The endurance community is mourning the loss of Kathy Brunjes, a rider who competed at the highest level and was also involved in the governance of the sport.
The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) said Brunjes, 59, lost her courageous fight against cancer on Thursday.
Brunjes was an avid endurance rider, logging 6745 lifetime competition miles.
Her passion for the sport of endurance saw her compete all over the world, including representing the United States in Jerez, Spain at the 2004 FEI World Endurance Championships.
Brunjes then travelled to Abu Dhabi, UAE in 2008 to compete in the President’s Cup and later the same year as a member of the US squad at the FEI World Endurance Championship in Malaysia.
She participated in governance of the sport as a member of the USEF Board of Directors since 2007.
She served on the Youth Sports Committee, the Administration and Finance Working Group, the Endurance High Performance Committee and was the chair of the Endurance Eligible Athletes’ Committee.
Brunjes was also active within the American Endurance Ride Conference as a former chair and as a member of the International Committee.
Brunjes’ contributions were not limited to equestrian sport; she served as the Director of Library Services in her home state of Maine.
Brunjes was instrumental in instituting the Maine Humanities Council Literature and Medicine: Humanities at the Heart of Healthcare program, receiving the Eleanor Cains Distinguished Medical Librarian Award in 2005. Governor John Baldacci appointed Brunjes to the Maine State Library/State of Maine Library Commission.
“The Federation sends our deepest sympathies and condolences to the Brunjes family and to the entire endurance community,” USEF chief executive John Long said.
“Kathy was a tireless ambassador for the sport both on the field of play and off; her dedication to equestrian sport was unrivaled. She will be greatly missed.”