Triple Olympic eventing gold medallist Richard Meade, 76, is seriously ill in hospital with cancer.
The father of Team GB member Harry has been at the heart of the British equestrian community for more than 50 years.
“We wanted to thank so many people for their kind messages and concern about Richard,” said the Meade family in a statement on Harry’s website yesterday (4 January 2015).
“He was diagnosed with cancer in October. Having had six weeks of treatment, he was taken into hospital on Boxing Day after a lovely Christmas at home with all his family.
“Sadly he has deteriorated very quickly and his body is unable to withstand further treatment.
“He is being a tower of strength for his family who are all with him; despite the prognosis he is being typically calm and positive and remains an example to us all.”
Richard won team gold at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico and secured team and individual gold in 1972 in Munich. He also two gold and three silver World championship medals and three gold and two bronze European medals.
In 1970 Richard claimed Badminton for the first time with The Poacher. Twelve years later he won it again with Speculator III. He also won Burghley in 1964 with Barberry.
Richard has also served on the British Horse Society’s council for more than 10 years and is the chairman of the British Horse Foundation. In 1974 Richard was awarded an OBE.
Richard retired from riding competitively when Harry was a child, but he has been highly influential in his son’s eventing career.
Harry finished third at last year’s Badminton and was selected for the World Equestrian Games in August. His horse Wild Lone then collapsed and died after completing the cross-country phase in Normandy.