Lila Kommerstad, Prominent Supporter of USA Dressage, Dies at Age 94 – A Tribute by Steffen & Shannon Peters to his First Sponsor

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Lila Kommerstad with Steffen Peters on Udon; Robert Kommerstad, successful investor and philanthropist, and Hans Hermann Peters, Steffen’s father. Photo courtesy Steffen Peters

Aug. 24, 2020

Editor’s Note: Lila Kommerstad, who with her husband, Robert, was the first sponsor of Steffen Peters, died Sunday at the age of 94. Lila and Bob were married for 46 years when he died in 2002 after a career as a successful investor and philanthropist.

A tribute by STEFFEN and SHANNON PETERS

Yesterday evening we lost Lila Kommerstad, who was was an extremely generous and kind-hearted supporter for the dressage community in the United States.

My American Mom, as Lila referred to herself in nearly every phone conversation, opened so many doors for me. Without Lila, I would have never received a spot on the 1996 Olympic team and Shannon and I would have never been able to operate the beautiful Equestrian facility, Arroyo Del Mar in San Diego, California.

It was in 1990 when Lila and Bob purchased Udon from our family. It is so wonderful to remember how horses can bring so many people together and build long lasting incredibly loving and caring relationships. This was certainly the case between Lila and Bob and my family.

I remember the pride that I witnessed, when Udon contributed to the bronze medal in 1996 in Atlanta. This was truly the team work of two families joining together to achieve the ultimate goal. Not just winning a team bronze medal, but pure happiness, appreciation and gratitude. All of this happened because of Lila’s vision and incredible support.

Lila purchased Akeena in 1992. Once again, in 1994 our families met in St. Louis for the Olympic Festival, where Lila witnessed her horse winning a team and individual gold medal. The joy, the happy tears and and the deep bond between incredible human beings turned Lila’s journey with horses into memories which touched so many lives.

I will miss our phone calls every Wednesday and every Sunday. But the memories will last forever.

With the deepest appreciation and love,

Steffen and Shannon