LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — Lake Placid Horse Show Association announced the passing of its long-time chairman, Richard M. Feldman.
Born on Jan. 22, 1935, Feldman passed away at the age of 83 on Thursday, March 8, 2018 after a long illness.
Feldman first joined the Lake Placid Horse Show Association (LPHSA) Board of Directors in 1987 at the request of then-chairman Martin Stone and he was elected Chairman when Stone stepped down four years later. The Lake Placid Horse Shows were his labor of love as he has worked tirelessly to promote and improve the shows and the show grounds each year.
Employed for 40 years with Lehman Brothers, where he became the company's youngest National Sales Manager and where he became a Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Investments, Feldman helped give the Lake Placid Horse Shows a position of national prominence. In addition to his business savvy, his commitment to the town of Lake Placid and a genuine love for horses played a role in everything he did.
Whether in New York City's Central Park, on the polo fields in West Palm Beach, hunting with the Scarteen Black and Tans in Ireland, or on his own farm in Lake Placid, Feldman made it a point to ride every day. A founding father of the New York Parks Department Mounted Auxiliary, he was a Master of Fox Hounds in New Jersey, a member of the Golden Bridge Club in North Salem, N.Y., and was on the Board of Trustees of the United States Equestrian Team Foundation.
He also has made his mark in horse racing, owning, with his family, the Thoroughbred, Bet Twice, who won the Belmont Stakes by 13 lengths and was second in both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes in 1987.
Feldman maintained contact throughout the year with riders, trainers and owners, always looking for feedback to make the horse shows more successful. He was often heard to say, "Don't tell me what's good about the horse show, tell me what's wrong with it! That's the only way we can make it better."
Thanks to his efforts and leadership, the Lake Placid Horse Shows now boast a world-class venue with state-of-the-art footing set in a pristine vacation setting, making it a favorite stop for competitors and families alike. Top barns regularly include the Lake Placid Horse Shows as a featured stop on their competition calendar and the Lake Placid Horse Shows are annually recognized by the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame as one of the country's Top 10 Horse Shows.
Feldman was honored by the Town of Lake Placid in 2009 when they presented him with the Key to the Olympic Village and elected him into the Lake Placid Hall of Fame. He and his wife, Diana, were also chosen to serve as Grand Marshalls of the town's annual Fourth of July Parade.
Feldman has been memorialized by the horse shows with the naming of the Richard M. Feldman Grand Prix Field, the Richard M. Feldman Grand Prix and the Richard and Diana Feldman Perpetual Challenge Trophy for Excellence which is awarded to the rider who accumulates the most money in Lake Placid's two Grand Prix events. He will also be remembered through "Dick's Deck," a platform by the in-gate which was built through donations by his many friends.
In addition to his Lake Placid Horse Show family, Feldman is survived by his wife, Diana. Memorial services are tentatively planned for New York City in April and for Lake Placid during this summer's horse shows, June 26 to July 8.
Memorial donations can be made "In Memory of Richard M. Feldman" to the Lake Horse Show Association, 5514 Cascade Road, Lake Placid N.Y. 12946.
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