Previous USEA Board of Governor and Vice President of Admin and Finance, Mike Winter, passed away yesterday due to complications from ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease).
Winter was born in St. Louis, Missouri to Woodie G. and Suzanne Winter. He married Rhonda Lynn Robinson in 1980. Winter graduated from the General Motors Institute and earned a Doctor of Jurisprudence and a Masters in Business Administration from Indiana University.
Winter didn’t take up riding until after his marriage to his longtime wife, Rhonda. They began taking beginner lessons together and hoped to have a few horses to trail ride on their farm in Indiana. A trip to the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event hooked Winter on the sport of eventing and in 1988 (just a year after his first ever riding lesson) Winter made his eventing debut.
Winter competed through the Intermediate level and at such prestigious events as the DeBroke Championships and the North Georgia Three-Day Event. All the while launching three different businesses including his most recent business, Financial Vision. Winter served as the chairman of the Dean’s Industrial Advisory Committee for the Engineering School at IUPUI and received their Spirit of Philanthropy award.
Winter’s spent countless hours giving back to the sport of eventing including helping turn the site of the 1987 Pan American Games – the Hooosier Horse Park – into an eventing venue for every level. He served as Area VIII Chair from 2005 to 2009, and in 2009 was asked to join the USEA Board of Governors as Treasurer. He eventually became Vice President of Administration and Finance and served on the Board until 2014. His leadership through the post-recession years was invaluable to the Association and the USEA staff.
Winter was awarded a USEA Governor’s Cup in 2013 and last December he was honored with the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award by Carol Kozlowski. In her speech, Kozlowski said about Winter, “To me, what makes Mike truly special and so deserving of the President’s Award is that his presence in the eventing community represents all that is so incredible about the amateur side of the sport. [Eventing] attracts remarkably interesting people with diverse professions, model work ethics, compassion, and love for people and animals, and value for rich relationships with people, dogs, and horses that seems to be unmatched. A sense of responsibility to give more than you receive and the desire to guard and protect what is good about the sport while working to improve where opportunity allows.”
The dressage test is the first of the three phases in eventing. Intended to demonstrate "the harmonious development of the physique and ability of the horse," the dressage test contains a prescribed list of movements to be carried out in front of a judge, or judges, and which is then given a penalty score that horse and rider carry through to the end of the competition.
On Sunday, June 16, Molly Sullivan and Kate Swain were named the two winners of the Charles Owen Technical Merit award for Area IX at Golden Spike Horse Trials.
Tim Price (NZL) won the Longines CCI5*-L with Ascona M in a nail-biting finish. He jumped clear, but didn’t quite make the time allowed; however, he had a cushion with Alex Bragg (GBR) and Zagreb dropping a pole.
One of the most highly respected event officials in the country, Wayne Quarles, will be judging Area IX’s USEA Charles Owen Technical Merit Award (COTM) at Golden Spike Horse Trials in Ogden, Utah on Sunday, June 16.