ALBERT H. KLEY - 1943 - 2016
It is with heavy hearts that we are left to face the sudden passing of Albert Kley. With family by his side, Albert passed away on the evening of January 6, 2016 at the age of 72. A remarkable husband, father, grandfather, mentor, friend and horseman, Albert will be sorely missed.
Albert was born in Nassenheide, Germany and grew up in the farming community of Holtrup. From an early age, Albert’s passion for the horse was evident – exchanging chores with a local farmer every day after school for the opportunity to ride. Albert’s mother worked tirelessly to enable Albert to attend the Landreitschule Hoya (State Riding School in Hoya). There, Albert acquired the fundamental skills of horsemanship that brought him many successes in his show jumping career and that he, in turn, would pass on to generations of students.
Albert’s life and career in Canada began in 1971 when he was selected to come to Calgary to introduce the Hanoverian horse to the small, but enthusiastic, show jumping community at St. George’s Stables and subsequently, to assist the Southern family in the planning and creation of Spruce Meadows. Speaking no English, only the language of horsemanship, Albert began a grand adventure that would take him across Canada and around the world. This journey included sharing his love of the horse with royal audiences, heads of state, school children, cowboys, corporate audiences, and anyone who came through the stable. His one-year contract, never officially extended,
lasted more than 40 years.
Albert had a profound impact on all those he met. His influence on the sport of show jumping, and the community at large, was monumental. Albert was instrumental in the creation and building of Spruce Meadows and a major contributor to its international legacy.
Albert was the consummate horseman. As a rider, Albert’s resume included more than 50 Grand Prix titles around the world. His achievements were recognized by the German Equestrian Federation with its highest honor, the Goldenes Reitabzeichen (Gold Badge of Achievement in Show jumping). As a coach and trainer, Albert developed generations of horses and riders that represented Canada proudly and successfully at the Olympic Games, major championships and, of course, at Spruce Meadows itself. Albert’s teachings will continue through the thousands of lives he touched and knew during his courageous life and accomplished career.
Albert was a man of simple pleasures. His friends, his farm, good food, a cold beer, his horses and his family all brought about a twinkle in his eye and his infectious signature smile. Albert’s greatest pleasure came from his family.
His sweetheart and loving wife of 41 years Judy, son Stevie, and his cherished grandchildren Ella and James
were the light of his life.
Albert is survived by his wife Judy; son Steven; daughter-in-law Ashley; grandchildren Ella and James; sister Annette; and extended family members in both Western Canada and Germany. He was predeceased by his father Albert; mother Sophie; and sister Dorothea.
Albert’s family would like to thank the amazing doctors, nurses and staff at the Foothills Medical Centre ICU Pod C for their expert and compassionate care.
A Celebration of Albert’s Life will take place at the Spruce Meadows Congress Hall (18011 Spruce Meadows Way S.W.) on Friday, January 15th at 11:00 a.m. If friends so desire, Albert’s family asks that memorial tributes be made directly to the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation, 2888 Shaganappi Trail N.W., Calgary, AB T3B 6A8, Telephone:
(403) 955-8818 or directly to the Calgary Inter-Faith Food Bank Society, 5000 – 11 Street S.E., Calgary, AB T2H 2Y5, Telephone: (403) 253-2059, www.calgaryfoodbank.com