From the US Equestrian Federation:
Lexington, KY- The United States Equestrian Federation mourns the loss of a great innovator, ambassador and leader in equestrian sport with the passing of Don Burt on November 25, 2012.
Burt served the discipline of reining and equestrian sport as a whole within the U.S. and abroad for over 50 years. Known for heading the effort to secure the approval of reining as the FEI's first Western discipline, Burt served on the USEF Reining and High Performance Reining Committees.
Burt also served as President of the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) and was inducted into its Hall of Fame in 2004.
His influence reached outside the reining and Quarter Horse circles as Burt showed and judged in almost every major breed division.
For his decades of services to the equestrian industry, Burt was awarded the USEF Lifetime Achievement Award and the Jimmy A. Williams Trophy in 2007. He was also added to the Honor Roll of Distinguished Officials in 2011.
"The Federation sends our deepest condolences to the Burt family. Don was driving force in the sport of reining and advocate for equestrian sport," said USEF CEO John Long. "He has left an outstanding legacy and his influence will be felt for years to come."
Further information regarding memorial services will be posted on usef.org when available.
@FranJurga writes: I've been reading Don Burt's column in the American Quarter Horse Journal for so many years. I can't remember it not being there.
The AQHA's tremendous success didn't just happen, in spite of the quality and versatility of the horse itself. The organization is built on the foundation of dedicated servants who were also leading horsemen. That's a great formula for success and Don Burt's presence out and about in the horse world is something that the AQHA will never be able to replace.
Rest in peace, Don Burt. I hope the AQHA Journal publishes a blank page where his column would have appeared.