Nearly 150 friends and family members gathered this past weekend to mourn the loss of professional dressage rider Ricardo Amaya. The popular and highly-respected Amaya, a native of Colombia, passed away April 1st after being injured in a riding accident on March 26.
He was buried on April 5. The funeral service was held at St. Mel’s Catholic Church in Woodland Hills, California. Friend Greg Strait reports that it was followed by a beautiful poolside celebration at the home of Michael and Janice Romersa. At the celebration, 47 white doves were released in honor of each of the 47 years of Amaya’s life.
Amaya, a resident of Woodland Hills, suffered some sort of fall while schooling, but no one is exactly sure what happened as Amaya was riding alone and out of view of those in the barn. Reports are that the horse he was schooling returned to the barn alone, prompting people at the barn to go to the riding ring. Amaya was found unconscious on the ground and was taken to the hospital. He spent several days in ICU at Los Robles Hospital before passing away with his family around him. A kind and loving man, Amaya leaves behind his wife of 16 years, Maria, and two sons, Claudio, 4, and Martine, 2.
Amaya began riding as a child. A skilled show jumping rider as well as dressage rider, he was a reserve rider for Colombia’s Pan American Games Dressage Team. He was also a winner of the Colombian Federation’s Gold Medal for best rider and horse team for three years running. In Colombia, he was qualified to judge at the FEI level. Amaya came to the U.S. in 2000 and over the past eight years became well-known as one of Southern California’s top dressage competitors.
Plans are now in the works for the creation of a perpetual trophy in Amaya’s honor. Details have not yet been finalized. His accident occurred right before the start of the Cornerstone Even Management’s Festival of the Horse CDI*** and Cornerstone began collecting money for the Amaya Family Fund during the show.
The fund is still soliciting donations, which can be sent
c/o Janice Romersa,
24232 Long Valley Road,
Hidden Hills, California 91302.
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