By Nathan Reimer

It is with sadness that we announce the passing of long-time equestrian, coach, volunteer, and retired FEI dressage judge, Susan Rothgeb, who passed away on September 29, 2015 at the age of 78. 

Born in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, Susan moved to New Mexico where she took up riding at the age of 10. By the mid-1960s, she relocated to Montreal, and spent her time indulging her passion for dressage. But it wasn’t until 1970 that her career truly took off, after she and her husband purchased Hopewell Farm in Glengarry County, ON. It was during this period of her life that Susan became instrumental in Glengarry’s 4-H horse club, hosting numerous events and founding the Glengarry Area Dressage Group. Her efforts brought awareness to the discipline of dressage - and for that, Canadian equestrian can thank Susan Rothgeb for her influence in the evolution of the sport.

By the early 1980s, Susan shifted her focus to judging, and spent the next two and half decades judging international level shows in Canada, the US, and abroad, often judging Olympic and Pan American Games qualifying events. 

Wanting to give back to the equine community, Susan volunteered her time beginning in 2009 as Chair of the Dressage Canada Board, then as Chair of the High Performance Committee, which is the management arm that supports the Canadian Olympic Dressage Team. And in 2010, more than 60 years since she initially took up riding, Susan was inducted into the Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame. 

Essentially Susan had had two careers: one as a rider and coach, and the other as a judge; she excelled in both. 

A memorial of Susan impressive life will be held in late October. And to honour her memory, Susan’s family has requested you perform an unexpected and random act of kindness in her name. 

In Susan’s honour, the Officials Bursary has been renamed The Sue Rothgeb Officials Development Bursary, of which funds will be distributed to deserving applicants, commencing in 2016. 

For more information regarding donations to The Sue Rothgeb Officials Development Bursary, contact Christine Peters,  

With files from Equine Canada,

Photo: Sue-Rothgeb –



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