Hansi Wallmeier (GER), one of the most well-respected people in national and international equestrian sport, has passed away. He died on 8 September, the day before his 74th birthday, in Bielefeld after a long battle with cancer.
The son of a stable manager, Wallmeier was just 15 years old when he began his commercial apprenticeship at the German Olympic Committee for Equestrian Sports in Warendorf on 1 April 1957, working in the National Federation (FN) Sports Department. Wallmeier started his career as a flat jockey, before going on to become an accomplished amateur rider, competing successfully in Dressage and Jumping, with 35 victories to his name.
In 1970, Wallmeier switched his focus to judging and, eight years later, became director of the German Association of Judges in Warendorf. After 50 years of service as one of the longest-serving officials in the National Federation, he took his well-earned retirement in April 2007.
Internationally known for his role as an FEI Steward, Wallmeier was a strong advocate for compliance with the FEI rules and regulations, ensuring horse welfare came first. A horseman through and through, he was seen more as a helper and advisor for both riders and horses. He was well respected by the athletes as a real partner of equestrian sport. The highlight of his stewarding career came in 2006 when he was FEI Chief Steward at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Aachen (GER).
Renowned for his significant contribution to clean and fair sport, Wallmeier was honored by the German National Federation in 2006 with the presentation of the Reiterkreuz in Silber (Rider Silver Cross) award. He was also presented with the Horsemanship award by the German Association for the Protection of Horses, as well as the PSI award, celebrating his outstanding contribution to equestrian sport.
“Hansi Wallmeier was a great horseman and a true role model for the entire equestrian world", Secretary General of the German National Federation Soenke Lauterbach said.
“Hansi Wallmeier was a really wonderful person, who contributed greatly to the sport of Jumping”, FEI Jumping Director John Roche said. “We are extremely grateful for the service he gave to equestrian sport as an international Judge and Steward. He will be greatly missed on the international circuit.”
The FEI expresses its sincere condolences to Hansi Wallmeier’s family, his many friends, the German Equestrian Federation and the global Jumping community.