CAMP ZAMA, Japan (Nov. 27, 2018) -- The Soldiers, family members and staff of U.S. Army Medical Activity - Japan were invited to the 70th annual BG Sams Equestrian Cup held Nov. 18, 2018, at Tsukui Equestrian Park.

Toshikazu Takagi, president of the Japanese Equestrian Association of Students for Health, explained that Japanese medical students gather annually to compete for the equestrian cup named after U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Crawford F. Sams, who drove the reconstruction of the Japanese health care system after World War II.

Sams served as the Chief of the Public Health and Welfare Section of the General Headquarters, Supreme Command Allied Powers for Japan after World War II. He was a fan of horse jumping, and helped influence the popularity of the sport within the medical education community.

"The BG Sams Equestrian Cup provides young Japanese medical students who don't even know his name the great opportunity to reflect what he had done for our country," said Takagi.

During opening remarks, Col. Marvin Emerson, MEDDAC-J commander, said, "BG Sams had a great passion for horses and medicine and donated this cup to be awarded at the Association's Equestrian Competition each year.

"He was a leader among medical professionals and worked hard with his Japanese colleagues to improve medicine and build on the relationship between Japanese and American citizens in the great country of Japan," said Emerson.

Staff Sgt. Karim Acosta, assigned to MEDDAC-J, said the equestrian cup and reception allowed U.S. participants to connect and foster relationships with their Japanese civilian counterparts.

Emerson agreed, highlighting that relationship at the end of the reception.

"This competition represents the continued great relationship between the Japanese and American medical professionals," concluded Emerson at the end of the reception.