Equestrian Don Burt Passes

On November 25, 2012, equestrian sport lost a wonderful innovator, ambassador and leader in Don Burt. For over 50 years, Burt served the discipline of Reining and equestrian sport as a whole, heading the effort to secure the approval of Reining as the FEI's first Western discipline. He was a cherished member of the United States Equestrian Team Board of Trustees from 1999-2003, as the Vice President of Reining.

Don Burt passed away on November 25, 2012, after serving equestrian sport for over 50 years.  (Geoff Bugbee/USEF photo)

Burt also served on the USEF Reining and High Performance Reining Committees, and is best known for his presidency of the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA). In 2004 he was inducted into its Hall of Fame. His influence reached outside the Reining and Quarter Horse circles as Burt showed and judged in almost every major breed division.
In 2007, Burt was awarded the USEF Lifetime Achievement Award and the Jimmy A. Williams for his decades of services to the equestrian industry. He was also added to the Honor Roll of Distinguished Officials in 2011.

“I had the honor and pleasure to work with Don for many years, both at the AHSA/USEF and the USET Foundation,” commented USET Foundation President Jane F. Clark. “His contributions to the sport will leave a lasting legacy. Don always had a smile and a kind word for everyone. He was a true equestrian icon and very good friend; he will be greatly missed.”

The United States Equestrian Team Foundation is the non-profit organization that supports the competition, training, coaching, travel and educational needs of America’s elite and developing international, high-performance horses and athletes in partnership with the United States Equestrian Federation.

For more information on the USET Foundation, please call (908) 234-1251, or visit USET ONLINE at