San Diego-based Irish-born show jumper Damian Gardiner lost his battle with cancer, passing away Sept. 11 at the age of 44. His partner Jenny Carbonari, with whom he ran Gardiner Show Jumping in San Marcos, survives him.
Damian moved to California as a 20-year-old and was a regular contender on the Grand Prix circuit here and throughout the world, including representing Ireland at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. He was diagnosed with Stage 4 esophagoel cancer earlier this year and, by all accounts, faced his final days with characteristic grace and good spirits.
At presstime, Jenny was greatly appreciative to all who had contributed to the Damian Gardiner Medical Fund through www.gofundme.com, part of which helped pay the cost of Damian's last wish: to be buried in Ireland. Plans for a memorial service Oct. 10 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds are in the works. The Gardiner Show Jumping page on Facebook may have more details soon.
Intrepid U.S. dressage supporter Dick Brown passed away Sept. 5 after a seven-year struggle with leukemia. He was 83. Dick and his wife Jane are well-known throughout the international dressage world as some of the sport's most generous sponsors. The couple, who live in Rancho Santa Fe, are most closely affiliated with Olympian Guenter Siedel, whom they sponsored for 23 years. Along with Jane, Dick was a very active and visible supporter, always ringside cheering and following the daily activities of their horses. He will be much missed.