Cara Whitham Farewells Global Dressage Festival In Final Year As 5* Judge

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Cara Whitham (in blue jacket) with fellow judges Hans-Christian Matthiesen of Denmark, Irinia Maknami of Russia, Stephen Clarke of Great Britain, Christoph Hess of Germany, Annette Fransen Iacobeaus of Sweden and Mike Osinski of the United States. © 2017 Ken Braddick/

WELLINGTON, Florida, Feb. 12, 2017–Cara Whitham judged as a FEI 5* at the Adequan Global Dressage Dressage Festival for the last time Sunday as she wraps up her final year as a top ranked judge.

Cara was appointed as an “O” judge–re-designated as FEI 5*–in 2004 for dressage as well as eventing, the only top ranked official in the world for both disciplines at the time.

She has been on dressage judging panels at the world’s major equestrian events including the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Kentucky, the 2003 and 2011 Pan American Games and the 2005 European Championships.

She was on the eventing ground jury for the 2004 Athens Olympics as well as the 1998 and 2002 World Games.

During a career in equestrian sports she was named several times as both short and long listed rider for Canadian dressage teams, was chef d’equipe for the Canadian team at the 2004 Los Angeles Olympics and organizer of numerous events in Canada and active in development of the sport there.

Cara will be technical delegate of the North American Junior & Young Rider Championships as she has for many years and has been appointed technical delegate of the World Games in Tryon, North Carolina next year.

Her departure as a judge at the end of the year is the latest in prospective aging out of judges whose tenure ends at the age of 70 but can be extended with two yearly renewals as was the case with Cara.

Lilo Fore of the United States retired while Anne Gribbons and Gary Rockwell are in their 70th years and could have extensions approved. Linda Zang will mark the same milestone next year.

The FEI has not approved any new 5* judges for the United States in recent years, including a replacement for Lilo.