VERMONT SPORTS HALL OF FAME

Tad Coffin

Strafford

Equestrian

Inducted 2017

The second Vermonter to win two Olympic gold medals, Coffin is the only from the Green Mountain State to win gold twice at the Summer Games. His two equestrian gold medals match the pair of golds that Alpine Skier Andrea Mead Lawrence (VSHOF '13) won in the Oslo Winter Olympics. He also was the first Vermonter in 64 years to win gold in the Summer Olympics following Albert Gutterson (VSHOF '12), who won gold in the long jump in 1912.  

At the age of 21, Coffin and his horse, Bally Cor, captured gold medals in the three-day mixed event (dressage, cross country and jumping) individual and team competitions at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal. His individual victory marked the first time a U.S. rider had won the gold in the event, held in Bromont, Quebec.

Coffin was born in Ohio and learned to ride on Long Island before his family moved to Strafford, where he lived while competing in the Olympics, and many years after. He and Bally Cor were also gold medal winners in the individual and team events at the Pan Am Games in Mexico in 1975. 

He later turned professional, earning a world-wide reputation as an instructor before he turned to designing saddles. He founded Tad Coffin Performance Saddles. He resides in Charlottesville, Va. 

The U.S. Hunter Jumper Association, the nation's top equestrian group, named its youth championship in the Mid-Atlantic states in his honor. They compete in the Tad Coffin Zone III Equitation Final. His horse, Bally Cor, was inducted in the U.S. Eventing Association Hall of Fame in 2003.  


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