Farewell to…equestrian journalist Jane Pontifex

  • Equestrian journalist and pioneer of eventing scoring Jane Pontifex, died at her home in Farnham, Surrey last week at the age of 84.

    Jane held many jobs in the eventing world, including being combined training secretary at the British Horse Society (BHS) — during which time she created the scoring system for eventing, which is still in use today.

    And she was a scorer at the first Badminton in 1949.

    Jane was press representative for horse trials from 1969 to 1975, when she joined Horse & Hound as the magazine’s first horse trials sub editor and first female reporter.

    She was also Burghley press officer from 1969-79.

    H&H editor of the time, Michael Clayton said: “Jane’s knowledge and enthusiasm for eventing proved a great boon. She ensured extreme accuracy in the detailed score-sheets and reports we published on this rapidly growing sport.

    “She was also a considerable asset as an eventing reporter, covering major events at home and abroad with insight and knowledge.

    “Her overall contribution to postwar equestrianism has been immense. She was a good friend to many of us, and we shall miss her dearly.”

    Jane was also the founding secretary of the Horse Trials Support Group, a role she held for 25 years, and she co-wrote a comprehensive book, Riding for Gold, which detailed the history of Britain’s eventing teams.

    Her funeral arrangements will be announced shortly.

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