Verne E. Batchelder Leaves a Legacy

Monday, October 28, 2019
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Verne's parting messageWILLISTON, FL — Verne E. Batchelder, born June 23, 1953 in Woodsville, N.H. succumbed to a cardiac event over the weekend of October 18th while on a business trip in Ogunquit, Maine.

Verne grew up in Fairlee, Vermont one of six siblings born to dairy farmers Verne C. Batchelder and Kathryn George. He attended Fairlee Elementary, Bradford Academy and the University of Vermont.

Verne taught math and sciences for seventeen years at Thetford Academy, simultaneously developing a herd of quality Holstein cattle. Verne claimed to be a farmer first, embracing animal husbandry and care of the land. He made hay from childhood until close to his death. However, from childhood horses were his passion. He always had them and selling his cattle herd in the early eighties allowed him to purchase the Piermont, N. H. property that would become River House Hanoverians. From this base, Verne continued his riding education with various horse masters and Olympians.

Verne attended an equine breeding techniques program at the University of Colorado and traveled to Germany many times to improve his knowledge of bloodlines. He and his family developed a nationally known breeding program: standing stallions, raising and training young horses and teaching lessons to aspiring riders. He imported over 200 Hanoverian horses for US breeding and riding.

The farm was eventually moved to Williston, Fl becoming a base for his clinic travels, sometimes teaching riding twenty or more days a month. Verne was a sought after clinician attending some sites for more than thirty years. His students loved him, his caring and his humor.

Verne was a USDF bronze and silver medalist having show success with a variety of horses. In later years he was a breed inspection judge for the American Hanoverian Society. He has many friends and colleagues throughout the United States as well as Germany.

Verne was very proud of his daughters and sang their praises to all who listened. He is survived by his wife and helpmate of forty one years, Jeanie Hahn and daughters Emma Batchelder, a nurse anesthetist living in Denver Colorado, and Nora Batchelder a successful equestrian who recently represented the USA at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru.

The family is establishing a grant in Verne’s name, through the Dressage Foundation, to support educational opportunities for riding teachers.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating at dressagefoundation.org/support/, please write “In memory of Verne Batchelder” in the special notes box. Alternatively, you can call the US Dressage Foundation at 402-434-8585.

verneAs word of Verne's passing traveled across Facebook, the out pouring was fast and vast. He touched so many lives and was an influence on riders at all levels. "If someone could only walk," said his daughter Emma, "he would give them everything at the walk will all the detail and attention he would give to a Grand Prix rider."

Verne had traveled to Maine to take a few days off in between clinics to enjoy the beautiful New England fall. He was moved by the beauty and posted this poignant and moving message, just before a heart attack took his life. Now the single red maple leaf as well as photos and tributes with friends and students wearing his signature mustache continue to honor him.