In memoriam: International Judge Jan Peeters

Jan Peeters 2012

After a short period of illness Jan Peeters (81) passed away last Tuesday August 13th at home in the Dutch Weert. A family man at home, Jan Peeters also devoted much of his life to the horse world in general and the dressage world in particular, always stimulating the training of horse as well as rider, continuously contemplating education and meanwhile developing into an internationally renowned dressage judge.

Jan Peeters started out as an instructor in the southern part of the Netherlands and quickly developed an interest in becoming a dressage judge. In the Netherlands he became a driving force behind the Dutch judges’ training program’s further development.
After the first Volvo World Cup Finals in ’s-Hertogenbosch in 1986, Jan was the one who introduced the freestyle and freestyle judging nationally in the Netherlands at all levels. Right up to his unfortunate passing, he kept showing great interest in dressage tests and logical dressage lines.
He was one of the first to introduce video-testing and travelled around with his camera and screen to teach. He embraced modern technologies as well. In 2016, he was the voice-over in the KNHS Dressage Test App commenting on tests.

Jan Peeters was a highly versatile official. As a respected judge who achieved the 5* status, he officiated numerous international FEI championships as well as two Olympic Games: Atlanta (1996) and Sydney (2000).

Alongside his wife Ald, nicknamed “the mother of youth”, Peeters served as chef d’equipe and respected team trainer for the Dutch youth teams until 2006, leading the youngsters to gold medals.
The development of youth had his special attention. In 2003, Sjef Janssen and Jan
Peeters were behind the initiative of an Under 25 division, Rabo Future Test, in the Netherlands, now an internationally recognised category with its own European Championships.

In 2009, Peeters had to retire from international judging because of the age limit, after which he was decorated with the KNHS gold pin. After that Peeters became a member of the FEI Judges Supervisory Panel and served at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Only last year, Peeters decided to also resign from national judging, making the 2018 Dutch Championships in Ermelo his last appearance. Here, Peeters received the Wim Ermes Memorial Trophy for his lifetime achievements.

The Dutch Equestrian Federation KNHS is very grateful and thankful to Jan Peeters and his timeless and tireless work for the good of the sport, the riders and the horses. He leaves behind his wife Ald, a son and daughter and grandchildren. Our thoughts are with his family dealing with his loss. At his family’s request, Jan Peeters’s cremation will be private.

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