One of dressage’s most valued supporters, Allan Middleton, has died on 7 May after a long illness. He was 62 years old.

Through his wife, Anita, an event rider and List One dressage judge, Allan used his technical skills to improve early dressage technology.

“Allan with his technical know-how maintained and looked after the innovative headphones which provided commentary at all the big dressage championships for members of the British Dressage Supporters Club[BDSC],” said Anita.

The BDSC commentary sets were regularly serviced and looked after by Allan, who worked in the telecommunications industry.

Other shows could apply to use the headsets and Allan was in charge of sending them out to show organisers.

“Nobody had seen anything like this before. It helped open up dressage to so many more people,” said Anita.

“The current commentary system evolved from this original idea,” she added.

Allan had never ridden but became involved in the dressage world through his wife, a founder member of BDSC.

“He was totally non-horsey when we met, but supported me throughout my riding career and was a great BDSC supporter and enjoyed going to the dressage championships abroad,” Anita told H&H.

A celebration of Allan’s life was held today (28 May) at 12.15pm at St Mary The Virgin Church, Matching, in Essex.

After the church service everyone was invited for a buffet lunch at the nearby Chequers Pub, which was Allan’s local.

Should anyone want to make a donation the family has chosen ‘Papworth Hospital Charity’ in appreciation of the initial lifesaving operation that Allan underwent there in 2007.

“The heart team have shown the most amazing support since, including advice given to the medical team at our local hospital during Allan’s final days,” said Anita.