It is with sadness that we notify the equestrian community of the passing of Sherman Olson. His legacy to the Canadian equestrian community started at the provincial level establishing Horse Council BC. He was the founding President and served from 1980 - 1990. He advanced to the National scene and served as a director of the Canadian Equestrian Federation (now Equine Canada) from 1981 – 1986, Vice-President from 1986 – 1996, and vice-president Recreation 1999- 2003. During his tenure he was very active promoting the ‘vision’ of the new face of the CEF. He was part of the committee to restructure the CEF and its constitution to better serve the national membership. He developed programs such as the certified coaching program, fund raising for athletes preparing for National and international competitions and local insurance plans for equestrian activities.
During the eighties Sherman organized the committee that hosted the World University Student Riders Competition. Teams from Japan, Austria, Ireland, England, France and the USA participated.
In l982 he was chairman of the committee, which hosted the American Continental Young Riders Championships, which was held at the Maple Ridge Riding Centre. This competition was the first of its kind in Canada. Riders from across Canada, the US and Mexico participated.
In 1992 he coordinated a national relay named ‘Ride for Canada’. This was to commemorate Canada’s 125th year as a nation. This highly publicized event involved equestrian enthusiasts from across Canada taking four months to cross the country. The relay from coast to coast to coast concluded on Parliament Hill in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen. He was honoured and received a Governor Generals award for this project.
In1993 he became a director of the Trans Canada Trail Foundation, and President in l996. He provided guidance and direction to all the provinces to complete the trail. His leadership and ability to project to others the great potential of the Trans Canada Trail turned what began as a grand dream into reality. Sherman orchestrated the official opening of the trail with three original relay vessels that carried the water of the three oceans to be mixed in Ottawa. Thousands of citizens from every community along the TCT participated with the relay ending in Hull Quebec. The waters were united in a moving ceremony symbolizing “Unity, pride, and love for our country”.
He was a gentleman who volunteered a lifetime of effort and commitment to Canada’s equestrian community. He was an honorary member of Equine Canada, Horse Council B.C. and Trails B.C. All of Canada’s equestrian community have benefited from his efforts.
He will be greatly missed. He wished for friends and family to celebrate life together. We will do so in his honour at The Act in Maple Ridge July 16, 2:00 pm.