In Memoriam: PAEC mourns loss of leading Brazilian veterinarian Dr Thomas Wolff

Thomas Wolff, one of Brazil’s best known veterinarians who had worked all over the world at major international equestrian events, has passed away after losing his battle with lung cancer. He was 71.

Born in April 1951, equine veterinary medicine was his lifelong passion. He qualified as a veterinarian in 1975 at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of São Paulo and earned his doctorate in veterinary medicine at Zurich University in Switzerland the following year. Between 1975 and 1990 he worked in the Netherlands, Britain, Germany and the United States of America.

He was the Veterinarian in charge of the Brazilian Equestrian Team at two Olympic Games – Seoul 1988 and Beijing 2008 – and also at two Pan American Games –Rio (BRA) 2007 and Guadalajara (MEX) in 2011. 

During his many years working with equestrian sport’s global governing body, the Federation Equestre International (FEI), he was President of the Veterinary Commissions at both the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Other highlights of his FEI career came in 2014 when he was appointed as a Member of the FEI Veterinary Commission at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy (FRA), as Foreign Veterinary Delegate (FVD) at the FEI World Cup™ Finals 2017 in Omaha (USA), FVD at the Youth Olympic Games 2018 in Buenos Aires (ARG) and also at the FEI Jumping South American Championships for Young Riders, Juniors, Pre-Juniors and Children at Mar del Plata, Argentina in October last year.

He was National Head FEI Veterinarian in Brazil from 2000 to 2017 and was a valued member of the FEI Veterinary Committee from November 2015 to November 2019. He was on the limb sensitivity testing team at the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Final at the 2022 Final in Barcelona (ESP), and had just been appointed by the FEI as Foreign Veterinary Delegate for the Santiago 2023 Pan American Games in Chile later this year.

“We have lost a dear friend and a talented veterinarian with the passing of Thomas Wolff”, PAEC President Cesar Hirsch said. “We were roommates at the Rio Olympic Games and we worked together at so many events. Along with all his friends and colleagues, I will miss him enormously. He was a truly great man and the world is a poorer place without him. May he rest in peace.”

PAEC extends its sincere condolences to Dr Wolff’s wife Doris and his children, to the Brazilian National Federation, and to his wide circle of friends in the veterinary and equestrian sports worlds.

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