Howald Pferdekaemper, German-Born Pioneer of Florida Dressage, Dead at Age 92
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Jan 31, 2023
Howald Pferdekaemper a pioneer in staging dressage competitions including creating White Fences dressage center and The Palm Beach Dressage Derby has died at the age of 92.
Howald and and his wife, Gisela, first came to Florida from Germany in 1975 with a Hanoverian stallion and 32 broodmares.
After being based initially in Indiantown, about 40 miles/64km north of Wellington, they moved to Loxahatchee, a neighboring community to Wellington.
There, they created White Fences dressage center that was the center of international dressage in South Florida for several years. It is now owned by Adam Pollack and hosts eight national dressage events.
The Palm Beach Dressage Derby was created by the Pferdekampers in 1983 as the premier event at its shows. It was later taken over by Mary Anne McPhail and celebrates its 40th anniversary as part of the Global Dressage Festival in Wellington Mar. 1-5.
Janne Rumbaugh with Howald Pferdekaemper who worked together to create the Palm Beach Dressage Derby 30 years ago. Photo: Courtesy Janne Rumbaugh Archives
Janne, a Danish-born rider who helped the Pferdekempers organize their first events, described Howald as “a wonderful and kind person.”
Robert Dover, the six-time Olympian for the United States and a competitor at the shows, said Howald “was an amazing man and father to two great sons.”
Howald is survived by his widow, Gisela, a prominent equestrian artist, and sons Marcus and Till.