Lloyd Landkamer, 60, died Saturday, September 25, at his home, Brandywine Farm, in Hamel, Minnesota. His death was the result of a valiant battle with colon cancer. Lloyd was an icon in the dressage community, both nationally and internationally.
Born in Lawrence, Kansas, he was the son of Dale J. and Lorna Nolte Landkamer, both now deceased. He lived with his family for several years in Morocco, while his father was in the U.S. Air Force, before returning to Kansas. He left home as a teenager and lived for a time with his grandmother. Lloyd received college degrees in Animal Husbandry, Computer Science and Economics and worked for a time for Sperry in Minneapolis in the computer science field, receiving frequent promotions, before he realized his true calling was with horses.
Lloyd and William (Bill) Solynties met thirty-two years ago, when Lloyd was 28 years of age, in Mankato, MN where they established their company, Solland, Inc. Lloyd’s interest in horses started in Mankato, where he purchased his first horse. He showed in dressage and soon after began breeding horses. Solland Farms moved to Delano, MN and for many years has operated as Brandywine Farm in Hamel, MN. Early in their partnership, Lloyd and Bill had the opportunity to purchase two stallions, Renaissance and Fascination, from Bernie Traurig. They learned to collect the stallions and handle all the breeding themselves. Later they purchased two other stallions, Tip Top and Donnerwerth. According to Bill, they have bred horses, primarily Oldenburgs, every year, except one, since that first year. Lloyd selected top mares and produced very successful dressage horses. In recent years, he had a great eye for world-class stallions, and raising young horses remained one of his favorite interests.
Lloyd showed in dressage for several years, earning national awards and his USDF Bronze Medal before he became primarily interested in show management. He purchased failing shows and worked hard to make them succeed. He started managing dressage competitions at Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, IL over 20 years ago, often driving all night to and from the show to minimize expenses. He was meticulous from the beginning about following USEF rules and serving the needs of his competitors.
Through the years, his role in the sport expanded. He served as a manager, secretary, technical delegate, FEI steward, mentor and educator to many in the sport. While he is best known as manager of the dressage and para-equestrian competitions at the World Equestrian Games in 2010, NAJYRC, USEF Festival of Champions, USEF Young Horse Championships, and dressage competitions in Wellington, FL - most recently the Global Dressage Festival, Lloyd has provided management and secretarial services to scores of other competitions through the years. With a particular interest in youth programs, he underwrote the cost of regional youth competitions and provided anonymous donations to youth programs for years.
In addition, Lloyd was the consummate volunteer. He served on the USDF Executive Board, USEF Dressage Committees, USEF Para Technical Committee, and numerous other USEF and USDF committees. He was named USDF Volunteer of the Year in 2002. As a USEF and FEI official, he has served as a USEF Steward, USEF Technical Delegate and FEI Chief Dressage Steward. He was most recently named to the stewarding team for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
According to Bill, Lloyd was a total workaholic. “He got up around 3:00 am every day and worked into the night, doing the work of two or three people.” Those who knew him would agree. Kristi Wysocki, a long-time friend and colleague visited him this past week and he told her “I always tried to do my best” and indeed he did. Kristi added, “Lloyd took me under his wing many years ago early in my judging career. He was there for me in good times, bad times and tragic times. My friend, my teacher, my mentor, my brother and now my guardian angel – I will miss him beyond words!”
In addition to horses and shows, Lloyd was an avid reader. He was an accomplished cook and gardener, often sharing favorite recipes and flower bulbs with his friends. He also loved dogs – not just his own but every dog at his shows! He kept his show office well-supplied with dog treats and the dogs and their owners loved him!
Lloyd considered his friends and colleagues in dressage as his “family”. He valued loyalty and dependability and would support his friends financially and emotionally when they were in need. He provided for education, show supplies, and sometimes living expenses if a friend was in need. He created awards and funding, often anonymously, to honor his friends and those in need. He was a leader in the sport and an inspiration to us all.
Longtime colleague and friend Lisa Gorretta reminisced “Lloyd was always concerned about improving the quality of dressage in the US. He made it a personal mission to provide opportunities to up and coming dressage judges, TDs and Stewards across the country and at every level.” Elisabeth Williams, FEI Dressage Steward General for the US and Lloyd’s very good friend said, “The dressage world has lost the most giving, genuinely caring and real human being. He considered us all his family. He was the most unassuming man, never really thought he was doing anything special. I will miss him terribly, his wisdom, his wonderful quirky sense of humor, even his quick temper!! Very few people give so much of themselves every day of the year. Rest in peace, best friend.”
He is survived by his life partner of 32 years, Bill Solynties. The two were married when it became legal in Minnesota. He is also survived by two younger brothers and a sister who still live in Kansas.
Funeral arrangements are not yet available. Bill has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations in Lloyd’s memory be made to The American Cancer Society, 1-800-227-2345, P. O. Box 22718 Oklahoma City, OK 73123-1718 for Colon Cancer Research.
Listed below are many of Lloyd’s accomplishments:
Contributions to USDF
- 2013-2015 Competition Manager for the US Dressage Finals, presented by Adequan®
- 2010-2015 USDF Region 4 Director and member of the USDF Executive Board
- 2010-2015 Technical Advisor to the FEI JrYR Committee
- 1999-2001 and 2007-2011 member of the Youth Programs Committee
- 2009 member of the Regional Championship Committee
- 2005-2009 Member of the ParaEquestrian Dressage Committee
- 2000-2004 Chair of the University Committee
- 1997-2000 Member of the University Committee
- 2002 USDF Volunteer of the Year
- 1997-1998 member of the Technical Delegate Committee
Additional Accomplishments and Contributions
- Named manager for the 2017 World Cup competition to be held in Lincoln, NE
- 2014-2015 Manager of the Adequan/Global Dressage Festival CPEDI3*
- 2009-2015 Named Competition Manager for the NAJYRC Dressage Competition, and was a mainstay in the Dressage office for countless other NAJYRC dressage competitions.
- 2015 Named Competition Manager for the inaugural NAJYRC Para-Dressage Competition
- 2010 Equestrian Discipline Manager at the Alltech/FEI World Equestrian Games for Dressage and Para-Equestrian
- Manager and Secretary for many USEF Dressage Festival of Champions and USEF Selection Trials
- Secretary for Pan American Games
- Manager and Secretary of many dressage shows in the United States, including the Global Dressage Festival and countless other CDI’s
- Competition Manager for many Young Horse Championships and Dressage Seat Medal Finals
- Member of the USEF Dressage Committee and USEF High Performance Dressage Committee
- Chair of the USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage Sub-Committee
- USEF ‘R’ Technical Delegate
- FEI Level 3 Chief Steward
- Panelist – USEF Dressage Technical Delegate Forum
- Panelist - USEF Show Secretary Forum
- Owner of DressageShowInfo.com
- Owner of Brandywine Farm, Hamel, MN specializing in the breeding of quality sport horses, specifically Oldenburgs, and hosting breed inspections
- Recipient of USDF Year End Award for Dressage Sport Horse Breeding
- USDF Bronze Medalist