Equestrian Canada (EC) extends heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the late Gordon “Tom” Michiel, who passed away on Jan. 22, 2018, at the age of 87.
A lifelong equestrian, Michiel was widely celebrated for his contributions as a show jumping official. He was a constant presence on the ground jury at Spruce Meadows in Calgary, AB for over four decades, where he became well-known for his fair and reasoned officiating. Michiel was deeply committed to promoting the sport, and nurtured its development among youth at the FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC). On the international circuit, Michiel also held the role of FEI 3* Jumper Judge.
Michiel worked tirelessly to share knowledge and expertise with his fellow officials. As Chair of the Jump Canada (JC) Officials Committee, he helped facilitate educational opportunities for officials across Canada. He won the inaugural Equestrian Canada Official of the Year Award in 2004 for his efforts, and was inducted into the Jump Canada Hall of Fame in 2010.
In addition to the accolades received for his professional achievements, Michiel was well-known for his infectious laughter. His sense of humour was unparalleled, and his presence guaranteed that the smallest get-together would turn into a fun and memorable event.
“The loss of Tommy Michiel is a heavy blow to the jumping community,” said Karen Hendry-Ouellette, EC Jumping Manager. “Tommy was highly respected for his invaluable contributions to the sport, and his integrity and dedication will be long remembered and greatly missed, our sincere condolences go out to Ray and his family.”
Michiel is survived by his partner, Raymond Antonuk; sisters, Anne and Ethel; sisters-in-law, Sandra Young and Catherine Louie; brother-in-law, Doug; and a great number of family and friends.
Memorial services will be held at Calgary Crematorium Chapel on Jan. 29, 2018 at 10 a.m. A reception at the funeral home will follow. Please forward condolences here.