Gwen Stockebrand US Dressage Team Veteran Loses Battle With Cancer

Wednesday, April 24, 2019
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Gwen Stockebrand.jpg

American Grand Prix dressage rider Gwen Stockebrand has passed away, losing her battle against cancer. She was 64 years old. Stockebrand last competed nationally in 2013 on NA Sampson. In 2014 Gwen was diagnosed with cancer which she fought bravely and survived. However, the cancer returned and she lost her second, courageous battle. 

Bunny Stockebrand, Gwen and Archie Stockebrand
Bunny Stockebrand, Gwen and Archie Stockebrand

Stockebrand trained several horses to Grand Prix and represented the United States at the 1979 Pan American Games and the 1980 Alternate Olympics on Bao, and at the 1982 World Championships in Laussane, on Casino.

By the age of 17, Gwen had attended 7 schools and ridden for 9 years. When she was 15 (1969) Gwen and her sister Paula convinced their parents to move up to Badger, CA to work for Went and Linda Tellington (1969)"That flat arena at PCERF made it accessible for Gwen to focus her three day eventing with her then horse Pembroke before she transitioned into dressage.

At age twenty-three she was one of the youngest riders chosen to represent the US on her Morgan/Tennessee Walker gelding Bao. He was also the first U.S. bred warmblood to reach Grand Prix level. Gwen and Bao enjoyed much success nationally and internationally, and they were named National Champions. Stockebrand went on to compete Morgan bred horses throughout her dressage career.

Gwen also received national acclaim on her Dutch warmblood gelding, Monseigneur, earning the title of National Grand Prix Champion, Grand Prix Freestyle Champion, and Grand Prix Champion Horse of the Year, among other honors. Known for her beautiful seat on a horse, she often scored a 10 for her position. 

Living at Flying Changes farm in Santa Rosa, California, Gwen made numerous contributions to Sonoma County Dressage over the past thirty years. Gwen was one of the original founders of the California Dressage Society's Dressage in the Wine Country. She has been active in training horses and riders, judging, and organizing events.

Sonoma Valley Wine Country PosterGwen is remembered as an inspiring dressage trainer, a unique woman and gifted rider, who brought character to California dressage. She helped several Californians to transition from western to dressage.

Tributes  continue to pour in on how Gwen had influenced the lives of many in the world of dressage.

I still tell the story from time to time. My first Dressage World Championships in Lausanne, 1982 as a photographer the year Reiner Klimke and Alerich won gold on Granat’s turf. Gwen rode for the US on Casino.

We bonded at the competitors’ party on a boat ride in the lake. The Russian riders then a Communist country, were sequestered from the rest of us. We were drinking lots of wine and you egged me on to ask the handsome young Russian rider Yuri to dance. I did and still have the Russian Team pin somewhere.

RIP Gwen and thank you for touching my life.
Mary Phelps - Horsesdaily.com