeding. After the death of R.A. Long in 1934, the Saddle Horse Department was dispersed but remaining were the Hackney Heavy Harness horses and Hackney ponies.
Chief of Longview, affectionately known as the “Great Parader”, moved with a “dazzling brilliance in the show ring as few horses do”. Born right here in the pastures of Longview Farm in 1922 and trained at Longview Farm in the Saddle Horse Department under the direction of John Hook, Lonnie Hayden and Don Reavis, Chief of Longview won the Stallion stake, Junior stake and Grand Championship at the American Royal in 1925 in his first show appearance.
He was purchased by Lurline Roth of Why Worry Farm immediately after for an unheard-of price of $25,000, the highest price paid for a Saddle Horse at that time. Chief of Longview was World Champion Stallion four times and won the $10,000 stake at the Kentucky State Fair in 1928, 1929 and 1930 with Lonnie Hayden up.
Longview Horse Park is one of the largest equine facilities in the Midwest. We are sure many people in this area, as well as nationwide, remember the Long name in the world of horses. How fitting the Longview Farm legend should live on in this fine equestrian center bearing its name. The Longview Horse Park Association continues to raise funds for better facilities for equine activities and recognition of the foresight of the Jackson County Parks + Rec Department is to be commended on their preservation of the past in honoring Longview Farm, R.A. Long and Loula Long Combs through Longview Horse Park.
Longview Horse Park is home to many horse shows throughout the year, including two USEA recognized eventing horse trials, and the Area IV Championship. Their events bring thousands of competitors and spectators to the Kansas City area every year. The local economic impact is significant and growing.
100% of your donations go directly to fund our mission of park preservation and improvement. They maintain 501(c)(3) status, all contributions are tax deductible. For more information visit longviewhorsepark.org.
Saddle Up, Inc. is a 501(c)3 organization, that has long endeavored to support important charitable causes within the Kansas City community.
Their designated charity is the Longview Horse Park and their mission is to continue to make improvements and support maintenance to the park. While the park is owned by the Army Corp of Engineers and managed by Jackson County Parks and Rec, improvements are only possible through donations and volunteer hours.
To learn more visit their website at saddleupinc.org.