World of Showjumping
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In memoriam: Karen Golding (1950-2023)

Sunday, 16 April 2023
In memoriam

Photo © Kind Media LLC. Karen Golding (seated) with friends at the 2022 Show Jumping Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Photo © Kind Media LLC.


Text © US Equestrian 



Karen Golding had a significant impact on equestrian sport as a groom and steward. She groomed U.S. Olympic team horses and served as the chief steward at major events, such as the FEI World Cup™ Finals Her early interest in caring for horses became a lifelong passion, and her contributions positively affected equestrian sport and the lives of numerous horses.

Golding was born in England and learned to ride at a young age, showing ponies and horses in hand and in the junior jumper divisions. A caretaker at Golding’s barn showed her the ins and outs of properly caring for horses, which became a founding principle of Golding’s career.

In 1970, Golding met Bernie and Tiff Traurig in England and was hired to care for horses on four separate flights to the U.S that year. She stayed in the U.S. and worked for the Traurigs at Bloodstock Farm for three years, caring for such top horses as hunter Royal Blue and jumper Springdale. Golding then worked briefly at Winter Place Farm before joining Jerry Baker and Michael Matz at Erdenheim Farm in the fall of 1974. Golding worked extensively with Matz until 1998, playing an integral role in his program’s success. During that time, Golding attended every Olympic Games from 1976 to 2000, except for 1984, assisting either Matz or the United States Equestrian Team. She also attended numerous Pan American Games, World Championships, and World Cup Finals. Golding cared for great jumping horses including Bon Retour, Chef, Grande, Heisman, Jet Run, Judgement, Mighty Ruler, Rhum IV, and Sandor.

After serving as a groom for many years, Golding shifted her focus in equestrian sport, becoming an FEI steward in 2000 and eventually a U.S. citizen in 2004. She was well-respected among national and international athletes for keeping horse welfare a top priority. Golding served as the chief steward at the FEI World Cup Finals in 2003, 2005, and 2007 as well as a steward at Olympic and World Equestrian Games selection trials.

Over the years, Golding was active in several USEF and USHJA committees and task forces. In 2007, she was inducted into the Show Jumping Hall of Fame. Additionally, Golding had a side career as an equine massage therapist, continuing with her early professional endeavors of providing hands-on care to horses.

Golding will be missed by her friends and colleagues throughout the equestrian sport community.

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