Holger Schmezer

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Holger Schmezer (Associated Press Photo)
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) - Holger Schmezer, Germany's two-time Olympic champion dressage coach, has died, the International Equestrian Federation said Friday. He was 65.

Schmezer was found dead in his hotel room in 's-Hertogenbosch, where three German riders are competing at the World Cup finals, the federation said.

"The loss of Holger Schmezer is a terrible blow to the German Dressage team, and to lose such an inspirational coach in an Olympic year is tragic," FEI President Princess Haya of Jordan said in a statement.

Schmezer coached Germany's team dressage gold medalists at the 2004 Athens Olympics and the 2008 Beijing Games. He was to step down after the London Olympics.

The federation said German riders Isabell Werth, Helen Langehanenberg and Nadine Capellmann wore black armbands in his honor Friday.


Copyright © 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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