Fritz O. Widmer (SUI), former FEI Secretary General and Treasurer, and longstanding Vice President of the Swiss National Federation’s Competition Department, has passed away after a long illness. He was 93.
Widmer had considerable influence in the development of equestrian sport in Switzerland and worldwide. An accomplished rider, he competed internationally in Dressage and Jumping until 1960, and also competed in all three Olympic disciplines at national level. He served as an FEI Jumping Judge and judged Dressage nationally up to Grand Prix level.
During his 14 years of service at the Swiss National Federation, Widmer was instrumental in drafting the Jumping Rules, as well as the development of the license system.
He became FEI Secretary General in 1976, serving under the presidency of HRH Prince Philip, the FEI’s longest serving President. Widmer contributed enormously to the modernisation and business development of the FEI, transferring it from its traditional Brussels headquarters to Bern in Switzerland, forming a secure financial base and solid foundation for its current structure.
Widmer priortised horse welfare and was fully committed to the fight against doping. After leaving the FEI in 1989, he was became an honorary member of the FEI Bureau.
“Fritz Widmer devoted 13 years of his life to the FEI and a whole lifetime to equestrian sport”, FEI Secretary General Sabrina Zeender said. “He will be sadly missed, but his reputation will live on for generations to come.”
The FEI expresses its sincere condolences to Fritz Widmer’s family, friends, the Swiss National Federation and the global Jumping and Dressage community.