Our first inductee into the Hall of Fame is Linda Zang, in recognition of her outstanding accomplishments as an international competitor, FEI Judge, FEI Technical Delegate, clinician and leader of national and world-wide organizations. Her dressage career over the past 40 years has been truly remarkable. Linda is currently one of the most highly-respected judges in the world. She was promoted to FEI "O" status in 1995 and has judged the world's most prestigious competitions: the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, the World Equestrian Games in 1998 in Rome and in 2006 in Aachen, six FEI World Cup Finals, the 2005 European Championships in Hickstead, and this year's World Breeding Federation Young Horse Championships in Germany. She is one of the six FEI "O" judges in the world who conducts seminars and forums to educate FEI judges and tests them for promotion for both Dressage and Eventing.
Linda has been a leading proponent of U.S. dressage in international circles, as a member of and advisor for the FEI Dressage Committee, and the North American representative for the International Dressage Judges Club. As a measure of her world-wide influence on the sport, she has judged in 21 countries. She officiated as an FEI Technical Delegate at the Pan American Games in Winnipeg, the Olympics in Athens, the World Cup in Las Vegas in 2005, and the North American Young Riders Championships.
In the U.S., Linda has held many key positions in national organizations, including chairman of the U.S. World Cup Dressage Committee, Chairman of the U.S. Pony Clubs Dressage Committee, and co-chairman of the AHSA Dressage Committee.
As an accomplished international rider with her horse Fellow Traveller, Linda was a member of the U.S. team at the 1980 alternate Olympics in Goodwood, England, and the 1979 Pan American Games in Puerto Rico, and competed at the 1978 World Championships in Goodwood. She performed individual dressage exhibitions at the Washington International Horse Show, the National Horse Show in New York City, and the Baltimore World Cup Jumping Finals. She is a USDF bronze, silver, and gold medalist.
Linda was honored by President Gerald Ford as a sports ambassador, received the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal of Honor, and was given the "Award of Merit for public service" by the Mayor of Baltimore.
Last month, the dressage community lost the beloved Colonel Clarence Edmonds at age 89, a USDF Lifetime Achievement Award winner. Clarence knew Linda when she rode her first dressage test in Virginia. Linda's husband, Jim Lewis, recounts one of Clarence's quotes about Linda: "You all may think you know Linda, but let me tell you - if I had Linda as one of my drill sergeants in World War II, the whole thing would have been over at least a year earlier."
While USDF is honoring Linda primarily as a judge and rider, first and foremost, she is a "people person" who really cares about all of you here tonight who she has worked with to make dressage better in this country. Her outstanding accomplishments demonstrate that she has had a diverse and committed career, and how wholeheartedly she has shared her expertise and knowledge with the dressage community at every level. I am honored to induct Linda Zang into the Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame.
Samuel J. Barish