Golden oldies: today’s equestrian legends pictured past and present

  • We've trawled through the H&H archives to bring you some of the current legends of the equestrian world — now and how they looked as fresh-faced young hopefuls back in the day

    1. Mary King

    1 Mary King both

    Now 56, eventer Mary is still riding with the same grit and determination as she did on board the wonderful, helicopter-tailed King Boris back in 1987.

    2. Michael Whitaker

    Olympia 2014 - 20th December - World Cup

    Showjumper Michael, 57, won the first of his four Hickstead Derby titles in 1980 at the age of 20, complete with a full mop of hair, riding Owen Gregory.

    Hickstead Derby 1980

    3. Richard Davison

    3 Richard Davidson both

    Dressage rider Richard, now 61, and Hiscox Artemis competed at the 2012 London Olympics in the same classic style seen 22 years earlier on Vidello.

    4. David Tatlow

    David Tatlow

    The king of the show ring then and now strikes quite a pose at the National Hunter Show at Shrewsbury 58 years ago, having taken the Horse & Hound Challenge Cup with Altimira.

    The National Hunter Show 1959 at Shrewsbury June 25th

    5. Mark Todd

    6 Mark Todd both

    With five Olympic medals under his belt, Mark, now 61, did enjoy a seven-year retirement before returning to the sport in 2008 to continue his winning ways. He and The Irishman II are seen in action at Badminton in 1989 — nine years after he won his first title there with Southern Comfort III. Aside from his 1980 win, he also took the title in 1994, 1996 and 2011.

    6. Ian Millar

    Ian Miller

    In 2014 at the age of 67, the Canadian showjumper beat 20-year-old Reed Kessler in a two-way jump-off to take the sport’s richest prize, the CP International at Spruce Meadows, Canada. Back in the early 1970s when this picture was taken, “Captain Canada” had already made his debut at the first of his record-breaking 10 Olympic Games appearances.

    Ian Miller 2

    7. Geoff Billington

    Great Yorkshire Show 10 07 2014Class 6

    He may now be 62, but there’s no sign of the popular showjumper hanging up his boots just yet. In 1986 the showman enjoyed one of many moments in the spotlight, winning the Foxhunter championship with Edisford Bridge.

    1986 HOYS foxhunter final

    8. Robert Oliver

    HOYS Day 2 05.10. 11

    The stylish showman will forever be remembered for his great partnership with the six-time cob of the year Superted, seen here at Leicestershire County Show in 1988.

    Robert Oliver 2

    9. John Whitaker

    Santa Stakes at Olympia 18th December 2014

    Still winning at the age of 61, John first rose to fame with the great Ryan’s Son, already stars of the showjumping ring in 1977. “I didn’t know too much about the job back then, but he suited my style and we hit it off,” says John. And long may his winning ways continue.

    john whitaker 1977

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