Edgar was a giant among U.S. judges. He officiated at virtually all of the prestigious FEI level competitions in this country over a thirty year period, including Olympic Selection Trials, World Cup Finals, Olympic Festivals, North American Young Riders' Championships, and CDI's. He was an FEI "I", AHSA "S", and Canadian "S" judge who was very active in both the dressage, and dressage sport horse breeding divisions. His love for the horse and compassion for the rider gave him a sense of fair play that made him an immensely popular judge and a well-respected horseman. Read more
Edgar laid the foundation for and helped create the USDF L Education Program for Judge Training, and served as a distinguished faculty member. The L Program has become a premiere tool for training aspiring judges, and is a model for judge training throughout the world. Without his hard work, it would not exist in the form it has today.
Edgar was an active presenter at symposia, seminars, workshops, and clinics - such as his judge's viewpoint seminar. He was a highly-regarded instructor for aspiring judges. "S" judge Joan Humphrey said, "I learned more from Edgar than any other judge I ever worked with. He was a demanding, emphatic, and wonderful man. He always gave the horse and rider the same amount of attention at 8 a.m. as he did at 5:30 p.m. I don't know how he did it; he was awesome." She said Edgar's demanding personality was what made him the best teacher of judges. "He didn't let you get by with a ‘just because' or a ‘that's what I think.' You really had to justify what you thought and why you thought it."
His long-time friend and judge colleague, Marianne Ludwig, a USDF Lifetime Achievement Award Winner, said, "When Edgar sensed a lack of focus to the judging process or encountered fuzzy arguments, he could get upset. At the same time, he had a great sense of humor and a genuine fondness of the riders and much compassion for the many problems that competitors encounter in the show ring. He was quite ready to shrug off mishaps that he considered insignificant; he knew how to reward the essential qualities of a ride. He hated sloppiness in appearance and test performance. He did not suffer fools gladly, but loved quick minds' intelligent retorts."
Marianne Ludwig recounts an interesting story about how Edgar met his wife, Irmtraud. While still living in Germany, he boarded his horses at a stable owned by Irmtraud's family. Because she was the daughter of the owner, Irmtraud had the right of way in the riding arena, a custom that all boarders observed. "Not so Edgar," said Marianne, "He followed the usual arena etiquette and just would not move out of the way; so they crashed and that's how they met. Irmtraud was very upset at first, but Edgar would not concede anything since he had adhered to the rules. She found his boldness a bit intriguing. One thing led to another, and soon they were married."
Edgar assumed leadership positions in national organizations. He served on the AHSA and USET Dressage Committees, the AHSA Board of Directors, the USDF Judges Council, and the German Judges Association.
Edgar died on October 17, 2001 from complications from a severe stroke at age 60. He would have loved to see the new home for dressage at the USDF National Education Center, where he will be honored. His efforts have had a lasting impact on an entire generation of U.S. dressage judges. I am honored to induct Edgar Hotz into the Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame. Since his wife Irmtraud was unable to be here tonight, she asked that Marianne Ludwig accept in her behalf.
Samuel J. Barish