The 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, celebrates its 50th anniversary this week. The Games were hosted from 12-27 October and to mark the occasion, we bring you some pictures from the archive, documenting Great Britain’s huge success in the eventing competition, where they won team gold and individual silver.
The Games proved notoriously difficult for eventing competitors — the cross-country course was some 1,800m above sea level and the site was known for high levels of rainfall between October and March.
61% of riders managed to complete Mario Becerril’s course before heavy rain fell. Although it lasted only 30 minutes, the penultimate fence, a 2m wide stream, became 12m in width and flooded the entire take off point for the horses.
The British team of Major Derek Allhusen (Lochinvar), Reuben Jones (The Poacher), Richard Meade (Cornishman) and Jane Bullen (Our Nobby) won team gold over the second-placed United States and bronze medal winners, Australia. Major Allhusen also scooped the individual silver medal.
Let’s take a nostalgic look back at the efforts put in by the British team to bring those eventing medals home…
1. Jane Holderness-Roddam (née Bullen) with her sister Jenny, who went as Jane’s groom, in Mexico
2. One combination battles the elements on the cross-country course
3. Jane, who was the first woman on a British Olympic team, showjumps Our Nobby on the final day of competition
4. The British team stand proud on the podium, with the USA in second and Australia in third
5. Major Derek Allhusen shows off his team gold medal and his own individual silver medal, on arrival at Heathrow Airport.
6. Staff-Sergeant Ben Jones, who was on the gold medal-winning team, on his return at Heathrow Airport, with a guitar and sombrero, souvenirs he brought back from his trip to Mexico