Randy Rouse Photo by Douglas Lees

Randall D. Rouse, a Virginia horseman who guided the National Steeplechase Association through some of its most challenging days in the 1970s and inaugurated one of the sport’s most important innovations, has been awarded the F. Ambrose Clark Award, American jump racing’s leading honor.

Rouse, who continues to establish racing records as he approaches his 100th birthday later this month, is the 26th recipient of the F. Ambrose Clark Award. Created in 1965, the award recognizes those individuals who have done the most to promote, improve, and encourage the growth and welfare of American Steeplechasing.

“Randy Rouse is a most deserving recipient of the F. Ambrose Clark Award,” said NSA President Guy J. Torsilieri. “He has been a leader of the sport in his native Virginia and nationally, and he is an inspiration to those who have followed him.”

He and his wife, Michele, reside in Arlington, Va., and have a farm in Aldie.

Randy Rouse is all but synonymous with jump racing and hunting in Northern Virginia. Born in Smithfield, Va., and raised in Newport News, he settled in Northern Virginia after graduating from Washington and Lee University in 1939 and serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He founded Randolph D. Rouse Enterprises, a construction and investment firm, in 1947.

His interest in hunting and racing blossomed after being invited to participate in the Fairfax Hunt. In time, he became master of foxhounds for the Fairfax Hunt and held that position for several decades. He also helped to launch the Fairfax Races and served as its chairman for more than three decades.

He was elected the NSA’s president in 1971, just as New York racing was adopting off-track betting…