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Not long after Kathy Coogan Kamine ’78 and Harold Kamine ’78 purchased Royal Kaliber, an eight-year-old stallion, he steadily progressed up the Grand Prix show jumping ranks. Three years later, in 2003, he was named U.S. Equestrian Horse of the Year, American Grand Prix Association Horse of the Year, and had won numerous Grand Prix shows nationally and internationally.

Based on his success, Royal Kaliber was named to the U.S. Olympic Show Jumping Team in 2004 without competing in the trials. While in Athens, he helped win the team silver Olympic medal and secured an individual bronze as well.

But victory was soon followed by heartbreak. During the final jump-off round to determine the individual silver and bronze medals, Royal Kaliber sustained a bowed tendon when the grass footing gave way after he landed a jump. While recovering he developed intestinal adhesions that became irreparable.

“We as well as the rider Chris [Kappler] have been devastated by his death, but we are forever grateful for the time with him, all the fabulous travel and exciting show jumping performances he gave us,” Kathy says. “We also are fortunate to have one of four foals of his on our farm, so we are looking forward to her development.”

Those with equestrian connections to the Kamines include their daughter, Michelle Kamine ’04, and Katrina Woods ’07, both coached by the rider of Rhythmical, a Kamine horse that competed in the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia, and Amy Van Houten ’04, Rebecca Astrom ’00, and Margaret Defilippo ’07, who are coached by Kappler.

Categorized in: Alumni Profiles