It is coincidental that my wife, Carol Durand, who died in 1970, was also a talented horsewoman. Like Melanie, she wanted to represent the U.S. in the Olympics on the Prix de Nations team, and she won a berth on the first civilian team for the 1952 Games in Helsinki. Her teammates were Arthur McCashin, William Steinkraus and Major John Russell. Then the Fédération Equestre Internationale voted to refuse participation in the Olympic event by a woman. Her hopes were dashed. She did enjoy, however, four years of competing with the U.S. team in international events at Harrisburg, Pa., New York, Toronto, London and Monterrey, Mexico.
That participants, riders, owners and trainers are making some real money in the sport is a change long overdue. Also, selective breeding to produce more and better jumpers will make for an improved sport.
Boynton Beach, Fla.
While it was thrilling to see an athlete of the caliber of Melanie Smith finally get some of the recognition she deserves, it was a bit disconcerting to read that "the total prize money available from every pro event on the show-jumping circuit in this country is around $250,000." On the 1982 American Grandprix Association tour alone, more than $700,000 in prize money was offered. And then there's the West Coast Grandprix Association and the Midwest Grandprix Association and about 50 independent grand prix events across the nation. When you total the prize money for all of these events for 1982, the figure comes to about $1,250,000 not $250,000.
Again, thanks for letting the rest of the nation know about Melanie.
Director of Public Relations
American Grandprix Association
SUGAR LAND EXPRESS
For almost 20 years I have been receiving SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, and your article on Ken Hall (Whatever Happened to the Sugar Land Express? Sept. 27) is one of the best I have ever read.
In these times of high salaries and over-blown egos, it's really refreshing to read about a truly great athlete who doesn't dwell on the past or begrudge the circumstances that befell him.
Ken Hall, I nominate you for Sportsman of the Century.
JOHN I. DAHL
Whatever Happened to the Sugar Land Express? characterizes the realities of life. Point one: Nice guys finish last on the football field and in other team sports. Point two: The real winners in all sports are the ones who realize that in the final analysis, athletic endeavor is only a game. In my opinion Ken Hall achieved All-America status without the benefit of a football.
ROBERT E. PETTIGREW
Your article on Ken Hall was outstanding, but I would like to bring to your attention a young man from Vian, Okla. who deserved a place on the story's single-season touchdown chart.
Bobby Wright rushed for 40 touchdowns in 1980, leading the Vian Wolverines to a 12-1 record. That total would put him seventh overall, five behind Herschel Walker and one ahead of Richard Bailey of Painter Central (Va.).