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Hunter Harrison, a major benefactor of show jumping, died Dec. 16

E. Hunter Harrison, owner of Double H Farm and a beloved leader, a tremendous supporter, both of riders and shows, a benefactor and friend of equestrian sport, died Dec. 16 at the age of 73, leaving behind a legacy in the horses he bred, the athletes he supported and the sport that he helped to grow.

Hunter HarrisonMcLain Ward, left, and Hunter HarrisonHarrison gave the industry a chance to share in his passion by bringing great horses and athletes together, including McLain Ward and two-time Olympic team gold medal winning mare, Sapphire, and 2017 World Cup Final champion, HH Azur.

It was a very sad day for all of us associated with me,, Hunter Harrison and the showjumping community as a whole," said Ward. "He was a great supporter of mine and a dear friend."

"Azur is owned by Double H and Francois Mathy, so nothing will change," said Ward. "We will carry on in memory of Hunter and try to make him proud."

"My family and I are very sad that we have lost a huge presence in our lives," said Ward. "Hunter was not only a wonderful supporter of my career, but also a guiding force in everything we did. I will miss him dearly, and my thoughts are with his family in this difficult time."

"Today we lost one of equestrian sport's greats," said U.S. Equestrian President, Murray Kessler. "An iconic and beloved horse owner and patron of the sport, Hunter Harrison will be greatly missed for his enthusiasm, generosity, and dedication to his horses, equestrian sport, and most importantly, his family. Our deepest sympathy goes out to his family, the team at Double H Farm and all who had the chance to know him."

Harrison also owned HH Carlos Z, HH Night Train, HH Rufus, HH Rebozo among many others as well as horses for his daughter Cayce Judge and son-in-law Quentin Judge, all of which bore the prefix HH.

Along with Ward, Harrison also owned horses ridden by other top riders, including Darragh Kerins of Ireland and Rodrigo Pessoa of Brazil.

Harrison was also a huge supporter of many of this country's best shows, including the Winter Equestrian Festival and the National Horse Show.

He was the President and Chief Executive Officer af the railroad conglomerate CSX, but  he had taken medical leave from that company, the third largest U.S. rail company, just two days before his death, due to an unspecified illness.

CSX released a statement: "It is with great sadness that we announce that E. Hunter Harrison, President and Chief Executive Officer of CSX, died today in Wellington, Fla., due to unexpectedly severe complications from a recent illness. The entire CSX family mourns this loss."

Harrison was born in Memphis, Tenn., and he made his fortune by turning around railroad companies that were suffering financial losses.

For many years, Harrison was CEO of Canadian Pacific Railway LTD. and CEO of Canadian National Railways, only becoming CEO of CSX  in March of this year.

He is survived by his wife, Jeannie, and daughters Elizabeth (Libby) Julo and Cayce Judge.

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