Farewell to renowned eventing trainer Kenneth Clawson

  • Renowned eventing trainer Kenneth Clawson has died. He was 63.

    Kenneth died yesterday (Tuesday 11 December) in hospital. He had been suffering from leukaemia for five years. Kenneth was based in Leicestershire and famously trained many top riders including JP Sheffield and Oliver Townend as well helping Zara Phillips, Rodney Powell, Pippa Funnell and Piggy French.

    “Kenneth has been instrumental in my career for the past 10 years, not least because he found me Drivetime,” Emily Baldwin told H&H. “He had an uncanny knack of not only getting horses jumping well, but putting riders in the right frame of mind to produce clear rounds when it really mattered.”

    He was showjumping team trainer to the British Eventing squad and World Class Programme in 1998, continuing to help through the Beijing Olympics.

    Kenneth was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2007 and, following treatment, was told in 2011 that he was in full remission. But in early 2012 this was found not to be the case and he had a bone marrow transplant in August.

    “Kenneth was so much more than a talented and successful coach to the British eventing team and worldclass programme,” said British equestrian performance director Will Connell.

    “He epitomised the accolade ‘team player’ — he was epicentral to creating the winning and positive environment that has stood the eventing team in such good stead; but was equally as happy, motivated and effective when working with amateur riders who just enjoyed the thrill of riding. He has helped GBR win many medals but he will be most missed as a friend to the equestrian world.”

    Yesterday tributes poured from riders on Twitter:

    Ben Hobday: “So, so sad. RIP eventing legend Kenneth Clawson, you will be greatly missed.”

    Warren Lamperd:“Really sad news about Kenneth Clawson. A great support to me and I’m sure many others. He was an inspiration.”

    Kitty King: “Incredibly sad news about Kenneth Clawson, a great trainer who helped so many of us.”

    Emily King: “RIP Kenneth Clawson, you were a true legend who created many legends and will be hugely missed.”

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