US equestrian supporter and official Bruce Duchossois has died at the age of 64 following a battle with cancer.
Duchossois, who was vice-president of the United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation, died on Wednesday.
Elected vice-president of the USET in 2013, Duchossois gave generously of his own time and resources for the betterment of the high performance equestrian sport in the United States. He served as a member of the USET Foundation Executive Committee, as the Chairman of the Development Committee and as a trustee of the foundation for 16 years.
“Bruce’s passing is an incredible loss to everyone who was blessed to know him. His love of the sport and his enthusiasm for our United States Equestrian Teams was unparalleled,” said Tucker Johnson, President and CEO of the USET Foundation.
“He led by example not only in his support but also in the time he gave and the committees he served and chaired. We were so fortunate to have Bruce as part of the USET Foundation leadership and will miss him very much.”
An accomplished rider, he began riding hunters in the 1960s and in 1973 rode his hunter Kim’s Song to an American Horse Shows Association Horse of the Year title.
Duchossois also owned horses competing in driving, eventing and showjumping, and was a partner in Phillip Dutton’s True Prospect Farm in West Grove, Pennsylvania . Of the most notable of Duchossois’s horses was Connaught. Ridden by Phillip Dutton, Connaught helped the US Eventing Team earn Team Gold and Individual Silver at the 2007 Pan American Games, and in 2008, Connaught won the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event.
Another of his horses, Mighty Nice, also ridden by Dutton, is short listed for the 2014 World Equestrian Games.
Duchossois was member of the Aiken Hounds in South Carolina for more than 30 years, and he formerly served on the Aiken Training Track’s board. He was a former Aiken Steeplechase Association officer, and he owned the Aiken Horse Park.Duchossois was a 2014 inductee into the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame, and he received an Equestrian Aid Foundation Luminary Award last year.
He was also a member of the board of directors for the National Horse Show Association, a member of the US Hunter Jumper Association, a life member of the United States Equestrian Federation, American Quarter Horse Association, and the US Eventing Association, among a number of other roles. In February 2013, he was awarded the Equestrian Aid Foundation’s Luminary Award.
Duchossois served as the Executive Director of Friends of Handicapped Riders, also volunteering his time as a walker within their therapy program. His generosity and support also spilled over to the Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center (VTRC) in West Palm Beach, Florida. He adopted a horse each year for use by the VTRC, even then rehoming two of their retired therapeutic horses to his own barn.
Duchossois’ excellence and integrity continued into the show ring where he competed as one of the nation’s leading exhibitors in the Adult and Amateur-Owner Hunter divisions. He dedicated his life to the equestrian sport, and his legacy will live on as the epitome of a true horseman.