Roger Haller, USA & International Eventing, Equestrian Official, Dies From Cancer – 1946-2016
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Mar. 31, 2016
Roger Haller, the highly respected eventing official and active in international horse sports including for the Pan American Games equine organization, has died of cancer. He was 70 years old.
Roger, whose Hoopstick Farm in Bedminister, New Jersey, was a horse trials center for decades, was known throughout the world of eventing and other international horse activities for his extensive involvement in all aspects of the sport.
He was on numerous committees for both the U.S. Eventing Association as well as the U.S. Equestrian Federation and was involved in development of the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event from its creation in 1978.
Known for a serious sense of fair play, he took the unusual step at the 2007 Pan American Games in Brazil to halt the eventing jumping at the Deodoro grounds where the Olympic equestrian events will be staged this year.
The crowd that had been bused into the stadium in the heart of a miliarty base an hour outside Rio acted like rowdies at a soccer game, booing non-Brazilian riders when they cleared a jump and cheering when they pulled a rail. The announcer was urging on the crowd and some prominent Brazilian riders were at the in-gate to further incense the crowd. A Canadian rider made headlines and the front page of Brazilian newspapers when he gave the finger to the crowd after completing his round. Although there were concerns of potential violence, Roger stopped the competition, ordered the announcer to tone down his remarks and cleared the in-gate area before allowing the competition to resume.
His action won plaudits through the eventing world.
Most of the posts he held as Olympic Course designer, international Technical Delegate, judge and organizer were as a volunteer.
He was an advanced level rider, being shortlisted for the 1974 World Championships on his Golden Griffin.
In recent years, he became deeply involved in development of horse sports in Central and South America.
Roger was inducted into the U.S. Eventing Hall of Fame in 2012.