Sandie Cafritz

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Sandie Cafritz of Dickerson, Maryland, passed away on Sunday, April 28, at the age of 88. She was a dedicated and loving mother to Jodi (Mark Bronsky) Cafritz, and Laurence (Sherri) Cafritz; a cherished grandmother to Jack, Mick, Daniel, Ryan and Jeremy; a beloved friend to her late ex-husband, James Cafritz; and a grateful friend to her wonderful caregivers, Magi, Kiki and Gaby.

Born in 1936 to Edmund Powell and Sally Weinberg in Chicago, Sandie had a deep passion for horses beginning at the young age of 4, entering her first horse show at the age of 8.

She was petite in stature, strong, competitive, tough as nails and could handle a stallion like no other. Sandie, essentially self-taught, became a gifted and talented equestrian.

She won the 1947 Saddle Seat Equitation Championship at the Chicago International Horse Show at age 11, competing against 17-year-olds, and went on to raise and ride mostly Arabians in National and International competitions throughout her life, and well into her late 70s. She won in most every show she entered, gaining the respect of other equestrians nationwide.

She also became a trainer and breeder of Arabians on her farm, which was her favorite place in the world, and she enjoyed teaching others. During the 1980s, when a debilitating disease was decimating the horse population in Maryland and spreading throughout the country, Sandie worked tirelessly on behalf of the Morris Animal Foundation, raising funds and awareness to aid in the creation of a successful vaccine to cure what was to be known as Potomac Horse Fever.

Her champion stallion, Maratez, was the first horse in the world to receive the vaccine. The foundation presented her with the Equine State Chairman of the Year Award for three consecutive years for her dedicated work.

Sandie also had an eye for interior design and worked for Scalamandre and Tina A. Ruvel Interior Design in Chicago before designing many of the building projects for James Cafritz Inc. in the Washington, D.C., area. Sandie will be sorely missed by her family and friends.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Casey House of Montgomery Hospice (montgomeryhospice.org/donate-now).

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