Submitted by Maple Creek Light Horse Association
On Saturday, August 14, members of the Maple Creek Light Horse Association were saddened to hear of the passing of a treasured instructor and friend to many of the members, Christopher “Robin” Hahn, of Daughin, Manitoba at 88 years of age.
Robin was born June 19, 1933 in Regina, Saskatchewan, attending school in Belle Plain and Moose Jaw, and continuing his education at the University of Guelph, Ontario.
He was inducted into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame in 1980 in recognition of his many accomplishments in the sport.
He continued competing until the age of 79.
Robin travelled the world training and conducting clinics, and introducing hundreds of students to the wonders of riding and horsemanship.
Robin’s first love has always been horses and riding. He was a groom and assistant trainer at the 1956 Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden, where the team won a bronze medal.
He competed in the 1968 Olympics in Ciudad, Mexico on a horse called “Taffy”, and was Canada’s leading rider. The team placed 8th overall. He was also the Canadian 3-day Event Champion in 1967, 1969, 1971, and 1972.
In Winnipeg in 1967 Robin placed sixth in the Pan Am games on a horse called Warden. In 1971, Robin was captain of the gold medal team at the Pan American Games in Cali, Columbia. He participated in the 1972 Munich Olympic Games on a horse named “Lord Jim.”
He was appointed captain of the Canadian Olympic Team that rode at Bromont, Quebec 1976. Robin rode “L’Esprit,” and the Canadian team placed sixth overall.
In a career that has spanned more than 50 years, he has produced a host of horses to Olympic and World Championship level. Robin dedicated his life to the pursuit of the highest reaches of excellence, whether it was as a rider, teacher, trainer, volunteer or event organizer.
A Level lll eventing/show jumping coach, he helped to create what has become Canada’s equestrian coaching certification program. He has also been a director and zone chairman of the National Equestrian Federation of Canada and an FEI judge.
Robin is renowned for his calm, quiet approach and ability to train riders of all levels from beginner to advanced. He was skilled with green horses and riders, and their lessons received as much attention and enthusiasm as the lessons for intermediate and advanced horses and riders.
All skill levels of riding were welcome at his clinics, and he was happy to teach many western riders over the years as well.
Safe to say, he improved more ranch horses than any other Olympic eventer, and he had a great appreciation for all breeds and types of horses and ponies, no matter what their job description was.
While in Maple Creek, he was eager to reminisce of his horse Warden, who was sired by the stallion Faux Pax from the RCMP breeding program in Cypress Hills.
He was quick to appreciate the stamina and muscling of horses that were raised in the altitude and terrain of the area.
Robin began his association with the Maple Creek Light Horse Association in the 1980s, and for many years would come once or twice a year to instruct a three-day clinic sponsored by the association.
Many from the area who were fortunate enough to become his students became lifelong friends and repeat participants.
Many, many students of his from across Canada who had the good fortune to be instructed by him went on to work in the equine industry or ride professionally in some aspect.
His teaching was just as accessible and understandable to riders with little previous coaching or knowledge of the finer aspects of horsemanship as it was to top equestrians.
Robin had an astounding ability to see the character and ability of the horse regardless of its breeding or history, and a knack for getting the horse and rider on the same page of their partnership goals.
He had an innate talent for building confidence in the rider, and a willingness in the horse to listen to the rider in whatever discipline they had chosen to explore – as well as creating the willingness in the riders to listen to their horses.
His kindness and presence will be sorely missed in the horse world, and he will be fondly remembered by all who were privileged to have known him.