The Roanoke Valley horse community is mourning the death of local horseman L.M. “Sandy” Gerald, head coach of the Hollins University riding team.
Besides his work at Hollins, Gerald was a well respected course designer and USEF “R” judge; was awarded the Virginia Horse Show Association’s Susan H. Hagan Memorial Trophy; was a seven-time ODAC Coach of the Year; was inducted into the Southwest Virginia Hunter/Jumper Association Hall of Fame in 2006; was the VHSA Horseman of the Year in 2006 and 1992 (making him only the second person in the history of the VHSA to earn the honor a second time) and also was inducted into the Roanoke Valley Horse Show Hall of Fame in 2015.
Gerald also served as hunter/jumper manager for the Roanoke Valley Horse Show from 2009 – 2014. The Roanoke Valley Horsemen’s Association released this statement today:
“The Roanoke Valley Horsemen’s Association along with the Roanoke Valley Horse Show were shocked and greatly saddened by the sudden loss of our very dear friend LM Sandy Gerald. He has been a great asset to our association and show for many many years, but more importantly he was a very dear friend who was above all else a true Southern Gentleman. His absence will be felt for many years to come. Out thoughts and prayers are with His family, His Hollins family, his friends, and the hundreds of riding students he has impacted over the years.”
He is reported to have fallen while decorating a jump at Hollins and later died while in surgery to repair a broken hip.
- The Roanoke Times: Sandy Gerald, respected equestrian at Hollins University, dies unexpectedly