Roger Haller (USA), cross country course designer for the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games and the 1978 FEI World Championships course in Kentucky (USA), passed away peacefully at home in Georgia on 30 March 2016 following a battle with cancer. He had celebrated his 70th birthday on 13 March.
Roger Haller was a former Vice Chair and member of the FEI Eventing Committee and a much respected FEI Technical Delegate, who devoted his life to the sport of Eventing as an athlete, course designer, event organiser and judge.
He played a major role in the evolution of the sport of Eventing and, as a member of the FEI Eventing Committee, played a key role in the redrafting of the discipline rules, including the introduction of the star-system for international events.
Roger Haller developed a love for Eventing at a young age. He started competing in equitation classes at the age of nine and was riding at the United States Equestrian Team (USET) headquarters by the time he was 17. In 1972, he was selected as the alternate rider for the US Olympic squad in Munich (GER) and was also shortlisted for the 1974 FEI World Championships on Golden Griffin.
He served as Vice President of the United States Eventing Association (USEA) and was a long-standing member of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) High Performance Committee, the USEF Licensed Officials Committee, and the USEF Eventing Technical Committee, serving as its chairman for two years. He was also Executive Director of the Pan American Equestrian Confederation’s General Assembly.
The USEA acknowledged his contribution to the sport in 2012 when they inducted him into the Hall of Fame.
“Roger was hugely influential in the development of the sport of Eventing”, FEI Eventing and Olympic Director Catrin Norinder said. “Roger’s contribution to Eventing as an FEI Official has been invaluable. During his four-year term on the FEI Eventing Committee he established the blueprint for a much more direct cooperation between Technical Delegates and organising committees, and was instrumental in the redrafting of the Rules book and the development of Continental Cups for Eventing. He was such a great character with a really wonderful sense of humour. He will be sadly missed by all of us in the Eventing community.”
The FEI extends its sincere condolences to Roger Haller’s wife Ann, sister Barbra Pace and step-siblings Sidney Funston and Richard Reid, his many friends and to the USEF, USEA and the global Eventing community.