The eventing community lost a lifelong supporter of the sport in Red Hills Horse Trials co-founder Sylvia Ochs last week. Sylvia passed away peacefully in Tallahassee, Fl. on Thursday, March 11, on the eve of the 2021 event at Red Hills, at the age of 79. Fellow co-founder Sallie Ausley has graciously shared the following memorial tribute:
The Red Hills Horse Trials family has lost one of its own – Sylvia Coons Ochs, one of the event’s founders, passed away on March 11, 2021. In 1998, Sylvia Ochs with co-organizer Sallie Ausley along with three other original organizing committee and hundreds of volunteers began the first Red Hills Horse Trials in Tallahassee, Florida. The event succeeded to become a World Cup Qualifier and now a CIC**** competition.
Sylvia was the ultimate horse person. Over the years, she served as Vice President, District Commissioner and Regional Supervisor of the United States Pony Club. Her community spirit extended well beyond the horse world and impacted Tallahassee in countless ways.
She had many talents and amazing organizational skills along with grace and a magnetic personality. She spearheaded events and projects with an eye to every detail and was twice voted Volunteer of the Year! Sylvia was President of the Junior League of Tallahassee, worked with Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, LeMoyne Art Foundation, the Tallahassee Symphony, and the Museum of History and Natural Sciences.
Sylvia died peacefully at the age of 79. She was born in Walton, N. Y. graduating with honors from New York University Belleview School of Nursing. She is survived by her children, Lisa Perry, Karla Newton, and Dr. George Ochs and seven beloved grandchildren.
A private memorial service will be held in Walton, NY at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Tallahassee Memorial Health Care Foundation, Tallahassee Symphony or the Leon County Humane Society. To send flowers or a memorial gift to the family of Sylvia Coons Ochs please click here.