Obituaries



In Memoriam: Albino Garbari (ITA), Olympic eventing course designer (1934 - 2016)


Albino Garbari, Olympic Eventing Cross Country course designer
and hugely popular figure in the Italian equestrian community,
has passed away aged 82.


Albino Garbari, Cross Country course designer at hundreds of major Eventing competitions, including the Athens 2004 Olympic Games and the 1998 FEI World Equestrian Games™, has passed away. He was 82.

A hugely popular figure in the Italian Eventing community, Albino Garbari moved to Rome in 1960 and dedicated his life to equestrian sports.

He was first head of the Federal Equestrian Centre of Pratoni del Vivaro, which was created for the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome. He then started course designing in 1965, and was the Cross Country course designer for every major event organised in Italy, including the FEI European Eventing Championships in 1995 and the 1998 FEI World Equestrian Games™, both of which were held at Pratoni del Vivaro. He also worked as an FEI Steward for Eventing and Dressage throughout his career.

Amongst the many awards he received in recognition of his services to equestrian sport was the Knight of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic in 2007.

Alessandro Fiorani, Head of Eventing at the Federazione Italiana Sport Equestri (FISE), said: “Those of my generation have grown up with the Albino teachings. I was a child and I saw his work, and then in my time at FISE I have had the opportunity to see the great qualities of this man who taught me everything. He conveyed the fundamental teachings of everything connected to the management of the horse and the team, and we have been able to pass on this incredible knowledge. Even when he retired Albino Garbari continued to give advice and support whenever needed, and he never failed to do this. We will miss him.”

Catrin Norinder, FEI Eventing and Olympic Director, said: “Albino was a brilliant course designer and such a big character. He will be missed immensely by everyone in the Eventing community. He dedicated his life to equestrian sport and leaves a huge legacy.”

“Albino was a very special person and an amazing figurehead in the Italian Eventing community. He has been my mentor in course designing and will be greatly missed by all,” said Giuseppe della Chiesa, Chair of the FEI Eventing Committee and international course designer.

The funeral of Albino Garbari will take place today at 14.00 in Rocca di Papa.




In Memoriam: Spruce Meadows founder,
Ron Southern (CAN), 1930-2016


Ron Southern, founder and Co-Chairman of Spruce Meadows,
and iconic Alberta entrepreneur and businessman
passed away Thursday morning at his home. He was 85.



Ron Southern and his wife Margaret (Marge) purchased Copithorne Ranch south of Calgary with the vision of establishing a world-class equestrian facility. Spruce Meadows was built for their two daughters, Nancy and Linda, who had long been involved in the sport. The Southerns opened the doors to Spruce Meadows in 1975 and hosted the first tournament the following year. Over the last 40 years, as a result of the leadership and vision of the Southern family, Spruce Meadows has become an iconic sports venue that is today recognised as one of the world’s leading venue for international and national Jumping competitions, hosting 300 events annually.

Since the venue opened, riders representing 57 countries have earned $110 million in prize money in front of almost 10 million visitors. Ron Southern’s daughter, Linda Southern-Heathcott, who competed in Jumping at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta (USA), took over as president and CEO of Spruce Meadows in 2006.

An astute businessman, Ron Southern started the Alberta Trailer Company in 1947 with his father with only 15 trailers. It eventually became the ATCO Group, a Calgary-based conglomerate with interests ranging from construction trailers to pipelines to natural gas distribution. ATCO now has operations in more than 100 countries, 8,000 employees and $19 billion in assets. Ron Southern served as the company's president for 48 years.

Ron Southern’s achievements were recognised with both Canadian and international awards. He was a Commander of the Order of the British Empire and received Canada's highest civilian honor when he was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 1986.

He was awarded a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1990, in recognition of his promotion of Anglo-Canadian relations in the fields of commerce, culture and sport. In 2003 he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada and was promoted to Companion in 2006. He received a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012, as well as an Alberta Order of Excellence. Ron and Marge Southern were jointly-inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 2006.

“It is with great sadness that we learnt of Ron Southern’s passing”, FEI President Ingmar De Vos said. “He was truly a remarkable man with a tremendous capacity for life and an incredible love of equestrian sport. His business acumen, passion, drive and vision, were evident in all facets of his life and were the characteristics that made Spruce Meadows such a hugely successful venue.”

“He was an incredibly generous man and community leader who gave so much and made a lasting impression on everyone he met. His legacy will live on in the generations of athletes who compete at Spruce Meadows for many years to come. He will be sorely missed.”

Ron Southern is survived by his wife Marge and two daughters, Nancy Southern and Linda Southern-Heathcott.





In Memoriam: Leon Melchior (BEL), 1926-2015


Leon Melchior, founder of the world-renowed Zangersheide Stud,
who has passed away at the age of 88. (FEI/Dirk Caremans)




The business world remembers Leon Melchior as a dynamic and successful entrepreneur. In the world of equestrian sports, he was a pioneer and one of the first to turn the breeding of Jumping horses into a science.

An enterprise that began as a Jumping stables in the 1970s was transformed by Leon Melchior into a breeding farm that eventually became the Zangersheide Stud. Attention to detail and objective assessment of results were key to the success of the Zangersheide venture. He always surrounded himself with experts that could deliver his vision, leading to the consistent production of classically bred, top-class equine athletes with the trademark Z for the Zangersheide Studbook.

Trained by Johan Heins during his international Jumping career, Leon Melchior competed on many Nations Cup teams for The Netherlands. He also organised the Belgian CSIO at Zangersheide for a number of years, as well as hosting the first FEI Nations Cup™ Final in 1991.

Johan Heins, who was based at Zangersheide for many years, always said that Leon Melchior’s greatest achievement was improving the quality of horses competing in the sport of Jumping through his legendary breeding programme. One of the best known horses bred by Leon Melchior was the mare Ratina Z, which Germany’s Ludger Beerbaum rode to individual gold at the Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992.

Leon Melchior was made an Officer in the Order of Leopold, a Belgian national honorary order. He also received the Maastricht Medal of Merit, and was a freeman of the town of Lanaken. He was also founder of 53 different companies.

Zangersheide and the production of sport horses were his two greatest passions which he enjoyed until the last weeks before his death. His incredible legacy will continue on into the future through his daughter, Judy-Ann, a member of the Belgian Jumping team who will keep the Melchior name to the fore in the equestrian world for many years to come.

“The world of show jumping and horse breeding, has lost one of its greatest friends and most generous supporters with the passing away of Leon Melchior”, FEI President Ingmar de Vos said.

“He was the first promoter that put together the world of sport and breeding with the creation of the FEI World Breeding Championships for Young Horses Jumping at Zangersheide. These prestigious championships identify the best young Jumping horses, and the titles have had a very high value from the beginning more than two decades ago. With the Sires of the World, he created a global stage for the best stallions to display their talents.

“Leon was a true visionary and innovator, and his passing leaves a tremendous void in our lives that will be difficult to fill. He was a very close personal friend. I will miss him dearly and my heart is with his family.”

Melchior’s funeral will take place at Domain Zangersheide in Lanaken on Tuesday, 17 November.






In Memoriam: Gerrit-Jan Swinkels (NED), 1947-2015


Gerrit-Jan Swinkels (NED), President of Indoor Brabant,
died suddenly yesterday at the age of 67. He is pictured
here with his horse Tennessee W, ridden by Dutch athlete Henk van de Pol.


Gerrit-Jan Swinkels (67), President of Indoor Brabant, the world-famous equestrian event in ‘s-Hertogenbosch (NED), died suddenly yesterday at the age of 67 while riding on the Belgian coast at Knokke-Heist in West Flanders.

A passionate horseman, racing driver and diplomat, Swinkels was highly respected as a visionary and renowned for his ability to bring athletes, officials, sponsors and the media together to promote equestrian sport.

He also used his natural entrepreneurial skills to make ground-breaking progress in the sport, including being a driving force as President of the Board of Directors of Springpaarden Fonds Nederland (SFN), which is dedicated to developing Jumping horses and creating winning Dutch Jumping partnerships at FEI Nations Cup™ events, FEI Championships and Olympic Games.

Swinkels became President of Indoor Brabant in 2002 and planned to hand over to his successor in 2017 during the event’s 50th anniversary.

“Gerrit-Jan was a wonderful person, and thanks to him the profile of equestrian sport has grown tremendously”, said John Roche, FEI Jumping Director. “The sport has lost one of its greatest friends, enthusiasts and supporters, and an immeasurable void has been left. We will all miss him greatly.”

Indoor Brabant has welcomed the world’s best indoor Jumping, Dressage and Driving athletes as part of the prestigious FEI World Cup™ series. The first of nine FEI World Cup™ Dressage Finals was held at Indoor Brabant in 1986, with the first FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final staged here in 1994. In 2012, the first joint FEI World Cup™ Jumping and Dressage Final was then held, and many qualifiers for these series, and for the FEI World Cup™ Driving, have taken place at the Indoor Brabant.

“It has been a real honour to have Gerrit-Jan as a close personal friend,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said. “As well as a great sense of humour, he had the magnetism and drive needed to grow equestrian sport, and for this he was valued internationally. Indoor Brabant has been a huge success under his Presidency, with the event welcoming the world’s best indoor Jumping, Dressage and Driving athletes as part of the FEI World Cup series. The equestrian community has lost a true soul mate and my thoughts are with his wife Anja and the children.”







In Memoriam: Andreas Hollmann (GER), 1961-2015


A minute’s silence was held in memory of Andreas Hollmann at the
Mediterranean Equestrian Tour at Oliva in Valencia (ESP).


Andreas Hollmann, an FEI Level 3 course designer who learnt his trade with Frank Rothenberger, has died suddenly at the age of 53. He had been working at the Mediterranean Equestrian Tour at Oliva in Valencia (ESP) when he collapsed on Tuesday of this week.

Based close to Dortmund, he successfully completed the apprenticeship to become a professional instructor, or Bereiter, in Germany, but health problems meant that he could not continue to work in this area. He competed successfully up to national 1.40 classes, but back problems meant that he had to abandon his competitive career. Not wanting to leave the equestrian world, he took up course design, which became his real love.

Andreas Hollmann worked with Frank Rothenberger for more than 15 years, including the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2006 at Aachen, the European Jumping Championships 2013 at Herning (DEN), and several FEI World Cup™ Jumping Finals. He was also the course designer at several CSIs, including at the Olympic Birds’ Nest Stadium in Beijing (CHN) and CSI-Ws in South Africa.

He had been appointed as course designer for this year’s CSIO 5* in Sopot (POL), part of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Europe Division 2 and, for the first time, for the German National Championships, the Bundeschampionat 2015 in Warendorf. He also organised a number of national shows in Germany, together with his sister Gaby.

“Andreas Hollmann was a really wonderful person”, FEI Jumping Director John Roche said. “He was a very familiar presence on the international circuit and was an extremely capable course designer. He always had a big smile on his face, and will be greatly missed by everybody who knew him.”

"We lost our beloved friend and MET member Andreas Hollmann. We will miss you", the MET posted on its Facebook page.




In Memoriam: Wojtek Markowski (POL), 1947-2015


Wojtek Markwoski (POL), who has passed away at the age of 67,
will be remembered for his many years of dedication to Dressage.


Wojtek Markowski (POL), FEI 5-star Dressage Judge and Technical Delegate (TD) at the London 2012 Olympic Games, passed away on 5 January after a battle with cancer. He was 67 years old.

He judged at his first Olympic Games in Athens (GRE) in 2004, and he viewed his TD role at London 2012 as a major career highlight. He had also been appointed as TD for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Markowski obtained his first riding instructor diploma from Poznan Academy of Physical Education in 1975 and became active as an international judge in 1982. By 1989, he had become a 5-star judge, and during his long association with the FEI he acted as Foreign Judge, Technical Delegate and Ground Jury President and member at numerous high profile FEI events, including the FEI World Equestrian Games™ in 2006 and 2010, FEI European Dressage Championships and FEI World Cup™ Finals.

Passionate about the development of Dressage, he was also one of the first judges to support the FEI World Dressage Challenge, which was created in 1982, and since judged at many of the events around the world.

In 2012, he was appointed board member of the European Equestrian Federation (EEF), where he proposed the creation of the EEF Dressage Working Group which he then chaired. He was also the Eastern & Central Europe representative for the International Dressage Officials Club (IDOC).

“No words are adequate to express the sadness we feel,” Secretary General of the Polish Equestrian Federation Łukasz Jankowski said. “Wojtek Markowski was a great person and international five-star Dressage judge, a great supporter of dressage in Poland and around the world, and a great EEF Board member.”

“Wojtek played a central role in judging and developing international Dressage in a career spanning over 30 years”, Trond Asmyr, FEI Director Dressage and Para-Equestrian Dressage said. “He was one of our most active judges and had a brilliant statistician’s mind. Thanks to his sought-after expertise, he was due to head to his second consecutive Olympic Games as Technical Delegate in Rio in 2016. He has left a valuable legacy for international Dressage, and his dedication and passion for our sport will be very sorely missed.”




In Memoriam: Richard Meade (GBR), 1938-2015


Richard Meade (GBR), triple Olympic gold Eventing champion, former member of the FEI Bureau, FEI Eventing Committee and Chairman of Group II (Northern Europe), is pictured here after winning the Badminton Horse Trials in 1982 with his horse Speculator III. He will be remembered for his life-long dedication to equestrianism.


Richard Meade (GBR) OBE, triple Olympic gold Eventing champion, former member of the FEI Bureau, FEI Eventing Committee and Chairman of Group II (Northern Europe), has passed away after a battle with cancer. He was 76 years old.

He became the first British athlete to win individual Eventing gold at the Munich 1972 Olympic Games, after making his Olympic début in Tokyo eight years earlier.

In Munich, he also helped Great Britain to secure their second consecutive Olympic team gold medal following the Mexico 1968 Olympic Games where, in a tropical downpour in the Jumping phase, he clinched the team title and secured fourth individually with a clear round on Cornishman V, a horse he had never sat on before.

In total he competed in four Olympic Games, as well as the substitute event at Fontainebleau (FRA) in 1980 during the partial boycott of the Moscow Games, and also carried the British flag at the closing ceremony of the Munich Olympics.

He went on to claim team silver at the FEI World Eventing Championships in 1974, and by 1981 had scored team gold three times for Great Britain at the European Championships (1967, 1971, 1981). In 1982, he won his final team Eventing gold at the World Championships in Luhmühlen (GER). As an individual, he also won at Badminton in 1970 and 1982, and the Burghley Horse Trials in 1964.

His dedication to equestrian sport was life-long, and after retiring as an athlete he served as President of the British Equestrian Federation, chairman of the Federation’s British Horse Foundation and on the British Horse Society’s Council.

He was also focused on developing Eventing globally. As well as being a former member of the FEI Bureau and FEI Eventing Committee, and Chairman of Group II (Northern Europe), he was an FEI coach and judge and worked closely with the FEI and the Olympic Solidarity programme to develop Eventing at grass roots level.

“Richard Meade was a brilliant, courageous horseman with a strong sense of team responsibility, who became a household name in Great Britain,” said Hugh Thomas, Chairman of the Board of British Eventing and Director of the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials.

“He was known for his reliability as a member of the British team at the height of its success, and as a rider who had the ability to get on any horse and immediately form a successful partnership with it. Most recently, he gained great pleasure from seeing his son, Harry, compete for the senior British team. Richard will be very sorely missed by many people around the world.”

“Richard Meade was the horseman of his day, putting Eventing on the map and the spotlight on the glamour and excitement of horse sport,” said Catrin Norinder, FEI Director, Eventing & Olympic. “He inspired sports fans and athletes around the world at the Mexico and Munich Olympic Games, World and European Championships, and back on home soil at Badminton and Burghley, which continue to showcase international Eventing at its best.

“After competing, he continued to dedicate his life to equestrian sport and the equestrian community in many valuable roles, including giving his services as a volunteer at the London 2012 Olympic Games. We are all truly grateful for his loyalty and commitment, and immensely proud of his Olympic Eventing legacy.”




In Memoriam: Jacques Schoufour (NED), 1927-2014


Jacques Schoufour (NED),
honorary chairman of CHIO Rotterdam, who has died at the age of 86.



Jacques Schoufour (NED), honorary chairman of CHIO Rotterdam, has passed away in hospital in Brasschaat (BEL) after a short illness. He was 86 years old.

Jacques Schoufour was born and grew up in Rotterdam and was a very well-known figure in the city. He was involved in the CHIO Rotterdam from the very first edition in 1948, but started in the equestrian world as a Cross Country fence judge. He also worked as a Dressage ringmaster before becoming secretary and finally chairman of CHIO Rotterdam.

In the first years after the war, the CHIO had a budget of 10,000 Dutch guilders and the event drew just a few thousand visitors. Thanks to Schoufour’s dedication and a great working partnership with his friend Daan Dura, the CHIO Rotterdam grew and developed into the world class equestrian event it is today.

Schoufour was president of the CHIO Foundation from 1978 to 1995 and attended the event every year, including the 66th edition in June 2014. The new restaurant at the show grounds, which was inaugurated in May of this year, is named the Schoufour Restaurant in his honour.

Jacques Schoufour was a member of the Jockey Club of Rotterdam at the Rotterdamsche Manege, venue for the CHIO, later joining the board of this traditional riding club, which is the oldest in the Netherlands at 177 years old. He was president of the Club from 1966 to 1979 and was made an Honorary Member after his retirement.

Jacques Schoufour was a hugely respected figure in the international equestrian world. In the 1980s he started the CSIO committee representing all major CSIO events and was also a former member of the Nations Cup committee. He represented the CSIO organisers at the FEI General Assembly for many years.

Jacques Schoufour was honoured many times in his life. In 2000, he was made an Honorary Member of the Dutch Equestrian Sports Federation (KNHS). In 2007, FEI President HRH Princess Haya presented him with the FEI Special Award in recognition of his outstanding services to equestrian sport and he was appointed an Honorary Delegate of the FEI. He was also a well-respected businessman, and was awarded a Knighthood by HRH Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands.

“Jacques Schoufour was a close friend and neighbour, who I will miss and never forget,” said FEI Secretary General Ingmar De Vos. “Jacques worked tirelessly for equestrian sport, and especially for CHIO Rotterdam, where his huge support has helped to bring the event to the truly international status it enjoys today. He nurtured the show from the outset and played a key role in its success. His passing is a tremendous personal loss, and the equestrian world joins me in wishing his family and many friends sincere condolences at this very sad time.”

Jacques Schoufour’s generosity of spirit extended beyond the equestrian world into art and culture. He and his wife Ingeborg Martin, who passed away in 2001, were passionate about art, with a special interest in sculpture. In May 2008, they donated their beautiful collection of late-medieval sculptures to the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. The collection included 60 sculptures dating from 1350 to 1500 from the Netherlands, France and Germany.









In Memoriam: Tommy Brennan (IRL), 1940-2014


The legendary Irish Olympic event rider and
championship course designer Tommy Brennan
(pictured here with his horse of a lifetime, Kilkenny)
has died at the age of 74.


Tommy Brennan, the legendary Irish Olympic event rider and championship course designer, has passed away after a short illness. He was 74.

Tommy Brennan was born in Kilkenny on 29 January 1940 and grew up on the family farm at Dunnamaggin, where his love of horses started at an early age. He hunted with the local Co Kilkenny Foxhounds every Saturday, learning the art of jumping big fences that would be so important in his later dual career in Eventing and Jumping.

After training in animal husbandry, he decided to further his equestrian and agricultural education by moving to Skiddoo Stud in Dublin. The young Tommy Brennan, or TB as he was known to so many, was given a key role in the operation and, not long afterwards, was running the stud and developing his famous partnership with a horse called Kilkenny.

Brennan and Kilkenny were successful in both Eventing and Jumping, and went on to represent Ireland at the Tokyo Olympic Games in 1964, finishing fourth in the Eventing, just outside the medals. The highlight of Brennan’s career came in 1966 when he and Kilkenny were on the gold medal team alongside Virginia Freeman-Jackson (Sam Weller), Major Eddie Boylan (Durlas Eile), and Penny Moreton (Loughlin) at the FEI World Eventing Championships at Burghley (GBR).

Kilkenny was then sold to the USA where he was ridden to continued success by Jimmy Wofford, including team gold at the 1967 Pan-American Games and team silver at both the 1968 and 1972 Olympic Games.

Tommy Brennan was also instrumental in the early career of another great Irish-bred Olympic hero, the grey Ambassador, which went on to claim individual gold at the 1972 Games in Munich with the great Italian Jumping rider Graziano Mancinelli.

In 1968, Brennan became the first Irishman to be selected to compete in two disciplines at one Olympic Games, when he was named for both the Jumping and Eventing teams travelling to Mexico. Sadly, one month before the Games, his Jumping horse Tubber Mac broke a leg in a fall at the water at the Dublin Horse Show. Unbelievably, water played a major role in the Cross Country at Mexico too, with torrential rain causing the river at the second last fence to burst its banks. Brennan and his horse March Hawk bravely jumped in but were swept downstream in the raging torrent. The horse could swim, but Brennan couldn’t and he only survived by clinging onto the saddle until he was hauled out of the water by the then FEI President, HRH Prince Phillip.

Brennan notched up 67 international Jumping wins, and also claimed nine Irish National Championships on nine different horses at the Royal Dublin Society, home of the Dublin Horse Show. But his talents were not just on horseback. He also used his creative and artistic talents to produce stunning Cross Country courses around the world, drawing particular praise for his design of the European Championships course at Punchestown (IRL) in 1991 and 2003. He named the final fence on the 1991 course, “They will rise again”, a quote from the Book of Kells, the gloriously illuminated religious book widely regarded as Ireland's finest national treasure.

He helped countless riders over the years, particularly at junior and young rider level, and was also an inspirational chef d’equipe. Between 1981 and 1985, the Irish junior Eventing team won a gold, two silver and a bronze with Brennan at the helm. On occasion he also took on chef d’équipe duties for the senior Jumping squad, notably at the FEI Nations Cup™ in Linz (AUT) in 2007 when Ireland scored a hat-trick of wins that included Drammen (NOR) and Poznan (POL).

In 1985 Tommy Brennan was awarded the FEI Gold Badge of Honour and in 1997 he was entered into the Irish Sports Council Hall of Fame for Services to Equestrian Sport.

“Tommy Brennan was a real character, a legendary producer of top horses and a very talented course designer,” FEI Eventing & Olympic Director Catrin Norinder said. “His designs for the European Championships in Punchestown were brilliant. He always had a story to tell, and his many talents will be sadly missed.”

He is survived by his sister Kathleen (O'Neill), brother Peter, nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. A huge crowd attended his funeral mass on 22 July, prior to his burial at Callan in his home county of Kilkenny.









Raimondo d’Inzeo (ITA), who has passed away at the age of 88, is pictured here riding Posillipo on his way to individual Olympic gold in Rome 1960.

R

Born on 2 February 1925 in Poggio Mirteto, north of Rome, Raimondo d’Inzeo was the son of renowned equestrian Carlo Costante d’Inzeo, chief instructor in Piemonte Reale, the Royal Piedmontese Dragoons, the smartest regiment in the Italian cavalry, and later dean of the equestrian faculty of the Italian sports university La Farnesina in Rome. Raimondo was the younger brother of Piero d’Inzeo, himself a seven-time Olympian and winner of six Olympic medals.

Raimondo d’Inzeo took up riding at the age of 10 and became so scared when he was first on horseback that his father told him to leave the arena. “But then at home every evening Piero and Papà were always chatting about horses and riding that I felt excluded,” he recalled in an interview, “so I decided it was worth giving horses a second chance - and fortunately I did!”

In 1950, Raimondo d’Inzeo joined the Arma dei Carabinieri, the Italian military police. He bore the title of General at the moment of his death.  One of the legends of equestrian sport, he made his Olympic debut at the London 1948 Olympic Games in Eventing. He went on to win six Olympic Jumping medals, probably most memorably on home ground in Rome 1960 when he took gold ahead of his brother Piero who won silver. He was honoured to be asked to carry the Italian flag at the opening ceremony for the 1972 Olympic Games in Montreal.

He was also a multiple world championship medallist, including individual gold in both 1956 and 1960 and individual silver in 1955, and won many of the world’s most prestigious Grands Prix, including Rome four times (twice on Merano), Dublin twice on the great Irish-bred Bellevue, as well as Aachen and Amsterdam. His other top horses were his Olympic gold medal ride Posillipo, Gowran Girl and Fiorello II.

Raimondo d’Inzeo was a founding member and former President of the International Jumping Riders Club (IJRC), which was created in June 1977.  Earlier this year, Raimondo d’Inzeo was among the recipients of a special award marking the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Italian Olympic Academy (AONI).

Following the death of the Italian sporting icon, the President of the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI), Giovanni Malago declared a minute’s silence at all weekend sporting events in the country. D’Inzeo’s body lay in state at the CONI headquarters prior to today’s funeral at the 4th Mounted Carabinieri Regiment in Rome’s Viale Tor di Quinto. The funeral was attended by hundreds of people including representatives of the Italian authorities, media, friends and his 90-year old brother Piero.

“Raimondo d’Inzeo was a true icon, and one of the most successful horsemen of all time,” FEI Secretary General Ingmar De Vos said. “He was a special kind of rider who could win every type of class, from Grands Prix to Puissance to speed classes, and he had incredible success with so many different horses. He was a true horseman and he will be very sadly missed.”

 

 




 

 

In Memoriam: Carl-Heinz “Charly” Boess, 1954-2013



Carl-Heinz “Charly” Boess, FEI International Eventing Judge, FEI Technical Delegate and Jumping course designer, died suddenly on 5 August aged 58.

Born on 14 October 1954, in Lauf an der Pegnitz near Nuremberg (GER), he started his Eventing career early. During 1976 and 1977, he completed his military service at the Armed Forces’ Sports School in Warendorf, where the German Equestrian Federation is also headquartered.

He then took up business administration studies, completing the professional rider apprenticeship, the Pferdewirt Schwerpunkt Reiten, at the end of which he won the prestigious Stensbeck Award.

Boess went on to run his own yard in Fürth-Oberfürberg (GER). Having focused on Eventing, he then competed on the Jumping circuit until the mid-1990s.

In 1999, he judged his first international Eventing competition in Brunnthal, in the district of Munich (GER), and has since worked as an FEI International Judge, FEI Technical Delegate and Steward at numerous international events.

“Charly Boess was one of the most active German officials in Eventing. In particular, he rendered outstanding services as a development aid worker at many East European and South American events. We will miss him dearly”, said Friedrich Otto-Erley, deputy manager of the German Olympic Committee for Equestrian Sports (DOKR).

Catrin Norinder, FEI Director of Eventing & Olympic, said: “Charly Boess carried out amazing work for the FEI, both as a Judge and Technical Delegate. He was also known for supporting the values of Eventing and helped to develop the sport in Europe and South America. He will be sadly missed on the Eventing circuit and our thoughts are with his family and friends.”

The FEI expresses its sincere condolences to Charly Boess, his family and extensive circle of friends, to the German Equestrian Federation and to the international Eventing community.









In Memoriam: Eizo Osaka, 1933 - 2013



Eizo Osaka, pioneering FEI International Dressage Judge, is pictured here at the 2008 CDI3*
in the city of Miki (JPN), where he attended a special ceremony to celebrate his life’s work
after performing his final judging role before his retirement. (Photo: Japan Equestrian Federation).



Eizo Osaka (JPN), retired FEI International Dressage Judge and Jumping course designer, died in July after a long illness. He had celebrated his 80th birthday on 1 May.

Born in 1933 in Akita Prefecture, in the Tōhoku region of Japan’s largest island Honshu, he majored in Law at the prestigious Chuo University where he also found time to indulge his love of horses and competed on the equestrian team.

After graduating, he became a journalist, but later came back to the equestrian community and worked tirelessly for many years as an FEI Dressage Judge in Japan and around the world.

In 1984, he was credited with bringing the first CSI to Asia, working alongside Tsunekazu Takeda, President of the Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC), FEI Honorary Vice President and International Olympic Committee member.

In 1992, he became Japan’s first international Dressage Judge to work at an Olympic Games, and his experiences in Barcelona spurred him on further to educate generations of Japanese judges.

Eizo Osaka, pictured here in October 2012, at a national equestrian competition in Japan (Image: United Photo Press)

“Eizo Osaka’s devotion to judging and coaching was legendary”, said Trond Asmyr, FEI Director of Dressage and Para-Dressage. "Thanks to his dedication over many years, he has left an important legacy of several generations of highly motivated national and international judges, helping to secure the future development of equestrian sport in Japan and globally”.









Former NYRA Chairman, CEO Kenny Noe, Jr. Dies at 84

ELMONT , N.Y. – Kenneth “Kenny” Noe, Jr., former president, chief executive officer and chairman of The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) board died Sunday at the age of 84.

Noe, who served as a racing secretary and steward at NYRA during the 1970s, was hired as president and general manager of the organization in October, 1994. In September, 1995 he was elevated to chairman of the board of trustees, and in December of 1996 was named chairman and chief executive officer. He resigned as board chairman and CEO in October, 2000.

A native of Hamilton , Ohio , Noe held a variety of positions in the racing industry at more than a dozen tracks. In addition to New York , Noe served as racing secretary at a number of major venues in the East and Midwest including Hialeah , Garden State Park , Arlington Park and Washington Park . He also spent 11 years as the president and general manager of Calder Race Course from 1979-90. A past director of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Noe was also a director of the Thoroughbred Racing Associations, the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau, and the Miami Heart Institute.









In Memoriam: Ted Dwyer OAM, 1923-2013


Ted Dwyer, former coordinator of the FEI World Cup™ Jumping Pacific League and international course designer and judge, who has died in Australia.


Ted Dwyer, former coordinator of the FEI World Cup™ Jumping Pacific League and international course designer and judge, has died in Australia just days before his 90th birthday.

Ted lived in Young, New South Wales together with his wife, Judy and their two sons on a farm that had been in his family since 1868. Ted was a livestock and crop farmer, and he and Judy, an accomplished four-in-hand driver, also produced English Hackney horses at their Ellmore Stud.

Ted was an FEI international course designer and Jumping judge and was instrumental in developing FEI World Cup™ Jumping competitions in New Zealand and South-East Asia. He was the coordinator of the FEI World Cup™ Pacific League for 25 years, from its inception until his retirement at the 2003 Final in Las Vegas. He helped lobby the FEI World Cup committee members for the establishment of the South-East Asian League, the 13th league in the world.

He owned a number of successful Jumping horses, including Ocean Foam, the horse ridden by Kevin Bacon on the Australian team that finished seventh at the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games

He officiated as both a course designer and a judge all over Australia and New Zealand, as well as much of South-East Asia, including designing courses for the Xanthus Show Jumping Open series from 1991-1994, the 2nd and 4th Asian Show Jumping Championships and the 1995 Chiang Mai South-East Asian Games.

Over a 40-year period, Ted was also a contributor to a number of magazines in Australia and New Zealand and wrote two books, Show Jumping Down Under (1972) and Show Jumping in Australia (2005).

British equestrian journalist Alan Smith, who worked closely with Ted on the FEI World Cup circuit, remembers him with great fondness. “The huge contribution that Ted has made to show jumping in Australia and in parts of South-East Asia, where he is something of a godfather figure, would be hard to exaggerate,” he wrote in a foreword to Show Jumping in Australia. The pair were together at a party on a cruise ship during the 1989 FEI World Cup™ Final in Tampa, Florida. Thinking it might get chilly on the boat later in the evening, Ted asked one of the organisers if he should take a jumper, and was told by a very alarmed lady that no horses were allowed on board!

Ted was awarded the FEI Medal of Honour in 1998, three years after the Governor General had presented him with the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in recognition of his “services to equestrian sport both nationally and internationally”. He was inducted into the Equestrian Australia Hall of Fame in 2011.

“The FEI World Cup exists in its present form in Australia thanks to the dedication and passion of Ted Dwyer,” said John Roche, FEI World Cup Director. “The sport in Australia owes a lot to Ted’s dynamic efforts and enthusiasm. Our thoughts are with Ted’s family and friends at this sad time. He will be much missed.”









In Memoriam: Joanne Pitt 1979-2013



Joanne Pitt, individual bronze and team gold medallist at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™, is pictured (second right) with her teammates in Kentucky (left to right): Ricky Balshaw, Sophie Christiansen, Emma Sheardown, Sophie Wells MBE, Lee Pearson CBE and Anne Dunham MBE (seated). (Photo: Kit Houghton).


Joanne Pitt (GBR), 34, Paralympian, individual bronze and team gold medallist at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ and member of UK Sport’s World Class Performance programme for almost 10 years, died peacefully last week with her family beside her after being treated for a rare lung condition.

Jo had right-sided hemiplegic cerebral palsy, which affected the feeling and mobility down her right side, but she never let that stand in her way. After attending a summer holiday camp when she was six years old, she became hooked on horses and never looked back.

At the age of 25, she represented Great Britain at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games with Rockhill Kashmir, and six years later with her gelding Estralita she took bronze in the Grade II Freestyle and team gold at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Kentucky.

This season, Jo and Estralita had won all but two of their 12 starts, including international team and individual victories at Deauville CPEDI3* in March and the Grade II title at the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships.







Hall of Fame Trainer T.J. Kelly Dies at 93



OZONE PARK , N.Y. – Retired Hall of Fame trainer Thomas J. Kelly died Friday morning at St. Catherine’s West Rehabilitation Hospital in Hialeah , Fla. , after a brief illness, according to his son, Timothy D. Kelly. He was 93.

Born in Pikesville , Md. on September 23, 1919, Kelly and his brother Eddie began working at the area racetracks while in their teens. After serving in the 4th Armored Division of the U.S. Army during World War II, in which he earned two Purple Hearts, Kelly returned to the racetrack and took out his trainer’s license in 1945. For the next 54 years, until his retirement in 1998, Kelly conditioned 65 stakes winners, including Plugged Nickle, 1980’s champion sprinter who won that year’s Grade 1 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct Racetrack, and Droll Role, a top performer on dirt and grass who won the 1972 Canadian International at Woodbine and the Washington , D.C. International at Laurel Park.

Kelly also won the 1961 Wood Memorial with Globemaster, the Manhattan Handicap at Belmont Park in 1975 with Salt Marsh and the 1977 and 1986 editions of the Test at Saratoga Race Course with Small Raja and Storm and Sunshine, respectively.

Other top horses trained by Kelly, who spent most of his career on the New York and Florida circuits, include Colonel Moran, Pet Bully, Noble Dancer II, Topsider, King’s Bishop, Far Out East, and Sauce Boat.

Kelly was also responsible for launching the career of famed jockey Bill Hartack, whose contract he purchased from a West Virginia trainer in 1954. The two had immediate success with the 6-year-old Pet Bully, winner of the inaugural Woodward Stakes, and Hartack, like Kelly, went on to a Hall of Fame career.

“He was a quintessential horseman who lived for the game,” said Timothy Kelly, who followed his father into the business and currently is the Clerk of Scales at The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA). “In addition to being a great horseman, he was a great husband and a great father and grandfather.”

Kelly, who was inducted into racing’s Hall of Fame in 1993, also was successful as a breeder and owner. The year before he retired, Kelly and Joseph Grant bred Evening Attire, who during his eight-year career would win 10 graded stakes and more than $2.9 million. Trained by Kelly’s older son, Patrick, Evening Attire won the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup in 2002 as a 4-year-old and closed out his career with a victory in the 2008 Greenwood Cup Stakes at Philadelphia Park .

Kelly, who lived in Miami Springs , Fla. , is survived by Frances, his wife of 67 years, his brother, John Kelly, and, in addition to Timothy and Patrick, sons Daniel and Larry, daughters Patricia and Jean Marie and many grandchildren.









In Memoriam: Alberto Valdés Ramos (MEX), 1919-2013


Mexican Jumping rider Alberto Valdés Ramos (left),
who has died at the age of 93, pictured with fellow
Olympic team gold medallists at the London 1948 Games,
Ruben Uriza (individual silver) and Humberto Mariles (individual gold).



Alberto Valdés Ramos, Olympic team gold medallist at the London 1948 Games, has died at the age of 93.

He was the oldest surviving member of Mexico’s 1948 Jumping “dream team”. His fellow team mates were Humberto Mariles, who also won individual gold - a feat unequalled by any other Mexican sportsman at the time – and Ruben Uriza, who added individual silver to the team gold.

The day the trio claimed team gold was unforgettable for Mexican sports, and especially for Valdés who received news by telegram that his daughter had been born just before he competed in the Empire Stadium, now known as Wembley Stadium.

Equestrianism became a way of life for Valdés at the age of 10, after he moved to Paris with his father who had been appointed military attaché to the Mexican Embassy.

Valdés was part of a generation of accomplished Mexican riders who won major competitions in the United States, Canada and Europe, and he passed on his talent to his son Alberto Valdés Lacarra, who won team bronze at the Moscow 1980 Olympic Games.

Valdés inspired many future athletes, and particularly equestrian athletes, when he was a torch bearer at the 2011 Pan-American Games in Guadalajara at the age of 92. He passed the torch to diver Paola Espinosa, a fellow Olympian, who descended on wires from the roof of the Omnilife stadium to light the Pan-American cauldron.









In Memoriam: Anton Bühler (SUI), 1922-2013


Anton Bühler, Swiss Olympic Eventing medallist,
who has died at the age of 90.


Swiss Olympic Eventing medallist Anton Bühler passed away on 29 March at the age of 90. Bühler won Eventing team silver and individual bronze at the Rome Olympic Games in 1960, Switzerland’s only Olympic medals in this discipline to date.

Anton “Tony” Bühler, the second of four children, was born near Zurich on 15 June 1922 into a family of great horsemen. His father, Hans E. Bühler, competed in both Jumping and Eventing at the Paris 1924 Olympic Games and was a member of the Swiss team which won the Aga Khan trophy at the Dublin Horse Show in 1926. Hans Bühler became the young Anton’s first riding instructor.

From 1942 to 1945 Anton Bühler served in the Swiss Cavalry where he had the opportunity to compete in Jumping and in racing. After the war, he embarked on a highly successful Eventing career representing Switzerland at three Olympic Games: in 1948 in London with Amour-Amour; in 1960 in Rome riding Gay Spark where he won two medals; and in 1972 in Munich aboard Wukari. Bühler, a six-time national Eventing champion, competed twice at the Badminton Horse Trials – in 1951 with Werwolf and in 1968 on Green Flash – completing the event on both occasions.

He retired from international competition after the 1972 Olympic Games, but continued riding well into his 70s, as well as organising numerous national events and championships. Anton Bühler was also a well-respected FEI judge, serving as President of the Ground Jury at the Seoul 1988 Olympic Games.

Anton Bühler studied agricultural engineering at Zurich and Cambridge.

“Tony Bühler was one of the great names in Eventing,” FEI Eventing Director Catrin Norinder commented. “I would like to pay tribute to a real gentleman who was a very successful rider, an appreciated official and an enthusiastic friend of our sport. He will be greatly missed.”

The Lord Carew, former chair of the FEI Eventing committee, described Anton Bühler as “a wonderful horseman, an excellent and very knowledgeable three-day-event judge, a father figure in the discipline of Eventing and a man who commanded huge respect. His death is a great loss to the FEI family.”

Fellow retired FEI judge Bernd Springorum also mourned his passing. “Tony Bühler, Olympic medallist and leading FEI official in his era, gained his reputation through great experience in the horse world, independence and straightness. We will miss a great personality and a great friend.”









Orrin H. Phipps



YARMOUTH – Orrin Phipps, 91, of Yarmouth died Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013. He was born Oct. 19, 1921, in Portland, the son of William and Fannie (Ross) Phipps.

Orrin was the founder of Yarmouth Lumber and was actively involved until a week ago. He always enjoyed trucking, was a Red Sox fan, an avid hunter and loved horses. He owned race horses for more than 50 years and was driving them into his mid-80s. He was a lifetime member of the Maine Harness Horsemen’s Association and the US Trotting Association. Orrin also loved dachshunds and there was no other dog for him.

He is survived by his son, William Phipps of Yarmouth; his grandchildren, James, Sheryl, Bethany, Laurie, Kevin and Kristalyn; as well as a large extended family. He was predeceased by his first wife, Elizabeth Sperry, his second wife, Margaret Dugas; his daughter, Janet Clarke; and his grandson, Jake Phipps.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making donations in Orrin’s memory to Maine Harness Horsemen’s Association Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 436, Augusta, ME 04330.









In Memoriam: Justin Llewelyn (GBR), 1952-2012


Justin Llewelyn, FEI Steward and Steward General
for all equestrian disciplines in Great Britain, who has died at the age of 59.
(Photo: Kit Houghton)



Justin Llewelyn, an FEI Steward and the familiar and distinguished voice of horse trials in Great Britain, passed away at the weekend after a year of ill health. His health deteriorated on Saturday night (8 December) and he died at his home in Lincolnshire. He was 59.

Born in London to Celtic parents – his father was Welsh and his mother Irish – Justin was an FEI Steward, and was also Steward General for all disciplines in Great Britain for many years. In his role as FEI Steward, he was in charge of the mixed zone – where athletes are interviewed by the media post-competition – at the last three Olympic Games in Athens, Hong Kong and London. He was already seriously ill when he was working in Greenwich, but was determined not to miss the chance of officiating at his home Games.

Justin's day job was as brand ambassador at the champagne house, Taittinger, and he was the British Consul General for the Ordre des Coteaux de Champagne, the official fraternity of the champenoise. He was well known as a knowledgeable and authoritative commentator at all the major British horse trials, including Badminton, Burghley, Bramham, Blenheim, Gatcombe and Chatsworth, and was never happier than when he was in the commentary box with his regular colleagues Mike Tucker, Giles Rowsell and Richard Clapham.

Justin's father was the much-loved actor, Desmond Llewelyn, who played Q in the James Bond films for more than 30 years. Justin went to the same school – Radley College – as his famous father, and was a leading light in the school’s stage productions, but in later life he often said that commentating was the nearest he got to realising his theatrical ambitions.

“We have to stay calm and reasoned and not get over-excited, which can be quite a skill,” he said in a media interview in 2008. “But my father was an actor and commentating is the nearest I get to my own theatrical career. I think I’ve taken all the acting knack from my father and transferred it to the commentary box.”

He was a generous sponsor of equestrian sport through his contacts in the champagne industry. His last major appearance on the international competition scene was at Burghley last September.

“Justin was a larger than life character in every way,” FEI Eventing & Olympic Director Catrin Norinder said. “He was such a familiar face, and a familiar voice, on the Eventing circuit and was incredibly generous, both with his time and with sponsorship. The Eventing scene in Britain and internationally won’t be the same without him, and nor will the mixed zones at future Olympic Games. He will be much missed.”

Justin Llewelyn is survived by his wife Claire, and daughters Charlotte and Rosamund. Claire shares Justin’s love of Eventing, and gave a home to the retired top event horses Shear H20, Shear L'Eau and Ringwood Cockatoo and rode them in Dressage competitions.








In Memoriam: Jane Pontifex (GBR), 1928-2012


Jane Pontifex (GBR), scorer at the first Badminton Horse Trials in
1949 and a well-known and well-respected equestrian journalist,
who has died at the age of 84. (Photo: Kit Houghton)



Jane Pontifex, scorer at the first Badminton Horse Trials in 1949 and a well-known and well-respected equestrian journalist, has died at her home in Surrey (GBR). She was 84.

Jane was the first official scorer for British horse trials. She valued accuracy in everything she did, and one of her most important legacies was in helping to devise the scoring system for horse trials which is still in use today.

She played a major role in the development of the sport, and was heavily involved in the start-up of Burghley Horse Trials in 1961.

Jane worked for the British Horse Society for many years as an official scorer before joining the staff of top British equestrian magazine, Horse & Hound. When Michael Clayton, then editor of the magazine, wanted to upgrade coverage of Eventing, Jane was his natural choice.

“Nobody knew more about the mechanics of the sport than she did,” he said. “She had a passion for accuracy, which was what I wanted, and she became Horse & Hound’s first woman reporter and first woman sub-editor for Eventing. Jane was a very valuable member of our staff, and a good friend.”

As horse trials editor for Horse & Hound, Jane took over reporting on all the top events, including Badminton and Burghley, and the major international championships, continuing to write even after her retirement from the job in 1988.

Jane was also the founding secretary of the British Horse Trials Support Group, a job she continued to do for a quarter of a century with typical efficiency and enthusiasm, and was a long-standing secretary to the British Equestrian Writers’ Association. Her devotion to the sport and love for detail resulted in a comprehensive book, Riding for Gold, which chronicled the history of Britain's Eventing teams.

British journalist Kate Green remembers her former colleague and friend with great fondness. "Jane was not only great fun to work and travel with, but she was a fount of wisdom about the sport, and always willing to help and encourage up-and-coming journalists."

Jane Pontifex’s death comes three weeks after the passing of Jim Gilmore, press officer to the Badminton Horse Trials from 1969 to 2001.









In Memoriam: General Johnson Kim (KOR), 1927-2012



General Johnson Kim (KOR), left, with FEI President HRH Prince Philip in 1986 in Korea.


General Johnson Kim (KOR), retired FEI judge, passed away recently at the age of 85.

General Kim was born in 1927 and his involvement in equestrian sport dates back to his school years when he won various national competitions. After graduating from Korea University, he joined the national military academy to prepare for the 1952 Olympic Games but was prevented from doing so by the Korean War.

Until his retirement from the FEI in 1997, General Kim was an FEI official international judge in Jumping, an international judge in Dressage, an international candidate judge in Eventing as well as an international course designer in Jumping. He served as chef d’équipe to the Korean team at several major international events, including the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. He was member of the ground jury for Jumping at the 1988 Olympic Games in his home city of Seoul and also acted as the course designer for the equestrian portion of modern pentathlon at the same Games.

General Kim translated the FEI Rules for Jumping Events into Korean and between 1970 and 1984 represented his country at numerous FEI General Assemblies.

“General Kim was a man ahead of his time,” FEI Director of Jumping John Roche said. “The welfare of the athletes was of great importance to him and he proposed that military riders should wear protective headgear in competition over 20 years ago.”









In Memoriam: George Lane Fox 1931-2012


Photo caption: George Lane Fox, founder of the Bramham International Horse Trials,
died peacefully at home on 9 October. Photo: Kit Houghton.



George Lane Fox (GBR), founder of the Bramham International Horse Trials, died peacefully at home on 9 October.

He was the ninth generation of his family to live at Bramham Park in Wetherby, West Yorkshire, where he started the Bramham International Horse Trials in 1973.

The Bramham International Horse Trials have kick-started the careers of many world-famous Eventers, and every year the CIC and CCI 3-star events attract a large number of home-grown and international athletes.

This year, the trials were the last chance for many athletes to qualify for the Olympics, and the competition was extended to an extra 100 entrants after rain led to the cancellation of two other important UK equestrian events. Athletes from 12 nations on four continents battled it out in the beautiful Bramham Park estate alongside William Fox-Pitt (GBR) who took both the CIC and CCI 3-star titles with Neuf Des Coeurs and Chilli Morning.

George Lane Fox’s eldest son, Nick said: “I will always remember Dad taking me, as a boy, to choose trees to turn into his cross-country fences and I’ll keep a picture in my mind of him sitting at the marquee door, greeting every guest, at the Bramham Cocktail Party. His tenacity in keeping the horse trials going for the first 10 years, when it cost him money, is an example to me and everybody else.”










In Memoriam: Wan Wai Yee 1958 - 2012


Wan Wai Yee, FEI International Jumping judge, who passed away on 27 August 2012. (Photo: HKEF)



Wan Wai Yee (HKG), an FEI International Jumping Judge, has passed away at the age of 53, having battled for over a year with lung cancer.

A teacher by profession, Wai Yee competed in both Jumping and Dressage events before becoming a Jumping judge during the 1990s.

In 2006 she qualified as an FEI International judge and officiated at numerous events worldwide, including CSI5* Goteborg (SWE), the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou (CHI) and the 2011 FEI Children’s International Classics Final (HKG).

One of her last assignments as an FEI Judge was during the very successful FEI Children’s International Classics in Hong Kong in January of this year.

Having worked tirelessly for many years for equestrian sport in Hong Kong, Wai Yee joined the Equestrian Events (Hong Kong) of The Games of the XXIX Olympiad Company Limited and as an integral member of the BOCOG equestrian team, greatly contributed to the success of the 2008 Hong Kong Olympic Games.

“Wai Yee was a real pleasure to work with,” said Catrin Norinder, FEI Director Eventing & Olympic. “She had the most tremendous enthusiasm and had the legendary Hong Kong can-do attitude. I have very fond memories of working with her at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. I remember in particular the book of photographs she compiled for the equestrian volunteers after the Games. It was a wonderful memento for them and just one of the many kind and thoughtful gestures so typical of Wai Yee.”








In Memoriam: Sven Harmsen 1961 - 2012


Sven Harmsen, the Royal Dutch Equestrian Federation’s
Chef d’Equipe, national coach and trainer for Ponies,
Juniors and Young Riders in Jumping,
who passed away on 10 September 2012.
(Photo: Jacob Melissen)


Sven Harmsen (NED), the Royal Dutch Equestrian Federation’s Chef d’Equipe, national coach and trainer for Ponies, Juniors and Young Riders in Jumping, has passed away at the age of 51.

He attended the 2012 Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ in Calgary as Chef d’Equipe with the senior Dutch team of Jur Vrieling, Leon Thijssen, Harrie Smolders and Jeroen Dubbeldam, and shared their bronze medal win in the BMO Nations’ Cup on 8 September. Later that evening at the gala dinner he suffered a severe heart attack, from which he was unable to recover.

Sven Harmsen was a successful rider before his collaboration with the Royal Dutch Equestrian Federation. Silver medallist at the FEI Young Rider European Championships in 1982, he went on to compete successfully at both national and international level throughout the 1980s and 1990s. He clocked up several titles at events worldwide, including the Grand Prix in Hickstead (GBR) and Geneva (SUI) and FEI Nations Cup™ events in Falsterbo (SWE) and Drammen (NOR).

In 2005, he became Chef d’Equipe for Ponies at the Royal Dutch Equestrian Federation and the following year was appointed Chef d’Equipe for the Juniors and Young Riders. His dedication and commitment were rewarded on numerous occasions with many successful campaigns by the Pony, Juniors and Young Riders, notably at the annual FEI European Championships.

Jumping was an extremely important part of his life and he followed the evolution and development of the discipline very closely. He was passionate about horses and cared deeply about horse sport.

“Sven was highly committed and motivated, giving 200% to his role,” said Maarten van der Heijden, Technical Director, Royal Dutch Equestrian Federation. “Since he became Chef d’Equipe, there has never been a year that we have not won a medal. He focussed so much on getting the best from every rider and horse under his guidance and this passion made him extremely popular with everyone. We will miss him greatly.”

“Sven’s passion for Jumping and success in developing young riders in our sport is renowned,” added John Roche, FEI Director Jumping and Stewarding. “He will be sorely missed by everyone who worked with him at the Royal Dutch Equestrian Federation, and by the international Jumping community.”









Mary Ann (Borowski) Ginnetti


Mary Ann T. (Borowski) Ginnetti, 72 MARLBOROUGH - Mary Ann T . (Borowski) Ginnetti, 72, of Marlborough died Wednesday (July 11, 2012) at home after an illness. She leaves her husband of 52 years, John "Jack" Ginnetti Jr. and her son John J. Ginnetti III and his wife Traci of Ventura, CA. Also leaves her sister, Dianne M. Moore and her husband Arthur of Hudson and many nieces and nephews. She was the sister of the late Edward "Butch" Borowski, William F. Borowski and Suzanne T. Rogers. She was born in Hudson, daughter of the late Edward F. and Albina T. (Mayou) Borowski and has lived in Marlborough for over 50 years, She was in the first graduating class of Hudson Catholic High School, 1959. Mary Ann was a secretary/ buyer for over 25 years before her retirement in 1988 for the Zayre Corp. of Framingham, now known as TJMax. Previously was a secretary for several years at Foot Fair of Maynard. She was an avid dancer who once appeared on Dave Maynard's Community Auditions. She was a member of the Hudson Woman's Club, and a member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Hudson AmVets. She was a former Election Warden for Ward 6 of Marlborough . For over twenty-five years, she was known as the first lady of the NEW ENGLAND HARNESS WRITERS , and often accompanied her husband Jack to many of the Harness Racing Conventions. She always lit up the room wherever she went. She was one of life's givers, not a taker and family always came first.






RICHARD HAMILTON, FORMER NYRA STEWARD, DEAD AT 76


OZONE PARK , N.Y. – Richard L. Hamilton, a former steward and longtime racing official for The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA), died Wednesday night at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany , N.Y. after suffering a heart attack. He was 76 years old.

According to Peter Hammell, former director of the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs , N.Y. , Hamilton had been taken to Saratoga Hospital on Tuesday complaining of severe pain in his neck and jaw. Shortly after his arrival, he suffered a heart attack and was immediately transported to St. Peter’s Hospital. He was taken off life support at 6 p.m. on Wednesday night, said Hammell.

A native of Lowell , Mass. , Hamilton graduated from Emerson College in 1958 and served in the United States Army until 1961. After stints as a newsman for The Daily Racing Form, various radio stations in New England, and for ABC radio, Hamilton went to work for the Jockey Club in 1972, leaving in 1975 to join NYRA as a racing official. There, he served in a variety of capacities, including clerk of the course, paddock judge, placing judge and alternate steward, and was appointed NYRA Steward in 1989, a position he held for six years.

“As a steward, Dick was very professional and very thorough,” said Carmine Donofrio, the New York State Racing and Wagering Board steward who worked with Hamilton at Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course. “He was a very intelligent man, very funny, and a great guy. He really loved horse racing.”

In 1995, Hamilton accepted an early retirement package from NYRA, and subsequently became the communications officer for the Museum of Racing . While with the museum, Hamilton helped develop the Hall of Fame induction ceremony and also organized numerous free public seminars for fans. While he officially retired in 2005, Hamilton continued on as a volunteer, and also enjoyed volunteering at Saratoga Hospital and in the History Room at Saratoga Springs Public Library, said Hammell.

“Dick Hamilton was an invaluable contributor to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame both during his years here as our communications officer and also in recent years as a volunteer,” said current museum director Christopher Dragone. “His knowledge of thoroughbred racing and his passion for the sport and the Museum were evident to all who knew him. He was one of the true gentlemen in racing and was beloved in the Saratoga community. Dick was a wonderful ambassador for the Museum and the sport in general. He was instrumental in the development of the Hall of Fame ceremony and numerous public programs here at the Museum. He will be missed by everyone who had the fortune of knowing him.”

Hamilton is survived by a niece, Mary Lake , and three nephews, Philip, David and Steven Biati, the children of his predeceased sister, Audrey Biati. A memorial service will he held in Saratoga Springs during the racing season, said Hammell.









THOROUGHBRED OWNER HERBERT SCHWARTZ DEAD AT 80


OZONE PARK , N.Y. – Thoroughbred owner Herbert T. Schwartz, who bred and owned two-time New York-bred champion filly Critical Eye, died Thursday of natural causes at his home in Woodmere, N.Y., said his son, trainer Scott Schwartz.

He was 80.

A real estate developer who also owned Falcaro’s Bowling Center in Lawrence , N.Y. before his retirement, Schwartz bought his first horses, Steal A Dance and Cute N Crafty, in 1969. He went on to campaign a number of homebreds who carried the family’s distinctive flamingo pink and silver silks at Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course, including Go Rockin Robin, winner of the Grade 2 Peter Pan in 2003; Dynamic Lisa, who took the Yaddo for state-breds in 2003, and Brookhaven’s Money, winner of the 2008 Spectacular Bid division of the New York Stallion Series. Schwartz also bred multiple stakes winners Be Bullish and Classic Endeavor.

Schwartz’s top horse was Critical Eye, a daughter of Dynaformer who went on to win 14 races for $1,060,984, mostly in open company. In 2000, Critical Eye gave Schwartz his first Grade 1 when she took the Gazelle at Belmont Park en route to being voted champion New York-bred 3-year-old filly, and the following year she added the Grade 1 Hempstead Handicap to her resume as 2001’s champion New York-bred older female.

In 2001, Schwartz was voted New York Breeder of the Year and also National Small Breeder of the Year by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.

“He was a true horseman who loved the game,” said Scott Schwartz. “He was involved for five decades and achieved a lot for being a small, hands-on operation.”

In addition to Scott, Schwartz is survived by his wife, Carol, daughters Karen, Bonnie and Robin, and many grandchildren.









IN MEMORIAM:
THOROUGHBRED OWNER HERBERT SCHWARTZ DEAD AT 80



OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Thoroughbred owner Herbert T. Schwartz, who bred and owned two-time New York-bred champion filly Critical Eye, died Thursday of natural causes at his home in Woodmere, N.Y., said his son, trainer Scott Schwartz. He was 80.

A real estate developer who also owned Falcaro's Bowling Center in Lawrence, N.Y. before his retirement, Schwartz bought his first horses, Steal A Dance and Cute N Crafty, in 1969. He went on to campaign a number of homebreds who carried the family's distinctive flamingo pink and silver silks at Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course, including Go Rockin Robin, winner of the Grade 2 Peter Pan in 2003; Dynamic Lisa, who took the Yaddo for state-breds in 2003, and Brookhaven's Money, winner of the 2008 Spectacular Bid division of the New York Stallion Series. Schwartz also bred multiple stakes winners Be Bullish and Classic Endeavor.

Schwartz's top horse was Critical Eye, a daughter of Dynaformer who went on to win 14 races for $1,060,984, mostly in open company. In 2000, Critical Eye gave Schwartz his first Grade 1 when she took the Gazelle at Belmont Park en route to being voted champion New York-bred 3-year-old filly, and the following year she added the Grade 1 Hempstead Handicap to her resume as 2001's champion New York-bred older female.

In 2001, Schwartz was voted New York Breeder of the Year and also National Small Breeder of the Year by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. "He was a true horseman who loved the game," said Scott Schwartz. "He was involved for five decades and achieved a lot for being a small, hands-on operation." In addition to Scott, Schwartz is survived by his wife, Carol, daughters Karen, Bonnie and Robin, and many grandchildren.









Amy Tryon 1970 - 2012
From the United States Equestrian Federation


It is with deep regret that the United States Equestrian Federation acknowledges the passing of Amy Tryon, a stalwart of the United States Eventing Team. Amy, 42, died in her sleep on April 12, 2012.

We wish to express our condolences to her husband Greg, her mother, Jemi and the rest of her family and will follow Greg's lead to assist and support in any way possible. The family is grateful for the outpouring of love and support.











René Pasquier (FRA), President of the Organising Committee for the popular CSIO in La Baule, has passed away at the age of 71. Image: PSV Jean Morel.



IN MEMORIAM: RENE PASQUIER (FRA)

René Pasquier, who served as President of the Organising Committee for the popular CSIO in La Baule (FRA) for the last 25 years, passed away yesterday (16 February).

La Baule, which celebrated 50 years of international Jumping in 2010, traditionally hosts the first leg of the FEI Nations Cup™ Top League, one of the FEI’s flagship series. René Pasquier was the driving force behind the show and it was his vision and drive that made La Baule into one of the most popular events on the international calendar.

“René Pasquier was a truly wonderful man who dedicated himself tirelessly to making La Baule the iconic event it is today, where the world’s best Jumping riders convene for the first CSIO of the outdoor season,” said FEI President HRH Princess Haya.

“He will be sorely missed by FEI staff members who have worked closely with him over the years.

"The FEI will also be forever indebted to René, whose passion has showed no bounds for this fabulous world-class setting where the great Jumping champions make their mark."








The USET Foundation Mourns Loss of John H. "Jack" Fritz: 1925 - 2012


USET Foundation mourns loss of John H. "Jack" Fritz 1925-2012.



Gladstone, NJ - February 10, 2012 - The United States Equestrian Team Foundation remembers today John H. Fritz, 87, of Rockford, IL and formerly of Gladstone, N.J. Fritz was a graduate of Princeton University and a veteran of both World War II and the Korean War, played a key role in nearly every aspect of the equestrian world from founding organizations to governing and officiating. Jack Fritz dedicated his life to promoting equestrian sports.

Fritz was an integral part of the United States Equestrian Team for nearly three decades. He was a member of the USET Board of Directors since the early 1960's and an officer since 1974 which includes his role as USET Vice President for Administration and Chief Executive Officer from 1974-1989. He served as Secretary for nearly two decades before retiring in 1999. After retiring he continued to serve as a volunteer member of the Board and Assistant Secretary, and was an Honorary Trustee at the time of his passing.

A Technical Delegate for Dressage and Combined Training for 25 years and a dressage judge for over 20 years Fritz judged many three-day events and dressage shows. In addition to judging and officiating, he was the author of a number of books on horse sports.

He was a founder of numerous equestrian organizations including the United States Combined Training Association (USCTA), whose foundation he chaired in 1959. He was also a founder of the United States Dressage Federation (USDF) whose foundation he chaired in 1973.

Fritz was an advocate supporter of the American Horse Shows Association (now USEF) and proudly served on numerous committees. Fritz, a sustaining member of the United States Pony Club (USPC) since 1955 was named USPC Governor in 1960 and in 1961 became a National Examiner, a role he held for 30 years. Over that time he also served on numerous USPC Committees. In 1972 he was elected USPC Vice President followed by his election to First Vice President in 1976, a position he held until he was elected President in 1981. In 1982 he became a member of the Advisory Committee and served as its Chairman from 1988-1990. He was also the USPC's representative to the USET and an ex-officio member of the Advisory Committee since 1988.

Fritz had many accolades over the years including being honored with the USEF Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000, "Horseman of the Year" first in 1968 by the New Jersey Professional Horseman's Association and again in 1969 by the New Jersey Horse Council. In 1978 he won the prestigious Wofford Trophy, awarded annually by the USCTA to a "non-riding" member who has done the most to further the sport of Combined Training. He was inducted into the USCTA's Hall of Fame in 1999. The Chronicle of the Horse listed him as one of the top 50 most influential people in this century.

In addition to his equestrian interests, Fritz was also deeply involved in early American history. A professor of history at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey, he was Dean of Arts and Sciences at the University's Madison campus. He was also a member of the Board of Trustees and Officer Trustee of Centenary College.

Fritz is survived by numerous nephews, nieces and cousins. A graveside service will be held on Wednesday, February 15, 10AM at the Scandinavian Cemetery in Rockford, IL. In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of "Jack" may be made to the USET Foundation, P.O. Box 355, Gladstone, NJ 07934 and Culver Military Academy, 1300 Academy Road, Culver Indiana 46511.

The United States Equestrian Team Foundation is the non-profit organization that supports the competition, training, coaching, travel and educational needs of America's elite and developing international, high-performance horses and athletes in partnership with the United States Equestrian Federation.









IN MEMORIAM: HANS-HEINRICH ISENBART (GER)


Hans-Heinrich Isenbart (GER), “the voice of equestrian sport” in Germany, passed away at the age of 88.




Hans-Heinrich Isenbart (GER), who will be remembered by many as “the voice of equestrian sport” in Germany, passed away on 25 December 2011 at the age of 88.

He was born on 5 February 1923 in Vienna (AUT) into a family that had a passion for horses going back generations. As a young man he had wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps and become an army officer, but his Jewish origins meant that career was denied to him in the Germany of the 1930s and 40s. He later studied law and passed his exams to become a riding instructor.

After World War II, he worked as a journalist for German broadcaster NDR, covering political and economic issues, and later took over sport coordination at ARD in Munich, where he remained until his retirement in 1987.

One of the highlights of his career in television was doing the live commentary on the equestrian competitions at the 1956 Olympic Games in Stockholm. From then on he was present at nearly all the major equestrian events, including one of the biggest and most popular horse shows in the world, CHIO Aachen (GER).

For all almost 60 years, “the voice of equestrian sport” continued to commentate at events and speak at seminars and congresses. Hans-Heinrich also wrote books and even made a film on horses.

Hans-Heinrich Isenbart’s funeral was held on 10 January in the Niedersachsenhalle indoor arena in Verden (GER) where, during his long career, he had been a Master of Ceremony at many gala evenings and had commentated numerous horse shows. Nearly 700 mourners attended the emotional service.

Hans-Heinrich Isenbart will always be remembered for his great eloquence, but also for his life-long dedication to horse welfare. His famous words at the end of every single broadcast were, “Und vergessen Sie die Pferde nicht!” (And don’t forget the horses!)












IN MEMORIAM: CHRISTOPHER SCHOFIELD (GBR)



Christopher Schofield, who has died at the age of 90, was a loyal supporter of British Eventing’s Young Rider squad. He is pictured presenting the young rider trophy to Claire Bowley and Fair Share at Bramham Horse Trials in 1989.
Photo: Kit Houghton.




Christopher Schofield (GBR), former Chairman of Great Britain’s Young Rider Selectors programme, passed away on 4 January at the age of 90.

Many young British Eventing riders enjoyed success during his leadership of the Young Rider Selectors programme, including William Fox-Pitt, Tina Cook and Pippa Funnell.

Jane Holderness-Roddam, who secured team gold in Eventing for Great Britain at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, remembers Christopher Schofield as "a truly great character, he was always incredibly enthusiastic and supportive and was always thrilled to hear how the Young Riders were getting on, even in more recent years. He was always there with wise words of advice for us all."

Legendary junior and young Eventing trainer Gill Watson worked alongside Christopher as team trainer from 1981: "He was the backbone to all the British Young Riders success and really set the ball rolling,” she said. “To me, he was the most amazing supporter and friend."








IN MEMORIAM: Michał WRÓBLEWSKI (POL),
1948-2011




Michał Wróblewski, Secretary General of the Polish Equestrian Federation and Board Member of the European Equestrian Federation (EEF), died suddenly on Wednesday 16 November in Rio de Janeiro (BRA) where he had attended the FEI General Assembly the day before.

Michał Wróblewski was born in 1948 in Lodz, central Poland. He studied at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan and the Technical University of Lodz completing degrees in law and engineering. After an impressive career in the textile industry and as a business owner, he joined the Polish Equestrian Federation in 2003. He became the organisation’s Secretary General in 2008.

Mr Wróblewski was passionate about sharing his knowledge of the business world and establishing best practices for National Federation administration with his colleagues from the European Equestrian Federation (EEF). He organised a seminar on this subject for the EEF in Warsaw (POL) earlier this year.

“Michał was a wonderful man with a great sense of humour and a passion for passing on his knowledge to others in the equestrian world,” FEI Secretary General Ingmar De Vos said. “He was a valued member of the EEF Board and his passing is a tragic loss, not just to the Polish Equestrian Federation, but to everyone involved in equestrian sport.”

Michał Wróblewski is survived by his wife Grazina, a son Victor, and daughter Agneska. It was Agneska’s love of horses and her involvement with the Polish Horse Breeders Association that originally brought Michał into the equestrian world.









IN MEMORIAM: WOLFGANG NIGGLI (SUI)


Wolfgang Niggli, one of the most eminent figures in international Dressage, is remembered for his services to the international equestrian community © Elisabeth Weiland



Wolfgang Niggli (SUI), one of the most eminent figures in international Dressage, passed away on Sunday 30 October at the age of 89.

Wolfgang Niggli won his first junior Dressage competition in 1937. He went on to compete in Jumping as a teenager and rode in Steeplechases before studying engineering at the Zurich Technological Institute and becoming a part-time riding officer in the Swiss cavalry.

In 1947, he took the opportunity of being based close to France’s prestigious military equestrian school in Fontainebleau to perfect his riding and competed in many Jumping and Dressage competitions, as well as Steeplechasing.

After working in the USA for several years as an engineer, Wolfgang Niggli returned to Switzerland where he became Vice President (Construction) of the North Eastern Swiss Power Company, but still found time to indulge his passion for equestrian sport.

In 1957 he became a Swiss national Dressage Judge. Four years later he became a member of the Swiss National Equestrian Federation’s Dressage Committee and was Chairman of the Committee from 1964-1973.

During this period he was also Chef d’Equipe for the Swiss team at numerous international competitions, including the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich.

In 1964, Wolfgang Niggli became an FEI International Dressage Judge and served on the FEI Dressage Committee from 1973-1976 and again from 1979-1981. He was Chairman of the FEI Dressage Committee from 1981-1993 and remained an honorary member of the FEI Bureau until the time of his death.

Since 1964 up to his retirement from the FEI Dressage Committee in 1993, he judged at numerous international competitions and at three Olympic Games.

In recent years, he was dedicated to helping riders around the world by running clinics using his long experience and knowledge of the sport.









DEATH OF EQUINE SUPERSTAR HICKSTEAD
Lausanne (SUI), 6 November 2011


Hickstead, the sensational Jumping stallion that Eric Lamaze (CAN) rode to individual gold at the 2008 Olympic Games in Hong collapsed and died in Verona (ITA) today.
Photo: FEI/Kit Houghton.
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The fourth leg of the Rolex FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2011/2012 series at Verona, Italy was stopped today following the sudden death of the stallion Hickstead, ridden by reigning Olympic champion and world number one Eric Lamaze (CAN).

Drawn 22nd of the 39 on the startlist, the Canadian partnership had just completed Rolf Ludi’s 13-fence track with a single rail down in the middle of the combination when Hickstead collapsed and died.

The competition was stopped at the request of the riders, and Lamaze’s fellow-competitors gathered in the Verona arena to pay their respects to one of the greatest horses of all time, and to support their colleague in his moment of loss with a minute's silence.

HRH Princess Haya, FEI President added her condolences to those that have poured in since news of the horse's death. "Hickstead really was a horse in a million and my heart goes out to Eric and everyone connected with this wonderful horse. This is a terrible loss, but Hickstead truly will never be forgotten. We were very lucky to have known him."

FEI Jumping Director, John Roche, said “shortly after finishing his round of jumping Hickstead collapsed in the arena and died. As yet the cause of death is unknown, but our deepest sympathies go out to the owners, to Eric and to all the connections of one of the greatest Jumping horses of all time. Hickstead’s presence on the circuit will be very sadly missed”.

Lexington, KY - It is with great sadness that the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) learned that Woodburn, owned by Ann Jones and Mardie Fau cett, was euthanized last night. Woodburn appeared to have suffered major i nternal bleeding at home, the cause of which is unknown. More information w ill be available after an autopsy. Woodburn and Phil lip Dutton represented the United States at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Eque strian Games, where they contributed to the fourth place effort of the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team. They finished 18th individually. The 15-year-old New Zealand Thoro ughbred gelding was second at the 2010 Rolex Kentucky CCI4*, 12th in 2009 and 10th in 2008. He was also third at the 2007 Fair H ill International CCI3*. He toyed with some of the biggest cross country co urses in the world, making them look easy. In 2008, he stormed around the t rack at the Burghley CCI4* and into second place only to be withdrawn with a foot injury before the show jumping. He began his career in the United States with Liz Millikin, who imported him from New Zealand, and then he c ompeted successfully through the CCI2* level with Emily Beshear. Woodburn will be greatly missed b y the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team and the entire eventing community. ;

Woodburn in his element (Shannon Brinkman photo).






IN MEMORIAM



DEATH OF DOUBLE OLYMPIC CHAMPION D’ORIOLA (FRA) Lausanne (SUI), 20 July 2011


France's double Olympic champion Pierre Jonqueres d'Oriola passed away at his home in the Pyrenees on Tuesday 19 July. He was aged 91.

Born on 1 February 1920, d'Oriola won individual gold in the Jumping at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki riding Ali Baba. This was the second Olympic medal for the d’Oriola family in Helsinki. Only six days earlier his cousin Christian d’Oriola had won gold in the fencing.

Twelve years later in Tokyo, Pierre Jonqueres d’Oriola again took individual Jumping gold, this time on Lutteur B, and led the French to team silver. D’Oriola’s was the only gold for France in the Tokyo Olympics, earning him special congratulations from General de Gaulle and the rider received a hero’s welcome on his return to his homeland.

He won individual gold at the 1966 world championships in Buenos Aires (ARG) with a new horse Pomone B. D’Oriola rode in the change-horse final against three other legendary names in the sport – José de Borhoques (ESP), Raimondo d’Inzeo (ITA) and Nelson Pessoa (BRA) – to become the first French rider to claim the title. D’Oriola went on to take silver in the team event at the Mexico Olympics in 1968, his fifth and final appearance at the Olympic Games.

During 25 years of international competition, D’Oriola scored more than 500 victories, including Grand Prix wins in Rome (twice), Paris, Geneva, Nice and Brussels, as well as the King’s Cup in London. He was French national champion four times – in 1954, 1956, 1958 and 1959.

He lived in France, just across the border from Spain and was regularly seen at the CSIO Barcelona, which he visited every year, including 2010.

“He was an absolute gentleman and a wonderful horseman”, FEI Director Jumping John Roche said. “He will be missed greatly by all who knew him and came in contact with him.”

Caption: France's double Olympic champion Pierre Jonqueres d'Oriola, who has died at the age of 91.

IN MEMORIAM: HENRI CHAMMARTIN (SUI), 1918-2011


Henri Chammartin (SUI) and Woermann during their winning test at the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games


Olympic and European Dressage champion Henri Chammartin (SUI) passed away this week at the age of 92. A legend in the Dressage world, he competed in five consecutive editions of the Olympic Games – Helsinki 1952, Stockholm 1956, Rome 1960, Tokyo 1964, and Mexico 1968 – winning a total of five medals.

During his first Olympic participation in 1952, Chammartin was a member of the Swiss team that claimed team silver. He received his second Olympic medal – a team bronze – in 1956.

Henri Chammartin became Olympic champion in 1964 and also won his second team silver that year. He rode the 13-year-old Swedish-bred Woermann which had travelled to Tokyo only as a reserve horse to his stablemate and reigning European champion Wolfdietrich, which was unfortunately lame.

Tokyo 1964 was the first Olympic Games to which horses were flown by aircraft. The Swiss team departed from Amsterdam on 28 September at noon and arrived, with a stop-over in Anchorage, Alaska, on 29 September at 3pm.

Henri Chammartin won his final Olympic medal – a team bronze – in 1968 when he finished ninth individually. That year, he and fellow equestrian Gustav Fischer both became only the second Swiss athletes to have competed at five Olympic Games. Chammartin retired from international competition after the Mexico Olympic Games.

As a young man Chammartin loved music and played the violin. Always the artist, he placed more importance on the expression of the horse’s movements, preferring it to technical precision.

The FEI expresses its sincere condolences to the family of Henri Chammartin and to the Swiss equestrian community.



IN MEMORIAM: IRIS KELLETT (IRL), 1926-2011

DEATH OF AN IRISH LEGEND

By Louise Parkes

Iris Kellett, one of the most influential figures in the history of Irish equestrian sport, died last Friday aged 85. She leaves behind a long legacy of excellence as a competitor, trainer, breeder and horse producer but will be best remembered for her own hugely successful career and for her mentoring of many of Ireland's greatest Jumping riders including Eddie Macken.

In 1935 at the age of nine, Iris walked her pony, Sparklet, from her home at Mespil Road in Ballsbridge to win her first rosette at the RDS - and she never looked back. She placed herself firmly on the map when clinching the British Ladies National Championship in 1947 and, that same year, was a member of Ireland's very first civilian Jumping side that competed in Nations Cups at Newport and Blackpool against teams from England, Sweden and Italy. Until then the sport of Nations Cup Jumping had been restricted to members of the military. She already had 150 wins at national level under her belt.

She was always ahead of her time. At the age of 12 she was already teaching large numbers of pupils at her father, Harry Kellett's, riding school in Mespil Road. She carried a confidence and competence into everything in which she would become involved.

Iris was just 22 years old when she won the Grand Prix at Dublin Horse Show - a feat matched by only two other Irish lady riders in the history of the event. And her career went into over-drive when, in 1949, she won the coveted Princess Elizabeth Cup at White City in London, a feat she again repeated two years later. All of these successes were recorded with her great gelding Rusty who denied his humble origins as a plough-horse to become one of the true stars of his age.

A devastating schooling fall brought her career to a swift halt in 1952 however. She fell so heavily that her leg shattered and her shinbone was driven into the ground. It would be 10 years before she would be sufficiently recovered, but she made an extraordinary comeback and in 1969 was crowned Ladies European Champion at the RDS before retiring. She then concentrated her energies into training, combining the education of the next generation of Ireland's top show jumpers with riding lessons for many of Ireland's top businessmen including the inimitable Charles J. Haughey and Conor Crowley. But her star pupil was Macken. He arrived as a raw recruit in 1969 but, blessed with many of Iris's best horses including Morning Light and Maxwell, he duly followed in her legendary footsteps. Iris was also pivotal in the careers of Peter Charles and the late Paul Darragh amongst many others.

She eventually moved her training establishment to Kill in Kildare, was a Director of Bord na gCapall (Irish Horse Board) throughout the 1970s and helped develop a degree in Equitation Science at Limerick University. She judged, lectured and gave demonstrations worldwide and served on many committees, influencing the evolution of equestrianism like few others.

Such was the respect and awe in which she was held, and such was her great charm and dignity, that she was almost always addressed as "Miss Kellett". The Irish horse world is at a loss with her passing. Her funeral service takes place today (Wednesday, 16 March 2011) at St John's in Kill, Co Kildare at 11am with burial afterwards at Mount Jerome Cemetery, Harold's Cross, Dublin.





IN MEMORIAM:
LT. COL RONNIE MacMAHON (IRL)


Lt Col Ronnie MacMahon, Olympic event rider, international coach and advisor and former Officer Commanding at the Irish Army Equitation School, passed away on 11 December.



Born in Dublin in 1941, he became a commissioned officer in Ireland's elite military establishment in 1962 at the age of 21, and competed in jumping throughout the early years of his army career. However in 1969 he joined forces with a horse called San Carlos which would take him to the very top echelons in the sport of eventing. Within weeks of his new mount's arrival at McKee Barracks, the new partnership finished third at the Punchestown International Three-day Event, and from there they went from strength to strength. In 1970 they finished second at the Badminton Horse Trials and the following year reigned supreme on their home turf at Punchestown. They competed at the Olympic Games in Munich in 1972 and at the Montreal Olympic Games in 1976 and, riding Bothar Bui, Lt Col MacMahon was also fifth at Burghley in 1974.

He nurtured the career of the late Capt David Foster who was a linchpin of the Irish eventing squad for many years. Under his senior officer's guidance, Capt Foster helped Ireland win team gold for the very first time at the European Eventing Championships at Luhmühlen in 1979 riding Inis Meain, and the same horse claimed individual bronze at the Europeans in Horsens, Denmark two years later with Capt Brian MacSweeney on board. Lt Col MacMahon was also instrumental in the development of the career of Comdt Gerry Flynn who has been successful both as an eventing and jumping rider.

Over a long number of years Lt Col MacMahon was Chef d'Equipe and Coach to the Irish eventing squad, and he was a founder-member of Riding for the Disabled Association of Ireland. He was Officer Commanding at the Equitation School from 1997 to 1999 and, following his retirement, became Technical Advisor to the Show Jumping Department of the UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation for eight years. Throughout his life he filled many important roles including FEI Steward General for Ireland and Chairman of the Equestrian Committee at the Royal Dublin Society, and he had a powerful interest in Irish horse breeding. With great foresight he joined with Miss Eileen Parkhill to establish the Irish Half-Bred Breeders Register in the early 1970s, and in latter years devoted a great deal of his time to the highly-successful Future Event Horse League which he helped create and which has proven highly influential in identifying and developing the talents and skills of Irish horses and riders.

FEI President, HRH Princess Haya, paid tribute to him. "It is difficult to find the words to convey what Lt Col Ronnie MacMahon meant to me and to so many others in the equestrian world. He was a man of great strength, and clear vision, who loved Ireland, and celebrated the very best of its equestrian tradition through the people he touched in nearly every corner of the world, always with dignity and respect, always with humour and a kind word. He was one of the richest horsemen, in spirit and soul, that I have ever known. The global equestrian community has lost one its greatest ambassadors, and one of its truest human beings", she said.

Lt Col MacMahon is survived by his wife, Judy, and their daughters Clare and Emily. Mr Joe Walsh, Chairman of Horse Sport Ireland, will represent FEI President HRH Princess Haya at his funeral, which will take place in Trim Cathedral in County Meath, Ireland.






Kelvy 1980-2011


We lost our beloved thoroughbred mare today just 10 days short of her 31st birthday. Kelvy was a direct descendant of Man o' War. This morning when I went to the barn to feed her she remained stationary in her stall. Her many years had left her weak in her hind end and she was having difficulty walking. It is always hard to make this decision. Joan has cared for her for the last 26 years. It was, sadly, her time and she will be greatly missed by all. Also of great sadness to our family is that as the sun sets tonight, for the first time in 25 years, Bit by Bit farm will have empty stalls. No need to go down at nine o’clock for night hay and a few carrot treats or to rise early for morning hay feeding. An empty barn and an emptiness in our hearts.