H&H reports the passing of individuals who have made a significant contribution to the horse world. Funerals and memorial details will be included where possible

A leading figure in the equestrian world, Mr Wiegersma died on 23 February aged 65.

Born in Holland, he moved to the UK at the age of 20 to work for Olympic gold medallist eventer Bertie Hill.

While working for Bertie, he met his future wife, Pippa Tomlin, and the couple moved to Cornwall where they set up a competition and breaking yard.

The couple were also among British Eventing’s longest-standing event organisers.

They ran Penzance Horse Trials from the early 1970s before starting up Hatherleigh Horse Trials when they moved to Devon, which ran from 2001-2013.

Mr Wiegersma competed at international level, including at Badminton, and also brought on numerous young horses who went on to enjoy successful careers.

He also produced horse feed before setting up stable manufacturing company West of England Stabling in 1998.

His son, Jake, became involved in the running of the family business after Mr Wiegersma suffered a serious accident in 2011.

His daughter is four-star event rider Lucy McCarthy, who married Irish championship rider Padraig last year.

A memorial service will be held at 2pm on 14 March at Hatherleigh Church.

Amanda Nisbet

Well-known competitor and driving coach Mrs Nisbet (nee Saville) died on 12 February.

She served as a council member of the British Horse Driving Trials Association (now British Carriagedriving) from 2004-2008.

She was crowned national champion in a number of events and continued to compete in national events and championships while receiving cancer treatment.

Her Chariots of Fire display team travelled across the UK to county shows, and in 2015 she was awarded the title of disability coach of the year by SportScotland.

Dr Mary Lewis

Dr Lewis died at home on 1 February, aged 67.

A life-long horsewoman, she had numerous Horse of the Year Show qualifiers in private driving, working hunters and ridden cobs.

She is survived by her husband Derek, children Emma and Andrew, and three grandchildren.

Dr Lewis’ funeral was held on 15 February.

Herbert de Baey

Mr de Baey, one of the most successful breeders of all time, has died aged 84.

He bred the multiple Olympic gold medal-winning dressage horses Ahlerich and Rembrandt, as well as the Dutch team horse Amon.

Rembrandt won gold under Nicole Uphoff at the 1988 Seoul and 1992 Barcelona Games and Ahlerich, ridden by Dr Reiner Klimke, won medals at the 1984 Los Angeles and 1988 Seoul Olympics.

All three horses competed at the 1988 Games.

Mr de Baey died on 16 February at home in Lemgo, Germany.

Victoria Elsbury-Legg

Successful polo journalist Ms Elsbury-Legg died earlier this month, aged 44.

As well as reporting, during her career she spent time working at both Guards and Beaufort polo clubs.

Polo player and H&H reporter Aurora Eastwood first met Ms Elsbury-Legg in 2008, while the latter was working at Guards Polo Club.

“She was just really sweet, always friendly and simply good to people,” Aurora said.

She added that Ms Elsbury-Legg was a well-known figure within the polo world, who frequently reported on and gave live updates from high-goal games.

Dinah Murdoch

A key figure in the Pony Club who guided the lives of many members has died aged 84.

Mrs Murdoch was involved with the Royal Artillery branch of the Pony Club as a parent, committee member and secretary and also served as district commissioner for 20 years.

She remained involved with the branch for a further 10 years until the end of 2015 as their president.

A lifelong horse trials supporter, she owned several event horses including her homebred Two O Two, who competed Badminton and Burghley multiple times with Antoinette McKeowen between 2002 and 2006.

Mrs Murdoch was also a founder member of the Andover branch of the Riding for the Disabled Association, which was set up in 1972.

Gerald Brown

The founder of saddlery Abbey England has died aged 90.

Mr Brown founded Abbey Saddlers, as it was then called, in 1982 and in recent months would still come to work each morning.

A statement from his family said that the business is a testament to his courage and his timeless values of personal service, believing “nothing is too much trouble for our customers”.

In 2011, Mr Brown was presented with the British Equestrian Trade Association lifetime achievement award for his “key role” in shaping the equestrian industry of today.

Christine Morgan-Owen

Mrs Morgan-Owen played a major role in the redevelopment of the Pony Club following its renovation at the end of World War II.

In 1947 she joined the British Horse Society’s London office, where she worked for the next 18 years. She was given the task of “sorting out the Pony Club”, which led to her becoming the Pony Club’s official secretary in 1952.

While working with the organisations, she also found time to produce her eventer Ballyhoo up to intermediate level.

Patrick Conolly-Carew later took on the ride and the combination jumped clear around Badminton five times.

Among her achievements was writing the aims of the Pony Club, which remain almost unchanged today as the organisation’s visions and values.

She worked with the Pony Club training committee and had a key role in producing a “bible” for the Pony Club — the Manual of Horsemanship.

Mrs Morgan-Owen would drive her 1928 Austin 7 across the country to promote the book to branches through lecture demonstrations, and became a visiting instructor in the process.

She also helped to produce a further series of booklets and film strip lectures, including Bits and Bitting and Training the Young Pony.

As well as this, she played a major role in the foundation of inter-branch competitions.

She retired from her position of secretary following the birth of her daughter in 1964, but continued to be actively involved with the organisation.

“She was ‘Mum’ to so many riders, especially those who didn’t have horsey parents, and she had an amazing ability to be quietly close by, and give gentle support at moments when it was most needed,” said her daughter, Sally.

“Many people will fondly remember how, always patient, she led by example and generously shared with others her intuitive talent and huge knowledge and experience.”

The BHS made her an honorary life member and presented her with the diploma of honour.

A well-respected List 3 dressage judge, she also ran and taught the Cranleigh branch of the Riding for the Disabled Association.

She died on 29 January, aged 87.

Ailsa Pease

A well-respected judge who officiated at top shows over the years, Mrs Pease bred the Lemington hacks and ponies as well as three-star eventer Lemington Lets Dance.

Fellow judge, Joanna MacInnes, remembered her as a beautiful rider, an amazing lady and a “first-class judge”.

Mrs Pease was also a former chairman of the British Horse Society (BHS) Durham County Committee during the early 70s.

In the 25 years that followed, she served as a BHS welfare officer and Mrs MacInnes recalls her being “absolutely fearless” where animal welfare was concerned.

Mrs Pease and her husband held an annual pleasure ride on their land in aid of the organisation.

As well as her service to the BHS, she was chairman of the South Durham Branch of the Pony Club for many years.

Dr Jaromir Oulehla

Dr Oulehla was the president of the Lipizzaner Society of Great Britain and was formerly the director of the Spanish Riding School of Vienna and the Federal Stud Piber.

He played a vital role in saving the stud’s herd from a devastating outbreak of equine herpes in the 1980s.

After retiring from the school, he worked to save other endangered breeds, including the Przewalski and Kladruber.

Dr Ouelhla died on 23 January aged 73.

Joe Foster

Stalwart of the showing community Joe Foster died on 23 January aged 91.

He was a great help to riders at grassroots level and also led the Ponies Association (UK) steward team in the 90s.

His funeral will be held at 2.15pm on 9 February at Bushbury Crematorium, Wolverhampton.

Bob Garrett

Mr Garrett, the principal of Aldborough Hall Equestrian Centre in Essex, has died aged 85.

He established the British Horse Society approved riding school around 60 years ago.

His current students paid tribute to him as “inspirational”.

Mr Garrett also bred the grand prix dressage stallion Aldborough Rubinhall.

Christian Heppe

The long-term player and supporter of Guards Polo Club has died aged 74.

Mr Heppe, a life-playing member of the Berkshire-based club, was also the founder of Hildon Water.

Among his achievements as a player was reaching the final of the British Open with his own team in 1984. His Hildon House team won the trophy in 1990.

Ron Southern

RDS Official Photograph1The co-founder of Spruce Meadows has died at the age of 85.

Mr Southern and his wife, Margaret, bought the ranch, south of Calgary, Canada, with the hope of establishing a world-class equestrian venue.

The first tournament was held there in 1976 and it now hosts 300 events annually, including a leg of the showjumping Rolex Grand Slam.

Both Mr and Mrs Southern were inducted into Canada’s sports hall of fame in 2006 and he was also awarded a CBE and Member of the Order of Canada.

Mr Southern died on 21 January.

Tommy Wilson

Hunt servant of more than 50 years Tommy Wilson has died at the age of 81.

He started his career at the Cumberland Farmers before joining the Grove and Rufford as whipper-in.

Mr Wilson also served the Hampshire Hunt, York and Ainsty North, Berwickshire, Atherstone, and Derwent.

He finally joined the Bedale and West of Yore, where he worked for 25 seasons before retiring.

His funeral took place on 15 January.

Wilfrid Weld

The organiser of Lulworth Castle Horse Trials in Dorset has died at the age of 81.

The Weld family has owned and managed the Lulworth Estate since 1641 which includes the iconic sites of Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove.

The father-of-five died on 3 December in Tahiti.

Liz Bates

The long-standing district commissioner of the Oakley Hunt (North) Branch of the Pony Club has died.

Liz held the position from 1983 – 2001 and was involved with the branch for more than 50 years.

Former area 12 representative, Michael Raeside Auld, said he “cannot think of a stauncher and truer friend” than Liz.

General Om Prakash Malhotra

General “OP” Malhotra was a key figure in the equestrian world.

A former member of the Equestrian Federation of India and the Asian Equestrian Federation, General Malhotra was also a former chief of staff in the Indian Army.

He died on 29 December at his home in Gurgaon at the age of 93.

Germain Levallois

The well-known French breeder of Selle-François horses has died at the age of 81.

Among the horses he bred the family’s Normandy stud was Diamant de Semilly, who won showjumping team gold with Eric Levallois at the World Equestrian Games in Jerez, 2002.

Mr Levallois died on 28 December.

Nick Murphy

Nick Murphy

Nick, Annette and his best friend Tommy

Wexford Horse Transport Owner Nick Murphy was fatally injured in a road accident near Newport, South Wales, on 14 December, 2015.

He and his partner Julie established Wexford Horse Transport three years ago and it was on a trip delivering twelve horses to the UK that the accident occurred.

“His truck and been punctured on the M4 and after exiting off the motorway and despite following all protocols, he was struck by a vehicle and killed instantly,” the family said in a tribute to Nick.

“Nick was brought up near Ballyfad, North Wexford, with three brothers, John, Patrick and Thomas, and one sister, Julia. He had learnt from a young age a deep appreciation and love of the country way of life. Apart from the usual duties of a son on a farm Nick spent endless hours with his brothers ferreting, fishing the Bann and the Avonmore and hunting with the Island and Wicklow hunts.

“Nick was passionate about life and this and his good humour was reflected through all he did.”

Show ring success

Nick and Julie were well known across Ireland for their involvement in showing. They were successful in the show ring and won championships across the country. In 2014 they won the reserve champion broodmare with Inisteogue Best Betty at Dublin Horse Show.

“Although many will remember him for his successes in the show ring, still greater more will remember him for the many times he shared out, from his blue Molly Ford Lorry, freshly cooked rasher sandwiches, tea, homemade apple tart, the chat, the stories and exploits and the craic,” continued the tribute.

Nick is survived by Julie, his family, Annette, Ryan, James and Ben, his sister and brothers, his work colleagues, drivers, Shane, PJ and PT, and yard staff, Aine, Niamh and Laura Lee.

“A very large crowd of friends and neighbours from both the UK and Ireland attended his funeral to pay their final respects to a young man greatly loved and respected by so many,” added the tribute.

“The funeral was accompanied from Nick’s home at Caim to the church by two Bree huntsmen on grey Irish hunters who also blew the final “gone away” after the cermony. In subsequent days many hunts iand the UK and the Irish Shows Association paid their own tributes to Nick.

“His daughter, Annette, organised a very well attended memorial in Woldingham Village Hall in early January.”

Dr Guilherme Borba

Dr Guilherme Borba was the founder of the Portuguese School of Equestrian Art — a revival of the historic royal school.

He died on 4 January at the age of 84 following a long illness.

The school’s first major foreign tour was to England in 1986 to celebrate 600 years since the Treaty of Windsor.

The Queen attended a ball at Osterley Park to mark the occasion and after dinner, the Portuguese School delighted guests with a display.

Today the school is state owned and has become a major tourist attraction in Lisbon.

Dr Borba also advised and supported the formation of Spain’s Andalusian School of Equestrian Art.

Bob Bishop

Bob Bishop OBITThe joint-owner of King George VI Chase winner Cue Card has died aged 83.

He passed away just four days after the race on Boxing Day at Kempton Park.

Bob co-owned Cue Card with his wife, Jean, who survives him.

The gelding will now head to the Cheltenham Gold Cup and is in line to win the Jockey Club Racecourses’ £1m Chase Triple Crown bonus.

Alan Lee

Respected racing and cricket journalist Alan Lee died unexpectedly on Saturday (19 December).

He was 61 and had undergone heart surgery on 6 November but had been recovering well.

Alan had attended Ascot races on Friday, but died the following day, shocking the racing community.

Alan had been racing correspondent of The Times since 1999. He was previously cricket correspondent for the publication for 11 years.

Alan was named the Horserace Writers & Photographers Association racing writer of the year three times and had written several books.

Jockeys wore black armbands at Lingfield today (Monday, 21 December) in his memory.

“Alan was a fantastic journalist to work with. He was passionate about the sport and you could tell he loved it in his writing,” said H&H columnist Richard Johnson.

Gill Drew

Retired List One dressage judge Gill Drew died on 3 December aged 76.

Her niece, Pippa Drew, described her aunt as “the most genuine and kindest person that I will ever have the privilege to know and love”.

“She lived her life for horses, her passion and dedication was second to none and was contagious,” Pippa added.

On Gill’s retirement from competition Pippa took on her advanced horse Gazel, who went on to compete at the British Dressage nationals at prix st georges level and with para dressage riders for a further six years.

Peter Willett

Credit: RACINGFOTOS.COM

Credit: RACINGFOTOS.COM

Horse & Hound’s authoritative bloodstock correspondent for more than 40 years, Peter Willett, died on 22 November aged 96.

“Peter was very highly regarded in the racing world,” said former H&H editor Michael Clayton.

“His weekly column in Horse & Hound was a fount of knowledge for generations of bloodstock breeders. He made a major contribution to racing in general.

“Peter reviewed the entire race calendar for the Jockey Club in the late 1960s, and was a leading figure in the design of Pattern races, which ensured that highest- class performers peaked for the biggest races. The system was adopted in Europe and America.

“He was a co-founder of the European Breeders’ Fund in 1983, persuading stud farms to contribute prize money to put on races that the breeding industry needed, and he served on other committees making huge contributions to the standards of racing.

“At Horse & Hound his column arrived like tablets of stone from on high. I do not think we ever changed a word. We were so fortunate to have him as a contributor,” added Mr Clayton.

Peter also wrote books including The Classic Racehorse, Makers of the Modern Thoroughbred and an authorised biography of Dick Hern.

He was elected a member of the Jockey Club in 1981 and a was director of the National Stud.

Victor Carter

Founder member of the Association of British Riding Schools Victor Carter has died at the age of 97.

Born in Walthamstow, East London, in 1918, Victor started riding at The Snaresbrook Riding School in 1946.

He went on to work at the school and was in the first batch of students to take the British Horse Society’s (BHS) preliminary instructors examination, which he passed.

After this, he went on to run and instruct at a number of riding schools, including Chorelywood House, Herts, Forest Lodge, Essex, and Norton Heath, Essex.

Victor died on 4 September.

Lady Anne Hemphill

Lady Hemphill was a former fieldmaster to the County Galway Hunt and founder of the Tulira Connemara Pony Stud.

Born in India, she found her love of hunting when the family moved back to Ireland.

She died on July 7, aged 84, and was laid to rest next to her husband, the late Peter Patrick Fitzroy Martyn, fifth Baron Hemphill.

Alexander Presho

Driving pony breeder Alexander Presho died suddenly on 8 October at the age of 42.

He bred the 2013 Horse of the Year Show harness champion Brookeborough Duke.

Alexander and the 2012 champion, Brookeborough Stepping Star. He leaves behind his wife, Louise, and sons James and Mark.

William Gronow-Davis MFH

A master of The Portman since 2008, Mr Gronow-Davis died at home in Dorset on 19 September aged 74.
He was a great supporter of the hunt and hosted the Portman Horse Trials on his Rushmore Estate for many years.

Rory MacDonald

Courtesy of British Racing School

Courtesy of British Racing School

The former chief executive of The British Racing School (BRS) has died at the age of 66.

Mr Macdonald held the position for 22 years between 1992-2014.

Following his retirement he continued to help and support others by taking up charitable roles within the industry, including as a trustee for Retraining of Racehorses (RoR).

He died on 2 November.

Iris Diamond

Mrs Diamond was among the founders of the East Cheshire Branch of the Pony Club (ECPC) in 1959 and later the East Cheshire Combined Training Group.

A keen horsewoman, she was involved with the ECPC for 35 years and was presented with awards from the Pony Club, Riding Clubs and British Horse Society for her service.

She died on 24 October at the aged 101.

Diana Pullein-Thompson

Diana Pullein-Thompson died aged 90 on 21 October after a short illness in hospital.

The author of more than 30 pony books, Diana was the last of the three Pullein-Thompson sisters surviving her twin Christine and older sibling Josephine.

Diana’s first book “I Wanted a Pony” was about a girl’s struggle to buy a pony. Her last was “Fair Girls and Grey Horses” a joint-autobiography written with her two sisters.

The book charts the girls’ country upbringing at The Grove in Peppard, Oxfordshire where they started a riding school after leaving school aged 14.

Diana, like her sisters loved horses and hunting. All whipped in to the Woodland Hunt, which they founded, and was later amalgamated into the Garth and South Berks.

The other inspiration for the girls’ pony writing was their mother Joanna Cannon, who started the whole genre of pony books starting with “A Pony for Jean”.

Diana married Dennis Farr a director of the Courtald Institute in London and used his name for her non-equine books, but will always be best remembered for her erudite real-life tales of pony-mad children.

 

Ronnie Massarella

Ronnie MassarellaFormer team manager and chef d’equipe of the senior British showjumping teams Ronnie Massarella has died aged 92.

Ronnie, who led Britain to victory many times around the world, died on 18 October due to ill health.

He managed the team for 30 years and under his leadership the Brits won silver at the 1980 and 1984 Olympics at Rotterdam and Los Angeles.

Ronnie was also at the helm when the team won gold at the 1979 World Championship and the 1985 European Championships. The team also took silver at the 1983 Europeans.

In 1982 he was appointed OBE for to services to British showjumping.

He retired from his role in December 2000 after the Nations Cup final.

Brian Armstrong

Field, South Midlands Area Point to Point 07.02.10

H&H’s long-standing point-to-point correspondent Brian Armstrong has died aged 62. He had been suffering from cancer.

Brian joined as a correspondent covering the Wessex area and provided reports and photos, as well as features for the magazine.

“Brian has been the lynchpin of point-to-pointing in H&H for years,” said point-to-point editor Aimi Clark.

“His passion for the sport was infectious; he had excellent rapport with jockeys, owners and all connections, and really was a font of knowledge.

“Brian will be sorely missed by me, and all at H&H.”

Johannes ‘Hansi’ Wallmeir
Wallmeier_Hans_(c) Stefan Lafrentz_1.jpg

Long-serving judge and FEI steward Johannes “Hansi” Wallmeir died on 8 September aged 73. He had been suffering from cancer.

He started his career as a Flat jockey before competing in both dressage and showjumping.

In 1970, he switched his focus to judging and, eight years later, became director of the German Association of Judges in Warendorf.

After 50 years as one of the longest-serving officials in the National Federation, he retired in 2007.

He was chief steward at the 2006 World Equestrian Games and a strong advocate for clean sport.

“Hansi was a great horseman and a true role model for the entire equestrian world,” said secretary general of the German National Federation Soenke Lauterbach.

Joan Harris
Joan Harris

A keen equestrian and dedicated riding instructor has died aged 85.

Joan Harris died on 13 August at St Nicholas House Care Home in Dereham, Norfolk.

Mrs Harris was born in Sussex and her passion for horses began at an early age.

By the time she was 20 her equestrian experience included training racehorses, point-to-point racing, showing, hunting, assisting an equine vet and backing and training.

She was sponsored by the Pony Club to take an intensive training course at the Fulmer School of Equitation, where she worked towards getting her British Horse Society (BHS) certificates.

Mrs Harris married her husband Kenneth in 1951 and established herself as a racehorse trainer. She took in boarders for lessons and training, while also competing in dressage and eventing.

With this experience she was invited to give clinics and conduct examinations for the British Horse Society.

In 1983 Mrs Harris moved to the USA to become dressage and eventing coach for Lake Erie College in Ohio. The following year she became the director of the college’s equestrian centre.

She held this post for four years until she had to resign due to her husband’s ill heath.

In 1988 she accepted an appointment to serve on a national committee to develop an American certification programme for dressage instructors for the United States Dressage Federation.

“Joan will be sadly missed, especially in the horse world,” said her son David.

“She had a unique way of reaching out to people while she was teaching, giving them confidence and making them feel they could conquer the world. She touched so many hearts in England and the USA.”

Mrs Harris’ funeral will take place at 3.15pm on Thursday (27 August) at Mintlyn Crematorium, Kings Lynn, PE32 1HB, and afterwards at the Sandboy, Gayton Road, Kings Lynn.

Karen Stives

Olympic eventer Karen Stives has died at the age of 64.

Karen died on 14 August from lung cancer.

In 1984, Ginny Elliot and Karen made history at the Los Angeles Olympics by becoming the first women to win individual Olympic eventing medals.

Karen won silver on her mother Lillian Mahoney’s Ben Arthur and Ginny took bronze.

She rode for the US in numerous internationals on her thoroughbred eventer, The Saint, including the 1982 World Championships in Lumühlen.

After retiring from international competition, Karen became an FEI judge and chairman of the United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation’s selectors.

Last year, she gave $1million to the USET which was used to set up a competition grants fund for high performance eventing.

Karen is survived by her partner, Bob Hutchison, sister Linda McCabe and three nieces and nephews.

Patricia Leitch
Patricia Leitch File4

Patricia Leitch, author of some of the best-loved pony books, has died aged 82 (July 28).

The children’s novelist wrote the popular 12-book Jinny series from 1976 to 1988.

The stories were set in the Highlands and centered on Jinny, an adventurous girl who rescues Arab mare Shantih.

Patricia Leitch 81IUlsfMT9LMs Leitch wrote many other stories and her last work, The Mystery Horse, was released in 1997.

She had a great love for horses and enjoyed trekking in the Highlands.

Before her writing career, she had also been a librarian at the University of Glasgow and then trained as a primary school teacher.

Catnip publishing began reprinting the Jinny series in July 2010.

Richard Kinsley

Richard Kinsey, who ran Tetton Hall Horse Trials with his late wife Frances, has died aged 90.

He died peacefully on Monday (10 August) following a short illness.

Frances died on 12 March 2013 aged 88. The pair last ran the event in Middleton, Cheshire, in 2009 when they were both 82.

“It is with great sadness that I have to pass on the news that Richard (Dick) Kinsey of Tetton Hall in Middlewich has passed away,” said a spokesman for British Eventing.

“He will be sadly missed and remembered fondly by all who knew him,” added the spokesman.

Mr Kinsey’s funeral will be for family only but a memorial service will be held on Thursday 20 August at 12 noon in St Leonard’s Church, Warmingham, Cheshire.

Donations in his memory can be made towards St Leonard’s Church.

Chris White
chris white

A former British Horse Society (BHS) bridleways officer has died.

Chris White died on 3 July aged 79.

She was responsible for creating many circular riding routes in the South East.

One of her triumphs was preventing an existing bridleway from being diverted by several miles.

She pressured the Department for Transport to build a bridge over the M25 near Sevenoaks in Kent to stop the diversion.

An active member of Endurance GB, Chris used to ride long distances to visit her family and also took part in the Golden Horseshoe Ride in Exmoor.

Chris was an accomplished musician and played both violin and piano.

She also volunteered with Riding for the Disabled.

Chris leaves behind her husband Alan and children Maggie, Helen and Neville.

Gerry Tribe
Gerry Tribe

The Horse Rangers Association (Hampton Court) has paid tribute to one of its longest serving members.

Colonel in chief Gerry Tribe died on 3 July at the age of 92.

He became involved with the group in 1968 when his nine-year-old daughter Tina started riding there.

He was made commanding officer in 1977, retiring after 26 years in the role. In 2004, he became colonel in chief.

A statement from the Horse Rangers Association read: “Everyone recalls what a kind, helpful and caring man he was — rarely raising his voice and always willing to give a hand or show how things should be done.”

In 2009, the board of trustees made Gerry an honorary life member.

He continued to support the group and attended their Riding for the Disabled Association open day a week before he died.

His funeral was due to be held at South West Middlesex Crematorium, Hanworth, today (Wednesday, 22 July).

Dawn Wofford

Former leading showjumper Dawn Wofford, née Palethorpe (pictured, credit Kit Houghton), has died at the age of 79.

Her showjumping career highlights include winning the Queen Elizabeth II cup twice and representing Great Britain at the 1960 Rome Olympics.

Dawn met her American husband, Warren Wofford, at the Stockholm Olympics, where they were both reserve riders.

After becoming a mother to Valerie, John and Bruce, Dawn became re-involved with the Pony Club.

She became the organisation’s first lady chairman in 1991 and in 1997 she co-ordinated the rewriting of the Manual of Horsemanship.

“Dawn touched many lives, influenced many and was a dynamic and enthusiastic motivator,” said her daughter Valerie Cockburn.

She was passionate about ‘putting back’ the fun she had had from horses and helping young people reach the best of their potential, whether they were riding hairy ponies or world class horses.”

‪Dawn died on 12 July. Her funeral is on Monday (27 July) at St Peter’s Church, Coughton.

Donations to Warwickshire and Northampton Air Ambulance.

Charles Hood

Charles_HoodCharles Hood, Lincoln Horse Trials organiser, former show director and chief equine steward at the Lincolnshire Show and Burton Hunt chairman, has died age 64.

Charles, known to many in the eventing community as Charlie, was joint organiser of the event for 20 years and stepped down only a few months before his death on Sunday 12 July.

“Charles was renowned for being the most polite and charming man with a good word to say for everyone,” said long-time friend and colleague, commentator Robert Heneage. “Anyone who ever met him would have received a ‘thank you so much’ from Charles.”

In addition to organising at Lincoln, Charles was also a BE cross-country course designer and long-standing steward.

Charles leaves his wife Tessa and their two sons Thomas and James.

Thomas Capstick

Murthwaite Cloud was bred by Thomas Capstick

Murthwaite Cloud was bred by Thomas Capstick

The founder of Murthwaite Fell Pony Stud has died.

He set up the stud in 1962, and its horses remained one of the few semi-feral fell pony herds running on the Howgills.

Murthwaite ponies have achieved a great many accolades —including wins at Horse of the Year Show and with ponies being ridden by The Queen.

The last pony to be registered under the Murthwaite prefix was born on the 8 June.

“Thomas will be missed not only for his wonderful ponies but for his generous spirit. Always quick to smile, he introduced a great many people to the fell pony world,” said friend Samantha McDermott.

“Friends will miss most his wicked sense of humour, his cheerful singing and of course his passion for his beloved ponies.

“Thomas gave many people fantastic opportunities — myself included. A true gentleman, he will be sadly missed by all who knew him.”

Geoff Charley

Geoff Charley Townfields Saddlers Ltd

The founder of Townfields Saddlers died on 21 June at the age of 75.

Geoff was known to many in the equestrian and shooting worlds through the family business, which he set up with his wife Gill in 1963.

He leaves behind his wife, their children Adrian and Sarah and four grandchildren.

Sarah told H&H: “He built Townfields to what it is today because he loved horse sport and adored working alongside his family.”

A minute’s silence was held at Hickstead on Sunday (28 June) to remember him.

Dr Peter Lamont

Dr Peter Lamont

The well-known eventing starter and owner Dr Peter Lamont has died.

Alongside Bill Allen, who died in April, Peter was a familiar face at horse trials, and as a starter officiated at hundreds of events including the Hong Kong Olympics and the 2006 Asian Games.

He was also involved in the sport as an organiser for Purston Manor Horse Trials and volunteered as a cross-country starter at a huge number of British Eventing (BE) fixtures including Tweseldown.

Peter also owned Beanie Sturgis’ four-star horse Lebowski.

The retired doctor died last week (2 June) and leaves his wife, Jill, a welll-known entries secretary.

BE’s David Holmes said: “This is deeply saddening news which will affect everyone in the sport. I know he was an extremely friendly and much-loved man in the community.”

Gerrit-Jan Swinkels

kJM-GerritJanSwinkels

Gerrit-Jan Swinkels the president of Indoor Brabant, the famous show in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, has died while riding.

The 67-year-old died suddenly on Monday 25 April while riding on the Belgian coast at Knokke-Heist in West Flanders. The exact circumstances of his death have not been released.

Mr Swinkels became president of Indoor Brabant in 2002 and planned to hand over to his successor in 2017 during the event’s 50th anniversary.

He was also president of the board of directors of Springpaarden Fonds Nederland, which is dedicated to developing jumping horses.

“Gerrit-Jan was a wonderful person, and thanks to him the profile of equestrian sport has grown tremendously”, said John Roche, FEI jumping director.

“The sport has lost one of its greatest friends, enthusiasts and supporters, and an immeasurable void has been left. We will all miss him greatly.”

Allan Middleton

One of dressage’s most valued supporters, Allan Middleton, 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,” Anita told H&H.

“The current commentary system evolved from this original idea.

“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.”

Daphne Lakin

The Hon Mrs Daphne Lakin who started Iping Horse Trials over forty years ago died peacefully at home after a short illness on 29 April aged 96.

She had been involved with horses all her life, firstly on the polo field where she was encouraged by her husband John and his brother, who are both international players. Daphne was also involved with the Pony Club and used to run ‘pony parties’ to entertain her son Michael and his friends.

Daphne ran Iping Horse Trials with a committee of friends for many years. More recently she dedicated her time to the design and the building of the cross-country fences and course.

She was to be seen out on the course as recently as last year with her hammer and nails.

Bill Allen

Eventing stalwart Bill Allen died on 4 April. He had been suffering from cancer.

Alongside his wife Ann, a British Eventing scorer and event secretary, Bill was well-known on the eventing circuit. The pair officiated at the 2008 and at 2012 Olympics.

“Bill was involved in the sport for many years as an organiser however he was also very well known for his work as a starter and volunteer at a great number of British Eventing (BE) events,” said a BE spokesman.

“Bill was one of the great personalities within the sport and a friend to many, he will be very sadly missed by all those in the eventing community.”

Tony Cavendish Cooper BHSI

The showjumping trainer and owner has died aged 68.

He passed away on 28 February.

Tony was “horse mad” from an early age and owned and trained showjumpers.

“His family have had some wonderful responses from hisfriends and he will be greatly missed by all those who knew him,” said a spokesman for the family.

Norah Machattie

The breeder and organiser has died aged 85.

Born in Glasgow in 1929, Norah lived for all things equestrian and was there at the beginning of Aberdeenshire’s North East Riding Club in the 1940s.

During her life, she bred many sport horses with her business partner Liz Davidson — the most famous being the horse that launched Ian Stark’s career Oxford Blue, a team silver medal winner at the LA Olympics.

Norah was pivotal in the organising of Royal Deeside Horse Trials for many years and then, along with her great friend Joan Weir, set up the Dietsmann Dressage Festival in Scotland.

Together, Norah and Joan set up Gordon Dressage Group, which still continues and carries on their legacy of bringing top judges to the area for its monthly competitions.

Following the onset of Alzheimer’s in 2007, Norah and her husband Keith moved to New Zealand to be near their daughter Clare.

Norah is survived by her husband, her daughter, her two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Maureen Walton

The keen eventing supporter died on 2 March, aged 82. She had been suffering from cancer.

Maureen was instrumental in devising the scoring system for three-day events, her written notes being used for many events, until technology came in.

She was joint chairman of Windsor Horse Trials with Peggy Maxwell of when it was a two-day event on Smiths Lawn and she was joint chairman with Col. Frank Beale of Windsor Park Equestrian Club in its early days, and subsequently scored dressage on Club days for many years. She also, until very recently, did the dressage scoring for Bookham Riding Club.

Lord Waterford (11 February, 2015)

Polo stalwart John Hubert de la Poer Beresford, the 8th Marquess of Waterford, died earlier this month (11 February). He was 81 years old.

Lord Waterford’s love for equestrianism started at Eton where he rode the first of many point-to-point winners and went on to be the youngest ever member of the Irish Turf Club.

He later turned to polo and was a member of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Windsor Park team, winning the Gold Cup at Cowdray Park on two occasions — in 1966 and 1969. He was also captain of the All Ireland Polo Club from 1960 to 1985 and its highest handicapped player.

His love of polo has been passed on to his grandson — Richard Le Poer — who is a six-goal professional.

Janet Elliott (21 February 2015)

Former showjumper and hunting stalwart Janet Elliott (nee Smith) died last month (21 February). She was 70 years old.

Janet had a successful showjumping career and trained with Hans Günter Winkler in Germany. She rode on the British team for thirteen years and won the U21 class at the Hickstead Derby Meeting consecutively for three years.

“Laterally, Janet has enjoyed seeing two generations of her family excel in the hunting field,” a family spokesman said.

Hugh Condry (27 February 2015)

Hugh Condry

Hugh Condry and Brian Lee. Credit: Brian Armstrong

The former Horse & Hound deputy editor died peacefully in his sleep aged 88. Hugh worked as a journalist for more than 50 years, continuing work until he was 84.

He was a key member of staff at H&H for 32, and spent 14 years as deputy editor. He was also point-to-point correspondent for the Daily Telegraph, and latterly for the Racing Post and Racing Post Weekender.

Hugh leaves behind his wife Sue, two daughters and ten grandchildren.

A thanksgiving service will be held at Dulverton All Saints Church, Somerset at 2pm on Wednesday 18 March.

Brigadier Peter Marzetti

Peter Mazetti

A great huntsman and sportsman, Brigadier Peter Marzetti, has died aged 82.

His hunting career started at the age of 14 years, a young boy on a rough pony with the Enfield Chase, and continued throughout his 82 years.

As an army officer, he always ensured his postings were in the UK, giving him the opportunity to hunt both harriers and foxhounds across England and Ireland.

He was the field master of the Staff College Royal Military Academy Sandhurst Drag Hounds in the early 1970s, and for the last 25 years of his life hunted with and supported the Blackmore and Sparkford Vale where he was a Joint-Master of Foxhounds (1990-1995) and hunt secretary (1996-2000). In the later years he enjoyed attending the meet, supporting the Countryside Alliance and socialising with his many friends and fellow huntsmen.

He died at home after a fall from one of his horses in November. He leaves a wife, four daughters and seven grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at St Peter’s Church, West Lydford, Somerset on Friday 27th February at 2.00pm, no flowers donations to the Hunt Staff Benefit Society.

Lucy Diamond (17 February 2015)

Lucy Diamond - Argentus

The former four-star eventer turned dressage rider lost her battle with cancer at the age of 43. Having successfully ridden around Badminton in 2006 on Carousel VI, Lucy later turned her attention to pure dressage.

Lucy won the elementary regional championship last summer at Keysoe riding Argentus (pictured, top), just 48 hours after coming out of hospital for treatment. This determined lady continued competing alongside her treatment, and said it was “a myth” that people couldn’t keep fit while having chemotherapy.

Our thoughts are with her husband, champion farrier Billy Crothers, and her two daughters, Emily and Olivia. The date of her funeral is still to be set.

Belle Leggat (29 December 2014)

Equestrian stalwart Belle Leggat died on 29 December 2014. She was 97 years old.

Her equestrian portfolio included showjumping, pointing, hunting, showing and, alongside her husband, Tannny, breeding more than 35 racehorses.

“One of Belle’s great passions was hunting,” said a spokesman for the family. “She was a bold and fearless follower of the Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire in the early days and the Lauderdale.

“She was once asked to showjump for Britain in Paris but did not go as it was going to interfere with the cubbing season.”

Belle’s riding career continued until she was 80 and she passed her passion onto future generations including her daughter Jane Fitzgerald who died in 2002.

Joan Gray (29 January 2015)

Joan Gray 02

Riding instructor, showjumping owner and all round horsewoman Joan Gray died on 29 January aged 84.

She was the proprietor of Greatstone Riding Stables from 1950 – 1979.

Following her early years of winters spent working with hunters and summers spent with her own horses, Joan had a promising showjumping career. However, competitive career was ended by lupus in 1980. Through determination she did ride again and even drove her horsebox, enabling Joan to give a younger generation trips to the shows and allowing her to pass on her skills.

Her funeral takes place on Friday 20 February 11am at The Romney Marsh Community Church, North Street, New Romney.

June Darby Nuttall (12 June 1921 – 20 December 2014)

June Darby Nuttall

The honorary vice president of British Showjumping (BS), June Darby Nuttall, died on 20 December aged 93.

Born at Colshaw Hall in Knutsford, Cheshire, June was riding her Shetland pony before she could walk.

She started course building in the 1960s and became involved with the All England Jumping Course where she designed courses in the Foxhunter ring.

June became BS regional representative for the south west for almost two decades. She was also a registered BS judge and showjumping runs in the family, with her granddaughter Harriet competing on Nations Cup teams last year.

“She knew the sport from every angle and was extremely passionate in the way that it progressed, giving her time freely and never missing a meeting unless it absolutely unavoidable,” said a spokesman for BS.

She had been honorary vice president since 2000.

David Lloyd-Thomas (3 January 2015)

Leading pony judge David Lloyd-Thomas died at his home in Northamptonshire on Saturday 3 January. He was 85 years old.

David was a leading judge for the British Show Pony and National Pony Society for many years, judging at all major shows, including the Royal International Horse Show and Horse of the Year Show (HOYS).

David’s initial interest in judging started when he won the gold medal for stock judging at Smithfield at an early age.

A farmer, but with always a keen enthusiasm for breeding, showing and eventing; David bred and owned the successful eventers Milton Tyson, General and Tin Man, the former two being ridden by Mark Todd and latterly David’s son Roland.

Among others David also bred Milton Pageboy who won the 128cm Show Pony Class at last year’s HOYS.

Our sympathies go to David’s wife Estelle and children, Roland and Harriett.

Johnny O’Shea (12 January 2015)

Johnny O'Shea, Cheshire Foxhounds, Cholmondeley Castle, 1/2/1985

Johnny O’Shea, former huntsman of the Cheshire Hunt from 1966-1991, died on 12 January, aged 77.

An exemplary horse and hound man, Johnny was married to Anne and the father of James and the late Maureen.

Following his retirement to Moss Cottage on the Cholmondeley Estate, Johnny inspired great confidence in the young to keep hunting and continued to follow hounds regularly.

A man of great character, he also achieved success as a greyhound trainer, including victory in the Waterloo Cup.

The funeral will take place at St Wenefrede’s Church, Bickley Cheshire on 26 January at 1pm.

Virginia Anne Pritchard (29 May 1932 — 24 December 2014)

Showing judge Virginia Anne Pritchard has died aged 82, on 24 December 2014.

Anne, as she was affectionately known, was a respected horsewoman and produced many winning show horses from her home Ryalls Stud in Dorset ridden and produced by both her children.

She was a highly-regarded judge and officiated on many panels including the British Show Pony Society, the National Pony Society, and the British Show Horse Association. She also judged the Search for a Star series many years along side Robert Oliver.

Her funeral will be held on 20 January 2015 at 12 noon at Bishops Caundle Church, Sherborne, Dorset.

The 8th Duke of Wellington Brigadier Arthur Wellesley (31 December 2014)

Arthur Wellesley

Guards Polo Club vice president, the 8th Duke of Wellington Brigadier Arthur Wellesley, died on 31 December. He was 99 years old.

The Duke was one of the founding members of the club and was its first chairman in 1955.

A spokesman from the club said: “Despite retiring from the game some years ago, he continued to take a keen interest in the sport at Smith’s Lawn, regularly attending matches including presenting his own Duke of Wellington Trophy every August.

“Guards Polo Club sends its heartfelt condolences to the Wellesley family.”

The Duke’s wife Diana Wellesley, Duchess of Wellington, died in 2010. The heir to the peerages is the eldest of his four sons, Charles, Marquess of Douro, a former MEP.

Jane Edwards (21 December 2014)

jane edwards

Showing rider Jane Edwards of Sarnau Stud passed away on 21 December. Before her marriage to Hugh in 1955, Jane worked at various stables, including the Lee-Smiths’. It was there that she rode two of the most famous ponies of all time in Pretty Polly and My Pretty Maid.

They soon established a leading Welsh pony stud at Sarnau, with their ponies having a big influence worldwide.

One of their homebred stallions, Sarnau Rheolwr (foaled in 1985), sired Cwrtycadno Cadfridog, whom they bought. They won major awards with him before selling him to Cottrell Stud, for whom he was Royal Welsh champion and HOYS qualifier in 1996.

The stud specialised in palominos and captured many Royal Welsh championships. They bought Sarnau Venus (daughter of My Pretty Maid) as a foal and bred some of the country’s top riding ponies, such as Sarnau Miss Mink, Sarnau Squirrel and Sarnau Royal Shrimp, who all won at Horse of the Year Show.

Horace Batten (7 December 2014)

horace batton

The chairman of his family’s bespoke bootmaking business died on 7 December aged 102.

The fifth generation of his family to run the company, Horace took control in his mid-20s and oversaw a switch to making deck boots for submariners during World War II. After the war, the business concentrated on the custom-made hunting boot. It moved to Ravensthorpe, Northants, in the 1960s.

The Batten family has provided handmade boots to generations of hunt staff and masters as well as famous showjumpers, including Nick Skelton and Ted Edgar. Their boots are also reputed to have been worn by servicemen and women during many conflicts.

Horace is survived by his son Timothy, who has been running the operation since Horace reduced his involvement as he got closer to 100 years old. He made his last pair of boots aged 99.

Enid Whitaker (3 January 2015)

Whitaker family

Enid Whitaker, mother of John, Michael, Ian and Steven and the matriach of the Whitaker dynasty, passed away on Saturday 3 January aged 85, after a short illness.

It was Enid, wife of Donald, who died in 2005, who passed on her love of horses to her four sons — and thus began one of the greatest equestrian families in the world.

“From the very beginning it was her that encouraged us all to ride – we owe her a lot,” Michael told H&H. “She was extremely proud of all her family and would come and watch us right until she was too ill to get about.

“She and my dad couldn’t get enough of it — she must have gone to every show in England. She’ll be a huge loss to the family.”

Her funeral will be held on 20 January.

Wojtek Markowski (1947 – 5 January 2015)

Wojtek Markowski (POL)

Five-star dressage judge and technical delegate Wojtek Markowski died from cancer on 5 January. He was 67 years old.

Mr Markowski, who was from Poland, judged at his first Olympics in Athens in 2004. He was a technical delegate at London 2012 and was due to perform the same role in Rio next year.

In 2012, he was appointed board member of the European Equestrian Federation (EEF), where he proposed the creation of the EEF Dressage Working Group — which he then chaired. He was also the Eastern and Central Europe representative for the International Dressage Officials Club.

“Wojtek played a central role in judging and developing international dressage in a career spanning over 30 years”, Trond Asmyr, FEI director of dressage and para-dressage said.

“He was one of our most active judges and had a brilliant statistician’s mind. Thanks to his sought-after expertise, he was due to head to his second consecutive Olympics as technical delegate in Rio in 2016.

“He has left a valuable legacy for international dressage, and his dedication and passion for our sport will be very sorely missed.”