Swiss equestrian leader Peter Stoessel dies at 69

Peter Stoessel.
Peter Stoessel. © Valeria Streun

Former St Gallen CSIO5* show president Peter Stoessel has died in Switzerland at the age of 69 after a short illness.

Stoessel was also a successful businessman. He died on December 26.

Born in 1944, Stoessel completed his higher education at the internationally renowned University of St Gallen in 1970 and entered Switzerland’s high-class department store Globus as a personal assistant to the company’s CEO. Eight years later, he created MS Mail Service AG, a visionary business idea that quickly developed into a leading marketing services company and a major employer in the region. Today the business has a staff of 2000 and generates an annual turnover of over CHF 100 million.

Apart from his business interests, Peter Stoessel was very involved in the social and cultural life of his native region. He was the founding member and longtime president of the Swiss Dialogue Marketing Association and organiser of the New Orleans Meets St Gallen Jazz Festival. But he was perhaps best known as the president of one of the leading FEI events, CSIO5* St Gallen, which he chaired for 25 years from 1987 to 2012.

In 1987, he took over St Gallen from Konrad “Zabi” Widmer. With enthusiasm, know-how, diplomacy and meticulousness he developed the equestrian event into a first class outdoor event.

Thanks to his management qualities, his outstanding work ethic, his diplomatic approach and his meticulousness, he developed the equestrian event held in the beautiful Gruendenmoos stadium into a first-class sporting and social occasion.

In 2012, after careful planning, Peter Stoessel stepped down as president of CSIO5* Switzerland in favour of his daughter Nayla, who organised her first edition of the event at the end of May last year.

When he retired as president, he said: “ I have introduced her successively into her function as president.  I transferred, step by step, more and more responsibilities to her and I am convinced, that she will organize the event in the same spirit but with her own ideas and visions”.

In addition to being an exceptional organiser, Stoessel was also a passionate breeder of Arabian horses, and was founder of the European Conference of Arab horse Organisations and was on its governing board for several years. He was also president of the Swiss Arab Society, and owned world champion Ansata Sinan.

“Peter’s death comes as a shock to us all and leaves a great void in our lives,” said FEI Jumping Director John Roche. “He was a friend and a visionary. He will be remembered for his kindness, wonderful sense of humour and extremely positive approach to life from which we have all profited. During this difficult time our thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones, especially his daughter Nayla and son Milo.”

Peter Stoessel’s funeral took place on Monday, January 6, in the St Gallen cathedral.



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