Captain John “Jack” Fritz, born in 1924, rode horses as a child and was introduced to dressage while studying at Princeton University. While stationed in Tokyo during World War II, he developed his passion for three-day eventing through his friendship with Japanese officers who had competed in the 1932 and 1936 Olympic Games. Upon returning to the United States, he began teaching at various institutions, including Culver Military Academy and Farleigh Dickinson University. Fritz obtained his judge and technical delegate licenses during this time and was one of the first dressage and eventing judges in the 1950s. He served at many competitions, including the 1984 Olympic Games and the 1987 Pan American Games.
Fritz was one of the “founding fathers” of eventing in the United States and helped establish the USCTA in 1959. He held innumerable leadership roles in equestrian sport throughout his life, including governor and vice president of the Association, founding member of the United States Dressage Federation (USDF), vice president and president of the United States Pony Club, member of the USET Board of Directors, and chairman of the AHSA Dressage and Eventing Committees. He was a member of the group that created the North American Young Rider Championships and served as a judge, technical delegate, and steward at the competition. Fritz was a recipient of the Wofford Cup in 1978 and the USEF Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000.
Fritz not only spent countless hours drawing up rules and regulations and defining and formulating the precepts by which the sport is governed, he also served as a judge and technical delegate, seeing that the rules he helped create were properly enforced. Generations of Pony Clubbers knew him as the man who set the high standards for United States Pony Club (USPC) examinations, and many young riders were encouraged and helped to further their riding careers through his efforts. "Ubiquity" is defined as the "state of being in an indefinite number of places at once; omnipresence; the state of existing always without beginning or end," and is an apt description of Fritz. He was forever giving of his time and traveled around the world to support and contribute to the sport of eventing.