Gladstone, N.J. – Dec. 19, 2017 – The USET Foundation is deeply saddened to learn that USET Foundation Trustee, E. “Hunter” Harrison passed away on Saturday, Dec. 16 at the age of 73. Harrison was Chief Executive of CSX, a Florida-based railway, and owned Double H. Farm, LLC, a world class jumper and breeding operation with two facilities, one in Ridgefield, CT and the other in Wellington, FL with his wife Jeannie.
Originally from a Tennessee, Harrison began his career as a rail car oiler for the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway and made his fortune turning around railway companies. Most recently, he was the President and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Pacific (CP) before joining CSX in March of 2017. He joined CP in 2012. He also served as President and Chief Executive Officer at Canadian National (CN) from 2003-2009 and as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer from 1998-2002. He served on CN’s Board of Directors for 10 years.
“For the sport as a whole, it is a great loss. He was a sportsman and a horse enthusiast for the purest reasons, and had a presence that we rarely see in our sport – the presence of a George Steinbrenner or a Jerry Jones – people who move the dial and set the direction that the sport and the players need to go in. He probably brought our sport, particularly sponsorship-wise, to a new level across the world, not just the United States,” said two-time Olympian McLain Ward.
Harrison and Double H Farm have been synonymous with a equestrian sport for many decades. He became a Trustee of the United States Equestrian Team Foundation in 2013, and Harrison is also chairman of the National Horse Show Association of America. He served as special liaison for horse show management to the North American riders group, and Harrison also served as an advisor or sponsor of Spruce Meadows, the Alltech National Horse Show, the Global Champions Tour, the American Gold Cup, and the Winter Equestrian Festival.
With its home base in Wellington, Double H Farm began in 2002 as a private show stable for Harrison’s daughter, Cayce, in her junior years. The farm moved into a business venture and has now developed to include breeding, buying, and selling horses, as well as supporting international show jumpers such as McLain Ward, Quentin Judge and Maggie McAlary.
Ward, two-time Olympic and Pan American Games gold medalist, rode Double H Farm’s HH Azur to claim the 2017 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final on home soil, jumping the only five consecutive clear rounds throughout the entire event with the 11-year-old mare. Ward and Double H Farm have a history of success together, also earning team gold at the 2004 Athens Olympics with Sapphire.
“Hunter was a phenomenal supporter of myself, my career and our entire operation for the better part of almost two decades. I think that we had a similar view of the sport and the horses, and we had similar goals. He was very, very committed to helping me and in turn trying to reach those goals, so that was a shared journey. We were lucky enough to come across some great horses and some great successes over the years, which I know brought him a great deal of satisfaction and joy. I think we had more than just a professional relationship; for me he was a great mentor and there were many lessons learned, especially the last couple of years as I was a bit older and wasn’t a kid anymore and he had more time. He became a really close friend and something special, and he will certainly be missed,” said Ward.
Earlier this year, Harrison’s son-in-law Quentin Judge rode as a member of the Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team aboard HH Conrad to claim the silver medal in the FEI Nations Cup™ CSIO4* Coapexpan. Judge married to Harrison’s daughter Cayce in 2011.
Olympic gold medalist Rodrigo Pessoa of Brazil represented the farm from 2006 to 2013, riding Harrison’s HH Rebozo at the 2012 Olympic Games in London and the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. In 2011, Pessoa and HH Ashley won Pan American Team Silver.
“I have learned a lot and been lucky enough to work with Hunter through this time,” expressed Pessoa. “His experience as a leader and as a partner is a unique and special situation, and I’m extremely appreciative for what he has done for me. We remained good friends and I look back fondly on the great success that we had together.”
Harrison is survived by his wife, Jeannie, and daughters Elizabeth (Libby) Julo and Cayce Judge, and their families.