Emmy Award-winner to be part of American Royal’s Hunter/Jumper Show
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – To say Christopher Ewing is versatile is a bit of an understatement.
He’s an actor, having performed on shows like “All My Children,” “One Life to Live” and “Kate & Allie.” He’s a spokesman, having been on more than 80 radio and television commercials as well as narrator on industrial films for top corporations. He’s a host and a producer, having been part of the Emmy Award-winning “Hang On to the Dream,” a children’s TV newsmagazine that showcases young people that are considered positive role models for other youngsters.
He’s also an equestrian, which brings him to Kansas City for the American Royal’s Hunter/Jumper Show, which is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 12, to Saturday, Oct. 20, at the American Royal Complex.
“I was a black kid who grew up in the city of Detroit,” said Ewing, who adds being a TV news reporter and a singer/songwriter to his resume. “It’s typically not a place where you’d find a black kid who liked horses.
“Everybody had to be good at something, and mine happened to be horses. I’ve always enjoyed it, and I’ve been blessed to be part of it. I just enjoy watching horses develop and seeing them become great athletes.”
Ewing will work specifically with the Mazza family of the Iron Horse Farm of Louisburg, Kan., during the competition, which begins with a preview show Oct. 12-14. The other shows are the Hunter/Jumper A Rated Show from Oct. 16-Oct. 20; the $20,000 Grand Prix at 7 p.m. Oct. 17; the $5,000 Hunter Derby at 6 p.m. Oct. 19; the Grand Prix Gala and Calcutta on Oct. 20; the $25,000 Roy A. Edwards Memorial Grand Prix at 7 p.m. Oct. 20; and the Special Children’s Horse Show on Oct. 19-20.
“This year I’m coming in the capacity to train for the Mazzas,” Ewing said. “I took them to Europe last year and found an incredible hunter mare that I think will turn into one of the nicest hunters in the country.”
That horse is Silhouette, a 5-year-old Hanovarian mare.
“She is dark brown and breathtakingly gorgeous,” Ewing said. “Amber Mazza will be showing the horse, and I will be assisting her. They wanted me to continue to be part of the horse’s growth.
“With Amber and Silhouette, it’s just like a puzzle piece that fit perfectly together.”
Ewing should know. He’s been around horses all his life and has been involved in show competition for more than 30 years. In fact, he’s developed more than 100 horses into world-class athletes. He loves what he sees in the young mare.
“She’s really cut from the same kind of cloth that any of my super nice horses ever have,” he said.
With such a varied lifestyle, what is it about horses that drive his passion?
“I love watching them develop into great athletes,” said Ewing, who now lives in Los Angeles. “I basically show all over the country, all over the world. I’ve imported over 100 horses from Europe. I find them when they’re young and bring them along and turn them into great hunters and jumpers.”
In fact, one Ewing prodigy, Renaissance, was named the United States Equestrian Federation’s 2008 Horse of the Year-Regular Working Hunter. It’s an honor he holds dear to his heart and one that has him continually on the lookout for the next great athlete.
“I saw him as a 3-year-old, and he was basically just saddle broke 30 days,” Ewing said of Renaissance. “He was already 17 hands tall. He had a gorgeous trot, but he was wild; he was a monster. I watched him free jump over 6 feet. I knew I’d love to turn him into a hunter, but if he couldn’t be quiet enough to be a hunter, he’d definitely be a jumper.
“Fast-forward four to five years, and he just started showing this great ability to be a nice hunter, where he was quiet but could still make this huge jump.”
Why is the American Royal’s show so special? Primarily, he said, it’s because of a world-class competition in a comfortable hometown feel.
“Until three years ago, I’d never been to Kansas City,” Ewing said. “I work in TV and radio in my other lives, so I travel quite a bit. The first time I came here, I was impressed with the facility and the people that are involved.
“It’s also a very fun horse show.”