Gerd Zuther, one of the most renowned trainers of horses and riders in the USA, died at the age of 78 years after a long, serious illness.
He was closely associated with the Hanoverian and has supported the development and distribution of the Hanoverian breed in the USA for decades, among other things as a member of the evaluation commissions for mares and stallions of the American Hanoverian Association. Born in Stettin, Germany, the family fled with little Gerd to Schleswig-Holstein. The love for horses came about through daily work in the fields. After his training as a rider, he qualified as an FN riding instructor. As a rider, he was active in all three Olympic disciplines, in dressage up to Grand Prix level. His teachers included personalities such as Walter Günther, Harry Boldt, Willi Schultheis and Hans-Heinrich Brinkmann - names that stand for classical German riding, which Gerd Zuther also internalized, lived and spread in the USA. 1979 followed the jump to the USA. He became head of the November Hill Farm in Virginia, which was owned by the German entrepreneur Otto-Rudolf Fuchs, Meinerzhagen. He imported horses from Germany, held auctions and every two years the 100-day test for stallions, a first for North America. He had learned the tools for this test at the Klosterhof Medingen, where he had worked as a trainer for many years and also supervised the stallion performance test. After the sale of November Hill Farm, he set up his own business together with his wife Yvonne and moved to the northeast, to the Boston area. He was in great demand as a trainer and gave many courses throughout the USA. One of the highlights of his work was the 2012 Olympic Games in London. He looked after eventing rider Nina Ligon, who started for Thailand, with Butt's Leon from Hanover, who had previously been one of Andreas Dibowski's top horses. In this capacity, Gerd Zuther was a member of the Thai eventing team. With his straightforwardness, his humor, his clear words in many discussions and his uncompromising representation of classical, equine training, Gerd Zuther leaves a big gap in the world of sport horses.
Mr. Zuther wished to help his grandson, Lucas, acquire a service dog to help him navigate the effects of epilepsy and complications from cancer treatment he received after being diagnosed with and surviving Stage IV Burkitt’s Lymphoma at 3-years-old. In lieu of flowers, donations for this valuable addition to Lucas' treatment may be sent directly to Lucas Ayers, PO Box 713, Marion, MA 02738.