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Thom Brede, longtime Orefield, Pa. resident, a thoroughbred breeder and top horse show judge, died April 20 at age 78

Thom Brede, 78, who lived with his wife Wissie, nee Ann Mumma, in Orefield Pa., for 20 years, where the couple bred thoroughbreds, died April 20 in Stamping Ground, Ky.

After graduating from Rutgers University in New Jersey, Brede briefly pursued a career with Humble Oil and Esso.

He competed successfully as a junior, but it was judging later on in life that made him famous throughout the industry.

Brede held  his USEF "R" license in hunters, jumpers, hunter breeding and equitation, and, for over 50 years, he judged at all the major shows throughout the United States and Canada.

His first marriage to Karen Janssen ended in 1969, and in 1971 Brede married Wissie, and they lived at her family farm near Orefield where the couple bred and trained horse, held clinics, managed horse shows  and trained young riders as well as judging.

But suburban sprawl began to threaten the farm, and in 2001 they moved to Stamping Ground, Ky., where they established their new farm.

In 1998 Brede became chairman of the American Horse Shows Association (now USEF) Licensed Officials Committee, and from 2002 to 2012 he served on the U.S Hunter Jumper Association's Hunter Breeding Task Force,

He was inducted into the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Pennsylvania Horse Shows Association and in 2010 was awarded the Daniel P. Lenehan Perpetual Trophy at the Capital Challenge Horse Show in Maryland for his service as a judge.

He founded The Taterland Foundation, which helps provide underprivileged children with winter clothes, fuel and food and sponsors educational programs in Scott County, Ky.

Brede was predeceased by his wife Wissie and is survived by his sister, Marlene Hylbert of Rochester, N.Y., his daughter Jessica and her husband Larry Eisenberg of Gaithersburg, Md., and two grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to The Taterland Foundation, 122 Treehaven St., Gaithersburg, Md., 20878, The Thoroughbred Retirement Fund ( or to Old Friends Rescue (

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