March 13, 1946 – March 30, 2016
The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is sad to announce that Roger Haller passed away from cancer on Wednesday, March 30.
The son of Elliot Haller and Jean Haller Reid, Roger grew up with a love for horses. He was riding and competing in equitation classes by 9-years-old, and became involved in the Junior Essex Troop, which was a riding group for schoolboys in the area. By 17-years-old Roger was riding at the United States Equestrian Team’s (USET) Headquarters in Gladstone, N.J. Roger was a member of the Somerset Hills Pony Club and achieved his ‘A’ rating at the age of 18.
By his early twenties, Roger served as Area II Chairman, on the Board of the United States Combined Training Association (USCTA), the Board for the United States Pony Club (USPC) and on the American Horse Show Association’s (AHSA) Events Committee.
Roger’s family farm, Hoopstick Farm, in Bedminster, N.J., became the original site of the Essex Horse Trials thanks to many efforts of Roger and his parents. The Essex Horse Trials hosted their first event in 1968, and Roger was the first organizer, course designer and course builder for the event.
Roger building at Ledyard.
Roger’s contributions to the sport of eventing are nearly impossible to list. He was a course designer, technical delegate, judge, organizer and volunteer. Roger designed the cross-country courses for such notable events including the 1978 World Championships in Lexington, Ky. and the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Ga. He officiated in 46 different states and 14 countries as well as judging at major events across North and South America including Rolex Kentucky.
He was a life-long volunteer of the former USCTA (now USEA), and served as Vice President with Denny Emerson, a member of the Rules Committee and Editor of USCTA News. He also served on what is now called the USEF Eventing High Performance Committee and the USEF Technical Committee. Most recently, Roger served as the Executive Director of the Pan American Equestrian Confederation’s General Assembly.
Roger knew the sport inside and out and could nearly recite the rulebook, as he was a major contributor to its composition. He was a member of the FEI’s Eventing Committee and in 1990 he, alongside Hugh Thomas, revised the rules for eventing. The changes they implemented helped bring the sport into the “modern era” and introduce the star system, which is now a central part of the sport on an international stage.
In addition to his behind-the-scenes roles, Roger also had many successes in his personal riding. He rode through the Advanced and three-star level with his own Golden Griffin. He spent the summer of 1975 training in England with Griffin and was entered in the Badminton Horse Trials that spring.
Roger was inducted into the USEA Hall of Fame in 2012. Eventing as we know it is thanks to Roger’s many years of service. He was surely one of the most dedicated individuals to eventing, and his legacy will live through the sport.
Roger being inducted into the USEA Hall of Fame. StockImageServices.com Photo.
Roger and his wife, Ann Haller at the USCTA Annual Meeting in 1993.
Roger is survived by his wife, Ann Haller, another life-long supporter of eventing, his sister Barbra Pace and step-siblings Sidney Funston and Richard Reid.
A celebration of Roger’s life will be held Wednesday, April 6 at 4:30 p.m. EST, at The Old Church, 1011 Wesley St., Oxford, GA 30054. A memorial gathering is also being planned for April 28, the Thursday of Rolex Kentucky. Details to follow. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the U.S. Equestrian Team Foundation, Box 355, Gladstone, N.J. 07934.
Derek di Grazia’s cross-country courses at The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International is the setting for all the action today in Elkton, Md. Here is what you need to know to follow along:
With 70 percent of the scores coming from the second day of the USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) East Coast Championships, the 4- and 5-year-olds had a big moment in front of them to impress the judges Chris Ryan and Sally Ike. The horses were judged over a set of show jumps (15 percent) then moved directly into the cross-country portion (30 percent) before finally showing off their gallop and earning an overall score for their jumping (15 percent) and general impression (10 percent).
At the end of a busy day wrapping up the dressage phase of The Dutta Corp. Fair Hill International Three-Day (FHI), two new riders took over the top of the leaderboards. Mara DePuy and Congo Brazzaville Z moved into first in The Dutta Corp./USEF CCI4*-L Eventing National Championship with their 28.6, while Alexa Gartenberg and Louis M claimed the pinnacle position in The Dutta Corp./USEF CCI3*-L Eventing National Championship on a 25.9.
On this week's episode of the USEA Podcast, prepare to "winterize" your horse with tips from both a rider's perspective and a veterinarian's perspective. First, five-star eventer Emily Beshear shares her tips for helping your horse adjust to the cooler temperatures. Then, her husband Dr. Jeff Beshear provides tips from a vet's point of view on how best to care for your horse as the season changes.