Remembering Katie Lindsay (1935-2020)

Photo by Katie Lindsay. As one of EN’s very first writers, Katie’s columns were always headlined by the same photo — this one. We thought it fitting to headline her send-off with it as well.

The eventing community lost a great one in the passing of Katie Lindsay this week. We hear she died peacefully in her sleep on Tuesday, surrounded by her beloved dachshunds. She poured her heart into the sport of eventing and she will be deeply missed.

Katie wore many hats in the sport — USEA outlined some of her contributions here:

“Katie was a well-known USEF Technical Delegate, FEI Steward, and the organizer of the Wayne DuPage and Maui Jim Horse Trials. She served as a member of the USEA Board of Governors and sat on many USEA and USEF committees. She was the first chair of the USEA Organizers Committee and was a frequent contributor to Eventing USA magazine.

“Katie switched from hunters to eventing after attending the 1978 World Eventing Championships at the Kentucky Horse Park. Her first horse trials organizing job was just two years later in 1980. After retiring from international horse trials organizing in 2009, she continued to organize the Wayne Eventing Derby at Lamplight Equestrian Center in Illinois. She was also a longtime member of the Wayne-DuPage Hunt.

“Katie was awarded a USEA Governor’s Cup in 1988 in recognition of her volunteer service to the sport of eventing and received the Wofford Cup in 2010 for her outstanding contributions to the sport.”

Here at EN we consider Katie a legend who helped shape the voice of the site: She was one of the first EN writers and contributed columns regularly between 2010 and 2014. At that time eventing was in a period of real change, and much of her writing explored concerns about changes and shifting attitudes she perceived in the sport. No matter how intense the subject matter, though, her love for the sport burned brightly in every word she wrote — usually accompanied by a walloping dose of humor! She believed strongly in the power of discussion: “[The editor] knows that I’m opinionated, I’ve been around a long time and I’m not afraid to talk about things that may be controversial. I love it when people argue with what I’ve written. It means they are alive and thinking!”

In one of her final EN columns, she shared “The Sportsman’s Charter” and encouraged eventers to read it carefully and think hard about it:

The Sportsman’s Charter

That sport is something done for the fun of doing it and that it ceases to be sport when it becomes a business only, something done for what there is in it;

That amateurism is something of the heart and spirit – not a matter of exact technical qualifications;

That good manners of sport are fundamentally important;

That the code must be strictly upheld;

That the whole structure of sport is not only preserved from the absurdity of undue importance, but is justified by a kind of romance which animates it, and by the positive virtues of courage, patience, good temper, and unselfishness which are demanded by the code;

That the exploitation of sport for profit alone kills the spirit and retains only the husk and semblance of the thing;

That the qualities of frankness, courage, and sincerity which mark the good sportsman in private life shall mark the discussions of his interests at a competition.

With her words and actions, her unbridled enthusiasm and get-her-hands-dirty work ethic, her diplomacy and positivity, Katie truly embodied The Sportsman’s Charter. Her life’s work in the service of our sport will not be forgotten.

Katie is “survived by a niece and nephew, two spoiled-rotten dachshunds, and an enormous group of misfit friends.” She requested to be cremated and there be no memorial service.

If you would like to make a donation in her honor, Katie’s two favorite charitable organizations are the Midwest Dachshund Rescue (2023 Ridgewood Street, Highland, IN 46322) and the Illinois-Wisconsin Search & Rescue Dogs (P.O. Box 96, Woodstock, IL 60098).

[Katie Lindsay (1935-2020)]