NZ dressage Olympian Julie Brougham dies at 67

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New Zealand dressage Olympian Julie Brougham has died at the age of 67, following a battle with cancer.

Brougham, who represented New Zealand at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and the FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina, in 2018 on her favourite mount, Vom Feinsten (Steiny), died at home in Karere in Manawatu, near Palmerston North on December 9.

“Julie has been many things to many people within our sport – a fellow athlete, a friend, a judge and an inspiration in everything she strived for and achieved,” Equestrian Sport New Zealand and Dressage NZ said in a statement.

“Her passion for all things dressage and the vast knowledge she generously shared with others will be a continuing legacy for riders who dream to follow and emulate the new standards she and Steiny set for New Zealand.”

In 2015, Brougham and Vom Feinsten — which translates to mean ‘the finest’ — won the Burkner Medal for the Dressage Horse of the Year title at New Zealand’s Horse of the Year show, after finishing third three times. She had sold her previous Grand Prix horse JK Supersonic to buy Steiny in 2009 after seeing him in Aachen.

When they competed at Rio in 2016, they were just the third Kiwi dressage representative at an Olympic Games, after Kallista Field (Sydney 2000) and Louisa Hill (Athens 2004, London 2012). Brougham was diagnosed with serous carcinoma, a rare abdominal cancer, after the World Equestrian Games in 2018 and underwent surgery and a year of chemotherapy.

She returned to competition a year later, and won a competition at Manfeild Park. Steiny was retired from competition earlier this year.

Julie Claire Brougham (May 20, 1954-December 9, 2021) is survived by her husband, David, and children Katrina and Nicholas.

A service to celebrate Brougham’s life will be held at the Beauchamp Crematorium Chapel, 167 John F Kennedy Drive, Palmerston North, on Saturday, December 18, at 11am. For those unable to attend a live stream will be available.

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