Director for Endurance, Para-Equestrian Dies

Mary Lutz died June 9 as a result of a riding injury. A memorial service will be held June 24 in Stirling, N.J.
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Mary Lutz died June 9 as a result of a riding injury. A memorial service will be held June 24 in Stirling, N.J.

June 12, 2006 -- Mary Lutz, the U.S. Equestrian Federation (USEF) Director for Endurance and Para-Equestrian, died June 9 as a result of a riding injury. She was 55 and a resident of Basking Ridge, N.J.

Lutz died at Morristown Memorial Hospital after she fell off her black gelding, Hoagie, and broke her neck on a trail in Bedminster, N.J., according to the Associated Press. She was wearing a helmet.

Mary Lutz in 2004 | Photo courtesy of the U.S. Olympic Committee

Mary Lutz in 2004 | Photo courtesy of the U.S. Olympic Committee

Lutz was a respected friend, colleague, and mentor to so many in the equestrian community, and she will be sorely missed. John Long, chief executive officer of the USEF, remembers when he met Lutz for the first time.

"My first one-on-one time with Mary was in Asheville at an endurance competition in 2004. I was captured by her dedication but, even more taken by how others approached her," he said. "She was gentle and imminently likable, but not compromising and she graciously introduced me to Art Priesz. Mary's passion for para-equestrian, coupled with her quiet dedicated humanity, will always be my memory of her. I remember calling her to share my excitement when it was decided to include Para in the FEI Games in 2010. In September of 2010, at the start of the Games, we can all reflect on Mary and what she did. She will be missed, but never forgotten."

A graduate from Fairleigh Dickinson University with a B.A. in English and Journalism, Lutz had worked as a computer programmer, a driving groom and a therapeautic riding instructor. She joined the USEF in 1994 as the International High Performance Dressage and Endurance Assistant Director.

Surviving Lutz are her parents, Mary B. and Michael Lutz. They have announced that a memorial service for her will be held at 10 a.m. on June 24 at St. Joseph Shrine; 1050 Long Hill Road; Stirling, NJ 07980; Phone: (908) 647-0208

The USEF/U.S. Equestrian Team Foundation will host a reception at Hamilton Farm following the memorial service.

The family has asked that, in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to the U.S. Equestrian Team Foundation in memory of Mary Lutz for Endurance and Paraquestrian Programs.