Gladstone, NJ - August 17, 2015 -The United States Equestrian Team Foundation is sad to report the passing of Karen Stives on August 14, 2015. Karen passed away peacefully at her home in Dover, Massachusetts after a long illness.
Karen has been heavily involved with the USET Foundation for two decades, serving as a Trustee from 1989-2002 and a member of the National Advisory Committee from 2003 - present. In 2014, Karen established the Karen E. Stives Endowment Fund for High Performance Eventing with a $1 million gift that provides an annual grant for an Eventing High Performance activity which will have a direct impact on the United States' ability to win medals at International Championship competitions.
On the day of Karen's passing, Phillip Dutton and Lauren Keiffer, the riders receiving the 2015 Karen E. Stives grants, led the U.S. Eventing Team at CCIO Aachen to a bronze medal. Karen's intention for her grants to help this country win medals shined brightly on that day.
Karen Stives won Team Gold and Individual Silver at the 1984 Olympic Games
Karen's dedication and commitment to the United States Equestrian Teams will live on through her generosity; however, she will best be remembered as one of this country's most decorated equestrian athletes. Karen was the USCTA Rider of the Year in 1981, 1987 and 1988. In 1982, she represented the United States at the Luhmuhlen World Championship and in 1984 she anchored the U.S. Eventing Team that won the Team Gold at the Los Angeles Olympics, while also winning Individual Silver. Karen earned the Leading Lady Rider title in 1981, the Mercedes-Benz Horsewoman of the Year in 1984, and the prestigious Wofford Cup. Following her retirement from international competition, Karen became an FEI judge and was the Chairman of the USET Three-Day Event Selectors' Committee for many years.
"Karen was the epitome of a competitor, philanthropist, businesswoman and friend. She achieved Gold Medal status both on and off the field of play and has left a legacy through the Karen E. Stives Endowment Fund, which will give other riders the chance to achieve their dream of riding for the United States and standing on the podium. She will be dearly missed by everyone who had the privilege of knowing her," said Bonnie Jenkins, USET Foundation Executive Director.
Karen is survived by her partner Bob Hutchison, her sister Linda McCabe and three nieces and nephews. A celebration of life will be held on a date to be announced. Contributions to the USET Foundation for the Karen E. Stives Endowment Fund for Eventing will further Karen's goal of supporting this country's athletes and high performance programs.
The United States Equestrian Team Foundation (www.uset.org) is the non-profit organization that supports the competition, training, coaching, travel and educational needs of America's elite and developing international, high-performance horses and athletes in partnership with the United States Equestrian Federation.