S. William Jorgensen
Samuel William “Bill” Jorgensen, a USEF R-rated jumper judge and announcer at A-rated shows throughout the West, died on Jan. 4 due to complications from liver failure. He was 43.
Mr. Jorgensen, a native of Salt Lake City, Utah, had lived in Arizona since 1986. He and his wife, Wendy Dean Jorgensen, owned and operated Rancho Decano, a hunter/jumper training center, in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Mr. Jorgensen graduated from the University of Nevada, where he was a senator in the student government and a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. He became involved with the horse show circuit through Wendy, his wife of 20 years. Horse show manager Chris Collman said that Mr. Jorgensen used to compete in the jumper division, before he decided he wanted to be involved in other aspects of horse showing.
“When he stopped riding at the horse shows, he came to me and said he still wanted to come to the horse shows with Wendy, so I let him start announcing,” said Collman. “Later, he became a jumper ring judge and worked for me announcing and judging. He was a very good and loyal friend. I’ll miss him all my life.”
With his friend’s encouragement, Mr. Jorgensen served as announcer and judge all over the West, including the High Prairie (Colo.) shows and the Tucson Winter Classic (Ariz.). He served as treasurer of the Arizona Horse Exhibitor’s Association from 1994 to 1996.
Most people will remember Mr. Jorgensen for his sense of humor. Carol Schwanz, a student at Rancho Decano, wrote in his memorial:
“I have known Bill since I was 15 years old, back when Bill still sported his ponytail, and from day 1 he always made me smile. Sitting in the show booth with Bill while he judged or announced brought more laughs than imaginable.”
In addition to his wife, Mr. Jorgensen is survived by parents Marlene and Sam Jorgensen of Pleasant View, Utah, and sisters Carma Jorgensen, Sandi Collier, and De Ann Sorensen, as well as seven nieces and nephews, all of whom reside near Salt Lake City, Utah.
A memorial service will be held at Rancho Decano on March 28.
Legendary huntsman Thady Ryan, master of Ireland’s Scarteen Hounds for 58 years, died Jan. 7 in New Zealand. He was 81.
Mr. Ryan carried the horn for the Scarteen Black and Tan hounds for 41 years, beginning in 1946. He was the seventh generation of Ryan family members to hunt the famed Scarteen hounds in Ireland’s Tipperary and Limerick counties. Mr. Ryan was noted not only as a remarkable huntsman, but also as a leading breeder of hounds and a distinguished ambassador for hunting.
He frequently hunted abroad, in England, the United States, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
Mr. Ryan also served as the chef d’equipe of the Irish eventing team at the 1964 and ’68 Olympics, was a founding member of the Irish Horse Board, and served as chairman of the equestrian committee of the Royal Dublin Society. He judged horse shows and was an avid horse breeder as well.
In 1986, Mr. Ryan passed the horn of the Scarteen on to his son, Chris, and moved to New Zealand with his wife. He brought several Irish Draught stallions to the country, promoting the breed. He continued to hunt in New Zealand, Ireland, England and the United States. In 2002, he published an autobiography, called My Privileged Life.
Mr. Ryan is survived by his wife, Anne Peter, a daughter and four sons.
The Thoroughbred stallion Theodore (Anticipating–Miss Witty, Better Bee) was humanely destroyed at North Carolina State University on Nov. 11 following severe colic. He was 24.
A stakes-placed, allowance winner in New York, “Teddy” became the foundation sire for Dr. P. Wynn Norman’s Sportponies Unlimited. In 16 years at stud, Teddy produced many successful offspring, including AHSA/USEF National Champion I Don’t Know, FEI-level dressage horse Theodore I, intermediate-level eventer Theodore O’Connor, and champion endurance horse VSF Otis.
Frances C. Lee
Mrs. Frances C. Lee, of The Plains, Va., died at her home on Jan. 1. She was 86.
Mrs. Lee grew up in Pennsylvania and taught riding lessons at Arlington Hall near Washington D.C. during the 1940s.
She later became a bookkeeper for Brookmeade Farm in Upperville, Va., and rode and showed hunters astride and side-saddle until an injury, sustained when a horse fell on her, ended her riding career in the 1970s. Mrs. Lee was a USEF R-rated judge and officiated at such shows as Devon (Pa.) and the National Horse Show (N.Y.). She was also a member of the Orange County Hunt (Va.).
She is survived by her husband of more than 50 years, John B. Lee, and her daughter, Berkley Lee.
Memorial contributions can be made to The Middleburg Humane Foundation, P.O. Box 1238, Middleburg, VA 20118 or The Nature Conservancy, 4245 North Fairfax Dr., Suite 100, Arlington, VA 22203-1606, (703) 841-8788
Lord Hugh Russell
Lord Hugh Russell, for almost half a century a stalwart of British eventing, died during the first week of January at his home in Wales. He was 81.
Lord Hugh and his wife, Rosemary, ran the Wylye Horse Trials, at the advanced level, at their home from 1961 to 1990.
They also allowed the British team to train there before championships, while Rosemary trained scores of riders there all year long. The couple also competed in eventing and was at one time also joint masters of the Mendip Farmers Hunt.
Lord Hugh was also a busy administrator, serving on various eventing and British Horse Society committees for more than two decades. He was chairman of the Selection Committee for the 1976 Olympics.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by his children, Mark and Karen.
Irish show jumper Paul Darragh died at his home in Co. Meath, Ireland, on Jan. 3 after a heart attack. He was 51.
Mr. Darragh made his Nations Cup debut at age 19 in 1972 after winning two individual silver medals in the European Young Riders Championships. He rode on 53 Irish Nations Cup teams, winning at the CSIO Dublin (Ireland) for three consecutive years. He last rode on the Irish team in 2000, scoring a double-clear as part of the team’s winning effort in Modena (Italy). He also won the Hickstead Derby (England) in 1975 on Pele.
After retiring from international competition, Mr. Darragh set up a training center.
He is survived by his wife, Jayne; daughters Linda and Amy; and son Andrew.