Eventing lost a wonderful man Sunday, June 23 as Donald Trotter passed away peacefully after battling a short illness. Trotter was a key contributor through his volunteerism to the sport of eventing. Together, Trotter and his wife, Pam Duffy, owned Sunsprite Warmbloods, breeding and placing many top horses.
Helping riders, Trotter could always be found by the warmup. No, not just watching his horses go, but acting as ring steward. “As a horse show husband, I frequently found myself bored beyond belief at shows. I had nothing to do and often found myself hanging out at our rider's barns,” he said in an Athletux Volunteer of the Month article in 2016. Then finally in 2009 Trotter was offered a job he couldn’t refuse: ring steward. He enjoyed volunteering so much that he reached out to event organizer and friend, Robert Kellerhouse, asking if he could try out a few other volunteer positions. Kellerhouse let Trotter experiment with different jobs from cross-country control to jump judge but he always found his way back to ring steward, his favorite.
Trotter said his satisfaction with his favorite job was simple, “If my presence in warmup makes a rider more relaxed or an organizer more confident the show will run on time, then I'm doing my job to contribute to the sport of eventing. That's rewarding to me.” His presence was calming and nice to find in a sometimes crowded and hectic warmup. Many riders are notoriously tense before competition and you can bet Trotter was always there with a subtle joke to make them laugh or a few kind words to relieve any nerves.
Trotter made an impact in whatever he did. Originally working for the United Nations, in addition to Sunsprite and his volunteer work, he excelled in crafting breathtaking show jumping fences with his business Jumpwerks and was a passionate horticulturist of exotic plants. Together with his lovely wife Duffy, Trotter also helped spearhead new volunteer recognition software, created several awards to recognize volunteers, and received numerous awards himself for his dedication to the sport.
Duffy has suggested the best way to honor Trotter’s memory is to go volunteer. Volunteering is the heart of the sport and volunteering brought Trotter great joy.
At this time arrangements are being made for a Celebration of Life. Details will be made available as soon as they are known. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Volunteer Incentive Program at www.useafoundation.org/donate.
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The USEA Future Event Horse (FEH) East Coast Championships concluded Sunday, October 26 with a spectacular showing by the 2-year-olds and yearlings at Loch Moy Farm in Adamstown, Maryland. Seven fillies and eight colts were presented to judges Robin Walker and Lori Hoos in the FEH 2-Year-Old Championship, while the FEH Yearling Championship was composed of seven fillies and three colts. Both divisions were divided into fillies and colts sections for placing, in addition to overall division champion.
From Washington to Vermont, Championships were held on both coasts over the September 18-19 weekend. The Area I Championships took place at the GMHA September Horse Trials in South Woodstock, Vermont where over 60 pairs battled it out for the champion title. The organizers of the Area I Championships would like to thank Essex Equine Inc. for serving as the official pinny sponsors and North Bridge Equine for being the start box sponsor! Flatlandsfoto was the prize sponsor for the championship divisions, as well as the event’s official photographer. Following the weekend’s festivities, we chatted with some of the newly minted champions to share their thoughts on the weekend and their performance overall.
The first of the USEA Future Event Horse (FEH) East Coast Champions were crowned today at the FEH East Coast Championships held at Loch Moy Farm in Adamstown, Maryland. Eight colts and fillies were presented to judges Robin Walker and Lori Hoos in the FEH 4-year-old Championship, while the 3-year-old division was split into two sections: a FEH 4-year-old Colt Championship consisting of eight colts, and a FEH 4-year-old Filly Championship consisting of ten fillies.