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.
There aren’t many riders who can say they competed at five of the world’s seven five-star events in 2023, but the 2023 World Equestrian Brands USEA Rider of the Year Boyd Martin can. With nine starts across the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, Longines Luhmühlen Horse Trials (Germany), Defender Burghley Horse Trials (England), MARS Maryland 5 Star, and Pau (France), Martin earned five top-5 finishes.
The U.S. Equestrian Federation has announced the combinations selected to compete in the 2024 USEF Futures Team Challenge at the Carolina International CCI and Horse Trials, from March 14-17 in Raeford, North Carolina. The Challenge is designed to replicate the experience of competing within a team environment and thus is a training opportunity embedded within an existing competition at the CCI3* and CCI4* levels.
Are you following along with the action from home this weekend? Or maybe you're competing at an event and need information fast. Either way, we’ve got you covered! Check out the USEA’s Weekend Quick Links for links to information including the prize list, ride times, live scores, and more for all the events running this weekend.
The Colorado Horse Park (CHP) in Parker, Colorado, has deep roots in the sport of eventing. Originally known as High Prairie Farms, owner Helen Krieble purchased the property in the early 1990s with one dream: hosting horse trials. That dream took off and for many years High Prairie Farm was host to many eventing competitions. Krieble later donated the ground to Douglas County with the agreement that the land would be used for equestrian sport and the CHP was born.