International jumping judge and director Peter Herchel has died at the age of 68 after fighting cancer.
Herchel was an FEI International Jumping Judge, Steward and Course Director for FEI Jumping Judges. He died on September 11.
He was born on 29 August 1945 in Veľký Biel, in the Senec District of western Slovakia, close to Bratislava. As a youngster, he dedicated his time to athletics and downhill skiing, and it was while studying engineering at the Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra that he became interested in equestrian sports. After graduating, he began co-organising what has now become the biggest horse show in Slovakia – the Grand Prix CSIO Bratislava.
In 1985, he became an FEI Jumping judge. He went on to become an FEI Level 4 International Jumping Judge, and was appointed as Ground Jury President at numerous FEI Championships. One of his career highlights was carrying out the role of Ground Jury member at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.
Herchel was fluent in Dutch, English, German, Hungarian and Russian, which was invaluable in his work as an FEI Level 3 Steward. Due to his long and varied experience of judging, he was also appointed FEI Course Director for Jumping Judges.
“Peter Herchel will be greatly missed – he contributed tremendously to our sport. We are forever grateful to him for his devotion and his close co-operation with us during the last 28 years,” said John Roche, FEI Director of Jumping and Stewarding.
“His friendly approach in dealing with everyone on the jumping circuit, and especially during large-scale international equestrian events, is well-known and was fully appreciated by those who had the pleasure of working with him.
“Equally, his dedication to judging and stewarding, and to passing on his skills and wealth of experience to future generations of judges was highly respected.”