Robert Rost Passes Away

December 2, 2002 — Robert C. Rost, DVM, 78, of Branchville, NJ, the 1996 recipient of the AHSA Lifetime Achievement Award and an all around jumping authority, passed away Thursday, November 28, after a long illness.

Known as a horse show fixture, having dedicated himself for nearly 40 years to innovative horse show management, as well as to maintaining an active show stable with his daughter, Robin, Rost ran the Washington International Horse Show during its infancy. He also managed the Sussex Farm & Horse Show and ran the Fairfield Horse Show for 40 years. He was one of the first professional course designers in the United States, designing courses at the National Horse Show and other large shows and was inducted into the Show Jumping Hall of Fame in 1994. His innovations paved the way for the use of metal jump cups, wing standards, measured distances and electric timers. He was a fixture on many USA Equestrian Committees, ranging from Drugs and Medications to Licensed Officials and was the 1989 recipient of the AHSA Walter B. Devereaux Award for Sportsmanship.

The President of the National Federation, Alan F. Balch commented, “Doc Rost was a giant of the sport and his leadership and innovation will inspire us to follow his example for a long, long time to come.”

He is survived by his daughter, show jumper Robin Fairclough of Newton, NJ, her husband, World Equestrian Games driving medalist Jimmy Fairclough, two grandsons, James II and Ryan, and a sister Marjorie Dehls of South Carolina.

Services will be held tomorrow, Tuesday, December 3, at 11:30 AM, at the Smith McCracken Funeral Home in Newton, NJ and viewing from 2:00 – 4:00 PM and 7:00 – 9:00 PM today. Contributions in Rost’s memory may be made to the N.J. Professional Horsemen’s Association, Box 367, Whitehouse Station, NJ, 08889 or the Branchville Fire Department, Box 2425, Branchville, NJ, 07826.

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