International jumping judge and announcer Dick Nijhof has died after a long illness at the age of 67.
Nijhof, who died in Enschede in eastern Netherlands on August 21, was also an equestrian commentator, and was a board member of KNF (Royal Dutch Federation for Rural Riders) which eventually led to the creation of the Royal Dutch Equestrian Federation (KNHS).
His trademark voice as announcer has been well-known to spectators at equestrian events around the world since the 1990s. His finest hour was as announcer during the 1994 FEI World Cup Jumping Final at the Indoor Brabant in ‘s-Hertogenbosch (NED), when on home soil his compatriot and now six-time Olympian Jos Lansink took the series crown. More recently, television viewers knew his voice on sports network Eurosport, where he provided equestrian commentary for the weekly Wednesday Selection roundup.
Nijhof began his career as an FEI Jumping Judge in 1994. Just two years later, he was appointed FEI International Level 3 Jumping Judge and went on to carry out Ground Jury President, and Member and Foreign Judge roles at wide-ranging events around the world.
“The KNHS is extremely grateful to Dick Nijhof for his proactivity and forward-thinking approach to developing equestrian sport. He was highly committed and enthusiastic, and his loss will be felt on many levels within the equestrian community,” said Theo Ploegmakers, chairman of the Royal Dutch Equestrian Federation.
John Roche, FEI Director of Jumping and Stewarding, said Nijhof performed his role as FEI International Level 3 jumping judge impeccably, “thanks to his solid and steadfast approach, and his deep knowledge of the sport”.
“His devotion to equestrianism over many years was renowned and his voice was also very familiar to thousands of fans at equestrian events around the world when he worked as an announcer, and later on television. He will be missed by many different people within the community.”