In memory of Tom Ryckewaert

To Tom Ryckewaert, who contributed with so much heart to Equestrian Sport

Tom Ryckewaert passed away June 14th 2019 surrounded by his loved ones.
Tom stood at the cradle of Eventing Waregem and was one of its driven forces for over 40 years.
His passing is a great loss for the organisation and for the equestrian sports in general.
The organisation remembers him as the man he was: driven, passionate and with a big heart.


In Memoriam: FEI pays tribute to former FEI Eventing Committee member Tom Ryckewaert (BEL)

Tom Ryckewaert (BEL), Event Director at the Belgian Eventing fixture at Waregem and one of the best known and respected FEI Officials in the Eventing community, has passed away at the age of 63. A member of the FEI Eventing Committee from 2006-2009, Tom Ryckewaert was an event organiser, Technical Delegate (TD), Course Designer and Steward, acting as TD and Chief Steward at multiple FEI Championships and four Olympic Games – Barcelona 1992, Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004.

He was due to officiate as TD at this weekend’s Longines CCI5*-L and the German National Championships in Luhmuhlen (GER) and also at the Longines FEI European Eventing Championships at the same venue in August. He had previously worked as TD at the Europeans 2011 in Luhmuhlen, the European Pony Championships 2012 in Fontainebleau (FRA) and the North American Junior Championships 2016 in Parker (USA).

A former international Eventing athlete, he had also officiated at major Eventing competitions all over the world, including the CCI-4* (now 5*) at Burghley (GBR), Lexington (USA) and Pau (FRA), and the World Young Horse Eventing Championships at Le Lion d’Angers (FRA).

Tom Ryckewaert was at the helm of the Waregem event for 40 years and, under his leadership, the venue has hosted a leg of the FEI Eventing Nations CupTM since the series’ inception in 2012.

He was also President of the Alliance of Eventing Organisers, an affiliate of the overall umbrella organisation, the International Equestrian Organisers’ Alliance and was an FEI Level HI FEI course director.

“The Eventing world has lost one of its greatest supporters with the passing of Tom Ryckewaert”, FEI Eventing & Olympic Director Catrin Norinder said. “He was a life force in our sport and contributed so much as an organiser and an official, and also as a member of the FEI Eventing Committee. We will miss him for his incredible expertise and great sense of humour.” The FEI expresses its sincere condolences to Tom Ryckewaert’s partner Florence, his four children -Thomas, Levi, Alice and Simon – his extended family and many friends in the Eventing world, the Belgian Equestrian Federation and the global equestrian community.


Horses and riders complete the competition over 3 days, each day consisting of a different discipline or phase. Horses and riders must complete a dressage test demonstrating obedience, discipline, accuracy and elegance. Then, they must complete a course of show-jumps designed to test their agility and accuracy at speed.

Finally, they need to be fit and athletic to complete a cross country ride jumping natural obstacles within a set time. The Ground Jury has ultimate responsibility for judging all three phases of the competition.

The Veterinary Delegate is responsible for ensuring that FEI regulations are adhered to and that horses are fit and able to complete all phases of the competition.