William (Bill) A. Champagne, Jr. started his riding career as a young child at the Troy Riding and Driving Club in West Sand Lake,NY under the tutelage of Con Culkin. Bill spent most of his time at the stables learning to ride jumpers. Bill, like many of his peers, worked at the stables in exchange for riding opportunities. Bill loved riding jumpers and enjoyed the thrill of the competition. His early horse show days started at the St. Jude’s Horse Show which ran from 1953 until 1965. The Horse Show was started by Rev. Tooher to benefit the church building fund. The horse show started as a one day affair and expanded to four days by 1960 attracting over 13,000 people. The St Jude's Horse Show was the second largest outdoor horse show in the Eastern United States and was the largest outdoor horse show in the State of New York. During the 1960 and 1970s, Bill competed at many of the top horse shows in the northeast including the Royal Winter Fair in Ontario. Pillow Talk and The Gambler’s Choice were two of his most famous mounts. A memorable class was at the Indoor Skidmore College Show when Bill rode The Gambler’s Choice in the Puissance Class jumping six feet. Bill loved the horses, he loved the competition, and he loved the people. Bill was not content being just a spectator. He enjoyed being in the schooling area, setting jumps, and providing last minute advice on how to ride a tricky course. Bill was one of the original supporters of the Skidmore Classic Horse Show as well as a regular supporter of local shows. He was a member of the Capital District Horseman’s Council (CDH/JC) and received the Horseman of the Year Award in 1999, an award that was very fitting as Bill was a true horseman.