Randolph D. Rouse, who has provided leadership to American Steeplechasing nationally and in his native Virginia, was honored Friday with the F. Ambrose Clark Award, the sport’s highest honor.
The award, presented periodically, recognizes those individuals who have done the most to promote, improve, and encourage the growth and welfare of American Steeplechasing. The award was presented to Rouse at the National Steeplechase Association’s Race Chairmen’s Meeting in Middleburg, Va.
Presenting the award were NSA President Guy J. Torsilieri and My Lady’s Manor Chairman H. Turney McKnight, who has known Rouse as a friend and mentor. In his remarks, McKnight noted the record of accomplishment that Rouse has amassed during his long association with the sport. With them was Rouse’s wife, Michele.
Rouse guided the organization through some of its most challenging years in the early 1970s, after the New York Steeplechase Association virtually shut down jump racing at its tracks. Rouse began the process of moving the focus of steeplechasing to its country race meets.
For racing at the track and the race meets, Rouse was instrumental in introducing the National Fence to American racing. He and Executive Vice President John E. Cooper explored designs for manmade fences and introduced them to American jump racing in 1974, the final year of Rouse’s term as the organization’s president.
Rouse, who celebrated his 100th birthday in December, remains active as a horseman and is the oldest trainer to saddle a Thoroughbred winner. Last year, he shattered his own record when his Hishi Soar won the Daniel Van Clief Memorial at the Foxfield Spring meet.