His influence on horse sports will never be forgotten.
We were sorry to hear that Don Burt passed away on November 25. Burt was a well-known, highly respected advocate of reining and all equestrian sports. Residing in California, he was instrumental in getting reining approved as an FEI sport.
Over the years, he served as AQHA president (inducted into the AQHA Hall of Fame in 2004), and he was awarded the USEF Lifetime Achievement Award and the Jimmy A. Williams Trophy in 2007. He was also added to the Honor Roll of Distinguished Officials in 2011.
According to the AQHA Hall of Fame site, “During World War II, Burt and his friends would ride their horses over the Hollywood Hills to shows.
“‘We would leave our stable at two in the morning,’ he said, ‘ride all the way over the Hollywood Hills, show all day and ride back that night. That’s really wanting to show horses.’
“When Burt was in high school, he worked at the Marwyck Ranch, which was owned by Barbara Stanwyck and Groucho Marx. He galloped racehorses in the mornings, and worked the show horses in the afternoons. A training injury later in life led him to judging. ”
Burt leaves behind some big shoes to fill. He will be missed.